The Tricks of the Trade - Rags To Riches - QB & TE Edition - Clock Dodgers
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The Tricks of the Trade – Rags To Riches – QB & TE Edition

tricks of the trade


The Tricks of the Trade with @TradeMastaur

Rags To Riches Edition



Welcome back to the Tricks of The Trade as we take a look into some players that you should draft a bit later anyway, QB’s and TE’s. If you didn’t check out my last two article on RB’s and WR’s that’s OK because there’s a bit of a different approach to these players below. With only needing to start 12 QB’s and 12 TE’s each week there are less possibilities for the original Rags to Riches concept, however I’m not abandoning it entirely. Typically in the previous articles the players chosen had high ADP’s and disappointed, but many of the TE’s for instance weren’t even guys that were drafted in 12 team leagues. I want to focus more closely on players at great values along past players who have disappointed and not much is being expected from them again this year. First though, a little bit about how I handle TE’s and QB’s in drafts.

For the reasons mentioned above that you only need to start one at each position in most non-superflex leagues I tend to let QB/TE slide to later in drafts. Sure it feels great to look down mid draft to see Aaaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce on your team until the draft ends and there appears to be a hole in your roster. Everyone else has another tier 2 or 3 guy at RB or WR and you don’t. Instead I like to take the tactic of bundling some guys late in the draft. Take a shot on some lower end high potential guys to fill these slots. As always, if the value is right I’ll take a guy that’s fallen and deviate from my typical plan, but I’m not one to reach at QB/TE. So let these names below be guys you consider if you feel the same way as I do or you’re mocking to try it out. Enough about my strategy, let’s go.



ADP Data is based on ranks from 2016 and end of year position is from based in PPR scoring format also from 2016


Andy Dalton- 2016 ADP for QB’s: 17  / End of Year Ranking: 13

I don’t know what it is about Andy. Maybe it’s the horrible nick name, The Red Rocket. Maybe it’s the eye searing red hair. Maybe it’s the fact that his name is Andy. Whatever it is one thing’s for sure, someone is gonna either think or possibly yell, “YOU CAN HAVE EM!” once that button is clicked or sticker is posted on the board. He’s just not someone that gives you confidence or excitement in fantasy football, but maybe he should be.

The Bengals just haven’t been getting it done in the Marvin Lewis era. A lot of run first mentality has made these cats feel like a throwback team in a time where they are the only one, and for good reason, because it doesn’t work. The game is tailored to spreading the field and throwing the football, and all indications are leading towards letting this Bengals offense become just that. Spread Air Raid offense is the term being thrown around for the Bengals and there is just no way this doesn’t aid Dalton. There’s a lot of talk about adding Mixon to bolster the run game but they also drafted John Ross to work on creating space by way of his speed. Joe Mixon is also a fantastic receiving RB that lends itself very well to the spread style offense. A.J Green, Tyler Eifert, John Ross, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, Cody Core and Joe Mixon sounds like a team that the spread may just work.

I’m not here to tell you to draft Dalton as your QB1 in a 12 team league, but if you’re like me and wait on QB’s, he’ll be one of the guys I bundle towards the back end of the draft.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range Round 11th – 12th Round

Carson Wentz- 2016 ADP for QB’s: N/A  / End of Year Ranking: 24

All right, yea fine, I’m a massive Wentz homer. For that I feel like I gotta bring more than just the eye test or concept to prove my call here. I don’t like just focusing on stats too intensively, but this QB had a tale of two seasons and the stats will show it. After week 4 Carson Wentz lost arguably the best right tackle in football in Lane Johnson and the rookie QB’s season went down with it. Johnson was suspended 10 games for violating the substance abuse policy for performance enhancing drugs in what I found to be a suspicious and poorly conducted investigation, but I won’t go there. The statistical splits from having Lane to not, are noticeable to say the least.

