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The FPC and the Quarterback Position

The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis - Looking at the Quarterback Position

Footballguys continues to advance the world of fantasy football. With several additions to their offerings last year, the much heralded Best Online Content Site for 2009 joined the world of High Stakes Fantasy contests and made an instant splash. Joe Bryant and David Dodds teamed with David Gerczak and Alex Kaganovsky of the Fantasy Football Players Championship (myffpc.com) to create the first annual Footballguys Players Championship contest in 2010 and by all measures it was a huge success. Now the FPC and FFPC are back again for another season, ready to knock it out of the park once again in 2016.

By studying the rules of both the FFPC and the FPC along with some of the history and previous performances by FPC players, insights can be found that will help many players to not only compete well in both contests but also to be in a position to win their league and be in the running for a top prize in the championship round.

As the summer rolls on, I will continue analyzing many aspects of the Footballguys Players Championship and the Fantasy Football Players Championship. Through these articles I hope to provide extra help with fully understanding how to best build a top notch fantasy team within the contest. As someone who has competed against the best players in the world and in several contests much like the FPC and the FFPC, I fully understand how every possible advantage and extra edge can make all the difference in the world.

THE QUARTERBACK POSITION

Under the microscope this time around is the position of quarterback. According the rules of the Footballguys Players Championship, the rosters are as follows:

Starting Roster

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RBs
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 1 K
  • 1 D/ST
  • 2 flex players (RB/WR/TE)

With the following relevant scoring system in place:

  • 4 points for passing TDs, 6 points for all other TDs
  • 0.05 point for every 1 yard passing
  • 0.1 point for every 1 yard rushing or receiving

With the added clarification for passing scoring:

  • 0.05 point - 1 yard passing (multiply total passing yards by 0.05. Example: 275 passing yards = 13.75 fantasy points)
  • 4 points - Passing TD
  • -1 point - Interception thrown
  • 2 points - 2-point conversion

So how do you analyze the impact of this scoring system to the current crop of potential fantasy quarterbacks? We need to dig into some numbers.

First, let's take a look at both the projected scores for the Top 30 quarterbacks this season and calculate some VBD numbers using the worst starter method (QB12 has VBD = 0). The results are in Table 1:

Rank Points VBD Rank Points VBD
1 353.4 56 16 286.3 -11
2 352.5 55 17 285.8 -12
3 344.1 47 18 285 -12
4 340.1 43 19 283.2 -14
5 336.6 39 20 282.7 -15
6 321.5 24 21 282.3 -15
7 312.6 15 22 280.8 -17
8 310.9 14 23 278.7 -19
9 308.9 12 24 278 -19
10 304.3 7 25 263.2 -34
11 304.1 7 26 253.1 -44
12 297.3 0 27 252.5 -45
13 296.8 -1 28 237.6 -60
14 290.5 -7 29 223.4 -74
15 290.3 -7 30 217.7 -80

 Table 1: FPC Projected Fantasy Points for Top 30 Quarterbacks

The VBD does not do much for a complete analysis without some context of other positions. Looking at the Draft Dominator, we can run a mock draft to get a feel for when the various quarterbacks are slated to come off of the draft board. Table 2 gives some more insight as to when the mock draft says to take a signal caller:

Rank Points VBD DD ADP Rank Points VBD DD ADP
1 353.4 56 25 16 286.3 -11 131
2 352.5 55 26 17 285.8 -12 149
3 344.1 47 28 18 285 -12 151
4 340.1 43 33 19 283.2 -14 152
5 336.6 39 39 20 282.7 -15 156
6 321.5 24 55 21 282.3 -15 157
7 312.6 15 70 22 280.8 -17 158
8 310.9 14 85 23 278.7 -19 161
9 308.9 12 89 24 278 -19 162
10 304.3 7 99 25 263.2 -34 163
11 304.1 7 101 26 253.1 -44 164
12 297.3 0 102 27 252.5 -45 165
13 296.8 -1 105 28 237.6 -60 182
14 290.5 -7 126 29 223.4 -74 217
15 290.3 -7 130 30 217.7 -80 218

