Buy/Sell Fantasy QBs (08/14/13)

By John Ewing
Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Michael Vick: buying and selling three fantasy quarterbacks that have slipped in 2013 drafts.



Fantasy football players (and humans in general) are terrible at assessing risk. This is evident by recency bias in fantasy football drafts. Recency bias is the tendency for people to look at only the most recent events while disregarding older but equally important pieces of information. If you fall prey to it, recency bias will be detrimental to your fantasy team.

 
Luckily, the Predictalator is able to account for all of the statistical contributions of a player without including our natural human bias. As such, we are able to tell you which players that are currently experiencing the effects of recency bias should be taken earlier in drafts than their current ADP (average draft position) commands and which players to avoid.
 
Below we buy or sell three quarterbacks that were drafted in the first or second round last season but are currently going as late as the eleventh round in standard ten-team leagues. The 2012 and 2013 ADP rankings are per ESPN and are for standard scoring leagues.
 
For all of our 2013 fantasy football rankings click here.
 
Tom Brady
2012 ADP: Overall - 6, QB 2
2013 ADP: Overall - 20, QB 4

 
Last season, Tom Brady was 4th in passing yards (4,827), 4th in touchdowns (34), and tied for 28th in INTs (8). Brady finished as the 2nd best quarterback in fantasy, yet he is slipping in drafts to the second or third round (I’ve seen mocks where he goes in the 5th or 6th).
 
PredictionMachine.com’s 2013 Projection
4,453 yards, 31 TDs, 14 INTs
 
Brady is going to be without four of this top five receivers this year (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez & Danny Woodhead) and there is uncertainty surrounds Gronkowski. This is not the first time he has faced such a dilemma. In 2010, Brady had to replace four of his top five targets and he threw for 3,900 yards (8th NFL) and 36 touchdowns (1st NFL). Apparently, it is Brady and not his receivers. Even though Brady is replacing some of his favorite targets, the addition of Danny Amendola, if he can stay healthy, should prove fruitful.
 
Verdict: Buy
 
Matthew Stafford
2012 ADP: Overall - 13, QB 4
2013 ADP: Overall - 56, QB 9

 
Stafford’s fantasy stock skyrocketed last season after a tremendous effort in 2011 that saw him throw for 5,038 yards (just hte 6th time the 5,000 mark reached in NFL) and 41 touchdowns. He also shed the label of “injury risk” playing all 16 games, after missing 19 out of a possible 32 games in his first two seasons. What goes up must come down. This year Stafford has slipped from the ranks of elite, mostly due to a low touchdown total in 2012.
 
PredictionMachine.com’s 2013 Projection
4,233 yards, 28 TDs, 17 INTs
 
Fun stat from Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate, “23 times last season, a Lions pass-catcher was tackled inside an opponent's 5-yard line.” That also includes Calvin Johnson being stopped inside the 1-yard line four times. Stafford threw it 727 times last season, 57 more times than Drew Brees and almost 100 more times than every other quarterback in the league. Stafford is going to chuck it again this season making him a lock for 4,000+ yards; the touchdowns will take care of themselves.
 
Verdict: Buy
 
Michael Vick
2012 ADP: Overall - 32, QB 7
2013 ADP: Overall - 114, QB 16

 
I had Vick for a $1 in my keeper league after his 2010 campaign: 3,018 pass yards, 20 pass TDs, 676 rush yards, 9 rush TDs. So I know first-hand the disappointment felt among his fantasy owners in 2011 and 2012. Can Chip Kelly and his up-tempo offense revive Vick’s fantasy (and professional) career?
 
PredictionMachine.com’s 2013 Projection
2,375 yards, 15 TDs, 11 INTs
 
Chip Kelly’s offense will be fast and there will be elements of the read-option he employed at Oregon but there is no way Vick will rush for 1,000 yards. Vick has proven he cannot hold up to that kind of punishment (he's missed at least 3 games in each season with the Eagles). Vick misses on average 2.7 games in our simulations. With the expectations of a Vick injury and the Eagles missing the playoffs (22.9% chance, last in NFC East), we project Nick Foles to throw for 1,482 yards, 9 TDs, and 6 INTs.
 
Verdict: Sell