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Three Quarterbacks Who Are Being Overvalued in 2016

Quarterbacks are always an interesting position every year for fantasy purposes. Some owners love using a selection on the top QBs in the third round (sometimes, even the second), essentially locking up the spot and never looking back. Others tend to use all of their high picks on other positions, believing they can secure great value on a second or third tier QB later on in the draft.

Then you have people in two QB leagues, where QBs flying off the board in round one is a normal occurrence. Regardless on which stance you take when it comes to drafting signal callers, the purpose of this article is to identify three of them who are currently being overvalued.

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Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), ADP: 55.2

With an ADP of 55.2, Ben Roethlisberger is being drafted in the middle of round five in 12-person leagues, just ahead of Carson Palmer and right behind Drew Brees. While Roethlisberger is obviously a solid option, there are a few reasons why he might be overvalued at his current draft day price.

In twelve games last season (he missed four due to injury), Big Ben posted 21 touchdowns against 16 interceptions (which prorates to 28 and 21, respectively, over a full season). The touchdowns are nice, but the distribution of them is not. Roethlisberger only had two games where he threw for three or more scores with zero turnovers.

Furthermore, in the twelve games he played, he threw for one touchdown or less in six of them (including zero touchdowns in three of them). Out of those six games, he threw more picks than touchdowns in five. Roethlisberger was already in the process of racking up a high interception total, and now he won’t have Le’Veon Bell for three games or Martavis Bryant for the entire season.

Roethlisberger’s health is also a concern. Although he played 16 games in both 2013 and 2014, those are the only two seasons he’s gone the distance since 2008 (which was the only other season in his career he played 16). Now 34 years of age, he’s likely to be more prone to injury than he was in his 20’s (where he was never a perfect picture of health anyway). Overall, Roethlisberger will put up solid numbers, that much we know. But is he worth drafting over guys like Eli Manning who you know will play 16 games?


Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars), ADP: 74.2

Blake Bortles is coming off a breakout sophomore season where he threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. One would think he’d be a popular candidate to take another step forward; however, his underlying statistics indicate that might not be the case.

Taking a look at the circumstances of Bortles’ touchdowns, it becomes clear last year’s total of 35 is bound to regress. In 2015, eight of Bortles’ 35 scores came when the Jaguars were down by 11 points or more in the second half, 18 or more in the first half, or eight or more when the game was about to end. The Jaguars were a team that was constantly playing from behind and so Bortles had quite a few “garbage time” scores or touchdowns where the defense had their foot on the brakes.

The Jaguars aren’t likely to find themselves in nearly as many of those situations in 2016. A much-improved defense, plus adding Chris Ivory to the running back fold to play more ball control offense, indicates Bortles will be airing it out at will much less. Furthermore, Bortles completion percentage was a weak 58.6%, a figure he’ll need to improve to come close to last year’s numbers with fewer passing attempts expected.


Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins), ADP: 120.5

Kirk Cousins is currently being drafted as the QB14 with an ADP of 120.5. That’s fringe QB1 value in 12-team leagues, and backend QB1 value in 14-team leagues. While Cousins could end up returning that value when 2016 is said and done, it seems as though his current draft price is a bit high.

Part of Cousins’ 2015 success was due to his 69.8 completion percentage. This is likely to be an outlier for Cousins; in the two seasons prior where he attempted 150 passes or more, his highest was 61.8%. Even at Michigan State, in his highest volume season he completed 63.7% of his passes. Cousins isn’t bad in this respect, in fact he’ll likely remain quite above average, but 69.8% seems unlikely for him.

Another issue here are the quarterbacks being drafted after Cousins. Andy Dalton (QB15), Matt Stafford (QB19), and Matt Ryan (QB20) are all being taken at least nearly a round later. Dalton has now strung together five consecutive seasons of solid fantasy performances. After the Lions named Jim Bob Cooter offensive coordinator prior to Week 8, Stafford completed 69.7% of his passes for 2,396 yards, 20 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

Finally, the only part of Matt Ryan’s game that was significantly down in 2015 were his touchdowns. Mohamed Sanu was added to the fold after Ryan didn’t have a legitimate #2 WR last year, and so Ryan’s touchdowns should be in for positive regression. All three of these quarterbacks should be drafted before Cousins.


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


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