Fantasy Football 2012: The Year Of The Rookie Quarterback
Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady. These guys are known as the “big three” among fantasy football quarterbacks. Many fantasy owners drafted these guys in the first round. As elite as they are, fantasy owners who drafted them potentially lost their leagues because of it.
Had they known that three rookie quarterbacks would take the fantasy world by storm, I’m sure they would have invested a draft pick on one of them.
Robert Griffin III was probably drafted in the 6th or 7th round in most fantasy drafts. Sure, he had a tremendous amount of hype surrounding him, but he is a rookie. Too bad he didn’t play like one this year. In 2012, RG3 completely transformed the Washington Redskins offense. In 2011, the Skins offense averaged a dismal 18.0 per game. This year? 27.2 points per game, which ranks fourth in the entire league. From a fantasy perspective, Griffin had been the highest fantasy scorer for much of the season. After Week 16, he has 288 fantasy points, which ranks 5th (according to ESPN). With 3,100 passing yards, 26 total touchdowns and 752 rushing yards, Griffin has put together one of the best fantasy campaign’s from a rookie of all time. And he was drafted well after the big three.
Andrew Luck may have been the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, however, he wasn’t even drafted in a handful of fantasy leagues. Those who took a chance on the rookie were handsomely rewarded. Luck goes into Week 17 with 249 fantasy points, more than guys like Eli Manning, Joe Flacco and Phillip Rivers. Much, much more. He could have put up even more fantasy numbers if he hadn’t struggled on the road this year. But hey, he is a rookie after all. And as a rookie, he led a previously 2-14 Indianapolis Colts team to the playoffs. No, you aren’t seeing things. The playoffs! The entire story with this team has been incredible. Luck, who just surpassed Cam Newton’s rookie passing yardage record, has lead the charge all season long.
Russell Wilson didn’t nearly receive the amount of hype as the previous two rookie signal callers. Wilson wasn’t drafted until the 3rd round and wasn’t even expected to be the starting quarterback until he beat out Matt Flynn for the starting job. But if you ask me, Wilson has outplayed Luck this season. The former Badger leads all rookie quarterbacks in touchdown passes (25) and ranks 9th in the league in completion percentage. He is just under Luck and Matthew Stafford in fantasy points and take into consideration the very good defenses in his division. Was this guy drafted in fantasy leagues? Highly unlikely.
What do these three rookie sensations all have in common? They all appear to be leading their teams to the playoffs.
These guys certainly weren’t in your starting lineup this year, but Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden haven’t exactly been slouches either. Both rookies have thrown for over 3,000 yards in offenses that have very little talent at the wide receiver position. While they are practically irrelevant in fantasy land, I must give credit where credit is due.
Many fantasy owners won their leagues with the big name rookie quarterbacks, rather than the elite options. Not drafting a Brees or a Rodgers allows fantasy owners to stock up on more running backs and wideouts. Take this into consideration next year, as the quarterback position will be very deep in 2013.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.