Introduction • QB: [under] [over]  • RB: [under] [over]  • WR: [under] [over]  • TE: [under] [over]

Overvalued QBs

Read the introduction to this series if you haven't yet.

Joe Flacco - BAL ADP: 91 overall, QB 13 7 votes

Sigmund Bloom - The Ravens did just add Lee Evans to stop the bleeding left by the cap cuts of Todd Heap and Derrick Mason, but Flacco will still endure an overall downgrade in the reliability of his weapons in the passing game. There will be at least one person that believes Flacco is going to break out in every draft this year, but I believe we have already seen what he is: a good, but not great fantasy QB who won't keep pace with the top options, but cost more than the sleepers who can equal his production. The Ravens have a left tackle who should be at right tackle, and no real right tackle right now. That's not a recipe for a career year from their QB.

Mike Brown - Every year for the past three, Flacco was going to light up the stat sheet with his huge arm and improved weapons in the passing game. But every year, the Ravens stick to the tried and true method of running the football constantly. In addition, Flacco hasn't really taken advantage much of the added weaponry around him, putting up mostly solid totals but without really busting loose. There are several players being drafted right around Flacco's level who offer significantly more upside. And if they don't pan out, you shouldn't have much trouble trading for a Flacco-type at midseason. Why not take a shot at a home run?

Ryan Hester - When the Ravens added wide receiver Torrey Smith in the draft, many thought it would be a nice addition for Joe Flacco's confidence coming off two straight seasons that ended in miserable Flacco performances against the division rival Steelers. The team dismissing safety blankets Derrick Mason and Todd Heap, however, has Flacco's arrow pointing sideways at best. Aside from the skill position losses, a well-kept secret in the league is that the "super-tough" Ravens have a somewhat weak offensive line. Having consecutive seasons end in the fashion Flacco's did (less than 100 yards in the first three quarters of last year's playoff defeat) can hurt the confidence of a player at the position where it is needed the most.

Chris Smith - I think Joe Flacco is a pretty solid NFL quarterback. The question I have at this point in time is will that translate into being a good fantasy option this season. The Ravens are going to pound the ball, play strong defense and probably that doesn't mean big things from Flacco and is upside is limited in my opinion. Look elsewhere for your starting quarterback in 2011.

Jeff Tefertiller - Why should fantasy owners spend an eighth round pick on a fantasy quarterback who has yet to crack the Top 10 in his three-year career? I do not know either. Making the pick even worse is the fact that Flacco is drafted before Sam Bradford and others who have much more upside. The Ravens lost Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Todd Heap in free agency and only added Lee Evans to compete with Anquan Boldin and the youngsters for pass targets.

Matt Waldman - They lost Mason and added a Torrey Smith through the draft. Smith is a great physical talent, but he's raw. He also isn't going to earn the trust of Joe Flacco on precision routes that Mason ran so well I the intermediate passing game. Anquan Boldin doesn't run these routes, either. Ed Dickson is a little banged up and unproven. That leaves James Hardy, who shies away from contact and lacks the flexibility and hip/knee strength to run great routes that they need, and tight end James Pitta. I actually think Pitta might have the best hands of any receiver mentioned after Boldin and he's not a consistently threat down the seam. Come to think of it, they might be better with Ray Rice split outside and Ricky Williams as a receiver from the backfield. Sadly, I'm almost serious. I won't be coming near Joe Flacco this year.

Mark Wimer - Though the Ravens did go out and get Lee Evans, Flacco is down to just one wide receiver among the top four in his stable that he has worked with in the past (Anquan Boldin) and he's got two second-year tight ends who may (or may not) pan out during 2011. There's a lot of uncertainty among the WR/TE stable and I think that the Ravens offense may come out of the gates very slow this year (4-6 weeks before the unit "jells").

Tim Tebow - DEN ADP: 175 overall, QB 25 6 votes

Steve Holloway - Since the Broncos wound up not trading Orton, there are doubts whether Tebow will even start for Denver. Even if he does, expectations should be tempered for this absolute great collegiate QB who likely will never live up to his first round draft selection.

Aaron Rudnicki - Tebow had a couple strong games late last season but the coach who drafted him is gone and it looks pretty clear that Kyle Orton will go into the season as the starter. John Fox and the new staff don't appear to feel any obligation or pressure to start him before he's ready so it looks like he could be looking at another developmental year. I assume Tebow's ADP will continue to drop, but I see very little chance of him living up to this. Even if the team struggles and he does get inserted into the starting lineup midseason, I don't think he'll be particularly successful. The only weapon this team seems to have right now is WR Brandon Lloyd so it's not looking like a fantasy-friendly offense.

