Yeah, that’s right, Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m kind of surprised myself to be writing this but I like a lot of things about his situation this year and he is a low risk draft pick. Hopefully I can convince you that Ryan Fitzpatrick will far exceed his current ADP and can even be a viable spot starter for you during the 2011 season.
Here are the statistics for all you number crunchers; they’re nothing to blow your socks off, but they shouldn’t be ignored. In 2010, Ryan Fitzpatrick had zero support from his coaching staff, until he started playing. In 13 games he averaged an impressive 20.7 points per game, ranking himself 10th in the league ahead of the likes of Eli Manning, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub, to my surprise. His touchdown to interception ratio was decent at 23/15 to go along with an even 3,000 yards but I am expecting an improvement in those numbers, especially on the interception side to help bump his PPG even higher for 2011. With only 13 starts in 2010 and no expectations other than to fail, he ended up as the 17th best QB in fantasy terms.
What draws me to Fitzpatrick the most as a sleeper candidate is his situation as the QB for the Buffalo Bills. He is the unquestioned starter and the Bills are really just a bad team. In fact, Fitzpatrick’s statistics are not going to improve because his team is getting better; his numbers will improve because they won’t be better. Playing teams like New England and the Jets twice each year will force this team to score a ton of points to compete. They won’t do that by running the ball 60 times; instead, they will have to throw the ball a ton (441 attempts in 13 games for 2010, 7th highest per game). I think his supporting cast is decent and moving in the right direction with the emergence of Steve Johnson and a workhorse back in Fred Jackson. C.J. Spiller is the potential wild card to Fitzpatrick’s success. The kid has talent and speed, and if he can get his head around how to be an NFL-caliber player he could be that Reggie Bush-type player for Fitzpatrick, giving him a great bail-out option and increasing his statistics with each dump off.
I am looking at Fitzpatrick to be an inexpensive option as a QB2 with a large upside. Matthew Stafford is the hot pick for the upside QB2 right now, but he will cost you a 9th round pick instead of the 13th that Fitzpatrick costs. Don’t be surprised if on certain weeks during the 2011 season Ryan Fitzpatrick actually outscores your QB1. He is a great low risk, high reward candidate for your roster.
Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. Nearly 20 years of FF, had to have learned something in that time. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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