Over the course of this season, I have written about my Quarterback metric, the ROPE Index, on a weekly basis, highlighting the most efficient passers in the NFL. I also dropped my new Quarterback WAR ratings a couple of weeks ago, which demonstrates each passer’s value to their team in terms of both wins compared to Mr Average or Mr Replacement, and fantasy points compared to both those fictitious entities. I have now decided to slam them both together in the same piece to produce an overarching view of who the best Quarterbacks are in ‘real’ terms, but also from a fantasy perspective (which is why you come to FakeTeams.com in the first place).
ROPE Index Rankings: Week 13 (min 100 pass attempts)
The top of the ROPE Index remains a titanic struggle between two future Hall of Famers, and this week its Drew Brees who has regained top spot. This was due to Tom Brady’s lowest rating since week 8 (54.5%), and the first time since week 1 where he didn’t throw a touchdown pass. Drew Brees on the other hand was his usual efficient self, posting a 65.2% rating, the ninth time this season he has been over 60% in a season where the league average remains below 50% (49.8%). Brees remains head and shoulders above any other quarterback with a 71.6% completion percentage and is doing it at 8.1 yards per attempt (4th in the league). Compare that to a year ago when Sam Bradford broke Brees’ completion percentage record, but averaged just 7.0 yards per attempt in doing so (18th of QBs with at least 10 starts).
Despite not being able to lead the Chiefs to victory against the Jets, Alex Smith was back on track as he posted a 72.7% rating (the 3rd highest in week 13). Smith threw for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns, and moved up a spot to third overall with a season long rating of 62.1%, which is still on course to be his best ever by quite a distance. Smith’s 37.6 fantasy points against the Jets, helped by a 70-yard run, were the most by a quarterback in 2017.
Matt Ryan dropped from third to fifth after he posted his lowest ROPE rating (43.9%) since week 4, as he ended his streak of games with a touchdown pass at 30. Case Keenum is up to 4th as he continues his hot streak in Minnesota and posted a 66.7% rating as he led the Vikings past the Falcons. Keenum is the second rated quarterback over the last month behind Drew Brees and at this point, we surely must start considering his play in its own right and stop comparing it to his time with the Rams.
The top rating of week 13 came from the arm of Josh McCown, who posted a 78.8% rating in the Jets’ victory over the Chiefs. Its McCown’s second highest rating ever in his 16-year career, and his best since 2013 when he was with the Bears.
Blake Bortles had the second highest rating of week 13 with a 77.3% rating and it helped boost his overall position from 29th to 24th, the highest climber of the week.
The lowest ROPE rating of week 13 came from poor old Tyrod Taylor, who was hurt on the first play of the game against the Patriots and struggled on to throw for just 65 yards and a goal line interception as he posted a 4.5% rating, his second rating of under 10% this season. His 3.8 fantasy points weren’t the worst of the week however as Taylor’s backup Nathan Peterman managed 2.9 points in his 15-attempt spot duty.
WAA/WAR Ratings: Week 13 (min 6 games)
Its been three weeks since I last posted the Wins Above Average/Replacement ratings, but Drew Brees remains in top spot, contributing over 3 wins to the Saints’ 10-2 record compared to the league average quarterback and just under 5 additional wins compared to a replacement level player. Like with the RODS rankings above, Brees and Tom Brady are neck and neck with 4 weeks to go of the regular season, and looking at the remaining schedule, Brees has the slight advantage as his remaining schedule has a 23-25 2017 record (Falcons twice, Jets and Buccs), compared to Brady’s opponent’s 26-22 record (Dolphins, Steelers, Bills, Jets).
Beyond the top two, no other quarterback has contributed more than two wins to their team’s season, with Alex Smith leading the pack. This is interesting given the noise in recent weeks with some quarters calling for Smith to be replaced by rookie Patrick Mahomes. How much he’s having to make up for a lousy defense (29th in my RODS rankings) is clear when his play is compared to the average/replacement quarterback in the league.
Cam Newton, Blake Bortles and Joe Flacco remain the the only quarterbacks on winning teams who are negatively contributing to the their teams with their play when compared to the league average, with only Flacco a negative compared to a replacement player. The data suggests the Ravens would be challenging the Steelers for top spot in the AFC North if they could get even get average play from their signal caller.
Deshone Kizer remains as the worst quarterback in the WAA/WAR ratings, suggesting that the Browns could have as many three wins with an average quarterback, and even two with a replacement.
FPAA/FPAR Ratings: Week 13 (min 6 games)
Russell Wilson remains the top rated quarterback compared to the average/replacement player in fantasy terms. Wilson has moved forward his numbers over the past 3 weeks, contributing an additional point more than the league average quarterback (5.29 vs 4.31) and 1.7 points more than the league replacement level player (7.35 vs 5.66). Wilson remains a fantasy MVP contender and is head and shoulders ahead of any other active quarterback in FPAA and FPAR.
Carson Wentz has moved up one place to third over the past three weeks, contributing a 3.66 FPAA and 5.66 FPAR in 2017, and is six places higher than his WAA rating and seven places ahead of his ROPE Index ranking.
Cam Newton remains as the quarterback whose FPAA ranking is the most places ahead of his WAA ranking at 6th in FPAA vs 21st in WAA. Newton has 515 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns, both leading the league among quarterbacks in 2017.
Joe Flacco remains the quarterback with the lowest FPAA/FPAR, posting almost 4 points per game less than the league average quarterback, and two points less than a replacement player.