All throughout the offseason, like many of you, I have listened to a ton of fantasy (mostly) Dynasty podcasts, and they all have the same thought process – buy in on Baker Mayfield. Why? Is it his charisma or swagger? Is it the impending feeling of danger he imposes on opponent’s defenses? Most ADP has him listed above veterans such as Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Keeping in mind that he has started less than a full season in the NFL, is Baker worth the hype bestowed upon him? Let’s have a look.
When researching an article the first thing I look at is a player’s statistics, and Baker left me fully impressed. From 2013-2017 (sat out ’14 due to transfer) he amassed 14,607 yards with 131 Touchdowns and won the 2017 Heisman. On top of that, he was the first walk-on true freshman to start a season opener for a BCS school (Texas Tech). So the coaches clearly see something in him to expedite getting him on the field, and if coaches believe in a player you have reason to do the same.
After playing in only 8 games in 2013 for Texas Tech, Baker decided to transfer to Oklahoma where he started on his path to stardom. He never completed less than 68.1% of his passes and never threw more than 8 Interceptions in a season. After his Senior year and overall stellar collegiate career, he entered the draft and was selected 1st overall by the Cleveland Browns. At the time he was expected to sit behind Free Agent signing Tyrod Taylor, but he seized the starting job after Taylor was hurt. Both he, and the city of Cleveland, will never look back.
*Sat 2014 due to transfer
Doing film study, what I see is a player with an extreme hunger to win. Many people mistake that fire as arrogance or cockiness, but his intentions appear to be fueled only to add to the win column. He is not a running Quarterback, but is extremely mobile and uses his mobility to evade defenders and keep the play alive while making throws surprisingly well on the run. This is the Quarterback that Eagles fans wish we had during the Andy Reid era. In College, while not a running QB like I said previously, he did gain 1,083 yards on 404 attempts (a meager 2.7 YPC AVE) adding 21 TD’s.
Stats are great. Film study is fine. But at the end of the day it is all about making a smart decision for your fantasy team whether that be in a start-up, Rookie draft, or a trade. This is where ADP (Average Draft Position) comes into play, as you don’t want to reach for a player. I understand that sometimes there is a guy you NEED to have, but this is why the off-season is so important for your Dynasty team. You need to be prepared with a contingency plan. Using today’s ADP (July 20th, 2019) Baker currently sits at #67 in a single QB PPR league, and #23 in a SuperFlex format. He is only behind: (1 QB is first in parenthesis, SuperFlex second) Patrick Mahomes (33, 5), Andrew Luck (49, 12), Aaron Rodgers (58, 18), and Deshaun Watson (61, 17). This is where your start-up gets tough. Do you take a stud WR or TE, and punt the position for a later round picking up Wilson, Wentz, Goff or Roethlisberger? If you pick a vet, you can treat the start-up like redraft and win it all early, then reload.
But here is my call: he IS worth the hype. Baker fires up his team mates and while that doesn’t show up in the box score, it does when the players want to play for their QB. Are you worried about OBJ’s emotions and temper tantrums? Tell me a better guy to keep him in line then Baker Mayfield.
We looked at Baker’s collegiate stats, so here is what he did in his Rookie NFL season:
As far as my start-up QB rankings, I would personally go as follows: Mahomes, Mayfield, Luck, Watson, Wentz, Wilson, and Rodgers. It makes no sense to me to have Rodgers so high, yes, I understand he is an elite talent, but he has a maximum 5 years left while the other players I listed could potentially have 10+ years! Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about a position for a decade and load up elsewhere? If you can get Baker in the 6th round of a 1 QB Dynasty start up and 2nd round of a SuperFlex, pull the trigger. Thank me later and stay dangerous.
Questions? Comments? Hit me up on Twitter @Thembower85.