Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
While we continue to watch and wait as NFL players and owners go through their legal gyrations, we should not let this idle time go to waste.
If, as Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" then we must always go back over our previous year's performance to see where we can improve.
In today's investigation, we are going to look back at the 2010 Draft Day. Using RapidDraft's ADP lists from July 7th (before training camp) and August 31st (end of the exhibition season) we will evaluate those players who moved up or down significantly.
Who were the rising stars, why were they moving up and did they meet expectations? And we will also look at who was dropping, why and did they play better or worse than expectations?
Today we will start with the quarterback position.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 7 ADP 92, August 31 ADP 107) - In spite of Manning coming off his best season as a pro (4,021 yards 27 TDs, 14 INTs in 2009) and having a very good receiving corp including Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, Manning's ADP dropped 15 points in the seven weeks from the start of camp to the last preseason game. The reason was likely a blow to the head Manning suffered in the first preseason game that required 12 stitches to close and caused him to miss some time under center. Manning threw for about as many yards and four more touchdowns than 2009, but also led the league with 25 interceptions. It appears that fantasy owners were accurate in their dropping Manning a round before selecting him.
Brett Favre, Minnesota (July 7 ADP 71, August 31 ADP 125) - Fantasy owners correctly analyzed the Vikings situation. The loss of star wideout Sidney Rice and Favre's annual "should I play or retire" dance left owners thinking Favre wouldn't be able to perform well and they were right. Favre finished 2010 with 2,509 yards, 11 TDs, 19 INTs and a seat on the bench watching Joe Webb play.
Donovan McNabb, Washington (July 7 ADP 125, August 31 ADP 140) - Fantasy owners were right again, seeing that McNabb wasn't grasping the offense quickly enough after so many years in the Eagles pass-happy strategy. McNabb had one good game in Week 2 against Houston (didn't everyone abuse the Texans' pass defense) but for the season threw 14 TDs, 15 INTs and had a career-low 77.1 quarterback rating.
Matt Moore, Carolina (July 7 ADP 178, August 31 ADP 196) - Despite a solid finish to 2009, many apparently didn't like what they saw in the exhibition season and his ADP dropped 18 points. Injuries and poor play led to Moore playing just six regular season games, throwing five touchdowns vs. 10 interceptions and a 55.6 QB rating.
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (July 7 ADP 207, August 31 ADP 229) - We were all wrong on the young Buccaneers' quarterback. Despite a group of no-name receivers, Freeman produced much better than expected. He was the 24th quarterback off the board, but finished the year ranked No.9 after throwing for 3,451 yards and 25 TDs against just six interceptions.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (July 7 ADP 199, August 31 ADP 233) - Sanchez's drop of 34 points could be attributed to offseason knee surgery and a mediocre preseason. The regular season was a mixed bag. Sanchez was good in the first four games, throwing eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions, but in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 - 16) he was ugly with just one touchdown pass and two interceptions.
In five out of six cases where there was a significant move in ADP, fantasy owners were correct in their analysis. The information you should take from this for the 2011 season, assuming there is one, is that when you see a big change in a quarterback's ADP you should probably believe in the direction he is headed and draft, or not draft him, accordingly.