I’m not sure which I feel more strongly about– the hatred I feel towards those who despise Tony Romo for no reason, or the love I have myself for Romo.
Yeah, that’s right. Judge me.
Sure, you think Romo chokes in clutch time, and I’ll admit it, sometimes he doesn’t deliver during the biggest stages of the game. But to that, I also say that over the last three seasons, no quarterback has more 4th quarter touchdowns than Romo (29), he has the second-highest completion percentage (65%) and the 3rd-best total QBR (74). Luckily, this is fantasy football, so none of this matters one bit, and once again, Romo is an underrated fantasy quarterback.
The last time Romo didn’t finish as a top-12 fantasy signal callers, Josh Freeman was. That was back in 2010 where Romo dealt with injury and played all of six games. Over the last three seasons, he has finished as fantasy’s 7th, 8th and 12th fantasy passer. Romo is very good, but it’s helped that he’s dropped back to pass the ball a ton during that span, averaging 568.3 pass attempts, and ranking inside the top-10 in every one of those three seasons. However, with pass-happy coach Scott Linehan in Dallas, Romo could throw the ball even more in 2014, which will translate to tons of fantasy success.
Linehan’s track record
It’s also worth nothing that during those seasons, the quarterbacks were very fantasy relevant. In fact, remember Marc Bulger? Yeah, well he was the 3rd-best quarterback in fantasy during the 2006 campaign, while Matthew Stafford has finished as a top-10 quarterback in each of the last three seasons under Linehan, including two top-five finishes. It’s common sense, but the more you throw the ball, the more fantasy numbers you are going to put up. Romo, meanwhile, has been incredibly consistent over the last three seasons. He’s thrown for at least 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in two of the last three years, and if he hadn’t missed a game in 2013, he would have eclipsed 4,000 again, seeing as he needed less than 200 yards. Barring injury, the guy is a lock for 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. Oh, and you can get him two whole round later than a guy like Tom Brady, who will post similar numbers.
The Cowboys defense
It’s no wonder Montee Kiffin often looked to be sleeping in the press box.
In 2013, the Dallas defense was laughably bad, surrendering 27 points per game, the seventh-most in football. In fact, teams saw 3.9 red zone scoring attempts per game, good for the second-most in the league. There have been a few changes with this defense, but it’s hard to believe they will be much improved, especially after losing a guy like DeMarcus Ware. This will force Romo to throw the ball a ton to keep up, which is just more volume to love from your starting fantasy quarterback. Last year, Dallas averaged 7.8 points per game in the 4th quarter alone, so Romo clearly had to put points up in a hurry to keep his team in the game.
I expect that trend to continue in 2014.