Do you remember how dreadful Michael Vick was tossing the rock last season? Well, Sam Bradford – from an efficiency standpoint – wasn’t much better. On a per play basis, Bradford was adding .02 points per pass to the Rams point output, ranking him 22nd among quarterbacks (minimum 300 pass attempts). Bradford’s effectiveness was just as favorable as the Bengals Andy Dalton.
In 2011, on a per play basis because he only played 10 games, Bradford was worse than Christian Ponder throwing the football. The only guys he played better than two years ago were Tim Tebow and Blaine Gabbert. With each pass, Bradford was losing .18 points for the Rams compared to an average passer. That’s no good.
We know we here at RotoViz have beaten the Sam Bradford horse to death. But what’s one more opinion, right? In an article from Number Fire, JJ Zachariason says the hype on Bradford coming into this fantasy season needs to be subdued. And when any of your statistics are being compared to those of Michael Vick (circa 2011), Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Tim Tebow and Blaine Gabbert, it’s never a good sign. Still, Zachariason is simply telling fantasy owners to temper their expectations for Bradford, meaning there is still some potential for Bradford to breakout.
Remember, when looking at Bradford’s old statistics, we have to remember that he has played behind some of the most porous offensive lines ever, and has never had a true star at wideout. How important is a star wideout? Take a look at what Matt Stafford’s numbers look like in comparison to Bradford’s when you exclude Calvin Johnson‘s production. Also check out this comparison of Bradford and Aaron Rodgers, who has had multiple star wideouts with the Packers. Both articles show how much Bradford’s numbers could have increased with the addition of a major receiving threat. And with the new additions to the Rams offense, Bryan Fontaine ponders if its possible that Bradford could throw for 50 TDs (OK, more like 30).
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves again and remember what Zachariason and RotoViz’s Shawn Siegele have been preaching: we have to sit down, take a reality check and reasonably evaluate our expectations for Bradford this year. So after all of this where do I stand? I’ll paraphrase from one of our 10 Re-draft Targets in 10 Days articles on Bradford: he shows solid upside and he’s cheap, but don’t look for him to solve your fantasy problems at QB. Make sure to check out Bradford’s projections using our QB Similarity Score App.