Weeks 1-4  / 16-17: Yards/G: 234 TD/INT: 10-2 Completion Percentage 64.1% Passer Rating 96.9
Weeks 5-14: Yards/G: 237 TD/INT: 6-12 Completion Percentage 60.5% Passer Rating 70.2

Aside from yard per game you can see for yourself the efficiency and overall effectiveness of the Eagles 2nd overall pick had a nasty drop off. However, let’s focus on those 6 games with Lane. If you compounded out those game stats in a 16 game season you’re looking at a 27 TD and 5 INT season for Wentz. I understand how arbitrary that computation is and how trends of the season can take teams another way. So let’s add in a 10% regression for being a rookie and dealing with the bumps and learning curves that come with being as such. That still comes out to a 24 TD 7 INT season. That’s getting closer to a QB1 even with the regression and a marked improvement from 16 TD 14 INT.

Now, we just cannot write off who Carson was throwing the ball to in 2016. I mentioned similar notes in the Alshon WR section, but the WR play was embarrassing.  Incorrect routes, dropped balls, jogging on slants, turning the wrong way, running into each others lines, the list almost literally doesn’t end. Here in 2017 Wentz has a true stud X receiver in Jeffrey, a stretch Y in Torrey Smith, Matthews gets to settle into the slot as a complimentary piece instead of the main focal point of the pass game, along with an assortment of other weapons such as Sproles, Ertz, Pumphrey , and a Nelson Agholor who’s getting a lot of praise in mini camp. I know a lot of analysts are not on board with Wentz this year pushing into the top 15 but I’m seeing a huge leap into the fray for the 2nd year North Dakota stand out.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range Early 12th Round

Brian Hoyer- ADP for QB’s: N/A / End of Year Rankings: 31

I’ll keep this short because his time in SF may be just that, but while he’s playing, Hoyer is going to put up numbers. His seasons and opportunities always seem cut off by injury or replacement, but Hoyer is the biggest $5,200 Draft Kings no brainer in my line ups each week when he’s getting the start.  Add in Kyle Shanahan and a revamped WR core with Garcon and Woods and I feel like there’s fantasy points to be accumulated at least in the early half of the year.

This is probably not a guy you’re going to roll into week one as your 10-12 team starter but deeper leagues and especially superflex he’s being undervalued. A full season of Brian Hoyer would probably produce top 20 and he’s an afterthought to most fantasy players. He’s definitely worth a shot as one of your last picks of 2017.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range Last Round before Kicker/Def\

Joe Flacco- ADP for QB’s: N/A  /  End of Year Rankings: 20

If Joe’s going to find a way to be a relevant fantasy producer I think this is his year to make it happen. The puzzle pieces have arranged themselves quite nicely in Baltimore and this team feels like it could be a bit of a sleeper in the AFC. His weapons truly suit everything he likes to do with the football. He has his deep threat in Wallace and quite frankly Maclin as well. Mac is as sure handed as they come and he may not be a burner but he has a savvy nose for the deep ball, which you may not know or just have forgotten from his time he spent in WR purgatory with Alex Smith. Perriman is the wildcard that could emerge as an all around big pay threat that Flacco has never really had. Lastly, is a guy people appreciate but still are undervaluing and that’s Danny Woodhead. Flacco throws a lot of balls to his RB’s. He even made Buck Allen appear like an actually fantasy asset for a few weeks. Ray Rice was a top 5 overall fantasy draft pick under Flacco from the reception work, and Joe Cool hasn’t had an effective pass catching RB since Rice. He’s got everything he needs to put together a career year, but will he?

Flacco is another guy I’m going to look to bundle in drafts where I truly wait on QB. He won’t cost much at all and you can always part ways by week 4-5 if it’s not coming together, but I’d like to take a few shots here.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range 14th Round

Jack Doyle- ADP for TE’s: N/A / End of Year Rankings: 13

Jack Doyle huh? What a football name, and his play doesn’t let us down either. Jack Doyle is the guy you overlook in coverage and before you know it he’s snuck behind you putting 6 on the board. Easy comparison, but I can’t help but see Dallas Clark when it comes to Doyle. He doesn’t have elite anything, aside from maybe his football sense but when it comes to maneuvering through the middle of the field that’s paramount. You then must consider how Luck leans on TE’s in the redzone. Dwayne Allen was the most TD dependent TE outside maybe Hunter Henry, but you still felt like you could trust him in a spot start to get that TD.

