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2010 Sleeper Quarterbacks
David Dorey
August 27, 2010
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Sleeper Quarterbacks  |  Sleeper Running Backs  |  Sleeper Wide Receivers  |  Sleeper Tight Ends

Drafting quarterbacks in most leagues are not a big deal - they score well but without a major difference between most starters. But in this era we are seeing some leagues starting two quarterbacks which means more than just the top dozen matter and can actually help your team. Using the average draft results as of 8/26/10 at MyFantasyLeague.com, below are the quarterbacks that are being drafted from #13 to #30.

Here is my brief take on those 17 quarterbacks with the players I am "hot" on in yellow and the ones I am "cool" on in blue. The yellow can be considered sleepers of sorts though the farther down you go, the less likely they are to become a starter for your team. Fantasy football drafting is not just about statistics and projections. It is an art and I, like each of you, simply have gut feelings and risk assessments outside the numbers that matter a great deal when I draft.

Rank Player Team Comments
13 Manning, Eli NYG The Giants had a fundamental change to their offense last year when injuries to the backfield left the rushing game less effective. A receiver crew that was largely inexperienced and very young came through far beyond expectations though and Manning enjoyed his best season ever - 4021 yards and 27 touchdowns. He remained productive into the late season when he had always caved in the past. Manning has the weapons and is willing to use them now. He makes a decent starter and a tremendous backup.
14 Palmer, Carson CIN Okay, so there are valid reasons to think that maybe Palmer has turned for the worse and become gun shy or has more degraded skills because of past injury than is let on. Last year he only threw for 3094 yards and 21 scores. Maybe it is overly optimistic to expect him to return to his past 4000 yard ways but at least Palmer has a lot more weapons now than he ever had. Ochocinco has been paired with Terrell Owens and added Jordan Shipley for the slot along with Andre Caldwell. The Bengals also drafted the #1 tight end last April of Jermaine Gresham. Granted - do not want Palmer for a starter because the risk is there but as a backup? Yeah. I'd be pretty happy.
15 McNabb, Donovan WAS I wanted to believe that McNabb could go to Mike Shanahan's new offense and continue to be productive despite the apparent lack of wide receiver talent. But he's already been banged up in the preseason and hasn't sparked much optimism that the wideouts are going to be anything special this year. He is relying on Santana Moss who has spent his career being miscast as a non-slot receiver and even Joey Galloway is possibly the other starter. That's like going to a fight and bringing along Justin Bieber and Regis Philbin to watch your back. The Skins have good tight ends and that's the only saving grace here.
16 Roethlisberger, Ben PIT I am not one to say that Roethlisberger's career has stalled or that his best plays were actually in a bathroom stall. I am saying that I don't enjoy watching a player on my roster that I cannot use for the first month and who returns to a very challenging schedule without Santonio Holmes anymore. Mike Wallace is an up-and-comer but they had both him and Holmes last year. I just do not want to touch Roethlisberger and apparently that is the problem for him. And yes, I know who you are, okay? HEY! Hands to yourself, dude...
17 Stafford, Matthew DET The #1 overall pick in 2009 had an up and down rookie season but he'll have more experience this time and a better offense with Calvin Johnson joined by Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler, Jahvid Best and Brandon Pettigrew is healthy again as well. There is some nice upside here and he plays indoors later in the year which helps. Stafford should improve as the season progresses and with each passing season.
18 Henne, Chad MIA Not exactly a surprise since about half or more of your league mates will be scheming to land Henne as their backup. He ended 2009 with a hot streak and scored at least once in seven of his last eight games. That was using converted ticket taker and parking lot attendants from Dolphin's Stadium as wideouts. Now Brandon Marshall shows ready to resume his goal of catching 200 passes in one season. Throw in a rushing attack featuring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon and Henne is going to be throwing the ball again.
19 Sanchez, Mark NYJ I think Sanchez is a talented young quarterback and he does have more weapons this season to use. I just cannot bring myself to draft the guy that led the Jets to their #32 ranking in pass yardage. He'll be better (barring the NFL adding more teams) but the Jets want to win with rushing and defense in most games. He is talented though and a nice guy and handsome and ... and... and I am going to New York in the offseason and I do not want any trouble okay? We all like Sanchez. Just maybe not this way.
