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Overvalued QBs

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

Robert Griffin III - WAS ADP: 92 overall, QB 13 7 votes

Mike Brown - Yes, he's otherworldly talented and he's likely to have a fantastic career when it's all said and done. That aside, last year's monumental rookie success at the quarterback position is going to put unfair pressure on both Griffin and Andrew Luck to not only succeed but to succeed big right away. Consider that some of the best QBs in the game (Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Rivers to name several) either didn't play much or underwhelmed as rookie signal-callers. Last year was the exception, not the rule. If Griffin is worthy of being a fantasy backup by the end of the season, it should be considered a success.

Heath Cummings - Current ADP shows Griffin taken ahead of Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Freeman...all of whom will outproduce him in 2012. Don't get me wrong, I still like Griffin better than Andrew Luck, I just think everyone is getting a little excited because of what Cam Newton did last year. That was an anomaly, not the norm to expect from athletic rookie quarterbacks in the future.

Will Grant - The Washington offense is a mix of new blood and overvalued talent. Griffin comes in with a mountain of expectation to succeed where even a veteran QB would have a hard time. Let's add in two games against the Super Bowl Champions, two games against a team that upgraded both of their CBS last season and two games against a team that was already stocked on defense before narrowly missing the playoffs last season. I think RGIII is going to struggle this season, and I think he's a guy people are paying too much for this season.

Andy Hicks - Those expecting Cam Newton part 2 need to chill out. He plays for Washington and expectations are always going to be higher there than in Carolina. Robert Griffin is unproven at this level and to achieve his current ADP he needs to achieve what less than a handful of QBs have done in history, be a fantasy starter in their rookie season. If you are considering Griffin this high, lower your expectations and let history guide you.

Marc Levin - I honestly don't have a problem with folks seeing upside potential with this pick as their QB2. My issue is with how high he is going and who is on the board when he is drafted. While football is usually considered a young man's game, quarterback is the position where an owner should draft experience over youth. Established veterans like Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman, and (especially) Ben Roethlisberger being selected behind Griffin in redraft leagues shows how deep the QB2 class is this year. I'd take one of those more reliable options for my QB2 a round or two later and use the 8th round to shore up a different position.

Jeff Pasquino - Robert Griffin III enters the NFL with a lot of promise and hype, but he cannot solve all of the issues with Washington and that offense. Griffin will start Week 1, but the Redskins have limited options in the passing game at wide receiver. Pierre Garcon is not a true NFL WR1 (he is much better with a stronger wide receiver on the other side of him), and Washington is sorting through two younger players (Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson) and an old veteran (Santana Moss) for their other starter at wideout. Fred Davis is solid, but he also has some off the field issues that could reoccur at any time. With no strong ground game either, that is a lot of burden on a first year rookie that will face Dallas, Philadelphia and the Giants twice each this year.

Mark Wimer - Robert Griffin III was brought in to help remake the Redskins offense, and he appears to have the tools needed to make that happen - in the long term. However, he's still a rookie quarterback and more rookies struggle in their first season than become the 'next' Cam Newton. Griffin's current ADP of 13 - on the cusp of quarterback-one-level production - is an overly enthusiastic valuation.

Cam Newton - CAR ADP: 18 overall, QB 4 7 votes

Jeff Haseley - As much as I would love to see Newton really turn up the intensity and production in year two, I just don't see him scoring 14 rushing touchdowns again and I'm not sure if he'll turn into more of a finishing passer in the red zone this early in his career. His 21 touchdown passes last year, combined with his 14 rushing touchdowns put him on the map as a must start fantasy mainstay. If the rushing scores decrease, the passing touchdowns will have to increase to equal where he was last year as an elite quarterback. The position he is being drafted, assumes that will happen, but I'm not as confident.

Andy Hicks - Cam Newton was a rookie phenomenon - 4000 passing yards, 21 passing TDs and 14 rushing TDs. You seriously cannot use this as a baseline for 2012. Before I invest such a high pick in Newton, I want to see how he copes when opposing defenses have had a whole year to work on neutralizing his abilities and see how he deals with high expectations in his 2nd full season as a starter. We only have to look at recent history in Michael Vick and Vince Young to see how this doesn't always work out.

Steve Holloway - Newton ranked as the #4 quarterback a year ago as a rookie even though he ranked 10th in passing yards. I expect that his rushing yards (709 yards) and TDs (14) will significantly decrease this year leading him to fall back in the rankings.

