He led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl title, won a Super Bowl MVP and orchestrated one of the more impressive playoff runs in recent memory. And yet, I still will not be planning on selecting Joe Flacco in my fantasy leagues in 2013.
First of all, the quarterback position is so ridiculously deep this year that I don’t see a reason why anyone would even need to select Flacco as more than a backup option. And even if you do decide to pass on the top-12 fantasy signal callers and take a shot on Flacco, prepare for some serious inconsistency, which is what has been keeping Flacco from being considered an elite quarterback. In 2012, Flacco posted three contests in which he failed to throw a touchdown pass, as well as seven games where he only tossed one score. The annoying part of owning Flacco last year was the fact that he would have strong performances before and after the awful ones, which made fantasy owners wonder when the heck to start this guy. Many people are confident in Flacco taking a statistical step forward in 2013 because of the change in offensive coordinator. In the seven games after Jim Caldwell replaced Cam Cameron, Flacco tossed 15 touchdown passes and just one interception (including playoffs). However, those people can have fun riding a roller coaster of emotions with Flacco under center for their fantasy team. The guy has never finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, never threw for 4,000 yards or more than 25 touchdowns. He just isn’t the guy that will put up monster stats for fantasy owners, and I especially don’t see that happening after the team lost wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The loss is more significant than people realize, as Boldin was targeted 112 times a season ago, including 36 targets during the postseason. Quite frankly, I’m not yet sold on Torrey Smith as a legitimate, versatile number one wide receiver for the Ravens. He is kind of hit or miss, and I haven’t seen enough dimensions to his game to consider him a true number one receiver for a roster.
To be fair, Flacco has been an extremely productive real life quarterback for the Ravens and their fans. During the 2012 postseason. Flacco’s 11 touchdowns tied Joe Montana for an NFL record. However, fantasy owners don’t care about the playoffs because most leagues end during the final two weeks of the season. If you look at his year-to-year numbers, they are pretty consistent. Over the past three years, Flacco has thrown for 3,817, 3,610 and 3,622 yards with interception totals of 10, 12 and 10. However, when you look at his week-to-week play during the regular season, it’s ugly. Ugly enough to keep the 28-year old quarterback from a top-10 fantasy finish throughout his career. There are simply too many other better options at quarterback than Flacco, who really doesn’t have any statistical upside. If you want to take him as a backup, I have no problem with that whatsoever. However, if you are planning on using him as your starter, prepare for mediocre numbers and hair-pulling inconsistency throughout the season.
Buyer beware, folks. Buyer beware.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.