There’s probably little predictive data to this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting to examine. No quarterback produced fewer first downs relative to expectation than Andy Dalton (-14.0). Matthew Stafford, who is quickly becoming a very polarizing quarterback, slotted between Manning and Tom Brady in first downs above expectation. Tony Romo, another quarterback/Bullseye, was pretty “clutch” on third downs, too.
As for last year’s rookies, Griffin lagged way behind Andrew Luck in this metric (Russell Wilson, of course, continues to be the man). If you’re looking for a criticism of Griffin’s game, it may be that he struggles to beat the defense in obvious passing situations. According to Football Outsiders, Washington’s offense ranked 1st in DVOA on play-action plays, but below league average on all other pass plays. You know that when we’ve gone from “he threw 5 interceptions in a game, no big deal, he’s a rookie” to “you know that rookie star was a slightly below-average passer on non-play action pass plays,” that we’re picking nits. But hey, it’s July.
There has been a clear trend showing that QBs are being taken later and later in mock fantasy drafts. Heck, the QB with the highest overall ADP in standard leagues is Aaron Rodgers at 18 (via Fantasy Football Calculator). With QBs sliding in the ADP rankings, fantasy owners are scrambling to determine where and when they should be drafting quarterbacks. One statistic that I found particularly interesting in my research comes from Chase Stuart’s breakdown of the most effective QBs on third down. He notes that QBs like Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Tony Romo are actually very effective on third and fourth down while guys like Andy Dalton and RGIII actually perform pretty poorly. These statistical findings are very interesting when you compare them to Shawn Siegele’s evaluation of this year’s QB1 class. Siegele notes that Wilson and Romo aren’t traps based on their current ADP, while guys like Griffin III are huge traps. While I’m not going to claim that there is a strong correlation between third down efficiency and QB fantasy success in 2013, it just adds further evidence to prove Siegele’s arguments in the article. Make sure to read the article and check out other articles on Russell Wilson and other QB’s on RotoViz.