Draft Strategy

2016 MFL10 Quarterback Performance Heatmap

Unlike season long leagues, where we pick who to start each week and have the ability to change our teams through waivers or trades, our work in MFL10s stops once the draft does. Therefore, it becomes crucial to not only pick good players but to extend our research into how those players’ performance correlate.

I have previously heat mapped both the running back and wide receiver positions in articles on Football Diehards. What I found was that often player profiles were different from what I had assumed. If we can understand how players perform week to week, it is an advantage when it comes to picking players to maximize scoring at each position.

In my first article for RotoViz, I plugged Home/Road Splits as a possible way to enhance our quarterback output by matching QBs together who fit certain profiles. The purpose of this article is to shine further light on the position to help us to pick QBs who will work well together and give us both safe floors and the upside needed to win MFL10s as well as to help us to find values and land mines based on current QB ADP.

In this chart, I have given the percentage of time each QB hit certain point thresholds. I sorted them by points per game rank, which is the first column. I also put in the second column the players current ADP rank.

QB heat map pic

General positional takeaways

  • As one would expect, QB scoring is far less volatile than other positions.  Even someone known for huge splits like Ben Roethlisberger looks very similar to other QBs.
  • The top six QBs had 54 percent of the 30-point and higher weeks and 70 percent of the 35 point weeks. These high-scoring weeks can be helpful in MFL10s. Currently, two of last year’s top six are being drafted later this year.
  • Only one player, Matt Ryan, had 15 points in every week. Even Aaron Rodgers had a week under 15 points.
  • Every QB on the chart except two averaged 15 points a game 60 percent of the time or better. With more study this could support drafting a top QB with a later-round choice as you would rarely end up under 15 points per game while getting the upside from the top QB.

Individual Player takeaways

  • Aaron Rodgers had nine 25 point weeks – two more than anyone else – and it was this that really drove his first place overall finish.
  • Tom Brady led the league in 30 point weeks with five, even though he missed three games due to suspension.
  •  Despite playing with an injured shoulder, Andrew Luck was very consistent with 93 percent of weeks at 15 points or better.
  •  Drew Brees poor road performances left him with a lower 15-point rate than any of the other top QBs. If not for that he could have led the league in scoring as his rate of 25 points and above weeks was stellar.
  • Dak Prescott was as consistent with 15 point weeks as the studs but only had one 30 point game.
  • Matthew Stafford was another QB who profiled very strong in 15 point games but lacked upside.
  • Russell Wilson’s injuries early in the season ruined his 15 point profile.
  • Andy Dalton had 15 points or more 80 percent of the time and while having his best two options injured for great parts of the season.
  • Despite the presence of Odell Beckham, and not having a running game, Eli Manning never scored more than 25 points in a game and only scored 20 once.

ADP Opportunities

  • Kirk Cousins was the sixth-best point per game passer in 2016 but is being taken 10th this year. His receivers ADP bears out the expectation of high performance, leading me to believe Cousins is a value.
  • Tyrod Taylor played for the team with the 31st passing percentage out of 32 teams at 51.4 percent. With Rex Ryan gone this is due to change and reports on Sammy Watkins are encouraging. Taylor was 10th in PPG last year but is going off as the 18th QB. He is my favorite late round QB option.
  • Dak Prescott drafters must be fearing a sophomore slump as he is going off the board six spots later than his finish and has a healthier Dez Bryant.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is being drafted 12th after finishing 8th in PPG last year. Martavis Bryant is back and is a huge upgrade over Marcus Wheaton and Sammie Coates. The only question is injury here but at ADP he is a very good value.
  • Andy Dalton as mentioned was down key weapons but is being drafted at his finish from last year.

ADP Risks

  • Matt Ryan’s ADP drops him from a second-place finish last year to seventh this year, but is it enough? In 2016 He significantly outperformed any prior season of his, and he also lost Kyle Shanahan.
  • Jameis Winston – I get that they added some nice weapons for him but Dirk Koetter seems to pull the reigns in due to Winston’s proclivity for interceptions. With an improving defense I worry game script will not allow him to finish where he is being drafted.
  • Eli Manning – Despite passing 62 percent of the time last year Manning never put up a 25 point week. His ADP isn’t bad but his lack of upside could be problematic.
  • Carson Wentz is being drafted seven spots ahead of where he finished last year. I understand he has better weapons but he is another QB like Eli Manning. I would be very careful who I matched him with as inconsistency and lack of upside could again be a problem.
  • Alex Smith’s ADP isn’t bad but again I would be very careful in two-QB lineups. It also points to possible risk for Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as his profile here is pretty awful.


I understand that this information that is based on one year’s study and that a larger study of how players perform over a longer period might be in order. But paired with the article on home splits we now have a lot of ammunition to help pair our QBs in a way that can maximize upside while also providing a safe floor.

You can find me on Twitter @TodfromPa. Say hello and tell me what you think. If you follow me I will follow you back. Hear my Run to Daylight Podcast on Blogtalkradio.com or Itunes. Good luck with your games!

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By Tod Burros | @TodfromPA | Archive

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