Matthew Stafford is arguably one of the least sexy starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but why? First off, he was the #1 ranked high school quarterback when he enrolled in Georgia and from there went on to a strong career that made him the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft. These are all things that much of the well-informed dynasty community already know but seem to get lost in the fold to other elite Quarterback prospects like Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, and even Robert Griffin lll (I said prospect). At age 28, Stafford is playing his best football at a very bizarre time. The Lions moved on from Calvin Johnson, don’t start a single 4th-year offensive linemen, are utilizing a Justin Forsett/Zach Zenner “tandem” (if you can even call it that) at running back, and feature Marvin Jones as their star wide receiver (more on that to come). The success isn’t just this season though it really dates back to the hiring of Jim Bob Cooter in the middle of last season. Over that 12 game span, Stafford has a 33-6 TD-INT ratio (+27). For comparison Cam Newton is 29-7 (+22) and Russell Wilson is 30-3 (+27). That number puts Stafford in pretty elite company for the present, yet the somehow less sexy Stafford is being underappreciated.
Obviously, both of those quarterbacks offer a running skill set that Stafford lacks, but this is a passing league. To wrap up my spiel, I will say that this seems like a time in the NFL where many of the elite Quarterbacks are very old. To name a few Ben Roethlisberger (34), Phillip Rivers (34), Eli Manning (35), Tony Romo (36), Carson Palmer (36), Drew Brees (37), Tom Brady (39). I would take a guy like Stafford who is blossoming at the ripe age of 28 to carry the torch over the Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton, Kirk Cousins class of Quarterbacks. And sure, there is already elite young QB talent in the league I already touched on Wilson, Newton, Luck, Wentz, and could just have easily thrown in say Derek Carr, but the point holds that a few quarterbacks need to step up to carry the torch and I’m putting my money (league buy-ins) that one of those guys is Matthew Stafford.
So now that other guy you were promised. Listen, if you drank the Kool-Aid and bought into the hype of Stafford, then you have to buy Jones Jr. Even with a constantly rising price, I think this is the perfect time to swoop in and steal a rising star in a dynasty league by playing the “I am a contender” card. Jones Jr. is playing like an absolute stud, and while his contract may not reflect WR1 type money, it does make one important statement, that Jones is the Lions’ choice at WR. Even with production that was far and few in Cincinnati, the Lions still made a 5-year $40 million dollar offer edging him out over Golden Tate’s 5-year $31 million dollar contract. I really believe that Golden Tate’s one year of relevance was a fluke caused by an injury prone season for Calvin Johnson and the tendency of Matthew Stafford to at times force feed his best player. With that being said, this tendency is all the more reason that Jones should be the guy for at least the remainder of his newly signed 5-year deal.
As always thanks for reading and feel free to shoot me any fantasy football trade questions on Twitter @DFF_Sully or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to check out my other articles.