Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Sporting News: Pairing Down the QB's


Recommended Posts

Here you go:


Pairing down the QBs

By Vinnie Iyer - SportingNews

With the league's recent free-agent shuffling, it seems as if quarterbacks have now become interchangeable parts, even those who have enjoyed such good success in the past. Chalk it up to one of the few negatives of the salary-cap era.

It's getting more difficult to tell who's a viable, winning quarterback anymore, so it's even harder to tell who's a reliable fantasy quarterback. The key is finding out which veterans in decline to avoid and which youngsters on the rise to snag.

Looking at all 32 teams' situations around the league, I discovered 16 different "quarterback types," and it worked out perfectly that there were two QBs for each category. Here's my tier-by-tier pairings:

1. The Elite: Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper. If you draft a quarterback in the first round, one of these two must be your choice. Their styles are a bit different -- Manning is pure pocket, Culpepper can run over defenders -- but in addition to starring in cities that end in "apolis", they both play in prolific offenses and friendly domes. And don't forget that each has one of the league's two best receivers (Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss) as his respective go-to-guy.

Culpepper has more potential for rushing scores, but because he runs more than Manning and the Colts have a better offensive line, Manning is a much better bet to play all 16 games.

2. The Running Men: Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. The big concern with both is staying healthy, because their scrambling, free-lancing styles often leave them in injury-prone situations. But when they're on the field doing the run/pass thing, they drive defenses batty.

The Falcons and Eagles both hope to take flight in the playoffs, and have started to surround their MVP-candidate quarterbacks with enough talent to carry a team. If you want to go with the better running upside, go with Vick. If you want a better passer who now has an elite No. 1 receiver in Terrell Owens, take McNabb.

3. The Throwers: Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Green. Their respective TD and yardage numbers weren't that far behind Manning's last season, and both benefit from coaches who have molded them in the right offenses. Hasselbeck understands what Mike Holmgren wants to do within the West Coast, and Green is showing what he could have done in St. Louis under Dick Vermeil in Kansas City.

The Seahawks and Chiefs will continue to put up points in bunches. It's Hasselbeck over Green simply based on the fact Hasselbeck is five years younger and just entering his prime.

4. The Tough Guys: Brett Favre and Steve McNair. They push through the pain to post great numbers. Favre's gunslinging gives you high TDs and high picks, while McNair is a little more conservative. They may be better winners and on-field leaders than pure statistical performers this season, but they still are solid starting fantasy options.

5. The Rhythm Section: Marc Bulger and Chad Pennington. Both No. 10s went to college in West Virginia and displaced fan favorites as professionals. And like Hasselbeck and Green, they are perfect for the Rams' and Jets' respective systems. Both Bulger and Pennington have a pair of speedy wideouts and are complemented by savvy running backs. They also excel once they're in a rhythm. Bulger must be more efficient in his second year as a starter. Pennington already has that part of the game down.

6. The Erratics: Aaron Brooks and Jake Plummer. Sometimes, they get caught trying to do too much, which led to Brooks' recent fumbling problems and Plummer's pick-happy past in Arizona. They need to take better advantage of being in balanced offenses -- Plummer did show that as a Bronco before he got hurt last season. Both have enough arm strength to athleticism make plays all over the field. If they can put it all together while cutting down on mistakes, they can shoot up to Type 2.

7. The Super Bowlers: Tom Brady and Jake Delhomme. As we saw in Super Bowl 38, they both can throw often and put up big numbers when needed. As both the Panthers and Patriots stress defense and the power running game first, however -- Corey Dillon may be to New England what Stephen Davis is for Carolina -- they will call upon their quarterbacks to win games only if they get into shootouts. Brady gets the edge in that mode.

8. The Beat-up Scramblers. Jeff Garcia and Mark Brunell. They have taken many hits from their days moving around the pocket, and both hope for a fresh start in new addresses at Cleveland and Washington, respectively. The only problem is, they both will be 34-year-olds this season. It's worth taking a chance on either of them on your bench, but nothing more.