Table 2: Draft Dominator FPC Mock - ADP For Top 30 Quarterbacks

Based on the results, quarterbacks go in two main clusters early, first in Round 3 (QB1-QB4) and then about one per round for Rounds 4-6, and then a run comes in Rounds 8 and 9. This is great for a mock draft, but how about some real life comparisons?  With the help of Clayton Gray here at Footballguys, he has pulled together some great ADP data based on early FPC drafts and created current ADP data for all of the top players.  We can use this information to compare against the Draft Dominator mock results. Here are both ADPs compared side-by-side and their relative differences:

Rank FPC ADP DD ADP ADP Diff Rank FPC ADP DD ADP ADP Diff
1 44 25 -19 16 166 131 -35
2 50 26 -24 17 173 149 -24
3 60 28 -32 18 177 151 -26
4 71 33 -38 19 180 152 -28
5 86 39 -47 20 190 156 -34
6 91 55 -36 21 196 157 -39
7 102 70 -32 22 267 158 -109
8 114 85 -29 23 294 161 -133
9 117 89 -28 24 304 162 -142
10 132 99 -33 25 308 163 -145
11 141 101 -40 26 310 164 -146
12 147 102 -45 27 315 165 -150
13 156 105 -51 28 317 182 -135
14 162 126 -36 29 317 217 -100
15 163 130 -33 30 322 218 -104

Table 3: Draft Dominator FPC Mock vs. 2016 FPC Data - Comparison of ADPs

Several key facts can be pulled from Table 3 about quarterbacks and FPC scoring:

  • The top two quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers) are going about a round ahead of the next two  (Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson), but all four are coming off the board well ahead of where the Draft Dominator projects them to go, by a good 2-3 rounds.  \
  • After the top 5-6 quarterbacks are gone, the rest of the league will tend to wait for the next tier of quarterbacks to be selected.  With half of the league already having a starter and 6-7 more options, there tends to be no rush to fill out the position.
  • Like prior years, teams may wait, wait and wait some more to get their starting quarterback.  The quarterbacks in the QB7-QB14 range are all projected to be within a point or two per game, so there is no rush and waiting to be the last one to grab your starter might be an excellent plan.
  • Another key item to note is that backup QBs (QBs 13-24) last a long time as well. That reflects that the league has good depth with the likes of Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford all falling to Rounds 12-14 or later. 

PARTING THOUGHTS

Every fantasy league and its rulebook are a little different. For the FPC and the FFPC, the quarterback position is not nearly as emphasized as it may be in other leagues. The reduced scoring for passing touchdowns (only four points per TD pass) shrinks the disparity between the elite and the very good NFL quarterbacks. Based on Table 1 alone, only two quarterbacks are projected to top 350 fantasy points while the difference between the QB2 and QB12 is only about four points per game. The Top 2 quarterbacks this year are predicted to have huge years, which explains why most of them are gone before the middle of Round 5 of many FPC drafts, but after that the difference between the quarterbacks is so minor (QB7 and QB12 are only less than one per game apart). This is why many suggest to wait on quarterback and go with either a committee approach or to grab one of the last elite-caliber quarterbacks near or during the inevitable quarterback run around Round 9.

The benefits of being both disciplined and being able to wait at the quarterback position are huge in the FPC. With seven other positional players in a starting lineup (2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and two flex), a patient team owner can grab their starters and then be one of the last to snag their team quarterback. Given that QB12 is only about four points per game below QB2 (or projected to be that much) and just 1-2 below QB7, the "penalty" of waiting an extra 5-6 rounds to draft a quarterback is greatly outweighed by the advantage of filling the rest of the starting lineup.

It takes a little time to get your mind wrapped around a new contest with a new set of rules, but the time spent is often well worth it if the goal is to field a competitive team. Giving a little bit of effort to get a greater understanding of the twists and turns to the rulebook can give turn a good fantasy player into a great one and a great player into a dominant force. Knowledge is power - so be as powerful as you can!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

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