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Dynasty, in Theory: The Most Accurate Rankings. Ever.

I personally guarantee that this will prove to be the most accurate set of dynasty quarterback rankings you have ever seen.

A lot of people claim to have good dynasty rankings. I'm going to go one better. I'm going to post what I'm almost positive is the best, most comprehensive, most accurate ranking of the quarterback position that has ever been created.

In fact, not only am I going to provide rankings, I'm going to provide trade value to demonstrate the exact size of the gaps between players. And again, I'm going to do so with a higher degree of accuracy than any dynasty owner has ever managed in the history of fantasy football. Guaranteed.

Oh, but this is all too easy, still. I'm going to up the difficulty even more. You see, my rankings are going to go 87 quarterbacks deep. In order to get that many names, I'm going to include developmental, (also known as devy), players— players who aren't yet in the NFL. Some the players on my list aren't even in college, but I already know how their NFL careers are going to turn out.

Lofty claims, you think? They are. But I'm a big believer in the power of humility, so I wouldn't make promises like this unless I was certain I could back them up. Take a gander for yourself:

RankPlayerValue
1 Peyton Manning 474.49
2 Daunte Culpepper 416.65
3 Donovan McNabb 386.71
4 Jeff Garcia 349.71
5 Rich Gannon 264.04
6 Tom Brady 193.70
7 Brett Favre 192.53
8 Kurt Warner 190.25
9 Steve McNair 173.81
10 Aaron Brooks 167.53
11 Trent Green 161.24
12 Michael Vick 146.84
13 Drew Brees 145.96
14 Brian Griese 119.15
15 Marc Bulger 118.94
16 Mark Brunell 96.34
17 Elvis Grbac 95.70
18 Matt Hasselbeck 92.91
19 Jake Plummer 79.64
20 Aaron Rodgers 79.37
21 Drew Bledsoe 66.38
22 Brad Johnson 65.89
23 Kerry Collins 65.00
24 Ben Roethlisberger 60.07
25 Carson Palmer 59.25
26 Tony Romo 59.10
27 Kordell Stewart 50.76
28 Jon Kitna 50.22
29 Philip Rivers 48.75
30 Jay Fiedler 46.14
31 Shaun King 41.92
32 Chad Pennington 40.40
33 Jake Delhomme 36.50
34 Eli Manning 34.96
35 Jay Cutler 29.48
36 David Garrard 27.11
37 Cam Newton 25.45
38 Matt Schaub 23.55
39 Steve Beuerlein 22.72
40 Matt Ryan 20.40
41 Matthew Stafford 18.87
42 Byron Leftwich 18.35
43 Rob Johnson 17.38
44 Jeff Blake 17.16
45 Derek Anderson 14.91
46 Matt Cassel 12.81
47 Vinny Testaverde 12.00
48 Andrew Luck 11.78
49 Doug Flutie 11.72
50 Billy Volek 11.63
51 Cade McNown 11.07
52 Russell Wilson 9.35
53 Jason Campbell 9.34
54 Robert Griffin 8.53
55 Kyle Orton 8.44
56 Tyler Thigpen 7.82
57 Vince Young 7.67
58 Quincy Carter 7.62
59 Shaun Hill 7.15
60 Charlie Batch 6.70
61 Andy Dalton 4.41
62 Jeff George 4.10
63 Ryan Fitzpatrick 3.91
64 Mark Sanchez 3.39
65 Nick Foles 2.98
66 Kelly Holcomb 2.85
67 Todd Bouman 2.62
68 Joe Flacco 2.52
69 Neil O\'Donnell 2.31
70 Patrick Ramsey 2.20
71 Alex Smith 2.03
72 Cleo Lemon 1.84
73 Ryan Tannehill 1.75
74 Colin Kaepernick 1.73
75 Sage Rosenfels 1.59
76 David Carr 1.51
77 Todd Collins 1.21
78 Sam Bradford 1.16
79 Tim Tebow 1.15
80 Luke McCown 1.03
81 J.P. Losman 0.67
82 Chad Henne 0.59
83 Josh McCown 0.55
84 Dennis Dixon 0.52
85 Damon Huard 0.29
86 Kevin Kolb 0.03
87 Rex Grossman 0.02

Did I forget to mention that the dynasty rankings I was producing were for the 2000 season? Whoops, must have slipped my mind. Well, the rankings I produced were for the 2000 season.

Let's Back Up A Bit

There are four questions you're probably asking yourself right now. I will do my best to answer them.

Question #1: Why am I producing dynasty rankings for the 2000 season?
Answer: Because it's a lot easier than producing them for the 2017 season.

Question #2: How did I produce these rankings?
Answer: I'm glad you asked! A couple years back I went through every quarterback season from 1985 to 2014 and calculated the fantasy value. Fantasy value, in this context, was (points per game - replacement points per game) * games played.

With value calculated per season, I applied a 20% time discount to account for the fact that immediate seasons are more valuable than distant seasons, (for perfectly rational reasons: because the league might fold, because you might quit, because the earlier you win championships the longer you can enjoy them, etc.) Then I added up the discounted value of every season to find total value.

Question #3: That's very interesting, but really, why am I producing dynasty rankings for the 2000 season?
Answer: Because this is Dynasty, in Theory, where our goal is to talk about things that are interesting, enlightening, and of no practical value whatsoever.

Question #4: No. Seriously. Why am I producing dynasty rankings for the 2000 season?
Answer: Because, in the words of almost-certainly-not-Mark-Twain, “History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

There are a lot of questions facing dynasty owners today. How important is immediate production relative to long-term production? How important is youth? These questions existed back in 2000, and while the answers might not be exactly the same, I'm willing to bet they at least rhyme. By looking at a “perfect” set of rankings from the past, we can gain insight into what the “right” answers might look like today.

