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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bad Quarterback League Rankings

For the second straight year Grantland created a Bad Quarterback League. This idea is simple. For regular fantasy football you gain points every time a player on your team does well in his actual game. We are all familiar with how fantasy football works. The Bad Quarterback League (BQBL) works in a similar fashion. You can read about the specifics in the actual Grantland article but basically everyone in the league drafts teams and based upon how bad that teams' quarterback(s) play in every given week, you earn fantasy points because of the QB's poor performance. You can earn points from something as little as throwing an interception to something as big as getting arrested.

This is the second straight year that Grantland is doing its BQBL and having done the league last year, here are some tips that I can offer:

- IGNORE 24/7 POINTS. While the 24/7 points are fun and funny, they are nowhere close to the bread and butter of where you gain fantasy points. Last year the Carolina Panthers were the first overall pick in my league in large part because of Cam Newton's off-the-field issues (plus we all thought Cam would not play well. We were all wrong). While it is certainly possible that someone's penis ends up on a blog it is more likely and MUCH more predictable to determine which QBs are just bad at football. You don't want to bank on off-the-field trouble, especially with your top picks.

- TARGET QB BATTLES. My #1 overall pick last year was the Jacksonville Jaguars. I believe I had a later pick but the Jags had just released David Garrard and had announced that Luke McCown, not their #1 draft pick Blaine Gabbert, would start week one. Well not only did I believe that the Jags were going to make a change early in the season (I was right) but I thought that both QBs were bad (and again I was right). I was lucky that McCown got benched during a game (which nets huge BQBL points) but because it happened early in the season I had a decent lead over my teammates early on and forced them to play catch up. The point is is that in-game benching is definitely predictable (versus 24/7 points) and they generate a crap ton of points. Plus, you can get the benefit of having two bad QBs.

- TARGET TURN OVERS. Of course early on you are going to target players who both can't throw accurately AND turn the ball over but when all else fails (and as the available players gets thinner and thinner) go for turnovers.

- GET INJURY-PRONE QBs IN THE LATER ROUNDS. A team last year in my league drafted the Eagles with his last pick. Granted in part he thought he could get 24/7 points but it worked it extremely well to his advantage because when Michael Vick got injured that owner benefited from the terribleness of his back up.

Here are my rankings for the 2012 Season:

1) New York Jets

The Jets have two bad quarterbacks on their roster: Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. You'll benefit from Sanchez's terribleness in the beginning, you'll benefit from having Rex Ryan say over and over again, "Mark Sanchez is my quarterback", you'll benefit huge when Sanchez gets benched during a game, you'll benefit because Tim Tebow is atrocious, and you'll benefit again when Tebow gets benched later on in the year. You'll benefit no matter what.

2) Cleveland Browns

Not only are the Brows starting a 28 year old rookie quarterback but the Browns have by far and away the worst receiving corps in the NFL right now. Seriously, when Joshua Cribbs and Greg Little are your top two receivers, you're in big trouble

3) Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannenhill is also really bad and, like the Browns, they also have a terrible receiving corps. In fact, after trading away Brandon Marshall, the Miami Dolphins can rival the Cleveland Browns as the worst receiving team in the league. The only reason I don't have Miami higher is because if they do make a change it will be to Matt Moore- who I kinda like as a real life quarterback.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars

I kinda like Jacksonville's receivers with Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon as the starters, Mike Thomas as their #3, and Mercedes Lewis as their tight end but 1) It's still the terrible Blaine Gabbert starting 2) If they do decide he's really bad they will go to the "awesome" Chad Henne and 3) I could easily see a scenario where Robinson is injured and Blackmon just isn't ready.

5) Minnesota Vikings

I think the top four are clearly "better" than any other team so now I need to take risks. I thought the Vikings selecting Christian Ponder in last year's draft was a TERRIBLE idea at the time (especially considering Ryan Mallet and Andy Dalton were there for the taking) and I think he is not a very good quarterback. The Vikings have to play six games against the Bears, Lions, and Packers whom I believe all have really good defenses, and outside of Percy Harvin (who has migraine issues every year EXCEPT for last year) I don't like any of the Vikings receivers.

6) St. Louis Rams

It was really, really close for me between the Vikings and the Rams but ultimately it came down to the fact that I think Sam Bradford is just a better quarterback than Christian Ponder. I kinda like Sam Bradford as a real life quarterback but a) He is coming off a terrible 2011 season where he was 3rd to last in total QBR b) His head coach is Jeff Fischer which means I think he will run a conservative offense and c) The Rams wide outs are really bad with Danny Amendola and Steve Smith (not THE Steve Smith) leading their pack.

7) Arizona Cardinals

Last year Kevin Kolb had the 7th worst QBR and John Skelton had the 8th worst. I think Skelton is far and away the better quarterback and the fact that Skleton was just named the Cardinals starter hurts Arizona's value because there is not really a QB controversy anymore, but still, Skelton is not very good.

8) Kansas City Chiefs

This is going to sound like a broken record. Matt Cassel is not a good QB, the Chiefs are going to run like crazy, Dwayne Bowe is good but not *that* good, and outside of Bowe the Chiefs receiving corps is not very good.