20 Smith, Alex SFO Sort of strange to call a San Francisco quarterback a sleeper. Then again, if you only followed the NFL for the last ten years, then you would be surprised to say they actually had a quarterback. Smith made good on his 1.01 draft pick of 2005 (okay so not yet but let's pretend) when he took over in week seven of last year and scored in all but one game. He helped ignite Vernon Davis' career and once Michael Crabtree finally put his crack pipe down and showed up for work, the offense was passing pretty well. They have a nice schedule, good rushing and defensive units and some actual weapons for Smith to use.
21 Young, Vince TEN Loved him at the Rose Bowl. Not so much since. He has that uncanny knack for helping his team win in all kinds of non-traditional ways. Problem is I only get fantasy points for traditional things like passing yards and touchdowns. Half his games had less than 200 passing yards last year. But man... that NCAA championship was one of the best games I have ever watched. I knew he was going to run it and you knew he was going to run it - how that did that not occur to 11 USC defenders? Anyway - thanks for the memories Vince and see you on some other roster.
22 Cassel, Matt KCC I have to admit I am warming on Cassel. I had figured him for someone who was playing over their head when a starter was injured and then was acquired by another team not factoring in that he had been playing with superstar receivers. Cassel only 2924 passing yards and 16 touchdowns last year. But Charlie Weis is the offensive coordinator now and is going to mentor Cassel. I'm not buying it yet but the Weis thing has me rethinking it.
23 Orton, Kyle DEN He lost Brandon Marshall who was not replaced and the Broncos spent their first round pick on Jesus Tim Tebow. They also brought in Brady Quinn who has played so poorly that he doesn't matter. Too much downside though with Tebow standing there waiting for some playing time and an offense that is about 100 receptions short of what they had last year.
24 Leinart, Matt ARI Now he's just a backup in Houston and a nonfactor.
25 Garrard, David JAC I actually feel guilty and a bit confused because I don't really like Garrard despite the fact that I like Mike Sims-Walker and am high on Mike Thomas as a sleeper. Then again no one else catches the ball on this team besides Maurice Jones-Drew so the math may still work. Garrard even runs a bit with around 600 rush yards the last two seasons. I think he is a decent backup when you waited too long.
26 Hasselbeck, Matt SEA In 2007, Hasselbeck threw for 3966 yards and 28 scores and has never, ever come to anything close to that again. Injuries have eroded his skills and the Seahawks have suffered for it despite their annual terrific schedule. Hasselbeck has regressed back into being a 210 yard, 1 TD sort of player. Very average and nothing more than a decent backup quarterback on a fantasy team.
27 Campbell, Jason OAK This deep getting a fantasy quarterback that has any upside is pretty hard to do but Campbell has to be given the benefit of the doubt in Oakland if only because he is not a first round bust like most the rest of the offense. No one remembers what the Raiders look like with an actual quarterback and for all we know, those guys wearing jersey's that start with the number "8" actually can catch the ball when it is within "I can touch it" distance to them. This is a great pick for backup in a 14 team league when the rest of the teams have their #2 already. The only tricky part in Oakland is that Al Davis still thinks Russell is there and Campbell has to throw training camp passes at passing cars when Davis walks by. Morning Jamarcus! Morning Al! .... 'honk, honk, crash'
28 Bradford, Sam STL Bradford looked pretty good throwing for 189 yards and two scores on the first team Patriots defense but that is actually just another mind game by Bill Belichick so the Rams will start a rookie quarterback. I know I never will.
29 Freeman, Josh TBB He has an injured thumb and plays for a team that has convinced itself that Carnell Williams is all they need in the backfield. Freeman is a youngster getting better though and he has a mostly young team. Where ever the Buccaneers end up, Freeman is going to be part of an improving passing attack.
30 Delhomme, Jake CLE If you were a real friend, you would go around with a sharpie and cross out Delhomme's name from everyone's cheat sheet. Then again, we all pretty much laugh at your team when you leave for the bathroom so it is only fair. ... is he gone? Let's give him Delhomme and Seneca Wallace!
31 Derek Anderson ARI Since Matt Leinart flopped, Anderson pops up as someone with nice potential value if only because of Larry Fitzgerald. Anderson enjoyed a brief spark to his career in 2007 when the Browns faced a very soft schedule but he was already cooling down at the end of that year and then was benched until now.I might take Anderson as a backup QB in case the unlikely happens but mostly he makes a decent bye week filler if you need him on the right week. He's no savior for the Cardinals though and he's not going to be for your team as well.

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