Beyond TDs and Tackles: Week 16

Beyond TDs and Tackles: Week 16


Beyond TDs and Tackles: Week 16


With the season coming to an end I want to take a look at QB value. Back in July I penned Dissecting Quarterback Value in Fantasy Football. The article has also been referred to as the Zero QB Theorem.

Zero QB Theorem – If you zero out the quarterback’s points on a winning fantasy team, they still win a majority of head-to-head matchups.

If you haven’t read it yet, do so, but keep an open mind. If you did read it, hopefully you kept an open mind.

As the season is wrapping up I thought it would be a good exercise to take a look at QB ADP from this summer and also how QBs rank thru 15 weeks.

The following chart shows the top 12 QBs selected in the draft and their average draft pick.

ADP Rank Name Avg. Pick Round Drafted
1 Aaron Rodgers 15.83 Early 2nd
2 Drew Brees 18.06 Mid 2nd
3 Peyton Manning 29.39 Early 3rd
4 Tom Brady 38.22 Early 4th
5 Cam Newton 38.80 Early 4th
6 Matt Ryan 45.09 Late 4th
7 Colin Kaepernick 52.08 Early 5th
8 Matt Stafford 58.33 Late 5th
9 Andrew Luck 59.83 Late 5th
10 Robert Griffin III 61.84 Early 6th
11 Russell Wilson 69.66 Mid-Late 6th
12 Tony Romo 72.90 Early 7th

Now that we know where the first 12 QBs were selected in drafts, let’s take a look at where those 12 currently rank.

ADP Rank Name Current Positional Ranking Fantasy Points
1 Aaron Rodgers 25 160.22
2 Drew Brees 2 331.70
3 Peyton Manning 1 383.34
4 Tom Brady 13 258.06
5 Cam Newton 4 292.86
6 Matt Ryan 14 249.86
7 Colin Kaepernick 16 242.50
8 Matt Stafford 3 301.82
9 Andrew Luck 5 284.78
10 Robert Griffin III 15 244.88
11 Russell Wilson 7 275.88
12 Tony Romo 9 265.90

In Dissecting Quarterback Value in Fantasy Football I pointed out that on average over the past five years that four of the top 12 QB drafted don’t finish as a top 12 QB. As it stands now, there are five QBs that don’t rank in the top 12.  That means that five QBs drafted outside the 6th round rank in the top 12.

The following chart speaks volumes to the value that can be had at the QB position.

Name ADP Rank Avg. Pick Round Drafted Current Positional Rank Fantasy Points
Phillip Rivers 23 156.94 14th 6 280.32
Andy Dalton 14 112.26 10th 8 274.96
Ryan Tannehill 24 157.05 14th 10 264.98
Ben Roethlesberger 16 126.41 11th 11 264.30
Alex Smith 25 160.89 14th 12 263.40

The initial research in the article looked at the results of 1,805 fantasy matchups. The research showed that 1,101 (61%) of the teams that won still did so with a zero at QB. For those that lost, the point differential was less than 12 points/game.

I have yet to look at how the Zero QB Theorem has played out in the three leagues that I did the initial research on yet…I plan to do that this offseason. However, what I did do was take a look at how the Zero QB Theorem played out in the 10 Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) expert leagues that were run on RTSports this year. Each league was comprised of 12 teams, and played an 11-week regular season. That means that I looked at 660 fantasy matchups. The playoffs aren’t 100% head-to-head so I didn’t include any information from week 12 on.

What I found is that 364 (55.2%) of 660 fantasy matchups ended with the winning team still winning when their QB points were zeroed out. The average point differential in the games that they lost ended up being 12,82 points/game.

I’ve now done research on 2,465 fantasy games, and now it’s time for you to do some research too. What I want you to do is to look at all of the fantasy matchups in your league this year (for a 12 team league it takes about 20-30 minutes). What I want you to do is to look at the winning team, subtract their QBs points, and see if they still won. If they did win put a check in a “still won” column. If they lost, take their total points scored, subtract their QBs points, then subtract that total from their opponents overall score (including their QBs points); that number is the point loss differential. Record that number in its own column.

When you are finished add up the “still won” column and divide it by the total number of fantasy matchups that you researched. That’s your win percentage. Then take the point loss differential column and add it up and divide by the number of losses that are in that column. That’s your average point loss differential.

After you are done doing all that, email me your results at Include the following in your email:

Title of email: Zero QB Theorem Research
Body of email: Include the number of teams.
Your scoring system for QBs.
Note if the league is a re-draft or a dynasty league.

Lastly, if your playoffs are head-to-head matchups tell me which QBs made the playoffs and which ones are playing for the championship this week.


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