Dave Larkin - Cam Newton had a rookie season for the ages. We may never again see a rookie quarterback take to the fast-paced, unrelenting realm of the NFL with such aplomb. Newton was a weapon on the goal line on most occasions the Panthers reached the red zone, which was often. His 14 rushing touchdowns and over 700 rushing yards are sure to decrease going forward, however. Mike Tolbert has been added to the Panthers' rushing ranks to be the pounder in the red zone; allowing Newton to throw his body around is not the blueprint for success. Newton should improve his overall passing prowess as well, reducing his interceptions and posting a respectable 24-28 touchdown passes. Newton will take a slight tumble without the rushing touchdowns, but nothing dramatic.

Jeff Pasquino - Cam Newton is going as a Top 5 quarterback, but I think most of this is due to the ridiculous amount of rushing touchdowns he posted last year (14 scores). I do not think that will be a repeat performance this year as Carolina added Mike Tolbert from San Diego as a free agent, who is going to be more of a lead back and fullback for the Panthers. Jonathan Stewart should get more chances again this year as this is likely to be his final year in Carolina so the Panthers will work him hard to get their money's worth and also to increase their chances of a good compensatory draft pick once he leaves as a free agent. Newton and the Carolina passing game is not strong enough to support Newton as a Top 5 quarterback and frankly there are much better and cheaper options later in the draft.

Jason Wood - Newton could easily deliver top 5 value, and I doubt my calling him overvalued will keep him from being drafted in the first two rounds of most leagues. But when I look at the other elite quarterbacks, it's hard to argue Newton is the riskiest. So much of his value came from 13 rushing touchdowns, which was so far above any historical precedent, you have to expect some regression. Newton could increase his passing touchdowns -- in fact he probably will -- but in most leagues an incremental 3 or 4 passing touchdowns don't really offset the loss of a handful of rushing scores. Would it shock me if Newton finished as a top 5 fantasy quarterback? Not at all. I'm just not going to build my teams around that premise.

David Yudkin - Newton had the best fantasy season by a rookie quarterback BY FAR, eclipsing the old rookie scoring mark by over 150 fantasy points. So what's not to like? Newton could retain his 4,000+ passing yards, but the likelihood he repeats his 14 touchdown rushing performance is fairly remote. The four other quarterbacks that scored 10 rushing touchdowns in a season averaged only three the following season.

Peyton Manning - DEN ADP: 60 overall, QB 10 5 votes

Mike Brown - He's one of the best the game has ever seen, but count me out on spending a pick to make a guy my number one quarterback after four neck surgeries in recent years. Not to mention, his numbers were already starting to regress a bit before the surgeries. Now that he's throwing to Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, we're supposed to assume he's going to go back to being amongst the elite?

Bruce Hammond - Manning's ADP is QB10. Though he's never had a season where he finished that low, he's also never had to come back from a year off, uncertain about how his neck will hold up over the course of a full season, with a whole new team system, receivers, running backs, tight ends (except Tamme), offensive line, and all of that at age 36. To simply say "Peyton is Peyton" is not enough for me, and to rank him as a top-10 quarterback is more risk than I'm willing to take. There are other choices with similar upside but with considerably less downside.

Jeff Pasquino - Petyon Manning has looked good so far in Denver, but it is very early and you cannot look entirely at the future Hall of Fame quarterback with rose colored glasses. Manning is not only one bad hit away from permanent retirement -- there is also no Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark or Marvin Harrison on the Broncos roster. Sure Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme show promise, but both wide receivers have only known Manning for a few months. It takes years for Manning and his favored targets to really know what each other is thinking and be perfectly in tune in the passing game. Manning is a strong backup (QB13+) for fantasy this year but I think it is risky to rely on him as your starter every week.

Jeff Tefertiller - Peyton Manning has been a polarizing player for fantasy owners this offseason. A fifth round pick for a player coming off a serious neck injury and in a new offense is too much risk to assume. If you select the older Manning brother, you must invest in a quality QB2 just a couple of rounds later. In addition, there is no assumption that the 2012 Broncos will run the same pass-happy offense Manning led for many years. Lastly, why not take Matt Ryan instead if you are waiting on a quarterback? He is coming off a breakout season where he threw for 4100 yards and 29 touchdowns. It is unlikely Manning will surpass those numbers even in a best-case scenario.

Mark Wimer - Peyton Manning has looked good in organized team activities by all accounts, but he's still been away from the NFL game for over a year; and he's still acclimating to a new cast of receivers up in Denver. Coupling the learning curve for Manning and company to his troublesome injury history over the past two years makes me doubt that he'll be among the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks by year's end.

