As promised in my last blog, which I’m sure you’ve all read (if not, what are you waiting for?) the plan is to give you guys a free agent pickup that can make a difference at every position and at every stage in your fantasy draft. The obvious starting point is quarterbacks, since getting a good one is the fastest (and some might say, only) way to turn a franchise around. So now that I have that established, I’m calling an audible.
I subscribe to the theory that good quarterbacks don’t become free agents. They are too rare, and too valuable, so if a team has one, they keep him. If they have two, they trade one. With that in mind, you’re probably not going to find a signal-caller on a new squad via free agency worthy of an early pick almost ever, and certainly not this year. So I guess I will have to redefine the term “early” for the purpose of this segment. I know what you’re thinking, “changing the formula before you even get started, do you have any idea what you’re even doing?” The short answer is no, not really, but what can I say, I don’t control the market. So for the quarterback position only, “early” will be defined as “possibly worth a look as a backup”. “Mid” will be “may be draftable in some deeper leagues”. Late will be “if you resorted to drafting this guy, stop reading now, you are a lost cause”.
“Notable” QB’s on the move-, Tyrod Taylor, Josh Freeman, Brian Hoyer Christian Ponder, Shaun Hill, Matt Schaub. Still unsigned- Michael Vick, Austin Davis, Matt Flynn (it’s been long enough now, we don’t have to consider Tebow “notable” anymore).
Your winner in the “early” category (pretty much by default) – Brian Hoyer. Hoyer left the Cleveland Browns for the greener pastures of Houston, Texas. He is the most likely free agent to start week one, and as such, is the best option to take a look at for your fantasy team. He will be available late as a backup option, but if you go into the fantasy season with him as your starter, please let me know so I can join all of your leagues. Losing the ever-steady Andre Johnson is going to hurt the value of whichever QB starts in Houston this year, but he does still have some weapons to work with. Far and away, the best of these options is Deandre Hopkins scored in double-figures 11 times last year, including a MONSTER week 13 against division-rival Tennessee where he went off for 9 catches, 238 yards, and 2 TD’s. He’s a big-play guy with top end speed and can score from anywhere on the field. He is now teamed up with newly acquired Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts, for what could be a dangerous, undersized but underrated WR corps. If Hoyer wins the job, he may see a few starts in fantasy lineups on a real starters bye week, or if your starter is playing Seattle.
Again, this is not what you would typically define as “mid-round,” it’s going to be a reach for this guy to even end up on a fantasy roster, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a selection.
Your winner in this category- Tyrod Taylor. Taylor spent the past four years holding a clipboard for Super Bowl champion, and mega-contract earner Joe Flacco. If he learned anything from him, Taylor could conceivably win the job outright at camp, taking advantage of a QB situation that is murky at best. While this situation is picking up steam, a more likely scenario (or in my case as a Bills fan, a nightmare scenario) is that neither Matt Cassel nor EJ Manuel are able to get the job done, so the never-shy Rex Ryan turns to Taylor in relief. If this were to be the case, he may be good for a spot-start. Buffalo has absolutely reloaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball this offseason bringing in LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, and Percy Harvin to go along with Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Is this real? Pinch me!
Again, standard late rounds are usually 11-15, and in the FFB world, finding players in these rounds is what separates the men from the boys. Unfortunately none of the remaining free agent quarterbacks should be drafted, and will only play due to injury. Alas, there are no winners in this category. If you end up with any of the rest of these free-agent QB’s, you won’t be a winner either. How’s that for anti-climactic?