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The Spotlight Series
A Footballguys Spotlight is an in-depth look at a player. His plusses and minuses are examined, and we give you our bottom-line stance on his 2022 prospects. If a player listed below doesn't yet have a link, don't worry. It's coming soon.
More than a Consolation Prize
For years, Philip Rivers was the fantasy quarterback nobody really wanted to draft but begrudgingly did so after all the consensus top-10 options were off the board. And most seasons, the fantasy managers who ‘settled’ for Rivers ended up getting a valuable asset at a discount draft price. Kirk Cousins has grabbed that baton in recent years and now holds the dubious honor of “QB Consolation Prize.” While the rationale driving draft indifference is understandable, that doesn’t mean it’s accurate. This year, Cousins provides the high floor endemic of his consolation prize label but offers the same elite upside that drives many to reach for less proven, young quarterbacks.
- He almost always outperforms his average draft position (ADP)
- He’s almost always a top-12 quarterback
- He’s performed at a high level amid unfathomable coaching volatility
- A new coaching staff and offensive system puts a top-five finish within reach
A Consistent ADP Value
A disproportionate percentage of fantasy managers try to wait on drafting quarterbacks. They believe there’s little difference between passers after the first few quarterbacks come off the board and try to time their quarterback selections to capture the bottom end of a tier of players they see as roughly equivalent. The problem is most fantasy managers get it wrong. If six of twelve people in your league wait to take the “last viable quarterback,” by definition, most of them miscalculate.
Kirk Cousins has been a full-time starter for seven seasons. Take a look at his ADP and his season-ending fantasy rankings:
TABLE: Kirk Cousins’ Annual ADP vs. Year-End Fantasy Ranking
On average, Cousins has been drafted 17th (16.9) and finished 10th (9.6), outperforming his draft position by more than seven spots. You won’t find another veteran at any position with that kind of value arbitrage. It never happens because most players eventually get over-drafted after a few strong seasons. As important, Cousins has never busted. At worst, he’s finished one spot lower than his ADP.
(Almost) Always a Top-12 Quarterback
TABLE: Kirk Cousins’ Year-End Fantasy Ranking
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