Greg Russell - One can only hope that Tim Tebow's average draft position is a remnant of those who believed Orton would be traded. His value in fantasy is primarily as a sleeper or as a handcuff in leagues that start two QBs. Even those with faith Tebow will become the starter need to consider John Fox's offensive philosophy that limits QB opportunities. During Fox's tenure with the Panthers, the team finished in the bottom five in pass attempts five years out of nine, and finished 26th and 24th two other years. Don't expect that to change, especially when starting an unproven QB with questionable mechanics.

Chris Smith - Tebow is a fan favorite already in Denver but here is a reality check for them and anybody thinking of drafting Tebow as their fantasy quarterback in 2011. He simply isn't ready for the grind of an NFL season. His skill set is still too limited to be an every down quarterback in the NFL. He is progressing but he needs at least one more season before possibly being ready to step in. Kyle Orton is the man in Denver right now so don't waste your pick on Tebow.

Mark Wimer - Tebow is the fan favorite, but Orton is the new coaching staff's favorite. The early word out of Denver is that Tebow may end up #3 on the depth chart behind Brady Quinn - I'm staying far away from Tebow in drafts this year (and I have drafted Orton multiple times).

Jason Wood - This one almost feels like cheating, because I have to believe his ADP is going to plummet. Tebow isn't even the Broncos starter, and even if he was, I think we would see him exposed for being an erratic, undisciplined passer. Yes, his legs made him a relevant fantasy QB in the final three games of last year, but this guy isn't Michael Vick. Teams will scheme those runs away very quickly if the Broncos change their mind and hand Tebow the ball again.

Matt Schaub - HOU ADP: 55 overall, QB 8 4 votes

David Dodds - With an improved defense and one of the best running backs in the game, we are likely to see the Houston Texans run the ball more in 2011. Schaub stayed healthy the last two years, despite a playing style that often puts his body at risk. Although injuries are hard to predict, I do think his fearless style of standing in and delivering the ball at all costs does make him more likely than many other QBs to not play a full 16 games. There are too many safer options at QB to take Schaub near his ADP this season.

Will Grant - Schaub is now two seasons removed from his 4700 yard 29 TD performance in 2009. He's also on a team that has the guy a lot of folks consider the top fantasy RB in the game -- Arian Foster. The addition of Wade Phillips should improve their defense as well, removing the need to throw the ball 50+ times a game like they did last season.

Steve Holloway - Schaub has been very productive over the past two seasons, but is overvalued because the Texan defense will be much improved, especially later in the season. That combined with the development of Arian Foster leads to less need to pass and an increase in rushing attempts. Another factor is that Scahub appears to be at the top of a large tier just below the second level QBs and there are five or six QBs ranked immediately after him that should perform very near his level and can be drafted much later.

Jeff Tefertiller - Schaub is coming off a QB9 finish and is a longshot to outplay his fifth round ADP. So much has to go right for him to come close to producing Top 10 numbers for his position. Both Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels have to be healthy. The fifth round is full of quality players at the running back and wide receiver positions so there is no reason to take the chance on Schaub. It is best to either wait on another passer or grab a higher quality one a round before.

Michael Vick - PHI ADP: 12 overall, QB 2 4 votes

Clayton Gray - Yes - Michael Vick was phenomenal and single-handedly won some fantasy contests in Week 10. Still, there are two reasons to worry. First, despite becoming more of a pocket passer, his style still lends itself to injuries. Second, it's likely that opposing defenses will be more ready for him this year.

Steve Holloway - Vick has played in all 16 games only once in his eight NFL seasons. His age of 31 years is usually not a detriment to QBs, but his style of play, injury history and age could be a lethal combination that does not end well. Another factor to consider is the improvement of Philadelphia's defense. Last season they ranked 22nd in scoring and 16th in yards allowed per play. Their many free agent acquisitions should improve the defense significantly in 2011. It is possible that the Eagles defensive improvement could actually slow the offense some as they try to control the clock.

Jeff Pasquino - Relying on Michael Vick to be the top quarterback once again might be asking for trouble, and the position is relatively deep this year (at least seven QBs are worth stud consideration). The Eagles do throw quite a bit and Vick can run it in too, but investing in a quarterback in the first round - especially one with a history of not playing 16 games a year -- seems like asking for trouble to me.

Mark Wimer - Vick is a big injury risk - he's never played a full 16-game schedule in his career, and missed four games last year due to cracked ribs. His A/C joints in both shoulders have caused problems during his years in Atlanta before he went to prison. Speaking of prison, Vick is still associating with an entourage that puts him at risk for additional legal difficulties with his supervised release (aka. parole) terms. He's got lots of intangible risks to consider.

