Why the backup QB in fantasy football is overrated

      October 8, 2013 @ 17:11:11 PDT


As Matt Ryan heads on his bye, I need a fill-in for one of my fantasy football squads.

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco
Wacko that I was able to grab him

I've gotten away from carrying a backup quarterback altogether in the FLEX league and a few others. Really, if it's a 12-teamer with 16-ish-player rosters like that one, where we're only required to start one QB, I'm no longer tied to keeping a benchwarmer.

After all, finding a way to carry a single slinger opens up your roster for more experimentation, planning for byes, gaining security, whatever.

[Me : RBs :: Vision-impaired squirrel : nuts]

Quarterback, as I've previously mentioned, is the easiest position at which to find a rental. (Thanks, pass-first NFL.) Via their control of the offense, they have the easiest route by which take advantage of a favorable matchup.

The quarterbacks I own this year: Ryan (FLEX), Tony Romo (12, 20 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Industry Insider League; 12, 16 KFFL Fantasy Analysis Draft; 12, 16 USA TODAY Sports Media Group challenge), Matthew Stafford (12-team, 16-player-roster Bruno Boys Expert League; 12, 15 Triple Crown Football Auction), Cam Newton (12, 28 CBS Sports IDP), Philip Rivers (FSWA), Terrelle Pryor (FAD), and Andy Dalton (BB).

Add one to the FLEX: Joe Flacco, who has a tasty matchup against the Green Bay Packers. In the TC Auction, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith, Geno Smith, bye inhabitant Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles and even sneaky riser Chad Henne (check his upcoming schedule) sit waiting for you to put 'em in your lineup. Not bad.

I don't even have a reserve in the cavernous IDP league but will claim Flacco, NYJ Smith, Tannehill, Dalton, Henne or Foles, if I feel the need. (Hint: I may after watching Newton on Sunday.)

Of course, injuries will alter or jeopardize this plan, and those who drafted a QB committee, so to speak, probably will cling to the plan. That's fine, but playing waves and matchups with quarterbacks allows flexibility in filling needs.

You'll take some lumps once in awhile in the passing department, but if it's going to take a lot for you to bench your top guy (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, that ilk), why bother anchoring a permanent spot on an untouched backup if the waiver wire will provide one on demand?

It's all about gauging your league's positional market. Look at other rosters' compositions and perhaps track whose signal-caller has a bye coming up. If you play it right, without hurting your chances, you can stream a backup QB as you would with place kickers and defensive teams.

Seriously, QBs ... way overvalued, especially the one holding your fantasy clipboard.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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