Breaking Down the Fantasy Impact of Kurt Warner’s Retirement
Nobody should have been surprised when Kurt Warner decided to hang it up. Not after the vicious hit he took against the Saints. There was a lot of money left on the table, but Warner isn’t motivated by money.
So what is the fantasy fallout from his retirement? First of all, the QB rankings have to be adjusted. I had Warner ranked 11th because of the retirement speculation. I may be higher on Matt Leinart than most as I have him ranked at 17th. That means the QBs ranked 11th through 16th get bumped a spot (click to see rankings).
Though Leinart has shown little to date, he goes into the offseason with a chance to earn the starting job. I know he’s been in that situation before, but he doesn’t have a former MVP breathing down his neck. I can’t imagine he didn’t learn under Warner’s guidance. Plus, he’s got weapons galore. Would I want his as a fantasy starter, no. However, he could be a solid backup and spot starter.
Even if Leinart holds his own next year, he’s not Kurt Warner. The WRs are going to take a hit. I bumped Larry Fitzgerald down a notch (click to see rankings). I left Boldin where he’s at because of the chance he have a new home in 2010. Steve Breaston is the wildcard. If Boldin leaves, he could have some value. I’m afraid if he stays, Breaston will be no more than a spot starter. Guys like Early Doucet and Jerheme Urban saw their fantasy value sink even lower.
The RBs should be the big winners in this situation. Ken Whisenhunt is from a run-heavy background, and he has two talented backs in Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. Beanie should be the workhorse back on the ground. Don’t rule out Tim Hightower being a flex option as well. He should get his share of carries and see plenty of Matt Leinart check downs.
While the Cardinals won’t have as potent an offense in 2010, they should still have several key fantasy performers.