Yesterday, we went back through our preseason top-15 quarterback rankings to determine whether fantasy owners should applaud these backs or consider them frauds going forward. You can read that post here.
In this post, we’re going to look at quarterbacks outside of the preseason top-15 and determine whether we should applaud these signal callers or consider their numbers fraudulent. Read the individual reports to see whether the verdicts mean you should start a player, hold him on your bench, pick him up, or drop him. We’ve listed these players alphabetically.
Jason Campbell, Redskins – Campbell’s performance on the field has been awful, but his fantasy numbers have been surprisingly good. He has thrown eight TD passes and run for a score, and he’s averaging 212 passing yards and 20 rushing yards per game. Those numbers would work for fantasy owners, but face it – would you trust Campbell to produce a decent game if you had to put him in your lineup? The answer is no, especially given the coaching upheaval in D.C. So while Campbell would get polite applause for his fantasy performance so far, we can’t clap for him going forward. Verdict: A fraud
Matt Cassel, Chiefs – Cassel was a bit of a sleeper prospect entering the season, but his numbers so far – 8 passing TDs, 165 passing yards per game, and 21 rushing yards per game – are simple backup numbers. Cassel has potential going forward, but the Chiefs have to improve their offensive line before Cassel becomes a fantasy factor. He’s simply what we thought coming into the season – a borderline top 20 quarterback. So we’ll clap for that and nothing more. Verdict: Applaud
Jake Delhomme, Panthers – Jake the Snake snuck back into the top-20 in the league in passing yards this week, and that’s the reason we’re including him in this post. But his numbers – 4 touchdowns (vs. 13 interceptions) and 195 yards per game – don’t merit fantasy consideration. Throw in the possibility of benching, and you want to stay away. Verdict: A fraud
Joe Flacco, Ravens – Flacco is the quarterback who has emerged as a fantasy starter this season. He’s in the top 10 in the league in passing yards with 1,674, which is 279 per game. He also has 11 touchdowns in 6 games. He’s now a top-10 fantasy quarterback, and he’s still getting better. He gets the biggest applause of any of these sleeper quarterbacks. Verdict: Applaud
David Garrard, Jaguars – Some really good fantasy analysts, most notably ESPN’s Matthew Berry, bang the drum loudly for Garrard. I just don’t get it. He has just five passing TDs and one rushing touchdown thus far this season. His yardage totals are OK – 209 passing yards and 20 rushing yards per game – but that’s not enough to make him a starter. To me, Garrard’s on the borderline of the top 15. We’ll clap for that, since we had him outside that level before the season, but don’t get crazy on what Garrard can do in your lineup. Verdict: Applaud
Eli Manning, Giants – Manning got off to a great start, even without Plaxico Burress, throwing 12 TD passes in his first seven games and passing for 233 yards per game. Those are borderline numbers for a starting fantasy quarterback. Eli typically has a late-season swoon, so we don’t want to get our head out over our skis too much, but it’s reasonable to project Eli as a top-15 fantasy quarterback going forward. If he’s your backup, he’s a great option – even if he’s backing up an injury risk like Donovan McNabb or Matt Schaub. That’s a role we can clap for. Verdict: Applaud
Kyle Orton, Broncos – If not for Flacco’s emergence, Orton would be the biggest surprise among fantasy quarterbacks. He’s thrown for 9 TDs in six games and averaged 244 yards per game. Those are solid fantasy numbers that put him in the top 15 overall, and Orton seems to be getting better as he starts to build a better rapport with Brandon Marshall. Orton, like Eli Manning, is a solid backup option for fantasy owners, and he won’t kill you if you have to start him. Verdict: Applaud
Mark Sanchez, Jets – It’s already been a tale of two seasons for the rookie San-chise, as he had a great start and then three awful games before bouncing back a bit last week vs. Oakland. On the whole, Sanchez’s numbers are not good enough for fantasy owners – 6 passing TDs and two rushing TDs, plus 178 passing yards per game. That makes Sanchez a borderline backup in normal-sized leagues. Sanchez has performed well on the field, and he oozes potential, but it’s too soon for fantasy owners. Verdict: A fraud