I legitimately would not be shocked to see Doyle end up in the top 5 this year in TE’s. He’s going to have a solid floor and be a player you can grab late, start every week, and forget about. Down 10, the Colts play on Monday Night, and you’re feeling tired from the workday? Go to bed, Jack will hand deliver that W for you with your Tuesday morning coffee.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range 10th – 11th Round

Ben Watson- ADP for TE’s: N/A  / End of Year Rankings: N/A

I omitted any talk about Flacco and his love for TE’s in his section above to focus on that here with Watson. By default I believe Watson has to enter your back end TE situation on draft day. Pitta’s career is probably over and that lends itself to the veteran Watson having possibly one last meaningful fantasy season. Ben did it on the Saints 2 years ago and then suffered his own injury last year. He’s a big target that doesn’t shy from contact over the middle and has been relatively durable through out his career. If the Flacco we know remains then there will be plenty of safety valve work for him, but if Joe takes the next step then there will be more redzone work for Ben.

This is an enviable position to be in for Watson and his fantasy owner. Backing up a high risk, high reward TE with Watson can give you that security if per say the Chargers still aren’t ready to give Hunter Henry the keys to the kingdom.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range Last Round before Kicker/Def

Jesse James- ADP for TE’s: N/A  / End of Year Rankings: 30

Before James had this starting job the Steelers went out and paid a little bit to take a shot on LaDarius Green. Maybe the Steelers are beginning to understand that they are a prolific offense that isn’t exactly taking advantage of the big man in the middle of the field. James and Roethlisberger spent time this off-season training and working up a rapport and those kinds of moves tend to pay dividends in the regular season.

James is probably destined for another low end TE2 season but the TE 10-20 isn’t typically separated by more than 20-30 points. The draft position of those 10-15 guys will be drastically more than James, who you can probably grab in the last few rounds of your draft. I’d rather have James in the 14th than a guy like Coby Fleener a few rounds earlier.

  • 12 Team PPR Draft Range Last Round before Kicker/Def

The Wrap Up

Here we are, we’ve made it through to the end. I’d be shocked if I kept half of you around based on the players I’m telling you to trust, but we’ve weeded through the pack mentality and are embracing 2nd chances down here. QB’s and TE’s aren’t the picks that make anyone react during your draft and get you the “great pick!” from the guy who thinks he already knows how the 2017 season is going to turn out, but selecting the right ones at the right time is so important to a successful draft. Let the high priced guys go and get yourself loaded up on RB/WR. Take it from me; TE’s and QB’s are the most infrequent topics of the countless trades I’m asked about each year. It’s all about the skill players, so make sure you’re the guy people are calling up because Donte Moncrief is your WR4 and he’s breaking out.

So I hoped you’ll give some of these guys another shot this year. Fantasy is a week to week game and sometimes even as little as play by play. Guys show flash on a drive and next thing you know his touches just doubled in the coach’s mind because he saw something he wants to exploit each week. It almost doesn’t pay to swear a guy off, so keep an open mind when these players start to approach your draft board and maybe we can both find ways to some championships this year.

As always you can find me on the Fantasy Life App as @trademastaur or on twitter @TradeMFLA and let me know your thoughts on these articles anytime. Be sure to hop around the rest of for one of a kind content, as well as the staying up to date on the pod with Neal.  


From the little man and me, until next time.

tricks of the trade

Tyler Coulter
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Tyler Coulter

Writer - The Tricks of the Trade

Chat with me on the Fantasy Life App @trademastaur
Tyler Coulter
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