2018 Fanball Quarterback Heat Map

2018 Fanball Quarterback Heat Map

The quarterback position is known to have the tightest scoring of any of the positions in fantasy football. Last year brought us a lot of what we expected and one outlier player in Patrick Mahomes, who crushed the old record for win percentage by a QB with 21.3. Mahomes combined a top four ever finish by a QB with a late-round draft position on average of 129. Partly due to Mahomes, no other QB had more than a 12 percent win rate. For comparison, twelve running backs and eight wide receivers had over 12 percent win rates. In general look at how tight the win rates were at the position.

Here is a link to an excel version of the chart for those who might want it.

The other key thing to consider when drafting a QB for best ball is spike weeks. While spike weeks have been shown to be important in best ball at all positions, QB is where I have found them having the biggest impact on win rates. Finding spike weeks can be difficult but some QB have historically shown this tendency, such as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. But, as in all things, we need to stay on top of news as we could have seen Wilson’s loss of spike weeks based on a continual drumbeat that Seattle was going to look to run more in 2018. We will cover more of this on the individual player takeaways but other things to consider when trying to find spike weeks are coaches who are more aggressive and have improving defenses.

Another thing to consider before we get into the players is a larger look at ADP. As we go through the players, note how many of those who had the best winning percentages have two-to-three round increases in ADP for this year. Again, with scoring so tight at the position, I think targeting players on ADP drops and be careful of players who are having ADP increases this year is something to strongly consider and I will also touch on with the individual players.

The Players

  • As mentioned, Patrick Mahomes shattered the record for win percentage by a QB; however, the fact remains that QB scoring tends to be tight and now he is being drafted in the third round of most drafts. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino all regressed after their huge year. Between the opportunity cost of taking a QB so early and possible regression, especially with Tyreke Hill‘s possible suspension, I will have very little Mahomes in 2019.
  • Matt Ryan had the second best win percentage of any QB. I know a lot of people are excited about Dirk Koetter coming back to Atlanta, but two of Ryan’s last three seasons were better than any season he had with Koetter. With an ADP that is up from 130 last year to 102 this year, I have been mostly fading him.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has not seen his ADP rise but he also loses possibly the best WR in the game in Antonio Brown. His history of spike weeks is intriguing, but he has not been one of my go-to QBs this year.
  • Andrew Luck is a perfect example of why I love doing these maps so much. His win percentage was slightly below average and he is now going almost four rounds earlier than last year. While he played well and has more weapons this year, he also has an improving defense and run game. Last year Luck only had one game over 30 points and this lack of spike weeks is what I believe hurt his win percentage. Going earlier with an improving defense and lack of spike weeks make Luck someone to consider fading this year.
  • Deshaun Watson is another QB who had spike weeks the year before and saw his ADP rise dramatically. He played 15 games and yet had only a 7.4 percent win rate. Another team with a coach who seems ok counting on an improved defense and who uses the run game Watson is someone I have only been taking when I pair him with Deandre Hopkins for the most part. Watson could of course show spike weeks again as he has shown them in the past but I believe there are QB’s later who can also do this for you.
  • Drew Brees quietly had a very strong year. While he may never be the type of spike week QB he was when he was younger and the Saints had the worst defense in the league his consistency also brought enough 30 point weeks to give him a nice upside. This is where we can focus on how Sean Payton despite an improved defense is not the type of coach to take his foot off the pedal. There are of course some concerns here. Even a slight regression could take away those 30 point weeks and he has Taysom Hill poaching some key TD opportunities but Brees remains in the 9th round a solid bestball pick.
  • Aaron Rodgers, unlike two other QBs being drafted near him in Luck and Watson, is coming off a rather dramatic ADP drop. In one of his worst years, where he struggled with injuries and coaching, Rodgers still managed to break even win percentage wise despite the high ADP, which leaves room for upside in 2019.
  • Mitchell Trubinsky was the perfect type of second QB in best ball last year with his huge spike weeks. Notice the really low 77 percent at scoring 10 points, but he has two weeks over 35 points and a very low draft position.
  • Kirk Cousins had a slightly above average win percentage and a close to three round drop in ADP. There is some concern that the team will run more this year, but he also could be the Matt Ryan of this season(A guy underestimated with an ADP drop and talented receivers around him)
  • Tom Brady has a huge ADP drop and still, I find it hard to get too excited as even with the addition of a first round WR, the core isn’t great and age makes you wonder if the type of spike weeks needed are still there. He is a great value if you want someone safe to mix with a more volatile QB though.
  • Baker Mayfield was someone I was fading in drafts up until the addition of Odell Beckham, who is a one-man spike week. There are dangers here as Mayfield didn’t have any 30-point games last year and the draft position is pretty high but it is hard to deny that is a very small sample size and he certainly has both the talent and the opportunity to pay off the spot. One small caution though is that I think Cleveland’s D is improving enough that it adds another layer of uncertainty to getting Baker right this year.
  • We think of Josh Allen as a huge spike week QB because of how he paid off in DFS but only had one 30-point week. But with a solid running floor and a big arm he profiles as a spike week QB.  He is in the mix as a second QB.
  • Lamar Jackson is the one QB I fear I don’t have enough of this year. Most people would think he has a huge ceiling. Yet, his running ability last year gave him a tremendous floor, but he didn’t show much of a ceiling with no 25-plus-point weeks in six starts. He is only one of two QBs to have 100% of his starts over 15 points, but six games is a really small sample size. If he can start showing more consistency in passing and with the Baltimore defense losing some key players, I do believe the potential for spike weeks is there.

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