3 Overvalued Quarterbacks (Busts)

Aug 06, 2020
3 Overvalued Quarterbacks (Busts)

Drafts since early March have shown us how much the QB market has changed. Everybody’s looking for the next Lamar Jackson. Or, hunting for 2020’s Dak Prescott. The demand has pushed our favorite QB targets higher in the draft forcing us to adjust our strategy. Ten QBs had an eighth-round or earlier ADP in 2018 and 2019. The early and mid-round QB strategies still left multiple options for the later rounds. That number has jumped to 15 this season. But while the average draft cost may dictate a QB’s value, it’s not a guarantee they’ll meet that value by the end of the season.

More Overvalued Players: WR | RB | TE

Recency bias and outlier performances get washed away throughout the offseason. Draft picks boost an offense and foster our excitement for certain QBs. As a result, the corresponding narratives live within the echo chamber of social media and the market responds. It causes us to overvalue certain QBs and inject risk into our squads. Using historical data, I pulled some profiles that can help identify quarterbacks we should be wary of drafting as we head into 2020.


Overvalued gives us the same connotation as ‘bust candidate’ and that’s not necessarily the same thing. We can overvalue DeAndre Hopkins in drafts after he switched teams to an offense with other established receivers and not label him as a bust. It’s about his cost relative to the players going around him.

The same applies to QBs. Their overall ADP may present little to no risk to your team, but their positional ADP may be ahead of their realistic finish. With that in mind, I used some trends from the past three seasons to highlight potential candidates.

Process and Results

Volume and touchdowns are what we look for from a quarterback. But specifically, how those two metrics are derived let us see how offenses operate. If we can get a sense of their approach, we can adjust our views accordingly. A few data points stuck out:

  • Neutral passing rates: It’s a measure of how the team prefers to operate without any external influence. League average has hovered around 59.1% over the last three seasons. Teams at below-average rates or notable changes should a cause for concern.
  • Production while trailing: Total production accounts for every pass thrown in every situation. But every situation isn’t likely to occur the following year. At least, not at the same rate. Players with above-average rates while trailing should qualitatively review for any regression potential (e.g. defensive adjustments, offseason moves).
  • Red zone passing rate: Yards are great, but touchdowns are greater. Teams with noteworthy shifts in run-pass splits while in scoring position open up more potential for risk as their path to accumulating touchdowns becomes unclear.

Risky Quarterbacks in 2020

Baker Mayfield (Latest ADP: QB15)

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