For instance, here's that same list, along with each player's age and their total (non-time-discounted) value. (Quarterbacks who were still playing in 2015 will be underrated in that last column. This isn't much of an issue with the time discount applied, because an 80% time discount means 2015 was worth about 3% as much as 2000.)

RankPlayerTime Discounted ValueAgeRaw Value
1 Peyton Manning 474.49 24 1376.16
2 Daunte Culpepper 416.65 23 631.1
3 Donovan McNabb 386.71 24 782.32
4 Jeff Garcia 349.71 30 473.18
5 Rich Gannon 264.04 35 322.56
6 Tom Brady 193.70 23 932.32
7 Brett Favre 192.53 31 423.36
8 Kurt Warner 190.25 29 355.53
9 Steve McNair 173.81 27 277.53
10 Aaron Brooks 167.53 24 278.03
11 Trent Green 161.24 30 285.09
12 Michael Vick 146.84 20 496.6
13 Drew Brees 145.96 21 1015.03
14 Brian Griese 119.15 25 149.24
15 Marc Bulger 118.94 23 289.12
16 Mark Brunell 96.34 30 120.7
17 Elvis Grbac 95.70 30 95.7
18 Matt Hasselbeck 92.91 25 260.56
19 Jake Plummer 79.64 26 169.95
20 Aaron Rodgers 79.37 17 812.82
21 Drew Bledsoe 66.38 28 111.22
22 Brad Johnson 65.89 32 106.78
23 Kerry Collins 65.00 28 103.02
24 Ben Roethlisberger 60.07 18 422.16
25 Carson Palmer 59.25 21 241.54
26 Tony Romo 59.10 20 466.6
27 Kordell Stewart 50.76 28 65.45
28 Jon Kitna 50.22 28 134.84
29 Philip Rivers 48.75 19 382.4
30 Jay Fiedler 46.14 29 60.54
31 Shaun King 41.92 23 41.92
32 Chad Pennington 40.40 24 99.14
33 Jake Delhomme 36.50 25 108.97
34 Eli Manning 34.96 19 233.92
35 Jay Cutler 29.48 17 197.98
36 David Garrard 27.11 22 149.72
37 Cam Newton 25.45 11 354.22
38 Matt Schaub 23.55 19 176.53
39 Steve Beuerlein 22.72 35 22.72
40 Matt Ryan 20.40 15 253.58
41 Matthew Stafford 18.87 12 249.02
42 Byron Leftwich 18.35 20 54.23
43 Rob Johnson 17.38 27 17.38
44 Jeff Blake 17.16 30 17.16
45 Derek Anderson 14.91 17 71.1
46 Matt Cassel 12.81 18 83.25
47 Vinny Testaverde 12.00 37 14.6
48 Andrew Luck 11.78 11 224.8
49 Doug Flutie 11.72 38 21.67
50 Billy Volek 11.63 24 28.4
51 Cade McNown 11.07 23 11.07
52 Russell Wilson 9.35 12 175.52
53 Jason Campbell 9.34 19 50.18
54 Robert Griffin 8.53 10 128.51
55 Kyle Orton 8.44 18 64.56
56 Tyler Thigpen 7.82 16 46.64
57 Vince Young 7.67 17 29.25
58 Quincy Carter 7.62 23 14.88
59 Shaun Hill 7.15 20 42.82
60 Charlie Batch 6.70 26 8.37
61 Andy Dalton 4.41 13 73.76
62 Jeff George 4.10 33 4.1
63 Ryan Fitzpatrick 3.91 18 36.75
64 Mark Sanchez 3.39 14 41.6
65 Nick Foles 2.98 11 54.2
66 Kelly Holcomb 2.85 27 4.46
67 Todd Bouman 2.62 28 3.27
68 Joe Flacco 2.52 15 40.96
69 Neil O\'Donnell 2.31 34 4.52
70 Patrick Ramsey 2.20 21 4.29
71 Alex Smith 2.03 16 30.63
72 Cleo Lemon 1.84 21 8.75
73 Ryan Tannehill 1.75 12 39.68
74 Colin Kaepernick 1.73 13 33.76
75 Sage Rosenfels 1.59 22 7.6
76 David Carr 1.51 21 3.68
77 Todd Collins 1.21 29 5.76
78 Sam Bradford 1.16 13 19.52
79 Tim Tebow 1.15 13 13.42
80 Luke McCown 1.03 19 4.92
81 J.P. Losman 0.67 19 2.56
82 Chad Henne 0.59 15 6.88
83 Josh McCown 0.55 21 9.95
84 Dennis Dixon 0.52 15 3.87
85 Damon Huard 0.29 27 1.12
86 Kevin Kolb 0.03 16 0.4
87 Rex Grossman 0.02 20 0.21

Tom Brady produced nearly three times the total value of Rich Gannon from 2000 to 2014, but Rich Gannon still rated higher after the time discount. Does that seem right? Consider: if you traded Rich Gannon for Tom Brady in 2000, it would take eight years before Brady finally returned a profit, and twelve years before he finally doubled up Gannon's value.

Are you comfortable making trades today that won't pay dividends until nearly a decade down the road? How confident are you that you'll still be in the same fantasy league nearly a decade down the road?

Aaron Rodgers will be the same age next year as Gannon was in 2000. (Technically, Rodgers will be 18 days older.) Deshaun Watson will be the same age that Brady was, while Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will be one year older.

How confident are you that Aaron Rodgers can put up a Rich Gannon-like end to his career? On the other hand, how confident are you that Watson, Mariota, or Winston are the next Tom Brady? Given that, how willing are you to take one of those young up-and-comers over Aaron Rodgers in dynasty?

Tune in again seventeen years from now and I'll look back to see if you were right.