I’m taking a hiatus from dynasty rankings to reassess my philosophies about managing teams in these leagues. This week, I’m examining quarterback data through the lens of something I call career windows. I define career windows as a three-year period in a player’s career because that span of time is known as the average career length of an NFL player.
When we draft players we believe will be viable fantasy contributors, I think we have the expectation that their careers will have more than three years of starter production. Many players have careers three to five times longer than the average.
I think we assess a player’s talent and situation every year, but I like the idea of have some longer perspective about players at each position. I want to know the lay of the land:
- If and how long I can expect to get starter productivity from players at each position.
- How does a player’s draft status fit into the scope of these career windows?
- Are there any basic ideas I can draw from quarterback careers to help me create a basic philosophy for rankings and ranking adjustments in dynasty leagues?
What I hope to gain from these exercises is a set of basic ideas that help me understand when I’m going with or against the grain and to make those decisions with awareness of the dynamics at play.
First, I need to establish how I define the categories I use for the position when talking about its fantasy production. Most of you are familiar with how these terms are defined, but I still need to cover my bases. I’m using a 12-team league as the standard for these tiers.
- Elite – In my view, these are the three most productive productive quarterbacks in a given season.
- No.1 QB (or QB1) – The 12 most productive quarterbacks in a given season.
- No. 2 QB (or QB2) – The 13th through 24th quarterbacks. First-tier reserves with potential for playing time on your roster.
- Bench – The 25th through 36th quarterbacks. Depth for your roster – some developmental; others emergency only.
- FA (Free Agents) – Quarterbacks lacking talent, situation, and/or opportunity to prouduce in the present.
These tiers are general estimates. There are some years where four quarterbacks post elite-level fantasy production and others where only one makes the cut. I’m not using fantasy points to drive tiers because the point values have changed – especially at the quarterback position – in just 20 years. Chase Stuart posted a graph of this change, but using VBD as a more refined data point.
Here’s what the 20-year change looks like through the lens of quarterback tiers (Read the rest at Footballguys.com)