By Matthew Walters
5000 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a total of 333 fantasy points in half points per reception scoring last year. Who is this magical player? This is the 16 game pace that Matthew Stafford was on through 8 games last year before suffering an injury that cost him the rest of his 2019 season.
Matthew Stafford is currently being drafted as the 18th quarterback off the board in dynasty leagues according to myfantasyleague.com ADP data. Stafford is being taken around the 13th quarterback off the board in both redraft and best-ball leagues, according to fantasypros.com. Stafford would have been the QB 3 in 2019 if he continued on his pace for the whole season. The only two quarterbacks that would have scored more fantasy points than Stafford were Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott.
But, but Patrick Mahomes was injured, though!
Well, that is a fair point. According to fantasydata.com, looking at all quarterbacks’ last eight games played, Matthew Stafford was the 4th ranked fantasy QB. Some notable names that he was higher than in the previous 8 games they played include Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and even Patrick Mahomes. So why does the fantasy community overlook Stafford?
In Stafford’s last full season, which was 2018, he was the QB20. He only scored 212 fantasy points that season. This season has given a salty outlook about Stafford to many fantasy players as well as it should. 2018 was a terrible year for Stafford. However, he was the QB7 both years in 2017 and 2016. In 2015, he was the QB 9. If we go even further back to 2011, Stafford was the QB 5 with 343 Fantasy points. That number would have put him as the QB 2 for the 2019 season.
There is concern about the injury history with Stafford. Stafford missed the last eight games of the 2019 season due to a back fracture. However, before this injury, Stafford had not missed a game since 2010. This streak included playing through an ankle sprain in 2011 as well as finger fracture that same year. He also played through a finger dislocation that involved ligament damage in 2016. Stafford was plagued early in his career with acromioclavicular joint separations causing him to miss many games in his first few years in the league. Stafford has not had any issues with his shoulder since surgery to repair it in 2010.
Of course, Stafford cannot do it all alone, and he needs a team around him. He has Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola all returning as his receiving corps. The Lions added D’Andre Swift in the draft, who should be a boost to the running back position in Detroit. With the weapons surrounding Stafford this year, one would think the fantasy football community would be excited about his prospects going into the 2020 season.
Matthew Stafford is a 32-year-old quarterback that has shown that he has top 7 QB upside throughout his career. He has been an iron man in the NFL by playing 136 games in a row before an injury to his back, which he could not play through. Quarterbacks have shown the ability to perform well into their 30s and even into their 40s. Stafford has the talent around him to succeed, and while the Lions have not been one of the better teams in NFL history, Stafford has led the Lions to winning seasons in 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2011. Stafford is currently a great value in all fantasy formats and has the talent around him and the talent himself, to blow his current ADP out of the water.