Eli Manning - NYG ADP: 77 overall, QB 12 3 votes

Sigmund Bloom - I can understand taking a top seven QB. I can understand taking a QB on the rise like Matt Ryan or Josh Freeman. I can understand waiting and going with youngsters like Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford. What I can't understand is taking Manning at his 7th round ADP. Sure, he will finish with good season-end numbers because he never misses games and he'll have some 3+ touchdown outbursts. Good luck predicting when he will give you those games. The Giants still want to run more than they pass and Manning will be an unpredictable commodity at QB.

Mike Brown - He's got the name, and he's got the matching ring. But Eli Manning is not, and probably never will be, an elite NFL quarterback. He puts up big stats from time to time, but his decision-making has actually regressed in a lot of ways in recent seasons. His receiving corps took a hit with the losses of TE Kevin Boss and WR Steve Smith, and the Giants made no significant additions to help him out. Now add in the fact that 12% of his games this season are going to come against the team that just added Nnamdi, and you can see why he'll have a tough time improving much on his overall totals.

Jeff Pasquino - The Giants lost Steve Smith to free agency and Kevin Boss is gone, leaving only Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham as the top targets for Eli Manning. New York has both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw as a 1-2 punch in the backfield, so expect the Giants to try and run the ball at least as much and possibly more that last year. Manning will struggle without a possession receiver (Smith) and a viable tight end this year to balance out the passing game. Defenses will key on Nicks and take their chances with Manningham in single coverage. That Makes Manning no more that a fantasy QB2 with modest upside.

Matt Ryan - ATL ADP: 58 overall, QB 9 3 votes

David Dodds - There is no doubt that Matt Ryan is an extremely talented QB. Adding rookie sensation WR Julio Jones gives Matt yet another weapon in his arsenal too. So what's not to like? I just don't see the team throwing it 571 times again this season. Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers are solid runners. They will get their carries. Let others fall into the hype.

Will Grant - The presence of Julio Jones won't suddenly turn Matt Ryan into a 4000 yard passer. The Falcons like to run and with Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers, Seven games with one or fewer TDs last season doesn't excite me either.

Ryan Hester - Many times in fantasy sports, there are players who are better in fantasy than in reality. Matt Ryan can be classified as the opposite. An efficient passer who wins games, Ryan had a great season last year -- and still finished as the 8th-best fantasy QB. With an injury to Tony Romo and a four game suspension of Ben Roethlisberger, that might be an inflated position. This is still a run-first team with head coach Mike Smith's philosophies and the presence of Michael Turner. If Ryan is paired with another QB between 7 and 12 as a backup or matchup play, he's a nice addition to a fantasy team. But don't expect him to be a top-5 fantasy QB this year.

Matt Cassel - KC ADP: 115 overall, QB 17 2 votes

Jeff Tefertiller - Cassel is a reach for any fantasy owner relying on the Chief passer. A pick in the tenth round is still too high for a player who played out of his mind and still did not finish as a fantasy QB1. He loses Charlie Weis leading the offense this season. Let's remember that Kansas City is a running team and the Chiefs will not want to rely on Cassel's arm to win games.

Jason Wood - Matt Cassel's 2010 season SCREAMS anomaly. His 6.0% TD rate and 1.6% interception rate were not only way out of whack with his own historical rates, but they are out of whack with league norms -- even the best NFL QBs don't sustain those levels year to year. The three main reasons I'm steering far clear of Cassel are:

  1. Charlie Weis was one and done -- Weis came, the Chiefs flourished, and now he's gone again. Bill Muir will not replicate what Weis accomplished.
  2. The schedule last year was historically easy -- The Chiefs' 2010 schedule was obscenely easy. Their opponents were dead last with a 41% winning percentage, one of the lowest rates we've seen in years.
  3. The Chiefs are a running team -- Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and now Le'Ron McClain are a heck of a triumvirate, with Charles being elite. The Chiefs don't want to throw much.

Josh Freeman - TB ADP: 71 overall, QB 11 2 votes

Dave Larkin - I'm a believer in Josh Freeman's immense talent on the football field. He is a very exciting player to watch. He is tough as nails and hangs in the pocket to take whatever hit may come his way. He distributes the ball very accurately and has a lot of poise. My issue here is his ranking on the top 150. I just don't see him outperforming quarterbacks like Eli Manning, Joe Flacco and Matthew Stafford by such a margin.

