Quarterback Battle: Andy Dalton vs. Tyrod Taylor
*Featured image artwork by Dave Chow – 248-613-0566 – www.davechowillustrations.com
I think it’s time we’re honest with each other. Drafting a quarterback is hard - harder than we’d like to admit. Depending on when you decide to draft your QB, it can say a lot about your team and the direction it’s headed.
Particularly in 2QB and Superflex leagues, the decision of when to draft signal-callers could be closely tied to your team’s future success. An early QB selection can set you on a Stud and Scrub or QB-Heavy path and, conversely, waiting just a couple rounds to draft your first QB can firmly cement you in the QB-Lite camp rather quickly.
However, the question of which quarterback to draft, and why, is just as crucial and when to select them in the first place. Using our redraft ADP data, I’ve selected two quarterbacks, close in ADP, to pit against each other to help you make those close calls in your upcoming 2QB and Superflex drafts.
Tale of The Tape: Andy Dalton vs. Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor ended his 2016 campaign ranked QB9, despite missing Sammy Watkins for eight games. He achieved this finish despite attempting only 437 passes, second-fewest than any other QB inside the Top-20 for end of season scoring (Tom Brady had 432 while missing four games due to suspension). What Taylor lacked in passing volume he made up for on the ground by rushing for a position-leading 580 yards.
Taylor has been a very unassuming force in his past seasons as a full-time starter, ranking better than mainstays like Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers. With a healthy Sammy Watkins on his side, and the return of what is expected to be a top rushing attack, I expect Taylor to remain firmly planted inside the QB10 range for the upcoming season.
Andy Dalton and company weren’t immune to injuries either in 2016. AJ Green and Tyler Eifert missed a combined 15 games last season, which factored heavily in Dalton’s career lows in both touchdowns (18) and touchdown percentage (3.2). The additions of rookies Joe Mixon at running back and John Ross at receiver should do the job in diversifying the offense and improving the quality/depth of personnel. With his offensive personnel lacking, Dalton still finished as last year’s QB14. This was actually four spots higher than his 2015 campaign, where he benefited from seven additional passing touchdowns and a career-high touchdown percentage.
2017 is a bounce-back year in the making for Dalton. With Green and Eifert back in the fold, and the inclusion of Mixon and Ross, I see Dalton on the verge of a QB1 finish for this season. Look for him to push 30 passing touchdowns and 4,500 yards this year.
In a very close quarterback battle, I’m giving the victory to Tyrod Taylor. Both quarterbacks left more to be desired in areas like touchdown percentage and adjusted yards per attempt, but both quarterbacks also suffered from injuries to their top pass-catching weapons. Taylor’s ability as a runner pushes him over the edge for me, as I expect him to eclipse 500 rushing yards for the third season in a row. Considering Taylor’s rushing production accounted for roughly 21 percent of his total points in 2015 and 2016, I’m anticipating a sure increase in passing production to be the icing on this QB1 cake.