Fantasy Football Quarterbacks – Second Tier
With training camp approaching, I figured what better time to take a look at the QBs around the league.
We profiled the Big Dogs, now it’s time to look at the guys who the other half of your league will be starting.
These aren’t the flashy picks that you can walk away from your draft with your head held high because you got one of the game’s best gunslingers. That’s not to say you can’t be proud of you team because you opted to wait until you got better value for your QB slot. In most leagues the QBs will score the most points. That’s just the way it is. What’s more important than actual points though is point differential. If you get a QB that averages 18 points per week, he’s only 2 points per week worse than a 20 point guy. Now if by choosing that 18 point QB (instead of the 20 point QB) you get a Running Back that averages 12 points (instead of an 8 point RB you’d get if you opted for the 20 point QB) then you’d be ahead two points per week. Before I have to break into long division, let’s steer away from the mathematics and move onto who the Second Tier QBs are.
Matt Hasselbeck - Matt reminds me a lot of Trent Green from a few years ago. He puts up solid numbers every year, but is never considered a “must-have” QB. He’s averaged nearly 24 TD passes per year to 13 INTs the past five years. He’s also averaged over 3400 yards during that stretch. His best year came last year when he tossed nearly 4000 yards and 28 TDs (both career highs). With Shaun Alexander out of the picture, I can see Seattle remaining a pass first team.
Marc Bulger – Last year Bulger was a Big Dog. This year he becomes on of the best QB values. The Rams were just a mess last year. Injuries to Bulger and Steven Jackson kept St. Louis from ever getting in a rhythm. I can see them bouncing back in a big way. The beauty of picking Bulger is, even if he misses, you won’t be in that bad of shape. I’d probably try and grab another second tier or the best of the third tier QBs shortly after selecting Bulger just to be safe.
Donovan McNabb – McNabb has Big Dog talent, but annual health concerns make drafting the former Syracuse star a risky proposition. He’s only played in 75% (48 of 64) of the Eagles’ game the past four seasons and 68.75% (33 of 48) the past three. As big of a name as he’s been in fantasy circles, he’s never reached the 4000 yard plateau and has only suprassed 25 TDs once. Personally, I’m not high on him.
David Garrard – He grew up right before our eyes last year. That run vs. Pittsburgh was an instant classic. He showed great poise last year and an ability to avoid the big mistake. If you’re in a league that penalizes for INTs, David’s whopping 3 didn’t cause much of a dent in your tally.
Eli Manning – A guy who’s far too familiar with INTs is Eli Manning. He’s thrown 55 in his past three seasons (18.3 per year). However, he’s also tossed 71 TDs (23.7 per) in that span while averaging close to 3450 yards per year. Oh, and he won that little game they call the Super Bowl. Manning should be much more relaxed next year now that he’s A) stepped out of his brother’s shadow and B) given himself some breathing room from New York fans and media.
Philip Rivers – I didn’t like the way Rivers mocked and ridiculed Jay Cutler last year, but he has produced back-to-back solid seasons. He’s averaged 3270 yards, 21.5 TDs, and 12 INTs while completing over 60% of his passes. He has some great weapons in LT and Antonio Gates, and having a whole offseason to work with Chris Chambers should pay dividends.
Jay Cutler – Speaking of Cutler, he has the potential of having a pretty solid year for the Broncos. The departure of Javon Walker won’t be too hard to overcome because of the limited role he played last year. A few things will need to fall in place for Cutler to be counted on for your fantasy team. Brandon Marshall will need to be healthy (mentally and physically) first and foremost. Second, he’ll need to get some production out of Darrell Jackson, Keary Colbert, and Brandon Stokley.