Aaron Rudnicki - While Freeman had a very impressive season in 2010, I'm not convinced he will be able to replicate it this year. There is a natural tendency for players who play way above expectations in one year to regress in the year after and Freeman looks like a strong candidate for this. He's a very young QB playing in a tough division with a very young group of skill players surrounding him. Apart from Kellen Winslow, the starting RB and both starting WRs are all entering their second year in the league. Mike Williams looks like a future star but I have questions about LeGarette Blount and Arrelious Benn. I think we'll see some growing pains for this group and Freeman will likely see a dropoff. I think he's being drafted based on his ceiling rather than his true value and expect him to perform more like a good fantasy backup rather than a reliable starter.

Kevin Kolb - ARI ADP: 120 overall, QB 18 2 votes

Mike Brown - The Eagles found out last year what many people knew for awhile. Kevin Kolb is a bit overrated. He netted them a nice trade bounty despite not having much of a track record in his career. He was thoroughly outplayed by Michael Vick (although to be fair, the same can be said for just about every NFL quarterback last year). Let's consider now, that Kolb struggled in his reads and didn't look ready to be an NFL starter a year ago, and now is in a worse situation than he came from. Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald, which is a huge advantage. But the Eagles had a greater volume of weapons, a dynamic running game, and he wasn't being asked to be the savior of the offense. In Arizona, all of the pressure will land squarely on him and I don't see him lighting up the stat sheet much more than the guys he replaces.

Jeff Haseley - Every year, I find it difficult to pick QBs that are overvalued. For the most part, I think the current list is pretty accurate, but I am not sold on Kevin Kolb this year, just like I wasn't last year. I think Arizona overpaid for him and believe he'll be benched due to performance at some point in the season.

Sam Bradford - STL ADP: 97 overall, QB 15 1 vote

Jason Wood - Sam Bradford certainly impressed many with his rookie heroics, and almost leading his team to a playoff spot. But I'm seeing Bradford creeping ever higher in drafts, and some pundits are even highlighting him as a possible Top 10 breakout candidate. Slow your roll. Bradford's 2010 numbers were inflated by an obscene 590 pass attempts, but his underlying skills were far less impressive. On a per attempt basis, Bradford was one of the worst QBs in the league, and the Rams receiving corps remains a mess of mediocrity. If you draft one of the ELITE QBs and take a flier on Bradford, I can understand, but if you're counting on him as a high upside sleeper, you're setting yourself up to be combing the waiver wires once the season gets underway.

Tom Brady - NE ADP: 24 overall, QB 4 1 vote

Jeff Pasquino - Of all of the second tier quarterbacks, Tom Brady could be the most disappointing. New England invested in two new running backs (Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley) and they still have two good ones from last year (Danny Woodhead, BenJarvus Green-Ellis). Couple that strength in the running game with a risky WR1 (Chad Ochocinco) who has not proven that he can stretch the field yet nor help draw attention away from Wes Welker and you might be expecting too much for Brady to throw 25-30 touchdowns or more this year.

Drew Brees - NO ADP: 22 overall, QB 3 1 vote

David Dodds - Despite throwing for 4,620 yards and 33 TDs in 2010, I think there is a lot of reason to think that won't be duplicated this year. Brees' yards per attempt plummeted to just 7.00 (down from 8.5 ypa in 2009). He achieved the wild passing numbers throwing the ball a numbing 658 times. And despite this many attempts, he managed to finish only as the 6th best QB last year. With the additions of quality backs added to the roster and an improved defense, Brees won't have the opportunity to live up to his ADP expectations.

Jay Cutler - CHI ADP: 101 overall, QB 16 1 vote

Sigmund Bloom - All of the fireworks we anticipated from the Cutler-Martz combo fizzled last year, and there's no reason to think that they will ignite this year. The team has done little to improve a porous offensive line and inconsistent WR corps. Cutler alternates between big games and stinkers, which is not what you want from a fantasy QB, even one that is in a committee. Martz discovering balance on offense and limiting Cutler to around 25 pass attempts during most second-half games last season only hurts his fantasy outlook on top of all of the warts we've seen on Cutler during his career.

Mark Sanchez - NYJ ADP: 131 overall, QB 19 1 vote

Anthony Borbely - The Jets are a run-first team with a strong defense and thus they simply do not throw the ball much. Sanchez does not have a strong arm, has a very low completion percentage, and has been very inconsistent thus far in his career. Outside of Santonio Holmes, there is very little in the way of weapons. The Jets are a very good team and are unlikely to be forced to throw all that often. His ADP is 132 and I just don't see any upside in taking Sanchez that high.

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