by Joe Delcorse
I like to get value out of every pick I make (then again, who doesn’t?). Regardless of the format I always rank using a dollar system, putting players in four categories: bargains, steals, overpriced and poison. As awesome as Aaron Rodgers has been and as blasphemous as it sounds, there are way too many good quarterbacks to consider before “reaching” for the future Hall of Famer. Now if the draft shakes out and he is sitting there then by all means fire away. Sometimes there is just the opposite and people are selling a player short that ends up striking gold.
Case in point, would you rather have Aaron Rodgers conservatively throwing for 30 TD, 4,000 yards and 6 INT while adding 4 more rushing TD or waiting a few more rounds and seeing what Patrick Mahomes (or a similar upside play) can do? I have nothing to show what numbers Mahomes can post because this is going to be his first full season under center, but there are many intangibles that go into this prediction before taking this leap of faith. It’s not to say that Rodgers is old and not capable of an MVP caliber season, but for the price point I am willing to take Mahomes knowing I am going to be loaded at the other skill positions.
Mahomes is oozing with talent and Andy Reid handpicked him (jettisoning Alex Smith in the process) to run an offense that is full of talent. If Reid is willing to bet on Mahomes then so too am I as it seems to be a case of two teams trending in different directions. Kansas City is coming off a tremendous year where they feel they can continue the ascension into the NFL elite. Green Bay, on the other hand, was vulnerable without Rodgers and looked more like a doormat without their gunslinger and in dire need of some roster turnover.
Oddly enough defense and special teams do make a difference on a player’s fantasy performance. Time of possession and field position are often an overlooked statistics but plays a key role in the game itself. So please take with a grain of salt when I say Rodgers will be a bust and Mahomes is a sleeper. All I’m really saying is maybe Mahomes will be worth a few dollars more by seasons end and Rodgers will be worth a few dollars less, not necessarily that Mahomes will outperform Rodgers. I like to think outside the box and accumulate running backs, wide receivers and if the price is right an elite tight end and defense. Strategically passing on Rodgers for Mahomes (or a similar QB) this year will give you that flexibility.
Mahomes has better weapons around him and has a full off-season to get in tune with his explosive arsenal after acclimating himself with the rigors of life as an NFL quarterback as an understudy to Smith and under Reid’s careful tutelage. Both teams have issues with depth and question marks along the offensive line, but such is life in the NFL and neither team will find any sympathy. With Jordy Nelson off to Oakland I just don’t see Rodgers replicating the magic of seasons past and with a supporting cast of Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, and the newly added Sammy Watkins it would be wise not to sleep on Mahomes on draft day.
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: