Quarterback By Committee (QBBC)

John Paulsen's picture

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor) on July 29, 2012

John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 season, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in 2012 for an unprecedented three straight top 5 finishes. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-13 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate preseason rankings.  Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

One of my favorite draft strategies is to wait on QB until the middle rounds and then draft two QBs whose schedules complement each other. Leagues that require five or more starters at RB and WR (including flex slots) diminish the value of the QB. It can be a good idea to wait for QB value to emerge throughout the first eight rounds, but if that doesn’t happen, look to draft two QBs in the next few rounds to form a committee that will combine to provide both solid production and insurance against injury.

Think about it – we’d all love to have Aaron Rodgers, but the owner who drafts him in the first round often has to spend their middle round picks to shore up weaknesses at other positions. If they don’t draft a decent backup and Rodgers suffers a season-ending injury, the season is probably over.

On the flip side, those that wait on a QB are able to load up on quality RBs, WRs and even a stud TE. They can build a great core roster and then add a solid QBBC that is collectively likely to yield quality production.

 

Note: The Relative Value (RV) of the QB position depends largely on the number of the non-QB slots in the starting lineup. The more RBs, WRs and TEs you have to start, the less important the QB position becomes. Be sure to refer to our customized Top 200 Value Based Rankings and/or the Top 200 rankings in the Full Impact section of the site.

 

Assuming that owners who draft one of the top 11 QBs – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning – are probably going to start them every week, we’ll start QBBC by looking at Robert Griffin III, the #12 QB off the board. He’s going in the 8th round, but sometimes slips to the 9th.

Griffin has a rough fantasy playoff schedule (BAL, @CLE and @PHI) so an ideal QBBC partner would have a nice matchup during Griffin’s bye and an easy schedule down the stretch. Without going into too much detail, using our full-season projections, player-level matchups against the QB, and a home/away adjustment – on average, QBs score 5.7% more fantasy points at home, which is another article for another time – I’m able to roughly predict weekly fantasy points for each QB in search of the optimum QBBC combos.

After combining Griffin with everyone from Ben Roethlisberger to Matt Cassel, four good (but not ideal) combos jump out. 

 

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
R.Griffin III
QB-12
28
@NO
6
@STL
22
CIN
19
@TB
7
ATL
29
MIN
17
@NYG
5
@PIT
23
CAR
BYE 11
PHI
16
@DAL
17
NYG
13
BAL
9
@CLE
11
@PHI
16
DAL
B.Roethlisberger
QB-15
27
@DEN
1
NYJ
31
@OAK
BYE 11
PHI
18
@TEN
22
@CIN
14
WAS
17
@NYG
4
KC
13
BAL
9
@CLE
13
@BAL
30
SD
16
@DAL
22
CIN
9
CLE

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
R.Griffin III
QB-12
28
@NO
6
@STL
22
CIN
19
@TB
7
ATL
29
MIN
17
@NYG
5
@PIT
23
CAR
BYE 11
PHI
16
@DAL
17
NYG
13
BAL
9
@CLE
11
@PHI
16
DAL
M.Schaub
QB-16
26
MIA
8
@JAX
27
@DEN
18
TEN
1
@NYJ
20
GB
13
BAL
BYE 21
BUF
2
@CHI
8
JAX
15
@DET
18
@TEN
32
@NE
25
IND
29
MIN
25
@IND

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
R.Griffin III
QB-12
28
@NO
6
@STL
22
CIN
19
@TB
7
ATL
29
MIN
17
@NYG
5
@PIT
23
CAR
BYE 11
PHI
16
@DAL
17
NYG
13
BAL
9
@CLE
11
@PHI
16
DAL
J.Cutler
QB-14
25
IND
20
@GB
6
STL
16
@DAL
8
@JAX
BYE 15
DET
23
CAR
18
@TEN
3
HOU
12
@SF
29
MIN
10
SEA
29
@MIN
20
GB
24
@ARI
15
@DET

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
R.Griffin III
QB-12
28
@NO
6
@STL
22
CIN
19
@TB
7
ATL
29
MIN
17
@NYG
5
@PIT
23
CAR
BYE 11
PHI
16
@DAL
17
NYG
13
BAL
9
@CLE
11
@PHI
16
DAL
C.Palmer
QB-13
30
SD
26
@MIA
5
PIT
27
@DEN
BYE 7
@ATL
8
JAX
4
@KC
19
TB
13
@BAL
28
NO
22
@CIN
9
CLE
27
DEN
4
KC
23
@CAR
30
@SD

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

 

The tables above show each QB's weekly matchups. In each cell is the opponent's rank against opposing QBs (1-32). This ranking is derived by taking 2011 schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs as a baseline and then adjusting for offseason personnel and coaching changes. Bottom line: green matchups are good, while red are bad.

Unfortunately, there are no schedules that match up perfectly with Griffin’s, but these four look pretty good. Griffin's bye is a problem for Roethlisberger, Schaub and Cutler, but those three QBs have much more favorable options during the fantasy playoffs, with Schaub's schedule taking the proverbial cake.

Palmer has the Ravens during Griffin's bye, and most teams are forced to pass a lot against Baltimore because running isn't much of an option. However, Palmer has KC (and shutdown corner Brandon Flowers) during RG3's worst projected playoff matchup.

The benefit of having two solid options at QB is that you typically aren't forced into a very bad matchup with an elite pass defense. Looking at these four combos, only Week 8 of Griffin/Palmer currently looks to be on that level. Even as we get into the season and different secondaries potentially emerge as elite, owners with a solid QBBC will always have an "out."

Plus, each of those players could even take over as the lead QB in a committee if Griffin isn’t as good as expected. The four committees above are expected to score between 267 and 275 points, which equate to the numbers we're expecting from Eli Manning or Philip Rivers when a replacement player is added to cover their bye week.

Interestingly, the four QBs we currently have ranked #13 to #16 all have different byes and they all combine pretty well (to score between 262 to 271 fantasy points). Take a look:

 

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
B.Roethlisberger
QB-15
27
@DEN
1
NYJ
31
@OAK
BYE 11
PHI
18
@TEN
22
@CIN
14
WAS
17
@NYG
4
KC
13
BAL
9
@CLE
13
@BAL
30
SD
16
@DAL
22
CIN
9
CLE
M.Schaub
QB-16
26
MIA
8
@JAX
27
@DEN
18
TEN
1
@NYJ
20
GB
13
BAL
BYE 21
BUF
2
@CHI
8
JAX
15
@DET
18
@TEN
32
@NE
25
IND
29
MIN
25
@IND

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

 

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
J.Cutler
QB-14
25
IND
20
@GB
6
STL
16
@DAL
8
@JAX
BYE 15
DET
23
CAR
18
@TEN
3
HOU
12
@SF
29
MIN
10
SEA
29
@MIN
20
GB
24
@ARI
15
@DET
B.Roethlisberger
QB-15
27
@DEN
1
NYJ
31
@OAK
BYE 11
PHI
18
@TEN
22
@CIN
14
WAS
17
@NYG
4
KC
13
BAL
9
@CLE
13
@BAL
30
SD
16
@DAL
22
CIN
9
CLE

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
C.Palmer
QB-13
30
SD
26
@MIA
5
PIT
27
@DEN
BYE 7
@ATL
8
JAX
4
@KC
19
TB
13
@BAL
28
NO
22
@CIN
9
CLE
27
DEN
4
KC
23
@CAR
30
@SD
J.Cutler
QB-14
25
IND
20
@GB
6
STL
16
@DAL
8
@JAX
BYE 15
DET
23
CAR
18
@TEN
3
HOU
12
@SF
29
MIN
10
SEA
29
@MIN
20
GB
24
@ARI
15
@DET

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
J.Cutler
QB-14
25
IND
20
@GB
6
STL
16
@DAL
8
@JAX
BYE 15
DET
23
CAR
18
@TEN
3
HOU
12
@SF
29
MIN
10
SEA
29
@MIN
20
GB
24
@ARI
15
@DET
M.Schaub
QB-16
26
MIA
8
@JAX
27
@DEN
18
TEN
1
@NYJ
20
GB
13
BAL
BYE 21
BUF
2
@CHI
8
JAX
15
@DET
18
@TEN
32
@NE
25
IND
29
MIN
25
@IND

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
C.Palmer
QB-13
30
SD
26
@MIA
5
PIT
27
@DEN
BYE 7
@ATL
8
JAX
4
@KC
19
TB
13
@BAL
28
NO
22
@CIN
9
CLE
27
DEN
4
KC
23
@CAR
30
@SD
M.Schaub
QB-16
26
MIA
8
@JAX
27
@DEN
18
TEN
1
@NYJ
20
GB
13
BAL
BYE 21
BUF
2
@CHI
8
JAX
15
@DET
18
@TEN
32
@NE
25
IND
29
MIN
25
@IND

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
C.Palmer
QB-13
30
SD
26
@MIA
5
PIT
27
@DEN
BYE 7
@ATL
8
JAX
4
@KC
19
TB
13
@BAL
28
NO
22
@CIN
9
CLE
27
DEN
4
KC
23
@CAR
30
@SD
B.Roethlisberger
QB-15
27
@DEN
1
NYJ
31
@OAK
BYE 11
PHI
18
@TEN
22
@CIN
14
WAS
17
@NYG
4
KC
13
BAL
9
@CLE
13
@BAL
30
SD
16
@DAL
22
CIN
9
CLE

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

 

Notice all the good matchups during the fantasy playoffs in all of these combos. Palmer/Roethlisberger seems to have the most balance, allowing owners to avoid elite matchups while providing a solid playoff schedule. Cutler/Schaub is also attractive given the options during each QB's bye to go along with Schaub's tantalizing playoff schedule.

The main point here is that if owners aren't able to capitalize on value QBs earlier in the draft and either miss out on Griffin or are unwilling to put their trust in a rookie, there are several proven vets with unique byes. Owners can certainly "make do" at QB while loading up their roster elsewhere.

Here is a little more detail about each of these value QBs:

 

Carson Palmer
In nine starts in 2011, Palmer averaged 293 yards, 1.8 TDs and 1.4 INTs -- with no training camp and little time to get to know his receiving corps. That projects to 4,688 yards and nearly 29 TDs. In our first set of projections, we have him slated for 4,547 yards and 23.3 TDs. He has a talented group of WRs, while Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece are also solid weapons in the passing game

Jay Cutler
In the 2008 season -- with Brandon Marshall as his main target and QB coach Jeremy Bates calling the plays in Denver -- Cutler finished with 4,526 yards and 26 TDs. He also rushed for 200 yards and two scores, finishing the season as the #5 fantasy QB. The Bears are hoping this trio -- Cutler, Marshall and Bates -- can work their magic again. Bates isn't the offensive coordinator -- that title belongs to Mike Tice -- but he's going to have a heavy hand in the passing game.

Ben Roethlisberger
In 27 games over the last two seasons, Roethlisberger has averaged 270 yards and 1.4 pass TDs against 0.7 INTs. Including his rushing stats -- 246 yards and two TDs -- he has averaged 16.4 FP/G, which would have been good enough for QB9 numbers in 2011. There are a couple of areas of concern, which include WR Mike Wallace's holdout and a new (potentially run-heavy) offense under new OC Todd Haley. Still, Roethlisberger is the team's best offensive player, so it's tough to see his pass attempts taking a big nosedive.

Matt Schaub
Schaub was the #11 QB in 2011 on a per game basis before a Lisfranc injury forced him to miss the final six games of the season. He finished in the top 9 overall in both 2009 and 2010. With Andre Johnson reportedly ready to go for the season, Schaub could represent a nice value as the #15 QB off the board.

 

EL CHEAPO

Looking for a super-cheap combo that can be had in the 12th/13th? Consider Ryan Fitzpatrick and Alex Smith:

QB W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17
A.Smith
QB-18
20
@GB
15
DET
29
@MIN
1
@NYJ
21
BUF
17
NYG
10
SEA
24
@ARI
BYE 6
STL
2
CHI
28
@NO
6
@STL
26
MIA
32
@NE
10
@SEA
24
ARI
R.Fitzpatrick
QB-19
1
@NYJ
4
KC
9
@CLE
32
NE
12
@SF
24
@ARI
18
TEN
BYE 3
@HOU
32
@NE
26
MIA
25
@IND
8
JAX
6
STL
10
SEA
26
@MIA
1
NYJ

Schedule difficulty based on opponent's defensive ranking against QBs. Top defense = 1, bottom defense = 32.

 

Think about it – you could draft four RBs, five WRs and two TEs before grabbing Fitzpatrick in the 12th and Smith in the 13th. It would take some courage, but other than Week 9 and Week 13, owners would always have a disappointing 2011 pass defense to choose from. Here’s a bit more about this combo:

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzy threw 23 picks last year, but he also threw for 3,832 yards and 24 TDs, which resulted in QB12 numbers. He even rushed for 208 yards. He says his accuracy is better now than it ever has been, and his head coach, Chan Gailey, said that Fitzpatrick played most of the season with a serious rib injury. Look for more consistent play out of the Buffalo QB in 2012.

Alex Smith
Smith finished the season with 3,144 yards, 17 TDs versus only five interceptions (QB14), but posted a respectable 7.1 yards per attempt, which ranked 17th among QBs with at least 10 games played. The 49ers added Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James to boost the passing game, and HC Jim Harbaugh has indicated that he has confidence in Smith, so it appears that they plan to open up the passing game a bit more.

 

 

Filed Under: 2012, Preseason