The age-old temptation of the fantasy football quarterback will once again rear its ugly head in 2018.
Dreaming of the days of Peyton Manning's heyday, a handful of fantasy football owners will waste a coveted early pick on a quarterback, setting up other owners in the league with better players.
Your goal for this season should be to not overvalue quarterbacks and avoid those who either will be picked too early, or will not be the game-changer you believe. Here's three quarterbacks to stay away from in 2018.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
I've written about this before. Rodgers is the best in the game, but he's too expensive in fantasy football.
I'm already seeing early draft rankings showing Rodgers as the 26th-best fantasy football option, putting him at the top of the third round in 12-team leagues. And while Rodgers should be valued as the top quarterback, he's not worth a third-round grade.
No quarterback should be drafted that high. And especially not someone like Rodgers.
When Manning was dominating, he was doing it with touchdowns and yards. The same goes for Drew Brees.
But Rodgers is totally reliant on touchdowns. He’s thrown for at least 30 touchdowns in five of the last seven seasons. Since 2011, Rodgers hasn’t finished in the top-three in yards per game, and has only snuck into the top-five twice — in 2011 and 2012.
He's good, but not good enough to be valued over two running backs and a high-producing wide receiver, which would have to happen if the rankings hold true, which they won't. People will value him higher, so his ADP will easily be in the second round by the time the draft hits.
Don't waste that coveted pick on Rodgers or any other quarterback.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
You've made it to the fantasy football playoffs, thanks to picking up a few sleepers along the way to go along with Brady. He's been a monster in the early going, who can be trusted to carry a team to a fantasy football championship.
No so fast.
Brady is getting older. Everyone knows that. Eventually time is going to catch up to him like it finally did to Brees this season. Even if Father Time doesn't completely take down Brady, recent years have painted a trend that fantasy football owners should pay attention to before drafting him.
Brady is fading toward the end of seasons. In the season's final five weeks of 2017, Brady went for single-digits twice in fantasy scoring and never eclipsed 15 points. In 2016, he went for less than 15 fantasy points in two of the final five games. And in 2015, he was under 20 fantasy points in the final four weeks, going for single-digits in the final two weeks.
That won't get better with age. So even if you have solid results with Brady during the regular season, he has shown some concerns in the final weeks of the fantasy football season, especially considering his ADP.
His age, combined with some lower-than-expected returns toward the end of the last few seasons, should raise some red flags.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Consistency should be required from a quarterback who goes so early in fantasy football drafts.
And you're not going to find that with Newton.
Newton is incredible at times. That's why he actually finished second this season among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. He went for more than 30 fantasy points on three separate occasions in 2017. That can help any fantasy team.
The problem, though, is that he's the most inconsistent fantasy option. To go along with those monster numbers, he went for less than 15 fantasy points seven times. The year before, he achieved that feat eight times.
There are going to be some high moments with Newton, but oftentimes, fantasy owners see where he finished in scoring and automatically shoot him up the ADP chart. That shouldn't be the case. He belongs with the other mid-range quarterbacks who are inconsistent.
That won't happen, and his ADP will likely be much higher than 2017. Steer clear of Newton, especially in those earlier rounds.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH