Fantasy Football Draft Prep, Part 1 - Fake Quarterbacks

By Ben Johnson

Hey all you fantasy football fans and shut-ins and confused significant others, it’s that time of year again: fantasy football draft season! This is that all-important few weeks when you research all the football players, good and bad, and then come up with opinions about those football players in anticipation of deciding which football players to put on a fake team that might compile more football statistics than your friends’ fake teams, and win you an extremely modest amount of money compared with the number of hours you’ll spend deciding what to do with your fake football team. It’s great!

One thing you might have noticed, if you’re trying to put together a fantasy football team this year is that nobody knows the future. Even extremely smart people. The outcome of the future is based on a series of interwoven events that are too numerous for the correct permutation to be calculated. Even if the future could be predicted, there would be no special way to assess the potential inevitability of a particular outcome. The actual future would just unceremoniously disgorge itself out of a supercomputer as some random statistical glitch, no more likely to occur than any other possible future, and easily dismissed as far too unlikely to even be considered by “experts.” It’s almost like life itself is unpredictable and unknowable.

Put it to you this way: there are “experts” out there whose job it is to pretend to know more about the likelihood of certain future football guy-related events than you do, and whose expertise you can borrow and palm off as your own when you’re talking to your friends about football guys. Keep in mind, you’ll never know the future, and neither will any of these experts, but if you do make an educated guess about what the future might be and you turn out later to be correct (completely by accident), think of the satisfaction you will feel. You will have been “right” about the future. You can claim that. Even though it was just random chance. People will think you’re so smart. They won’t have a choice. The alternative is to recognize the relative insignificance of all life in the face of the universe’s yawning infinity.

Maybe thinking about this bothers you. Don’t let it. The arrogant, delusory claim of human intelligence, rather than luck. explaining any fortuitous outcome is pretty much the basis of our entire economy, if not the single most recognizable through line of our species’ checkered history. It’s a sham! We’re all going to die someday, and we don’t know how, we have no control over anything, and that’s never going to change. LET’S PLAY SOME FUCKING FOOTBALL.

Quarterbacks:
The traditional wisdom on drafting a fantasy football quarterback is that even though quarterbacks are traditionally the highest-scoring positions in fantasy football, they’re not worth as much to your fantasy team’s roster as other positions. This is because most fantasy football leagues are comprised of ten or 12 teams, and quarterbacks retain their fantasy-scoring value relatively well from the first through the twelfth best options at the position, so the twelfth best quarterback is relatively more valuable than the twelfth best running back. It doesn’t matter. Nothing does. You are eating away at the precious minutes you’ve been allowed to spend existing.

Here are some quick thoughts on some of this year’s relevant quarterbacks:

AARON RODGERS: Though he was voted the NFL’s Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press last year, Rodgers also has a history of concussions, which, according to recent medical research, indicates he is a likely candidate to suffer from CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE is an incurable degenerative neurological disorder caused by repeated blows to the head that in effect rots the brain and leaves the victim prone to dementia, memory loss, aggression, confusion, and depression. Basically, CTE turns football players into raging monster millionaires with constant headaches who don’t know what’s going on and sometimes fight people in nightclubs. That’s just what football does to some people, and especially quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger who make a habit of holding onto the ball too long early in their careers. Draft Rodgers in the late first round or early in the second, in case he freaks out and kills a stripper during his bye week.

CAM NEWTON: Newton won the Heisman Trophy as the best college football player in 2010, amid controversy. I’m not sure what the controversy was about, but it probably had something to do with his wanting some portion of the huge amount of money that the college football apparatus made as a direct result of his being a fun football player to watch. (You’re not supposed to make any money from playing college football, because they give you a free ticket to college instead of money.) As if going to college has helped anybody in the last 15 years. Anyhow, people didn’t expect Cam Newton to be good at football in the NFL right away, because he’s black (people think black quarterbacks are stupider than white quarterbacks) and, even worse than being black, he was one of those black guys who wanted money instead of just free college classes in “Historical Analysis of Who Ate What Food.” Turns out he’s VERY good at football. Buy him and own him in the second round if you choose to do that.

PEYTON MANNING: One of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football, Manning sat out all of last year in the wake of several neck surgeries, and during the offseason was dropped by his former employers, the Indianapolis Colts, and picked up by the Denver Broncos. Two of his neck vertebrae are now fused together. I am not a doctor, but I think he could die. Take him in the fourth or fifth round of your draft, as he should contribute as anywhere between the eighth to fortieth-best fantasy quarterback this year.

ROBERT GRIFFIN III: 2011 Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin should be a good quarterback. Nobody knows how good of a quarterback he will be because he’s a rookie this year and he hasn’t played football in the NFL yet, and nobody knows what the future is. Most people think he will eventually be a great quarterback, but nobody knows if he will be a great quarterback THIS YEAR. Nobody is guaranteed to be great right away, but with Griffin, people are not really worried about it because he’s an “articulate” Christian, and a “good kid” with “strong character” and “excellent work ethic,” which are all code words for “not one of those big dumb scary lazy black guys, more like a white guy who happened to be a black guy by accident, so DON’T WORRY that you’re in the wrong neighborhood if you see his picture on a billboard.” He will play for the Washington Redskins, which is a team traditionally comprised of big dumb scary lazy black guys (yikes), so he could break either way. Buy him and own him in the sixth round if he’s available and you feel like it.

ANDY DALTON: is also a quarterback too. I don’t know.

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