It’s official football fantasy research season, and everyone is refreshing their memories of how everyone performed last NFL season. However, we often see fantasy football players use end-of-season rank as be-all and end-all. Putting the whole season together doesn’t tell the whole story.
For example, a quarterback who passes 700 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in two weeks is great. However, if the second game is only 190 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, then your team can have a 1-1 record despite having a highly ranked quarterback.
FlurrySports has developed the Consistency and Boom/Bust Tool that provide more context to last season’s fantasy football performances. It breaks down how often they’ve been a “boom,” a “bust,” or if they’re worth starting each week throughout the season.
Below, we’ll discuss fantasy football QBs who may rank well at the end of the season, but given more context, they could be the reason you lose some matchups. For quarterbacks, the player has to finish as QB12 or better yet be considered a “starter” within a week, and they are considered a “bust” if they are outside the top 18.
Taylor Heinicke, QB16 (Starter: 35.7%, Bust: 50%)
Did you fall victim to Taylor Heinicke fantasy theatrics early last season and have you stayed with him for quite some time? Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. He replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1 and looked good, then that was followed by a 336-yard, two-touchdown performance with just one interception in Week 2. Sure, he had other decent games, but boy, he was a nuisance to your fantasy team throughout the season.
Heinicke finished as QB16 last season, but he was worth starting only about 36% of the time. He finished out of the top 18 in position in half of his games, not including Week 1. However, this included a stretch in which he dropped one or fewer touchdowns in five consecutive games. Ay.
Ryan Tannehill, QB13 (25%, 56.3%)
Following a season in which everyone believed Ryan Tannehill had revived his career, he disappointed his fantasy owners. Sure, he finished the season as QB13, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Tannehill has never been a top-three play, and he was considered “startable” only in a quarter of the time. The Titans quarterback finished out of the top 18 in position in more than half of his games. Sure, he had no threat from Derrick Henry on the backfield most of the season, but from a fantasy football perspective, it didn’t matter. He’s just bad.
Derek Carr, QB12 (37.5%, 56.3%)
Speaking of just bad, hello, Derek Carr. The man was a top-12 quarterback for fantasy football last season. I can’t take that away from him. However, like Tannehill, QB12 has never been a top-three player and has been labeled a “bust” in more than half of his games. That is, QB12 is more often bad than he is well. How do we lower the bar further?
Carr now has a new coach and Davante Adams to throw. Will he be worthy of ownership this season, or will he continue to stink of the Carr family?
Joe Burrow, QB5 (56.3%, 31.3%)
I know, how dare I say anything negative about “Joe Cool.” I love Joe Burrow and I think he’s already one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. However, despite finishing as QB5 last season, he put up some absolute stink that could have lost you a lot of matchups.
In the first 17 weeks, Burrow only qualified for the starting lineup nine times (QB12 or better). On five occasions, he was outside the top 18 in the position. So, while he’s a top five player, there’s a realistic chance Burrow paid you five weeks last season.
Would you rather have the Burrow, or the QB8 with Jalen Hurts, who is 73% of the time worthy of the start and only 20% of the bust?
Russell Wilson, QB20 (38.5%, 38.5%)
Clearly, fantasy football owners Russell Wilson knew last season how frustrating it was to have a former Seahawks quarterback. Due to a finger injury, Wilson missed three games, forcing you to seek a replacement for a player who has been very stable and healthy in his career.
However, it was even more frustrating when he returned to the field, as he was not well. Russell Wilson was a bust in almost 40% of the games he played, then he missed three other games. He was a big bust last season, but will you give him another chance in Denver?