We’ve already taken a look at Buccaneer running back Doug Martin and where he would fall if we were to have a midseason fantasy football repack. But he isn’t the only surprise to rocket out of Tampa Bay this season. Quarterback Josh Freeman has certainly turned some heads as well. While Freeman is still far from being considered a consistent fantasy football elite like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, he has been making quite a splash in some leagues.
At the beginning of the season, Freeman average draft position was around 125, the 13th round in 10-team leagues. Fantasy owners were a bit scared to pull the trigger, not knowing if they would get the impressive Josh Freeman of 2010 or the underwhelming fantasy numbers of Josh Freeman, version 2011. And in the first four weeks of football this year, Freeman looked a bit more like that latter.
In those first four game, all before the Buccaneer bye week, Freeman averaged 10.25 fantasy points per week. His best fantasy performance, in Week Four, was still only enough to get him to 19th in points for quarterbacks that week.
Since the bye week, Freeman has only fallen out of the top 10 QB performers once. He had three consecutive weeks scoring 20 or more fantasy points. In Week Seven, he was the highest fantasy scoring quarterback in the NFL. In the four games before the bye, he had 42 points. In the five since, he has 107.
After ranking in the twenties after the first four weeks, Freeman’s recent success and fantasy numbers have rocketed him to 10th in the NFL in fantasy points scored. Freeman currently sits above a host of quarterbacks drafted before him, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Cam Newton, Eli Manning and Michael Vick, to name a few.
So, where would Freeman rank now? Certainly above 125. First you would see your first wave of quarterbacks early. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees falling somewhere in the first round. Another fantasy owner would likely jump on Robert Griffin III in the first as well. Tom Brady floats into the second. Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning to the third. And as teams begin to fill their other positions, things get a little bit messier.
The next seven quarterbacks, Josh Freeman included, sit within 18 points of each other. On the back of a stellar year, an optimist grabs Matthew Stafford in the end of the fourth. Despite having the 18th most points in the quarterback field, Eli Manning is gambled on as the defending Super Bowl Champ. And then we start hearing Freeman’s name in discussions. He has made a dramatic turn around in the last six weeks, and the offense shows no sign of slowing.
It is the middle of the sixth round with Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Josh Freeman remaining. And you begin to look at the numbers. Luck is unproven. Roethlisberger is injured. Palmer is inconsistent.
Freeman has 21.4 fantasy points per game in his last five. He’s quarterback of the team that leads the league in points per game, touchdowns and yards per game in that time frame. 293 yards per game, 13 total touchdowns, 16.3 yards per completion, one interception in five games.
It is the bottom of the fifth round. And the startling midseason explosion in fantasy numbers that lands Josh Freeman the title of the ninth quarterback selected in this Week 11 Fantasy Football Redraft.