Draft Day Dilemma: the Favre problem


Before we get to Favre, there's a quick and unnecessary story. Feel free to skip ahead, past the jump.

Last weekend, we took my seven-year-old to the family stage at Lollapalooza. It was spectacular for various reasons, not the least of which was that my daughter learned exactly what a rock star looks like. She used to think they looked like Nick Jonas, but not anymore.

We have Slash to thank. He and Perry Farrell were the headliners at the kid's stage on Sunday. Slash walked out wearing a hat that said "(expletive)" in large, black letters. He lit a cigarette, then flicked it into the crowd of children at the conclusion of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." A young boy caught it, dropped it when it singed his hand, then picked it up again and screamed excitedly.

Slash was awesome. And the kids seemed to fully appreciate his awesomeness, even though most of them were not yet 10. He just stood there, rocking, smoking, wearing the obscene hat, and a bunch of very small children loved him.

After the set, it seemed necessary to have a brief evils-of-smoking discussion with my daughter, since we'd both just lunged for a discarded cigarette. But she cut me off.

"Duh, he's a rock star. He can do whatever."

There are certain lessons that only Slash can teach your kid, and that's one of them. The rules are very different for rock stars.

This gets us to Brett Favre, who is similarly not restricted by the usual rules.

Whatever you might think of Favre right now, we know you're going to feel differently in September when he throws his first touchdown pass for whichever NFL team employs him. Favre doesn't seem especially worried about his ability to win you over, no matter what your opinion is at the moment. Perhaps he remembers all that fawning you did last year. You'll come back. Or you won't.

Maybe his feelings for you just aren't as strong as your feelings for him.


In our latest round of player rankings, we reintroduced Favre to the QB pool. If the guy had never retired, he'd probably be my No. 5 quarterback. If the Packers were to deal him to the Vikings today, he'd be somewhere in my top-10. And if they had traded him to the Jets last week, Favre would at least be in my top-15.

Needless to say, it's pretty tough to rank Favre on August 5. For now, I've put him in the late-teens, between Aaron Rodgers and Jason Campbell. But that's really just a placeholder to get him on the board. His ranking is going to change by Week 1, because one of the following things will happen:

A) He'll get dealt to Minnesota (or someplace else) for a draft pick;

B) He'll get released before the opener, then sign with Minnesota (or potentially another team);

C) He'll lose this competition with Rodgers and become a back-up; or

D) He'll win the competition and start for the Packers against the Vikings.

At this point, after everything the Packers have said publicly, C is really untenable and D is almost absurd...but technically possible. It doesn't seem like B would be ideal for Green Bay.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, scenario A has a chance:

An executive in personnel for a National Football League team with close ties to clubs in the NFC North Division told the Journal Sentinel that the Packers called the Vikings on Friday informing them that Favre was available.

"They’ve kind of said through one of their (front-office) guys that if Favre did report they would potentially trade him within the division," the executive said late Sunday afternoon.

"Kind of" and "potentially," according to an unnamed person who doesn't work for either the Vikings or Packers.


So yeah, he's tough to rank. Favre could ultimately be an elite QB, or he could be a non-starter.

I'm not ready to believe that the Packers would offer him $20 million to go away on Wednesday, and then legitimately allow him to compete for their starting QB job the following Tuesday. I'm also not ready to believe that they'll allow him to quarterback the Vikings in Week 1, in Green Bay.

Of course if we were drafting in a 10-team public league right now, I'd also have a difficult time letting Favre fall beyond Matt Schaub/Jake Delhomme territory in the 13th round (their ADPs are 120.5 and 131.7). If you're taking Favre that late and you're prepared to start another QB in Week 1, then it's really not much of a risk. Favre did total 252 fantasy points last season.

Or you could just handcuff him to Rodgers and recreate the situation that Mike McCarthy finds himself in. Lots of you will probably do that. It's not unsafe, and you might end up with two useful fantasy quarterbacks.

What does Favre's reinstatement do to the fantasy value of other Packers? Nothing, not yet. You still have to proceed as though Rodgers is the QB. That's what our rankings currently reflect. It's dangerous to assume that Favre will not only return, but start. And it's even more dangerous to assume that he'll be as good as he was last season.

In the best-case scenario -- Favre returns, wins the job, is brilliant -- you'd still only slightly upgrade guys like Ryan Grant, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Donald Lee. They're already 11th, 17th, 26th and 16th in their position rankings.

The league would obviously not mind that best-case scenario. The NFL is more entertaining -- and by extension, your fantasy league is more entertaining -- when Favre is involved. You might like to say that you're sick of him or that he's tarnished something, but he seems pretty unaffected. He's unquestionably the rock star here, and you'll need to adjust to him, because he's not adjusting to you. He's Brett Favre. He can do whatever.


Tip for young bloggers: If you finish up a Brett Favre post late at night, just go ahead and get it live. Immediately. Urgently. Don't wait for morning, because there's always new information or speculation on this thing.

Today, Jay Glazer writes that both sides have agreed on the obvious: that a Favre-Rodgers competition is a bad idea.

Favre now has to truly decide if he wants to play football for one of the two teams that have shown interest -- the Jets and the Bucs -- or continue to push for a solution that does not appear to be viable to the Packers.

The not-so-viable solutions would be a Vikings trade or a release.

I'd actually like Favre as a Jet. They've invested in the offensive line, they have talented receivers, the running game is credible, and the offense lacks a quarterback. It's important to note, however, that Favre's pre-season value is highest as a Packer. If he moves anywhere else, you're downgrading him.

And this, just for the record, is the last Favre-related fantasy post until both he and an NFL team agree that he is their quarterback, officially and irrevocably.

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