We’re now a couple seasons removed from the Great Rookie Quarterback Influx of 2012, but that doesn’t mean the position’s productivity has slowed. In fact, it’s hard to find a team without a quarterback who puts up what used to be considered good fantasy numbers, to the point that you can wait and wait and wait and still snag a reasonably productive fantasy QB. Here’s a breakdown of the position’s productivity over the past few years, as well as each team’s performance over that span–and what’s in store for the upcoming campaign.
Position Totals by Year
|Year||Passes||Comps||Pass Yards||YPC||Pass TD||Int||Runs||Rush Yards||Rush TD|
More, more, more… 2013 quarterbacks were all about the Andrea True Connection (ask your parents) as they established 10-year highs in rushing attempts and yardage as well as passing attempts, completions, yardage and touchdowns. Rushing touchdowns dipped from the two-season peak but still remained well above previous levels, suggesting quarterbacks were being reined in a little—but not so much as to blow previous positional marks in both attempts and yards out of the water. In short, the league is getting exactly what it wants: more offense, beginning at the top with the quarterback position.
Top Ten Quarterback Totals
|Year||Passes||Comps||Pass Yards||Pass TD||Runs||Rush Yards||Rush TD||FF Pts|
Being a top 10 fantasy quarterback in 2013 was all about volume, as no group of top-10 QBs had ever thrown (or completed) as many passes as last season. Rushing productivity was down a bit, supporting the theory espoused above that the more productive teams weren’t turning lose their valuable QBs on the ground. And the fact that the top 10 totals were for the most part on par with previous seasons despite overall high-water marks suggests that more than just the top 10 QBs are putting up helpful fantasy numbers… which is why waiting on a quarterback on fantasy draft day is so en vogue.
(Improving) Carson Palmer actually threw less than his predecessors, but more accurately and efficiently and productively. Bottom line, the Arizona passing game moved from bottom of the barrel to middle of the pack. Another big jump isn’t likely, but with quality targets and another season of Palmer there’s nothing wrong with the status quo here.
Matt Ryan’s productivity remained stable despite Julio Jones’ injury issues. Now Jones returns, though Ryan will have to adjust to not having the security blanket of Tony Gonzalez around. While Ryan remains outside the velvet ropes of the elite quarterbacks, he’s at least on the list to get into the club and mingle with the party people.
The falloff of Baltimore’s ground game forced Joe Flacco to throw more, but the results weren’t necessarily positive; in fact, passing yards and TDs declined while interceptions more than doubled. That’s probably not what the Ravens were looking for when they gave Flacco $120 million last season, and now he’ll be working in a different sort of offense that may not play to Flacco’s big arm. Few if any are buying Flacco as anything more than fantasy filler, and there’s little to suggest that’s the wrong approach.
(Improving) (Camp Watch)