Matt Schaub - HOU ADP: 85 overall, QB 12 5 votes

Bruce Hammond - I think an ADP of QB12 is much too high for Schaub these days. I wouldn't expect to see the stats he was putting up 2-3 years ago again. This has become a more conservative running offense with Foster and Tate so hard to stop and the defense much improved, and team pass attempts last year were down compared to previous years. I also expect to see much of the TD scoring to come on the ground. Schaub is coming off a serious foot injury. Both starting WRs Johnson and Walter, and TE Daniels, are now a bit past their prime. Jacoby Jones didn't work out and was cut, and the young reinforcements are raw and untested.

Jeff Haseley - Two key factors have me concerned about Matt Schaub this year, that lead me to believe he will not finish in the Top 12. He had surgery in November to repair a Lisfranc foot injury, so there is some concern if he can return to his pre-injury form. I'm also not high on him, because I think Houston's offense will be led by their strength, and that's their running game. The Texans defense is expected to be one of the best in the AFC, which means they will be protecting a lot of leads using their running game to control the clock. It all points to a season that does not need Schaub to win games with his arm.

Bob Henry - I don't see any upside with Schaub going off the board as the 12th quarterback. He has started 16 games just twice in the last five years and the Texans have transitioned to more of a run-first offense buoyed by their vastly improved defense. Even worse, Andre Johnson has missed 3+ games in three of the last five seasons. I prefer to draft players closer to their floor than their ceiling. While I like Schaub as an NFL quarterback, I'd prefer to draft him as a solid QB2 if I wait to take my QB1.

Maurile Tremblay - The Texans' running game is too strong for Schaub to be a fantasy starter. Taking his durability issues into account as well, I don't even want him as a high-end QB2. I like Alex Smith and Josh Freeman better than Schaub this season, and they are both substantially cheaper.

Jason Wood - Matt Schaub is certainly capable of living up to his ADP -- he was the 5th best fantasy QB in 2009 and ranked 10th in 2010. But Schaub has been injured several times, including this past year, and the Texans have been reasonably quiet about his rehab progress. Even if he gets back on the field for Week One, the Texans found a recipe for success last year that involved an attacking defense and run-heavy offense. With the league's best back (Arian Foster) and one of the best backups (Ben Tate), the Texans have no reason to alter their game plan simply because Schaub is back on the field. Add to that uncertainty surrounding Andre Johnson's health and I would much rather let someone else draft Schaub as their starter.

Drew Brees - NO ADP: 10 overall, QB 3 4 votes

Mike Brown - No Sean Payton will likely disrupt the offense as a whole, but even more than that is the fact of simple regression. Brees set career highs in well, everything a year ago. Fantasy owners will be drafting with those stats fresh in mind. After never throwing for more than 34 touchdowns, he suddenly hit 46. All the while, obliterating Dan Marino's yardage mark and completing over 71% of his pass attempts. None of those are likely to happen again, and I don't think the regression has been factored into his price enough. Factor in the potentially contentious contract negotiations as a possible distraction, and I'm having a hard time justifying Brees as a high first rounder.

Ryan Hester - Sometimes, offseason turmoil is just too much to overcome. Between Brees' contract situation (a minor distraction unless it continues deep into training camp) and head coach Sean Payton's season-long suspension (a potentially major blow to this offense's production), Brees isn't a player I'd like to select in Round 1 of any draft. If you're an owner who needs an elite QB, I'd much rather wait on Cam Newton (17), Matthew Stafford (28), or Michael Vick (46). If you don't, the committee approach seems to provide much more value than Brees at his current ADP (Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler, as an example).

Aaron Rudnicki - There's obviously nothing to worry about with regard to Brees as a player. My reason for putting him here is all the distractions going on in New Orleans this offseason. The head coach and architect of the offense is suspended due to the Bountygate scandal, and Brees is looking more and more like a serious holdout risk. Just feels like this could be a rough year in New Orleans and the price for Brees is too high.

Chris Smith - Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge Brees fan. He has put up some mind-numbing statistics over the last several years that equates to perhaps the finest six-year window in the history of the NFL at any position. Yes he has been that good. However the entire Saints team is reeling due to the bounty system that the defense was discovered using over the past few seasons. Add to it a contract dispute for Brees that is getting a little ugly and you can certainly foresee a bit of a tumble down the rankings for Brees in 2012. That would mean him falling to the 5th to 8th best fantasy quarterbacks but that puts him overvalued when he is being drafted 10th overall in fantasy leagues.

Michael Vick - PHI ADP: 40 overall, QB 6 3 votes

Heath Cummings - I'm just not sure how anyone can project a full season worth of stats for Vick at this point. He's vowed to play it safer in 2012, and that doesn't exactly get me excited for a very productive fantasy season. I still think Vick can be a useful QB1, I just don't think he's one you need to grab very early. Either he plays with reckless abandon and risks yet another injury, or he's a league average pocket passer. Either way, he probably won't end up on my team this season.