9. The Aging Arms: Rich Gannon/Kerry Collins and Brad Johnson. The recent QB carousel developments throw Type 9 out of whack. No one knows what sort of numbers to expect from this duo (or trio), because the circumstances have changed around them. They all look like decent middle-round picks, but in reality, they are classic cases for fantasy frustration.

10. The Second Years: Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwich. May I suggest you skip Type 9 and instead take a chance one of these two youngsters. If Palmer does anything comparable to what Jon Kitna did in the Bengals' offense last season, he will be a late-round steal. Leftwich was impressive in flashes as a rookie, and he should take better command of a promising young team this season. Don't be surprised if either quickly emerges as a solid fantasy starter.

11. The Third Years: David Carr and Joey Harrington. The Texans, three years removed from expansion, and the Lions, in a rebuilding phase of similar proportions, were smart to put their franchise quarterback in place first and then build around him. Both have nice, young complements at receiver (Andre Johnson, Jabar Gaffney, Charles Rogers, Roy Williams) and running back (Domanick Davis, Kevin Jones) that they can ease into making plays. Harrington should be better because his coach is Steve Mariucci and the Lions' offensive line gave up only 11 sacks last season.

12. The Look At the Talent Around Them: Josh McCown and A.J. Feeley. The guy throwing to Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald must be decent, right? The guy facing stacked-box run defenses for Ricky Williams must execute well and throw to Chris Chambers and David Boston, right? Don't count on either development until McCown and Feeley get a few more starts -- if Feeley can't beat out Jay Fiedler, then stay away from him completely. McCown is more intriguing, but a whole season could pass before Dennis Green puts his stamp on the Cardinals' offense.

13. The Lame Ducks: Drew Bledsoe and Tommy Maddox. I'm sure someone in your league will draft these guys much higher than warranted based on name and some past accomplishments. The fact is, they are equally beat up as Garcia and Brunell, and lack the mobility to avoid the hits. The Bills and Steelers have respective youth movements on tap with J.P. Losman and Ben Roethlisberger, and don't expect pleasant swan songs from either Bledsoe or Maddox with each playing behind one of the league's worst pass-protecting lines.

14. The Second Years, the Second Tier: Kyle Boller and Rex Grossman. These guys aren't as lucky as Palmer and Leftwich because their offenses have less pop. Neither player has a true No. 1 receiver. The Ravens don't need much more than caretaking from the position because of their defense and running game, and the Bears also figure to be more defensive-minded with Lovie Smith as coach. Neither passer should be a fantasy consideration.

15. The Question Marks: 49ers and Cowboys starters. Oh, how these two proud franchises must long for Steve Young and Troy Aikman. Tim Rattay's offseason groin surgery raises questions in San Francisco, while Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson and Drew Henson form a muddled mix in Dallas. The best option of them all may be former Miami Hurricanes star Ken Dorsey, Rattay's projected backup. That's reason enough to steer clear of whoever controls these once-prolific passing games.

16: The Don't Drafts: Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. They are projected rookie starters, so the name for this "type" tells it all.

Vinnie Iyer is the NFL projects editor for Sporting News. Email him at viyer@sportingnews.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you've got a FF team and Brunell is there late...he'd be a good backup. If not....in the like the last round, take Ramsey. I think he'll start really late. Can be your #3 QB and if its a keep league were you lose picks for where the guy is drafted. It would be a smart move for the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Henry

10. The Second Years: Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwich. May I suggest you skip Type 9 and instead take a chance one of these two youngsters. If Palmer does anything comparable to what Jon Kitna did in the Bengals' offense last season, he will be a late-round steal. Leftwich was impressive in flashes as a rookie, and he should take better command of a promising young team this season. Don't be surprised if either quickly emerges as a solid fantasy starter.

Late round steal?? I believe Palmer went #1 OVERALL if I'm not mistaken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...