Everyone who plays football dreams of being the quarterback, envisioning themselves stepping forward and launching the game-winning touchdown. In today’s game, stepping forward and scrambling for the game-winning touchdown. What happens when you ride that dream all the way to the doorway of the NFL, you knock on that door, and the scouts tell you: You’re good, just not good enough… to play quarterback that is?
Do you ignore them like the Tim Tebows and the Vince Youngs? Do you refuse to change and then wise-up like Terrelle Pryor or Logan Thomas? Or do you become a converted quarterback? Switch positions and basically switch your whole life, relearn everything you thought you knew and pray that your confidence pays off. See Julian Edelman, Matt Jones, and Ronald Curry.
You may not have to ever make that decision. We have choices as fantasy owners: Are converted quarterbacks worth trusting in fantasy. I am going to apply a reading, writing and arithmetic method on making that choice. Welcome to the ABC’s of the converted quarterback.
Are they adaptable? If you are thinking of taking a rookie wideout that just converted, maybe you should reconsider. In 2015, Pryor took a redshirt year and watched before he jumped in. The following 2016 season he had a mediocre year of 201 fantasy points (about a 12.5 point average). He would have definitely put up better numbers as the Browns quarterback, had he been their starter.
Julian Edelman recorded 37 receptions with an average of under 10 yards per catch in his first season. Matt Jones, a first-round draft pick, had the same numbers as Edleman. Let’s give them two or three years to see if they can figure it out. Sorry, Matt Jones was gone from the league in four. All of them, as a result, struggled to average 50 percent of passes their way in their early years.
Next, can they take the beating? Quarterbacks take a beating, no doubt, but there is a different risk from getting blindsided every once in a while to running five-yard crosses over the middle into 250 plus pound linebackers. Can they take that constant beating and get up?
Edelman has only played 16 games twice in his career and Pryor was hurt early last year and missed the rest of the season. Most importantly, will they produce down the stretch when your season is on the line? Also, if you look at the second half of Pryor’s numbers, he only went over 100 yards once, and he had just three games over 5 receptions with zero touchdowns.
Can they remain consistent? Edelman has, when healthy, remained consistent. Pryor we will have to see, in this make or break year with the Jets (I do not recommend picking him up there). Will they not only put up the 30 points one week (probably when you have them on the bench) but can they keep those 15 and 20 point games week in and week out for the whole year.
The last thing you have to ask is, in a game against the best team in your league can you Depend on any of these guys to be a number 2 or flex guy knowing you need the win? My answer, no. There is probably a player on your team or in free agency that would be a better option.
When surveying the landscape of converted quarterbacks, right now, without a doubt, if healthy and with Tom Brady under center, your best option is Edleman.
I see Braxton Miller putting in the work and becoming a reliable flex option or fill in on bye weeks this year or next. If Lamar Jackson decides he wants to make this transition in the coming years, I hope he is willing to relearn the ABC’s.