Steve Holloway - Vick finished as the #11 quarterback a year ago even as his completion percentage dropped back under 60% after a career high of 62.6% in 2010. His interceptions also more than doubled and his rushing TDs fell from 9 to 1. He again missed three games and has not played 16 games since his return to the NFL after his prison term. He will be 32 this year and it should be more challenging for him to match his recent rushing production.

Marc Levin - When Michael Vick plays, he can single-handedly win your fantasy week. Unfortunately, he is a high injury risk. In fact, he has played in 16 games in only one season. He does not produce great passing numbers, so he must run to provide decent fantasy value. If he runs, his injury risk increases. It's a catch-22. To spend a high pick on my quarterback, and then to not be able to rely on him every week, is simply too rich for my blood.

Jay Cutler - CHI ADP: 96 overall, QB 14 2 votes

Mark Wimer - Jay Cutler has an awful offensive line in front of him. Even though the team brought in Brandon Marshall to help elevate the passing game, Cutler will still be feeling a lot of pressure in Chicago this season - too much pressure to consistently deliver the production fantasy owners expect from their starters.

Jason Wood - I wouldn't say I'm down on Jay Cutler's prospects this year per se, but if I have to pick a few quarterbacks that are a tad overvalued, he fits the bill. The additions of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey are encouraging, but until that offensive line shows it can protect him, I just can't help thinking he'll miss time. When he's on the field, I have no issue with projecting him as a top 12-14 option. But over the course of a full season? I have my doubts.

Tom Brady - NE ADP: 9 overall, QB 2 1 vote

Heath Cummings - I know we've entered a new era and there are rules to protect quarterbacks who are extending their careers, but the twilight of Tom Brady's career is approaching nonetheless. The past two seasons of Brady have done nothing to suggest a decline, but I still think you're playing a little bit of quarterback roulette anytime you draft a one who is 35 years old in the first round. I'd be glad to take him at the end of the second or later.

Eli Manning - NYG ADP: 48 overall, QB 7 1 vote

Aaron Rudnicki - Last year was one of the best fantasy seasons in Eli's career, but much of that was due to the incredible year that Victor Cruz had. I see him regressing back towards his career averages this year, and that means that he's currently overvalued. Eli belongs in the tier with guys like Philip Rivers and Tony Romo, but I'd be fine with grabbing whichever of them goes the latest.

Aaron Rodgers - GB ADP: 4 overall, QB 1 1 vote

Dave Larkin - Aaron Rodgers, overvalued? Time out! Let me elaborate. Currently, Rodgers -- in my opinion one of the top three passers on the planet -- is the fourth overall player being drafted. If you take Rodgers that high, I can't argue with it too much. However, 45 touchdown passes is not a sustainable number from one year to the next. Rodgers was simply unstoppable in 2011; he reached the pinnacle of his powers. Rodgers produced these 45 touchdown passes on roughly the same number of attempts as his previous two seasons, which resulted in 30 and 28 touchdown passes respectively. Rodgers will not drop out of the top ten players in fantasy leagues, but to value him at fourth overall with the potential for a slight regression back to his mean totals, is a little too rich for my blood.

Ben Roethlisberger - PIT ADP: 103 overall, QB 15 1 vote

Maurile Tremblay - I like Roethlisberger as an NFL quarterback more than I like him as a fantasy quarterback. It remains to be seen how new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will shape the Steelers' offense this season, but I expect the Steelers to be involved in a lot of low-scoring games where they'll be protecting a lead and controlling the clock on with their ground game (even without Rashard Mendenhall) in the second half.

Matt Ryan - ATL ADP: 72 overall, QB 11 1 vote

Ryan Hester - While Ryan is considered among the true "franchise quarterbacks" in the NFL and the team is beginning to center the offense more around him, I still don't hold him in such regard -- as a fantasy QB or real-life QB. Despite the seemingly inevitable maturation and growth of Julio Jones and consistency of Roddy White, I'm not high enough on Ryan's outlook to say that I'd like to select him at this position. Ben Roethlisberger, for instance, has weapons just as dynamic -- if not more so -- than Ryan does, and he's not being drafted until 16 picks later. I see Ryan putting up similar numbers to Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub (89), and Jay Cutler (95).

Tim Tebow - NYJ ADP: 189 overall, QB 25 1 vote

Steve Holloway - Tebow is simply being drafted too high based on the perception that he will soon be the starting quarterback for the Jets. I expect Sanchez to remain the starter with Tebow having a limited quarterback role.

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