I’ve got the 1.01 in a smaller SuperFlex, TE-premium dynasty league. Every article in the world says to either take Trevor Lawrence at 1.01 or trade back and reap a windfall of trade capital. In either case, I’ll be set to dominate my league for the next decade!
Those articles also say that giving this even a moment’s thought is a terrible case of overthinking.
Well, let’s overthink.
While my example is a 10-team league, the same questions/thoughts apply to a 12-teamer.
Here’s what I’m wrestling with: First of all, I am 100-percent in lockstep with Matt Kelley’s suggestion that the best move with this year’s 1.01 is to trade back. But, so far, I’m not getting the Godfather offers that I was hoping for.
For now, I’m feeling Stranded on SuperFlex 1.01 Island.
Whether you hold the 1.01 or are considering buying it, let’s delve into the advanced stats and metrics to figure out what’s going on and what options we have.
There is now a glut of NFL QB talent – even for SuperFlex leagues. In 10- and 12-team leagues, every fantasy owner already has two-plus starting NFL quarterbacks. Even teams picking nearest the top of the draft already have a few usable ones. Six of 2020’s top 12 QBs in per-game fantasy scoring are age 25 or younger. Jalen Hurts, age 22, would have also been in that group had he played enough games to qualify. Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow also still hope to join the party.
Looking ahead, five QBs are projected to be first-round NFL draft picks this year, and will be available throughout a good portion of the first round of our rookie drafts. There are those who will opt for one of the top-three RBs (Travis Etienne, Najee Harris and Javonte Williams), Ja’Marr Chase, another WR, or Kyle Pitts. The other top 2021 QBs besides Trevor Lawrence are also highly-regarded in dynasty.
With the 1.01 – Ani Sridhar selects Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson@cstyles15 is On the Clock!#RWvsRU pic.twitter.com/m1IVXqeumX
— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) March 22, 2021
Looking further ahead, early projections call for as many as five more Round 1 QBs in 2022.
Simply put, there’s a lot of QB talent in the NFL already, more is on the way, and there’s only so much room at the top of the heap. That’s why Lawrence, as great as he will undoubtedly become, has a low-end QB1 dynasty ranking. And while, yes, a low-end QB1 is an excellent NFL player, what does that get us in fantasy over a middling signal caller?
In 2020, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger averaged 18.2 Fantasy Points per Game, tying for the No. 12 mark among qualified quarterbacks. The QB24, Mitchell Trubisky, averaged 16.0 Fantasy Points per Game. That’s a 2.2-point gain per week. And that 2.2-point gain has remained consistent for years now.
It’s a badge of honor to get roasted by @Fantasy_Mansion & @AnOutragedJew Here is a 90-sec clip of me taking jabs, hooks & body blows for drafting future GOAT Trevor Lawrence at 1.7 in our rookie mock.
Look for my rebuttal March 5th live stream! pic.twitter.com/RywJywTPjm
— Alan Seslowsky (@AlanSeslowsky) February 28, 2021
While no-doubt picks like Lawrence can help us gain those extra points, much less-exciting options like Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jared Goff, and even Carson Wentz all scored right around that QB24 mark in FFPG. These are not specific targets for 2021, but show the types always available for a lot less than Lawrence will cost this year.
Even in SuperFlex, QB streaming lives on in 2021!
Fantasy teams drafting late in the first round don’t need a QB. They have late picks because they have solid play at that spot already. They won’t pay a lot to get one – even for a top prospect, and certainly not a windfall. The teams that do need QB help also have early draft picks in 2021. They have two options:
- 1) Trade a boatload of picks and/or players for the 1.01 and Trevor Lawrence; or,
- 2) Keep their picks & players & just select the QB that falls to them – i.e., the NFL’s draft selection at No. 2, No. 3, or No. 4.
Why trade away so much for 1.01 when other top rookie prospects with similar pedigrees, if a bit lesser, can be had without giving up anything at all?
Lawrence the Prospect
I won’t besmirch Trevor Lawrence‘s prospect status at all. He’s going to be a great passer in the NFL. But, unlike the remaining geriatric wonders like the GOAT Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, new top QBs share an important trait – they can run.
