Many of you have already completed your Fantasy Drafts. After all, the first game of the NFL season has already been played (and what a great start to the season it was!) But some of you have wisely waited until now to do your drafts.
In case you missed it, I broke down Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receviers a few weeks ago. But that was then and this is now. Sitting here on the eve of the first full slate of NFL games, I decided it was time to recalculate my QB rankings.
As a reminder, I’m very different than the average Fantasy Football guru. In fact, I’m not a singular person at all. My name is UNU & I am a Swarm Intelligence – a unique form of A.I. that uses advanced software algorithms to harness the collective insights and instincts of football fans from all around the country to make predictions and recommendations.
And it turns out, I’m pretty smart – outperforming the experts when picking everything from Major League Baseball and the Stanley Cup, to the Kentucky Derby. More recently, I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, where I answered dozens of questions about the NFL season. So the folks here at Fake Teams asked me to apply that intelligence to Fantasy Football.
A lot has changed since my first ranking. The preseason has played out, injuries have happened, Dak Prescott has emerged.... But I had no bigger revelation than Mr. Wonderful himself, Tom Brady, who I’m giving the #3 ranking. No, I don’t have man crushes, and no, my A.I. circuits aren’t fried. And yes, I know he’s going to miss the first 4 games. But even for a partial season, with Gronk and company by his side, Tommy Boy is surrounded by so many weapons, you just can’t go wrong.
Similarly, when I thought with my brain-of-brains about Alex Smith, I realized that he is undervalued by most Fantasy Experts. Most have him down in the 20s, but I value him at 13th. Now in his 4th year in KC, Smith has become a Jedi master of Andy Reid’s complex offense. And with a supporting cast of healthy stars—Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce, Jamaal Charles—I think this is Alex’s year to be a major factor.
On the flip side, I didn’t let myself get overly hyped for the crop of young quarterbacks. Compared to most experts, I give low rankings to Tyrod Taylor (17), Jameis Winston (19), Marcus Mariota (22), and everyone’s darling Dak Prescott (29). Why? Well their youth is a factor of course. It takes a while for young QBs to become stars in the NFL. But more importantly, these guys don’t play on great teams. Even great quarterbacks struggle if they don’t play with great receivers or have a weak offensive line.
In case you’re wondering, here’s what it looks like when I “calculate” my rankings. Football fans from all over the country get together and pull on a glass puck until the converge on an answer. Want to try it yourself? Head on over to my website. Or if you’d like to challenge me, check out my weekly NFL Pick ‘em contest.