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JUMbotron: Quarterback by Committee
John U. Miller
August 16, 2010
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We had some requests for a Quarterback By Committee (QBBC) write-up, pivoting off my recent Team Defense by Committee article. Done deal.

Keep in mind I'm not totally hip on this idea anymore. I spent about 10 years waiting to pick a quarterback around the sixth to ninth rounds, then piggy-backing a solid backup right after that. It was a religion to me. Tom Brady? Nope. Brett Favre? I'll pass. QBBC worked like a charm a couple times. In 2004 I took Jake Plummer (Denver) in the eighth round. He was coming off an injury-marred season but rebounded to post 4,089 yards and 27 TD passes. In that same draft I followed Plummer with Jake Delhomme in the 9th round. He had the best season of his career (3,886 & 29 TD passes). I alternated them and seemed to hit it right each time. Cruised to a fantasy title despite spotty RB production.

But more often than not, I seemed to end up with committee-mediocrity that usually involved some combination of these names – Jeff Garcia, Drew Bledsoe, Aaron Brooks, Marc Bulger, Jon Kitna, or even (gulp) David Carr. There were some good moments… Kitna had spurts, Bulger got hot sometimes… but I really think QBBC cost me a few fantasy titles. Pencil me in for Tony Romo or Peyton Manning early if the draft is flowing right for me this year. I want a guy who’s proven it over and over. That said, I’ve developed three good QBBC menus for 2010, and I gotta say these are making me tingle a little bit. The old “wait-on-my-QBs” urge comes rushing back so quickly. One or two of these could be deep homers to left center.

Quarterback By Committee is a set of three pre-screened QB pairings. Depending on your draft’s flow you’ll try to land one of the below three menus. No matter which menu you go with, you’re using mid-to-late-round picks and assuring yourself a near continuous string of good matchups where the QB 1) has a home game/good weather that week, and/or 2) faces a defense that’s in transition or just perceived to be weaker. It’s that simple…

Key: Opponents highlighted in yellow are the matchups you choose that week. Playoff weeks 13-16 are in blue. Week #17 has no selection because your league shouldn’t be active that week.

Menu 1 Your 1st QB pick Your 2nd QB pick
Week Joe Flacco - Rd 7 M. Stafford - Rd 10
1 at NY Jets at Chicago
2 at Cincinnati vs Philadelphia
3 vs Cleveland at Minnesota
4 at Pittsburgh at Green Bay
5 vs Denver vs St. Louis
6 at New England at NY Giants
7 vs Buffalo BYE
8 BYE vs Washington
9 vs Miami vs NY Jets
10 at Atlanta at Buffalo
11 at Carolina at Dallas
12 vs Tampa Bay vs New England
13 vs Pittsburgh vs Chicago
14 at Houston vs Green Bay
15 vs New Orleans at Tampa Bay
16 at Cleveland at Miami
17 vs Cincinnati vs Minnesota

Menu 1 Summary: This is for the Flacco fans. I do suspect his breakout buzz might be heavier than expected, hence you may have to move in the sixth round to make sure you get him. If Anquan Boldin stays healthy Flacco is worth the pick. You’d keep him benched in week one at the Jets (unless Revis is still holding out?) then start him against the Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Patriots, Bills and Dolphins early in the season – three of them at home. Even the road game at New England looks pretty good… they haven’t had a top-10 pass defense since 2007 despite playing in a weak passing division. Stafford’s your guy on opening day in what could be a shootout at Chicago. Stafford goes in again vs. the Rams, then vs. Washington while Flacco’s on bye. Detroit also has good matchups vs. Chicago and at Tampa Bay in weeks 13 & 15. Stafford will always be indoors or at least warm when you use him. Flacco is at Cleveland if you make it to your championship game. If Flacco is stolen right ahead of you but your eye was also on Matt Ryan, look below…

Menu 2 Your 1st QB pick Your 2nd QB pick
Week Matt Ryan - Rd 8 D. McNabb - Rd 9
1 at Pittsburgh vs Dallas
2 vs Arizona vs Houston
3 at New Orleans at St. Louis
4 vs San Francisco at Philadelphia
5 at Cleveland vs Green Bay
6 at Philadelphia vs Indianapolis
7 vs Cincinnati at Chicago
8 BYE at Detroit
9 vs Tampa Bay BYE
10 vs Baltimore vs Philadelphia
11 at St. Louis at Tennessee
12 vs Green Bay vs Minnesota
13 at Tampa Bay at NY Giants
14 at Carolina vs Tampa Bay
15 at Seattle at Dallas
16 vs New Orleans at Jacksonville
17 vs Carolina vs NY Giants

