Fantasy Football: How to Project Rookie Quarterbacks
At RotoWire, I broke down how to use rookie passing stats to garner value on second-year quarterbacks.
Earlier this month, I broke down how to project running backs and wide receivers based on their rookie stats. For running backs, yards-per-carry is surprisingly the best predictor of future success, even more so than carries or yards. On the other hand, rookie wide receivers with the best bulk stats—yards and touchdowns—tend to have the best overall careers. Intuitively, that makes sense; yards-per-carry is a relatively stable stat that’s a solid indicator of a running back’s talent, whereas yards-per-reception is extremely volatile and very dependent on a wide receiver’s team, skill set, and so on.
Moving to quarterbacks, the choice isn’t as clear. Sure, yards-per-attempt is an excellent indicator of talent, but rookie quarterbacks are also very dependent on their surrounding cast. Further, we don’t have the same sample size of rookie quarterbacks to study; only a handful play in a given season, compared to numerous rookie running backs and wide receivers.
Below, I broke down the career outlooks of quarterbacks based on their rookie yards, touchdowns, and YPA. The top quarterbacks in each category were measured by their career approximate value.
As was the case with running backs, efficiency trumps bulk stats for quarterbacks. That is, those rookie quarterbacks that posted high YPA have been more successful than those that have thrown for a lot of touchdowns and yards. Remember, approximate value incorporates bulk stats, but not efficiency. That means the difference between YPA—a stat that isn’t a function of AV—and yards/touchdowns in terms of predicting future success is actually even greater than the numbers indicate. All other things equal, you want to draft quarterbacks who were highly efficient in their rookie seasons.
Check out the whole post at RotoWire.