The Favre Effect on Fantasy Football Drafts

After the long, over-hyped saga of rumors and speculation, Brett Favre should turn in his request for reinstatement and show up to the Green Bay Packers training camp this weekend.

Even though Favre and the Packers administration are talking, the Packers haven’t changed their stance on backing Aaron Rodgers as the starter, so it looks like Brett Favre could now be traded to one of several suitors.

The New York Jets have received permission to talk to Favre — unlike Minnesota – while Tampa Bay also remains in the mix as a possible destination for the legend who can’t decide when to quit.

While Favre is likely to drastically improve the wide receiver (WR) production for any team hurting at QB, trade talks are having an effect on quarterbacks in fantasy football drafts and mock drafts.

Kellen Clemens, Chad Pennington, Tarvaris Jackson and Jeff Garcia are falling with the increased chatter of Favre coming to their respective teams. Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton aren’t being taken too high in the draft order either, but technically, they were pretty much on bottom with or without any Favre rumors.

In my recent expert draft with several fantasy football sites around the Web, Brett Favre went in the 12th round while Jeff Garcia fell to the 14th round and Tarvaris Jackson to the 15th round. Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens went undrafted.

It was surprising to see Favre go so high since he hasn’t even turned in his letter of reinstatement yet, but Favre was a fantasy stud last year and will be a strong QB choice this year if he returns to the NFL. If you don’t care about the Favre hype enough to consider drafting him yourself, you can still benefit from the situation because the scare of Favre taking starting role is pushing some semi-valuable QB2s down in drafts.

Garcia was no slouch last year at the QB position and would make a consistent QB2 or any team. You know what you get with him.

Tarvaris Jackson has been built up in the press this offseason for improving his skill set and continuing to win the confidence of the coaching staff. If Favre doesn’t come into Minnesota — seeming very unlikely at this point — Tarvaris has some sleeper potential. We know he’ll be forced to throw as teams load the box to stop the running game of Adrian Peterson.

The Jets QB battle is one to watch. Pennington has worked this offseason to change his throwing motion and will have a fully-healed ankle for the first time since the very first week of last season. He could take back the starting job if the Jets choose to go with a “win now” attitude. Clemens is young and raw, but if he has moved along come training camp and develops a better relationship with the receivers there, the job might be his for 2008. We likely won’t know where the battle is going until the end of training camp.

Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton seem like the two least likely to be affected by the Favre trade. Chicago hasn’t been mentioned in Favre talks except by fans, and Green Bay would probably not let Favre go to a division rival like Minnesota or Chicago. Don’t think one of them has a lock on the starting role just yet though; I still suspect the Bears might be waiting in the wings for Tampa Bay to release former starter Chris Simms closer to training camp.

If you wait late in the draft to take a QB, you could very likely be looking at one of these players as your QB2. Quarterbacks like Trent Edwards who had about the same value as these QBs last year are going higher now because they have a lock on the starting job, but I don’t like Edwards any more than Pennington/Clemens or Jackson this year. Garcia isn’t falling enough to make him a great bargain, but he’s a solid QB2 often available in later — but not the last few — rounds.

It’ll be interesting to see where Favre goes this season, but if you’re looking for a QB2 on the cheap or a QB3, wait until the last couple of rounds of your draft to snag one of these cheap bargain basement QBs. The only thing you have to worry about is the shadow of the Favre.

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  • TJI

    Love the site. Great article on Favre, too. It’s nice to hear a fresh voice on the topic. We’re tired of hearing about it, but you put it in a fantasy perspective that made it interesting to read. Thanks.

    We’ve got you hooked up in our blogroll and we’re linking to you in this week’s blog carnival…check us out and let us know what you think. Thanks.

  • http://tji.fantasy@gmail.com TJI

    Love the site. Great article on Favre, too. It’s nice to hear a fresh voice on the topic. We’re tired of hearing about it, but you put it in a fantasy perspective that made it interesting to read. Thanks.

    We’ve got you hooked up in our blogroll and we’re linking to you in this week’s blog carnival…check us out and let us know what you think. Thanks.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @TJI:

    I’m glad you liked it. I am tired of the Favre saga as well, but I like that it makes some QBs cheaper this fantasy season. If he doesn’t take the Jets job, I think Pennington/Clemens could end up being decent bye week fills.

    Thanks for including Fools in the Blog Carnival. I’ll check it out.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    @TJI:

    I’m glad you liked it. I am tired of the Favre saga as well, but I like that it makes some QBs cheaper this fantasy season. If he doesn’t take the Jets job, I think Pennington/Clemens could end up being decent bye week fills.

    Thanks for including Fools in the Blog Carnival. I’ll check it out.

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