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Quarterback Fallers for Fantasy Football Drafts: ADP Analysis for Deshaun Watson, Zach Wilson, Carson Wentz

Zach Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News

Welcome back to another article in our fantasy football ADP draft risers and fallers – today we'll be looking at quarterback fallers. I am going to start this column by introducing the concept of ADP, which I'm pretty sure you know what it is about. Average Draft Position (ADP) indicates the average position where a player is drafted over more than one fantasy football draft. You can consider it as the price you have to pay to draft and get a player on your team. A high ADP (that is actually a low-numbered ADP) means that a player is getting off draft boards early, and thus you'll need to draft him in the first rounds if you truly want him.

Low or high ADP values, though, are not gospel. Each of us fantasy GMs have our strategies and value players differently depending on what we think is the most important for them to have in terms of abilities. No matter what, though, ADPs are good to know how the "average value" of the "average GM" you'll be drafting against is for each asset (in this case, the players). By now, with free agency and the draft well finalized and just a few players left to be signed, it makes sense to go look at how ADPs are varying during the last month as we get closer to peak draft season.

In this series, I’ll highlight players at each skill position seeing significant fluctuation from late July to late August using data from FFPC drafts. Today, it's time to look at three fallers at quarterback.

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Quarterbacks - Fantasy Football ADP Fallers

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

Watson's ADP has fluctuated since the minute it was reported that lawsuits were coming his way starting in March 2021. That led to Watson seemingly taking advance of the ugly situation to demand a trade out of Houston. After a full year of no developments on any of those two fronts when it came to actual actions or suspensions being handed, everything got untangled in the span of five months with a trade to the Browns and a subsequent six-then-turned-11 game suspension.

This situation stinks, and Watson stinks even more to the point of making me want to throw up. Watson is going to miss almost two-thirds of the season, and won't be back until Week 13. He should not be back at all, but this is the NFL at the end of the day. Not worth a waiver wire dart, let alone a draft pick. The suspension can still get increased (ESPN reported it after the announcement) and that'd end any sort of appeal or interest you might still have on Watson and his 2022 season--or career for that matter.

 

Zach Wilson, New York Jets

The Jets can't catch a break. I know, I know. It was only a scare, but still. You must have heard about it by the time you read this: Wilson appeared on the Jets' first preseason game, did this, did that, then did something coaches had reportedly told him to stop doing already (trying to extend plays by running around like a headless chicken), and obviously, he got injured dodging the ACL/MCL bullet somehow.

Wilson is still expected to miss one or two games at the start of the year (if only because of precautionary measures) making way for the eternal Joe Flacco to man the Jets' pocket for a minute. Sheesh. Wilson underwent a meniscus trim, came out of it clean, and the medical report said "four-to-six weeks of recovery time." Seems like the Jets are definitely not buying those reports, though. This franchise...

Anyway, that's what we have in our hands with Wilson and his falling ADP. The actual drop is more prominent in the past week or two than prior to the injury, obviously, so there you have your (obvious and understandable) reason for it.

Wilson is currently the QB26 off draft boards, though he projects to a QB23 finish, barely but into the QB2 realm for those of you managing in 2-QB leagues. The Jets have filled the offense at all positions from the OL to the skill-position roles but even then it feels like there is still quite a gap for them to bridge if they want to turn into a legitimate postseason threat.

I want to believe in Wilson, but unless you're taking part in a super-deep league, super-premium, 3-QB league, or something very weird, Wilson is better off staying in the WW for a while, let alone considering his injured status.

 

Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

Wentz's ADP drop is entirely about the information coming out of the Commanders' camp. No injuries, no fines, no suspensions, nothing like that. So, if I were you, I'd still value Wentz as the Wentz we've always known without really paying much attention to headlines such as the typical "inconsistent at camp," "building a strong rapport with X or Y," or "making incredible deep throws!" I never believed in this summer training stuff and I won't start now.

(There is this thing called "deception" that big companies and enterprises such as a professional football franchise--part of the NFL, no less--often use every time they have a chance, just in case). So yeah, Indianapolis Wentz is now Washington Wentz but nothing more than that, so my analysis has not changed a bit from the minute he got traded months ago to the minute I'm writing this.

The narrative of Wentz being a bad quarterback is a little bit off. He's not a QB1, but he's not the worst of quarterbacks as some corner would make you believe. In the past five seasons, Wentz has averaged 17.7 FPPG, sandwiched between Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford. I have yet to see anyone dropping heavy criticism on those two, and Wentz has had to work with much worse receivers than Cousins/Stafford could count on in the past five seasons, mind you.

Last year, skill-position players in Washington with 50+ opportunities over the year averaged 94.4 rePPR over the year. Those playing in Indianapolis (under Wentz) averaged 123.4 rePPR. Look at Philly with/without Wentz and a similar trend emerges. With him (2020), that group averaged 87.9 rePPR, and without him (2021), 84.8. Wentz elevates his teammates if only a bit.

And just in case all of that doesn't move the needle for you, let me share some projections from PFF with you. Wentz is getting drafted around the 172nd OVR pick and as the QB27. He projects for a QB13 finish. That's more than double the production you should expect, and thus the ROI is absolutely bonkers at 2.08, the largest figure among quarterbacks projected to a top-24 finish other than Jalen Hurts (2.33).

Don't hesitate and draft Wentz at his true price (definitely not past the 90th pick) before it's too late, you get snipped by a savvy GM, and you end up regretting your passiveness.



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