To Fitz or not to Fitz.  That is the question.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

If you just blew a craft beer out your nose laughing, I totally get it.

But with drafting season in full swing for both dynasty and redraft 2QB leagues, it’s a good time to look at recent quarterback changes, and one name that pops up immediately is Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Let’s set aside for a moment that this is a painfully smart dude.  He finished the Wonderlic test in nine minutes and has a higher score than any other quarterback in the history of the test.  Let’s set aside that his son is one smart dude too.  Let’s set aside that he has arguably the manliest and most enduring beard in the NFL and was under current New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey years ago when they were with the Bills.  Set all that aside for a moment.

Because Ryan Fitzpatrick is no longer on the Bills.  He is no longer going to be leaning on the running game.  He’s no longer throwing to Skip and Jim from the local pick up game.  And he’s no longer on a team whose defense never gave them a chance.  No.  A new day has dawned over the red curly locks of antiquity.  Now his defense is the New York Jets, and he is probably going to keep the starting gig all year long if he doesn’t completely faceplant in the first few weeks against the Colts, Patriots, Dolphins, Giants and Titans.  The running backs for the Jets aren’t nearly as trusted as the highly touted runners in Buffalo.  Oh, you know what else Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have in Buffalo?  Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.  His wide receivers back in those days were Stevie Johnson and David Nelson.  Wow, what great… What… Uhmm…  No.  That’s not Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.  Not even close.

I should clarify before someone asks me to put money where my mouth is (*cough) again.  This is not someone you want as your QB1 or your QB2 in two quarterback dynasty leagues.  He is, however, an excellent choice at QB3 for a bye week fill-in and an insurance pickup in 2QB and superflex leagues.  Ryan Fitzpatrick would, in the past, deliver a steady stream of mediocrity that would make Matthew Berry proud.  His career record is 123 touchdowns and 101 interceptions.  Again, his teams were generally trying to run the ball (Fred Jackson, C. J. Spiller, Chris Johnson, Arian Foster) rather than pass it; so most of the touchdowns weren’t really designed into the offense to be of the passing variety.

No, “The Amish Rifle” is a guy you really don’t want to be forced to put into your lineup more than twice a year at most.  But he costs nearly nothing to draft.  In dynasty it should be noted that he’s thirty-two years old (younger than Ben Roethlisberger) and only contracted through the end of 2015.  If he does well enough in this role with the Jets and they want to extend him then he might stick around a while.

What am I saying?  For a moment, dispel your preconceived notion that Fitzpatrick is a washed out bum, even if his beard makes him look like an extra at the fountain scene from Forrest Gump.  Last year his quarterback rating nearly tied Tom Brady’s (95.3 to 97.4).  In this role as a QB3, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a perfect late-round addition in a 2QB or superflex league as a guy who – thanks to his new wide receiving corps – has upside.

There.  I used the word “upside” in an article about Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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