9) Tennessee Titans

This is a weird middle ground for me. I'm at the point where I don't hate the QB and/or wide outs but I would never draft them for my normal fantasy leagues. While there is the potential for a QB battle with Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck, I just do not think there will be one. I kinda like Tennessee's receivers with Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, and Kendall Wright, and the Titans still get the Jacksonville and Indy defense for four game. But I would not nor would anyone I have seen draft Jake Locker in anything other than a keeper league which means he's ripe for the taking in a BQBL.

10) Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is still a rookie, has a sub-par offensive line, pretty bad running backs by his side, and I think Luck will only have Reggie Wayne to throw to for much of the season because Pierre Garcon left and Austin Collie is consistently an injury/concussion risk.

11) Seattle Seahawks

While Russell Wilson has looked great in the preseason, it's still only the preseason. Wilson is a rookie QB who is under six feet and I never trust a QB who is under six feet (except for Drew Brees). Plus you are banking on a QB controversy considering the sea birds paid a LOT of money to Matt Flynn but  that might never come. The reason Seahawks aren't "higher" is because Wilson could be really good with that top tiered O-line, really good defense, and a decent little receiving corps. 

12) Baltimore Ravens

Part of this is my hatred of Joe Flacco as a real life QB and part of this is that there really are no more truly bad or risky bad quarterbacks left.

13) Cincinnati Bengals

I like Dalton as a real life quarterback based upon what he did last year and while quarterbacks tends to get a bump in production from their first to second year, I'm banking on a sophomore slump.

14) Oakland Raiders

The Joe Flacco effect. I don't like quarterback and while many people like Denarious Moore and Darrius Heyword-Bey in fantasy, there's still a reason they are not top 30 wide outs.

15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers  

With a new head coach and Vincent Jackson, I really like Freeman this year and I personally think he will revert to his 2010 self, so that's why I don't have him "higher", but I just can not ignore Freeman's atrocious 2011 campaign. Although if you hate Freeman, feel free to lower him in your rankings.

16) San Fransisco 49ers

While Alex Smith is not a good QB by any metric, Jim Harbaugh is a phenomenal head coach which will limit Smith's turnovers and with the addition of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss I think Alex Smith get more a lot more yards per game than he did last year- which was Smith's redeeming feature in a BQBL.

17) Buffalo Bills

There's a chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a really good quarterback. Not only did he show levels of bring elite early in the 2011 season but he gets games against the terrible New England secondary, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets. The Bills claimed Fitzpatrick played the vast majority of the season with a broken or bruised ribs which accounted for his poor second half but he was never all *that* good when he played in Cincy and early in his career in Buffalo. I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is just an "eh" QB.

18) Houston Texans  

Matt Schaub is injury prone. Andre Johnson is injury prone. Owen Daniels is injury prone. Plus, the Texans are a rushing team with Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and that offensive line. 

19) Dallas Cowboys

That Cowboys line is horrible. Tony Romo is injury prone. Dez, Bryant, Miles Austin, and DeMarco Murray have all missed significant time in the big leagues due to injury. Jason Witten has a broken spleen. Although I do like Kyle Orton, Romo's back up, as a real life QB but he is historically not very good in the red zone. 

20) Philadelphia Eagles

When taking the risk on injury prone QBs (which is the tier here) betting on Vick being injured is a safe bet. Most leagues allow for a bench and at this level the Eagles are a great bench play. However, if you're in a league like the one I created last year and you would have to start the Eagles, I would try to avoid them because I think the games Vick misses will not outweigh the games Vick plays in.

21) Denver Broncos

God I want to see Caleb Hanie play. As a Chicago Bears owner in my BQBL last year, he was money in the bank. Plus, Denver is counting on a 36 year old QB who is playing 15 of his games outdoors and coming off of 4 neck surgeries. What could go wrong with that?

22) Pittsburgh Steelers

At this point in the draft, you're taking injury prone guys because you're in the realm of good quarterbacks so you're hoping for their back up. Plus, the Steelers O-line is atrocious.

23) Chicago Bears

With my last pick last year I took my beloved Bears with the "hopes" that Cutler would be the sack and interception machine he was during his Bears tenure. While Cutler fixed those problems last year the Bears were great in a BQBL because of Caleb Hanie. However, not only do the Bears have a great back up QB in Jason Campbell but I do not think Cutler will revert to his own, interception-throwing ways. However, when you're this late in the draft you're hoping for Old Cutler.

24) Washington Redskins

I like a Mike Shanahan offense and I trust RGIII to be good in his offense but you're hoping to see Rex Grossman start games an for RGIII to be like most other rookies.

25) Atlanta Falcons

I just don't like Matt Ryan as a real life quarterback. Personal preference.

26) Detroit Lions

While I think Stafford is good he's still an injury risk and if Megatron falls to the Madden Curse like I think he will then any Detroit QB's numbers will suffer.

27) San Diego Chargers

I think Rivers is going to rebound from his 2011 campaign in a huge way, but that being said, you can't ignore his 2011 campaign either.

28)  Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton wasn't the amazing QB he was in the first half during the second half in 2011 and you hope his second half continues for a sophomore slump.

29) New York Giants

30) New Orleans Saints

31) Green Bay Packers

32) New England Patriots

There's no reason to explain why the best quarterbacks and best offenses in football should be taken. When you're this late in the draft it doesn't really matter anyways. You're either not going to play them or you hope there's a QB injury. Either way, you don't have a choice.

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