I Can’t Just Draft Rodgers Every Week?

Aaron Rodgers scored the second-most fantasy points of any quarterback (QB) last season and is generally regarded as one of the best players in the league. In yearly fantasy football drafts, selecting him if he falls into the third round makes a lot of sense because of the consistency. However, he is consistently priced as one of the few top QBs in daily fantasy football and therefore is not a smart play most weeks. How could I say that? Let’s examine:

According to ProFootballFocus (PFF), Rodgers led the NFL in points per drop back (0.63). He slightly edged out Russell Wilson (0.61) and Andrew Luck (0.56). Attempts are of the utmost importance for runningbacks (RBs), because it’s hard to produce without touching the ball. For QBs, it’s more about efficiency. Rodgers’ 520 attempts ranked 14th in the NFL and his completion percentage ranked 12th. Eddie Lacy’s effectiveness and Rodgers’ own abilities to make plays with his legs helped the Packers’ offense churn. PFF’s scoring is based on a slightly different scoring format but, for the most part, the format is similar enough. The only difference is PFF doesn’t take into account yardage bonuses. Anyway, it’s evident Rodgers is one of the game’s best QBs, but does this translate to the daily format? The answer, quite blatantly, is that most of the time it does not, even with an elite QB.

Rodgers’ steep price many times crippled the rest of your fantasy team because you had to punt another position or two. At that price, he essentially needed to finish as a top-two QB just about every week or you weren’t getting a return for your investment. The problem; he only finished in the top two three times last season. Here was a week-by-week breakdown according to PFF scoring:

Week One: 11 fantasy points ranked 29th among QBs. Players such as Brian Hoyer, Alex Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick scored more points.

Week Two: 29 fantasy points ranked first among QBs. Jay Cutler produced three less fantasy points (26 combined to Rodgers’ 29).

Week Three: 10 fantasy points ranked 27th among QBs. Players such as E.J. Manuel, Mike Glennnon and Jake Locker scored more points.

Week Four: 29 fantasy points ranked third among QBs. Eli Manning and Andrew Luck scored more points and Rodgers barely edged out Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.

Week Five: 18 fantasy points ranked 12th among QBs. Players such as Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins scored more points.

Week Six: 26 fantasy points ranked sixth among QBs. Players such as Cam Newton, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick scored more points.

Week Seven: 24 fantasy points ranked third among QBs. Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning scored more points and Rodgers barely edged out Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Drew Brees.

Week Eight: 27 fantasy points ranked fourth among QBs. Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck scored more points and Rodgers barely edged out Kyle Orton and Nick Foles.

Week Nine: Bye week

Week 10: 37 fantasy points ranked first among QBs by a decent margin (five points above Peyton Manning and 15 points above third-place Josh McCown)

Week 11: 29 fantasy points ranked first among QBs by a decent margin (four points above Jay Cutler and seven points above third-place Russell Wilson)

Week 12: 20 fantasy points ranked eighth among QBs. Players such as Ryan Tennehill, Eli Manning and Zach Mettenberger scored more points.

Week 13: 25 fantasy points ranked sixth among QBs. Players such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colt McCoy and Philip Rivers scored more points.

Week 14: 28 fantasy points ranked fourth among QBs. Players such as Cam Newton and Matt Ryan scored more points.

Week 15: Eight fantasy points ranked 25th among QBs. Players such as Shaun Hill, Charlie Whitehurst and Blake Bortles scored more points.

Week 16: 17 fantasy points ranked 13th among QBs. Players such as Mark Sanchez, Kyle Orton and Teddy Bridgewater scored more points.

Week 17: 24 fantasy points ranked second among QBs. Geno Smith led all QBs in fantasy points that week. Robert Griffin III and Matthew Stafford also scored 24 fantasy points.

Conclusion:

Even on weeks where he scored the most fantasy points, he wasn’t always the best play. Many will feel safety in using him, but many times there are other, much cheaper QBs who produce a similar output. With FantasyDraft’s roster flexibility, you can easily make up that difference in the unique two FLEX positions. Instead of Rodgers and a backup, go with a mid-tier QB and a starting RB, like Justin Forsett for instance. Find the sure-thing skill position players, as they will make more of a difference most weeks than spending up at QB. Every week is different and winning roster construction will change, but spending up on Rodgers is rarely the ideal strategy.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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