Menu 2 Summary: Ryan’s usually the 11th or 12th QB taken, and at that slot he’s usually someone’s high-priced backup. If you like QBBC and believe Ryan can climb into the 3600-yard/25-TD range then he’s your QB1. Remember, Matty Ice was on pace for 25 TD passes before a nasty toe injury in November. His schedule is littered with gold – Arizona, Cleveland, Tampa Bay (twice), St. Louis, & Seattle. The home game vs. San Francisco could be nice too. Last year Ryan hit them for 329 yards & three total TDs at their house. McNabb is the wild card here. You’ll get him cheap. He does offer another matchup against the Rams. And with this menu you’ll get McNabb vs. Tampa Bay in week 14, your third swing at the Bucs over a six-week period. This menu combines a steady upside passer with a proven veteran ‘slinger – and it’s something like I would have done a few years ago. Remember, it allows you to carb-load on RBs, WRs, and a stud TE early. With this menu you probably just need a handful of big games from the pair in order to get in the playoffs. The only question is: Do Moss and Galloway have enough left for McNabb?

Menu 3 Your 1st QB pick Your 2nd QB pick
Week Kevin Kolb - Rd 6 Matt Leinart - Rd 12
1 vs Green Bay at St. Louis
2 at Detroit at Atlanta
3 at Jacksonville vs Oakland
4 vs Washington at San Diego
5 at San Francisco vs New Orleans
6 vs Atlanta BYE
7 at Tennessee at Seattle
8 BYE vs Tampa Bay
9 vs Indianapolis at Minnesota
10 at Washington vs Seattle
11 vs NY Giants at Kansas City
12 at Chicago vs San Francisco
13 vs Houston vs St. Louis
14 at Dallas vs Denver
15 at NY Giants at Carolina
16 vs Minnesota vs Dallas
17 vs Dallas at San Francisco

Menu 3 Summary: Okay, okay… this is the QBBC pairing that might drag me back in. This one’s for riverboat gamblers. Kolb and Leinart are both essentially unproven. In fact, some are guessing that Leinart will lose his job to Derek Anderson. I don’t see that happening but more on that in a second. Kolb is a fantasy buzz-sleeper and yes he will go around the sixth round in your draft. Maybe the seventh if there’s no Eagle fan in your league. Still a good price for Kolb if he just mimics what McNabb did. Look, amidst all the injuries and balls thrown in the dirt, McNabb still averaged 1.65 TD passes per game in Andy Reid’s offense the last six years. That’s more than Brett Favre (1.57) and just behind Drew Brees (1.84). Kolb’s got the supporting cast and a marshmallow-ish opening schedule for finding his rhythm. But here’s where the real gamble comes in. You might have to turn it over to Leinart down the stretch – and what if he’s lost the gig to Anderson? Me, I ain’t buyin’ it. Anderson’s 29-TD season was in 2007, ages ago in football terms. Heck, Scott Mitchell once flung 32 TDs for Detroit. I’m squarely in Leinart’s corner. Cardinals HC Ken Whisenhunt’s been pretty quiet about Leinart’s progress but safety Adrian Wilson spilled the beans last week to “To be honest with you, Matt has really jumped out at me… I think he's really matured and it's showing.” I thought Leinart made some good throws vs. Houston though he needs the entire preseason to get the kinks out.

Uh oh, I think I just talked myself into Quarterback By Committee again. I thought I had this QBBC insanity licked, but the idea of this roster is really appealing:

Pick Player
1.8 WR Andre Johnson
2.5 RB DeAngelo Williams
3.8 WR Marques Colston
4.5 RB Cedric Benson
5.8 RB Joseph Addai
6.5 QB Kevin Kolb
7.8 TE Brent Celek
8.5 WR Johnny Knox
9.8 RB Donald Brown
10.5 WR Lee Evans
11.8 QB Matt Leinart
12.5 TE Dustin Keller
13.8 DEF Cardinals
14.5 DEF Redskins
15.8 K Robbie Gould

Notice I went ahead and jumped on Leinart in the 11th to make sure I locked in Menu 3 above. Even going WR with my first pick I ended up with RBs DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, Joseph Addai, and Donald Brown (Addai-insurance, sweet). The receivers are tight, led by Andre Johnson and ending with Lee Evans as my WR4. Don’t forget my ol’ Team Defense by Committee near the end. Somewhere in there I even installed a QB/TE battery with Kolb-to-Celek. A lot rides on Kolb but hey, this is a classic QBBC draft. I know this roster is possible because I just mock-drafted this exact team three hours ago.

Sorry Romo. Kev, I’m coming for you!


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