Quarterbacks that throw the ball a ton are fantasy relevant right off the bat. Match that with the type of numbers that these guys can put up, you have a ton of fantasy upside.
In 2012, no signal caller attempted more passes than Matthew Stafford. In fact, he set an NFL record for pass attempts in a single season (727). Tony Romo, meanwhile, tossed the football an impressive 648 times, which ranked third most in football. So, both throw the ball at a high rate and both can produce monster fantasy numbers, but which one should you favor as your starting fantasy quarterback? That’s right, it’s feud time.
Making the case for Romo
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Really? You’re writing about Romo again?” I’ll admit it, I am ridiculously high on him this season, but is there any reason I shouldn’t be? Like I said, we are talking about a guy who has thrown at least 520 times in three of the past four seasons. Also during that span, Romo has finished as a top-eight fantasy signal caller. It seems fitting that I currently have him as my number eight quarterback in my rankings. Sure, he isn’t clutch when it comes to crunch time, but guess what? Who cares? That doesn’t apply to fantasy, an area where Romo quietly excels. He’s thrown for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons and has posted two 30-touchdown seasons. Simply put, he puts up numbers. It should be even easier for him to put up numbers with some strong weapons at his disposal. Dez Bryant emerged towards the end of last season and is an absolute freak of an athlete and we all know how reliable Jason Witten is. Running back DeMarco Murray hasn’t exactly been a model of health, missing nine games in his first two seasons. That being said, I think Dallas drops back to pass a ton again in 2013. Romo may throw a few bad interceptions here and there, but to say he throws too many picks is a bit overrated. Over his last three full seasons, he has interception totals of 19, 10 and 9. Not exactly ground-breaking numbers. Considering how deep the quarterback position is this year, why not wait until the eighth or ninth round to grab Romo? I mean, he’ll only get you 4,000-plus yards and 30 scores.
Making the case for Stafford
Now I may love Romo, but that’s not to say I don’t like Stafford either. Stafford regressed quite a bit in 2012, but not all of it was entirely because of him. First of all, he had an injury-ridden wide receiving corp. That doesn’t help in itself. But then when you look at the touchdown dropoff (41 in 2011, 20 in 2012), a lot of it was just unlucky. I mean, Calvin Johnson was tackled at the opponent’s one yard line a ridiculous six times. That’s just unheard of. Not to mention Mikel Leshoure scored nine touchdowns, despite not being a very good back. That Lions offense is a safe bet to lead the league in passing attempts each year, so there’s plenty of upside just based off of volume with Stafford. The numbers will most certainly be better this year and the addition of Reggie Bush may only add to the passing attempts. His drop in statistics have lowered his ADP a bit, which allows fantasy owners to get a very viable fantasy starter with high upside for great value. Let’s not forget, while Stafford has had his fair share of weak and inexperienced play, he’s still just 25-years old and hasn’t even hit his prime yet. And tossing the ball to Megatron for years to come will make fantasy owners smile.
Stafford certainly has more upside, but I’m siding with Romo here. I can’t ignore his top-10 consistency and despite not having a guy like Calvin Johnson to throw to, he still has more weapons as a whole. Say what you want about his struggles in the clutch. I don’t care. He was awesome for fantasy owners down the stretch of last season and most likely won many owners their championships. In fact, during that span, he was a more productive fantasy option than guys such as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and, of course, Stafford. I think both put up top-1o fantasy numbers this year, but my money is on Romo to be a tad bit better.
What say you?
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.