Late Round Quarterbacks With The Lowest Fantasy Football Ceilings

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton
Dec 23 2012 Pittsburgh PA USA Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of the game at Heinz Field The Bengals won the game 13 10 Mandatory Credit TODAY Sports

If you’re going to wait and wait and wait some more before snagging a quarterback in fantasy football drafts this summer, you might as well go nuclear.

You’ll have so precious little invested in these late-round options, as we’ve discussed, that it won’t matter all that much if your signal caller doesn’t pan out as an every-week plug-and-play starter. It makes little sense to commit to the late-round quarterback approach – as JJ Zachariason would tell you – if you’re not going to target guys with the most potential, the most upside, the highest fantasy ceilings.

Michael Vick, Alex Smith, and Ben Roethlisberger are the three late rounders with the highest fake football ceiling, according to the wonderful rotoViz similar score app that creates projections for the coming season. Smith’s and Vick’s 2013 projections were based on an admittedly small sample size, but the ceiling is unarguably high for both guys, as are their respective fantasy floors.

I’ve dug up three late-round quarterback options that offer decidedly low fantasy football ceilings, meaning that even if they hit the projected peak of their statistical performance, they offer frustratingly little upside.

Read more about late-round quarterbacks…
Late Round Quarterbacks With The Highest Fantasy Football Ceilings

Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Highest projected fantasy points per game: 15
Average draft position: 10.10

The weak-armed ginger-beard man has the most physically dominant receiver not named Calvin Johnson at his disposal, and there’s still no valid reason to believe he’s worth a late-round flier when other guys with higher ceilings are available. Dalton averaged 6.9 yards per attempt in 2012, but unlike many quarterbacks below him in YPA, he didn’t throw all that much (528 attempts, 15th most among quarterbacks). It’s not like he’s deadly accurate either, posting a completion percentage of 62 percent in 2012, 12th best. His accuracy on throws that traveled at least 20 yards in the air was abysmal (32.8 percent). Dalton, inexplicably, is being drafted before Roethlisberger.

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Highest projected fantasy points per game: 15.1
Average draft position: 12.06

Rivers and his grenade-tossing throwing motion are exceedingly cheap, as seen above. Still, he offers a low ceiling and, once again, he’ll be mired behind one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines. That’s less than ideal for a signal caller who makes Dan Marino look like a hybrid of Randall Cunningham and Robert Griffin III. Rivers posted a lackluster 6.8 YPA in 2012. His completion percentage under pressure was 43.2 percent, 18th among quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s a streaming option in 2013, at best.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Highest projected fantasy points per game: 15.2
Average draft position: 13.09

Freeman, the guy who went bonkers for a stretch in 2012, has heinous peripheral stats. He was just a smidge better than Mark Sanchez in PFF’s Quarterback Accuracy Percentage, which accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball. Freeman threw 17 interceptions last year. There’s a chance Freeman will be holding the clipboard come September; even if he’s the Bucs’ starter, he’s not worth drafting with such a low ceiling. You’d do much better with Alex Smith in that part of your draft.

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C.D. Carter Fantasy Football Analyst
C.D. Carter is a reporter, author of zombie stories, writer for The Fake Football and XN Sports. Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. His work  has been featured in the New York Times.