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Rap Battle: Matthew Stafford (Part 2)


In the first part of this series, Shawn Siegele layed out the bearish view on Matthew Stafford.  In this installment Frank DuPont/The Fantasy Douche is going to do his best to lay out the bullish view.

First, let me just say that when I went to check Matthew Stafford’s ADP (hoping that it would have sunk below QB12) I was totally disappointed and Stafford might end up being one of those “not quite a contrarian pick” type of guys in 2013.  With an ADP of QB 10 right now, it looks like not as many people got off the Stafford bandwagon as probably should have considering the turd sandwich that he delivered in 2012.  Because everything I do is ADP related, here’s the current ADP for QBs and then I’ve made notes as to which guys I would rather own than Stafford.

Pos Pick Name Team Would Pick Over Stafford?
1 1.06 Aaron Rodgers GB YES
2 1.07 Drew Brees NO YES
3 1.11 Tom Brady NE YES
4 2.08 Peyton Manning DEN Ehhh
5 2.12 Robert Griffin WAS Ehhh
6 3.03 Cam Newton CAR YES
7 4.1 Russell Wilson SEA YES
8 5.02 Andrew Luck IND MAYBE
9 5.08 Matt Ryan ATL MAYBE
10 5.12 Matthew Stafford DET
11 7.05 Tony Romo DAL NO
12 8.01 Colin Kaepernick SF YES
13 8.03 Eli Manning NYG NO
14 9.04 Ben Roethlisberger PIT NO
15 9.12 Philip Rivers SD NO
16 10.07 Michael Vick PHI NO


I suspect that my waffling on Manning will be somewhat controversial, so let me just say that I congratulate him on his excellent 2012 and yet I probably won’t ever own Peyton Manning again in a re-draft format because I don’t think he’s without risks and I don’t think an injury free year means that the risk has disappeared.  If you drafted him at his 2012 ADP, you got a bargain.  But at QB4, I feel like you’re paying for what you’re getting and there’s downside risk there.  So I’m not saying I think Stafford will have a better 2013, I’m just saying I won’t be owning Manning.  Then, RGIII is sort of a “wait and see” type of situation.  Even if he’s back for Week 1, do we think he’s going to be running all over the place?  That seems sort of in doubt I think.  Then below Stafford I have Kaep as a guy I would rather own than Stafford.  Otherwise ADP is generally a good guide as to QB value.

Having gotten that out of the way, I should say that I view Stafford as being in a tier with Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck.  I guess Tony Romo would also be in that tier for me if I thought anybody in Dallas would pull their head out of their ass and just commit to scoring points (instead of staying balanced).  But basically I think Stafford is in a group of guys who are sort of good, not otherworldly, have some warts, but you could see finishing the year as like QB4 or QB5 if things went well.  I think Andrew Luck basically was Matthew Stafford last year, but with an easier schedule.  Luck’s EPA at Advanced NFL Stats is pretty close to Stafford’s on a per play basis.  Both guys chucked it a lot and both guys missed a lot.  Luck’s performance is probably a little more impressive given that his best target was a 33 year old Reggie Wayne, while Stafford was throwing to Megatron.  Then, I feel like Matt Ryan is sort of in the same range as Stafford as well except that Ryan has two good wideouts and Stafford only has one.  Also, I made the same argument on their relative equality last year but in reverse and my recollection was that people generally thought I was nuts.  However, it’s worth noting that one of Ryan’s weapons is Roddy White, who is getting older and looked like he was in decline two years ago.  Ryan’s effectiveness would dry up almost immediately if teams could lock down Roddy White with one guy and then just double Julio Jones like Megatron gets covered.  If Roddy White slows down at all as he turns 32, that becomes more possible.

I think that Stafford is sort of close to being on equal footing with two guys going in front of him.  It’s fair to say that I think I would rather have Stafford than Luck given that both require volume for their fantasy scoring and Stafford has the better #1 option.  But then I would concede that Matt Ryan is probably the smarter pick today given that he has the better receiver situation and my discussion of Roddy White above is more in the “it’s possible” range.

But here’s the place where I have some optimism for Stafford.  We don’t know exactly what the Lions will do to address that 2nd WR spot and if they did address it, it could be a world changer for Stafford.  He’s very efficient when throwing to Megatron and he pretty much sucks when he throws it to anyone else.  If the Lions could add another good receiver option, I think the benefits would be outsized.  I think it’s reasonable to expect them to do something either in the draft or free agency given that they made a move mid-season last year.  Since they lost Titus Young they’re back in the same receiver situation they were in before they took him in the draft two years ago.

So at QB10, I agree that Stafford isn’t delivering a ton of obvious value.  But if the Lions do something to address the 2nd receiver, then I do think that Stafford has the potential do what he did two years ago.  Right now I just like to look at ADP and see either Kaep or Stafford sitting down in that 10-12 range because usually I’m sweating bullets wondering who I’m going to draft at QB.  But this year I have two guys I wouldn’t mind owning at all and there’s potential that Staff could turn into a legitimate target depending on whether the Lions make any moves in the offseason.

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