With the 2009 NFL Draft coming up THIS weekend (yay!), fantasy football owners are excited about the great talent that will be available in fantasy drafts this summer. Matt Stafford! Michael Crabtree! Other guys! The possibilities make your head spin.
Not to be a big buzzkill, but it usually doesn't work out that way. Rookies are usually not good enough to be regular fantasy starters. There are the famous exceptions of course, but for every Joseph Addai there's a Chad Jackson.
So, let's take a look at the fantasy production of last year's big draft stars starting with the quarterbacks.
Matt Ryan (3rd overall) - The general post-draft consensus was that Ryan was very good, but the Falcons were very bad. If I had told you that Ryan would come within 75 passing yards of both Brett Favre and Tony Romo, you would've called me crazy (especially since Favre was retired at the time of last year's draft). But that's how it worked out, with Ryan starting all 16 games and finishing with 3,440 passing yards, 16 TDs and 11 INTs. That passing yardage total was good for 13th overall in the NFL. Oh yeah, and the Falcons went 11-5. I wish I'd put money on that. Ryan put forward about as good of a season as any rookie QB you're likely to see. Unfortunately, everybody will now expect the same thing from drafted QBs this season. Consider yourself warned Stafford.
|2008 - Matt Ryan||16||87.7||265||434||61.1||3440||215||7.9||16||11||55||104||6.5||1.9||1||17||104|
Joe Flacco (18th overall) - A quarterback from Delaware (I mean the University, not to insult the state) is not expected to become a solid starter in the NFL, but that's what Flacco turned out to be. He started all 16 games as well and finished with 2,971 pass yds, 14 TDs and 12 INTs. That's not great, but I bet somebody in your fantasy league started him for at least one week. Considering that the Ravens offense in general was pretty terrible, it's amazing Flacco put up stats that good.
|2008 - Joe Flacco||16||80.3||257||428||60||2971||185.7||6.9||14||12||52||180||11.3||3.5||2||32||276|
Conclusion: Last season we saw one very good fantasy performance, and one below average fantasy performance. Does Stafford and company have more or less than that in store for this season?