Yes, everyone has seen Lawrence’s 67-yard run vs Ohio State in 2019. But is he really a running QB and can he be one in the NFL? In 2020, he rushed for 203 yards at 3.0 YPC across 10 games. That 20 yard/game total included his 90-yard Sugar Bowl performance against Notre Dame. Maybe he didn’t run because he didn’t have to, but it’ll be a projection to call him a running QB.
If he chooses to run, should we expect him to hold up as a running QB? He’s been measured at 6-6, 220-pounds, giving him a 25.4 BMI. Of todays’ star QBs, Patrick Mahomes is 6-3 and 230-pounds (28.7 BMI), Josh Allen is 6-5 and 237-pounds (28.1 BMI), Lamar Jackson is 6-2 and 216-pounds (27.7 BMI), and even little Kyler Murray is 5-10 and 207-pounds (29.7 BMI).
All have BMIs significantly higher than Lawrence’s.
Of the 99 active QBs in the PlayerProfiler database, only Mike Glennon (25.3 BMI), Kyle Sloter (25.0 BMI) and Brady (25.0 BMI) have lower BMI’s. Unless we’re certain Lawrence is the next GOAT and are willing to hang on to him for eight years before he reaches 30 TD passes and throw twice as many TD passes as interceptions, that’s a concern. And Brady doesn’t run. BMI certainly doesn’t bode well for Lawrence’s future as a runner.
PROSPECT REPORT – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson:https://t.co/3il1X7dN30
By @erik__davey pic.twitter.com/QbiJRPN10R
— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) January 20, 2021
PlayerProfiler’s Best Comparable Player for Lawrence is Peyton Manning. In 1999, Manning finished No. 4 in the NFL with 4,135 Passing Yards, 26 Passing TDs, 15 Interceptions and 16.0 Fantasy Points per Game. Those numbers – pedestrian by today’s standards – earned him a Pro Bowl invitation. Philip Rivers didn’t get an invite with those kind of numbers in 2020. Manning didn’t exceed 33 Passing TDs until his seventh season. This is not meant in any way to denigrate the Hall of Famer, but rather to note that even the greatest sometimes need time to really take off.
Lawrence has also been compared by many publications to Andrew Luck, whose career was actually a little more up-and-down than many realize. For the duration of his career, Luck threw half as many interceptions as touchdowns. He had just two truly standout seasons of the six he played. Again, climbing to the top of the hill at QB is very hard to do.
Our previous projections suggest Trevor Lawrence could add 2.2 Fantasy Points per Game to our SuperFlex scoring. How does that compare to other positions?
At WR, the No. 12-ranked Tyler Lockett averaged 16.6 Fantasy Points per Game. The No. 24-ranked JuJu Smith-Schuster, averaged 14.5 FFPG. That’s a 2.1 point-per-game difference.
At RB, the No. 12-ranked Josh Jacobs, averaged 15.4 Fantasy Points per Game. The No. 24-ranked Kenyan Drake averaged 12.8 FFPG. That’s a 2.6 point-per-game difference.
At TE, we won’t even bother looking since there aren’t 12 decent ones.
The case for Trevor Lawrence as a 1st Rnd dynasty rookie pick in 1Q format. @rotowiremario “wld draft TL at 1.4” (:90-sec clip)
Last week @Fantasy_Mansion & @AnOutragedJew skewered me the pick
?Full Video https://t.co/MW5aIb0QO0
?️Full Audio https://t.co/h0IP5yO5oW pic.twitter.com/NIDyMEYLUJ
— Alan Seslowsky (@AlanSeslowsky) March 5, 2021
As we noted earlier, the QB12 averaged 2.2 points more than QB24. Looking at these numbers, I’m not seeing how choosing a QB at 1.01 – even if it’s Lawrence – does not require a moment’s thought. Staying on 1.01 Island and choosing Lawrence sets you up with a good QB for a long time, but means foregoing similar gains that might be out there at other positions – e.g., Travis Etienne, Najee Harris, Javonte Williams, Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts.
So What to Do?
I’m going to continue to see if I can move that 1.01. Hopefully, I’ll get a good offer before a leaguemate reads this. But I’m now more open to moving back even a few spots if it lands me a streamable quarterback and an early pick that I can use on a skill position player based on my roster needs.
If I don’t move it, I might wait until NFL Draft night and see if that raises the excitement of landing Trevor Lawrence. If even that fails, I might just pick Lawrence, figuring he’ll carry that 1.01 draft capital well into the next offseason.
Or I’ll change my mind again…