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2004 Player Statistics and Analysis: Quarterbacks
Updated: August 29, 2004
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Drew Bledsoe BUF HT 6'5'' WT 240 AGE 32 EXP 12  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NE 2 40 66 400 2 2 5 18 0
2002 BUF 16 375 610 4359 24 15 27 67 2
2003 BUF 16 274 471 2860 11 12 23 29 2
  Avg 11 230 382 2540 12 10 18 38 1

When Bledsoe changed teams in 2002, he looked like the second coming of Jim Kelly for about half the season. His final numbers that season were eye-popping with 4359 yards passing and 24 touchdowns but the offense had already slowed at the end of that season. In 2003, the loss of Peerless Price and later injury to Eric Moulds brought the passing attack crashing to the earth with under 3000 yards and 11 touchdowns. And consider too many of those yards were trash time in big losses. This season Bledsoe gets to look over his shoulder since J.P.Losman was drafted, but he should have some rebound from the terrible 2003 season. He renegotiated his contract and while Eric Moulds is no younger he is healthy though no suitable #2 receiver stepped up last year. Bledsoe gets the rookie speedster Lee Evans and another year of experience for Josh Reed and Bobby Shaw. Bledsoe will never get you rushing yards, but a better receiving crew this season should find him as a suitable fantasy backup. Problem is that you’ll need to grab Losman too just in case he gets some play late in the season.

08/26/04 - Bledsoe deserves the uptick in rankings thanks to Losman being out of the picture for likely the entire season.

Kyle Boller BAL HT 6'3'' WT 225 AGE 23 EXP 2  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2003 BAL 10 116 224 1260 7 9 30 52 0
  Avg 10 116 224 1260 7 9 30 52 0
Boller had a terrible rookie season in fantasy terms. He only had one game over 156 yards passing and while he had a freak 302 yard game; he more than balanced that out with three sub-100 yard games. Boller not only had the challenge of fitting into the NFL, he had to do so while on a team that doesn’t like to pass and that featured the most dominating rusher in the game last season. Boller finished the season with an AFC-worst 62.4 quarterback rating. During mini-camps this season, Boller has already impressed the coaches by being more poised, calm and in control. He has healed from the leg injury that sidelined him for the final six games of the season and the Ravens hired ex-head coach Jim Fassel to provide tutoring to Boller. With a better set of receivers this season, Boller is bound to build upon his 2003 season.Until the Ravens have a reason to throw more, his totals will still be low in fantasy terms. With the style of offense used by the Ravens, Boller does not make more than a #3 fantasy quarterback.
Tom Brady NE HT 6'4'' WT 220 AGE 27 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NE 15 264 413 2843 18 12 36 43 0
2002 NE 16 373 601 3764 28 14 42 110 1
2003 NE 16 317 528 3620 23 12 42 63 1
  Avg 16 318 514 3409 23 13 40 72 1
Thanks to a dominating defense that depressed game scores, Brady turned in lower numbers last season but still ranked 9 th in the NFL with 3620 passing yards. In the last two seasons, he has been the #8 and #12 fantasy quarterback and has an odd tendency to either throw no touchdowns (6) or multiple touchdowns (9). He had only one game when he only threw one. Brady is a little more valuable in leagues that penalize interceptions since he is consistency 1:2 with touchdowns. He also follows a Patriot pattern of only having his big games on the road and then playing mediocre (in fantasy terms) whenever he is at home. All of his scoreless games came at home where the defense keeps scores low and in the favor of New England. He was much more balanced in 2002, but very consistent on the road in 2003. This season, Brady returns the same receivers and has Corey Dillon in the hopes of actually producing a running game. It should not matter, the Patriots use the short pass as well or better than any other team with a multitude of receivers, so Brady is a safe bet to again be a great fantasy backup and a starter… when he is on the road.
Drew Brees SD HT 6'0'' WT 221 AGE 25 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 SD 2 15 27 221 1 0 2 18 0
2002 SD 16 320 526 3284 17 16 38 130 1
2003 SD 11 205 356 2108 11 15 21 84 0
  Avg 10 180 303 1871 10 10 20 77 0

Brees is destined to be an unrestricted free agent in 2005, but his time has passed in San Diego. When the Chargers made the swap with the Giants to net Philip Rivers last April, it was “game-set-match” for Brees future in southern California. He had already lost his job to Doug Flutie last season but played out the final three games as window dressing for a trade that was never offered. The second quarterback taken in the 2001 draft, Brees is a prime example of how college success means little in the NFL and even less on a team like the Chargers that will not throw much nor carry anyone on the roster that can catch it well anyway. After three seasons, his final hurrah was in weeks seven through nine last year when he managed to throw five interceptions against no touchdowns. While Brees may start the season, he’s unlikely to play for long. For a fantasy team, neither he nor Rivers offers much upside for this season.

08/16/04 - Brees is enjoying Rivers protracted holdout much more than any other Charger player. He looks more likely as the season starter and if Rivers continues, it could extend well into the season.

Aaron Brooks NO HT 6'4'' WT 205 AGE 30 EXP 5  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NO 16 312 558 3832 26 22 80 362 1
2002 NO 16 284 529 3574 27 15 61 256 2
2003 NO 16 306 518 3546 24 8 52 183 2
  Avg 16 301 535 3651 26 15 64 267 2

Brooks comes off his best season though his numbers fell slightly in fantasy terms. His completion % is up and his pass/interception ratio is the best in the NFL. His 88.8 QB rating was the highest ever for a starting Saints quarterback and was 3 rd in the NFC. Brooks was 7 th in total yardage (3729) and scored 26 touchdowns. He continued his streak of 3500 passing yards per season. However, there is something about leading the entire NFL in fumbles (11) that does not sit well with coaches. Fumbles held aside, Brooks has made progress as a quarterback and had a QB rating in the top four in the NFL for 4 th quarter passing (96.8) and 3 rd quarter passing (93.7). The Saints have been a notoriously slow starting team under Brooks in games but have reduced their one-time typical late season slide, going 5-3 down the stretch in 2003. The Saints have a tremendous runner in Deuce McAllister and the same set of receivers return and who are dedicated to off-season conditioning to eliminate the many injuries by wideouts last year. The Saints also have a far easier schedule than in recent seasons.

08/25/04 - Brooks has been hobbled by a strained quadricep this summer and may not practice prior to the season opening. He is stil expected to be fine for the season.

Mark Brunell WAS HT 6'1'' WT 217 AGE 33 EXP 12  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 JAX 15 289 473 3309 19 13 39 224 1
2002 JAX 15 245 416 2788 17 7 43 207 0
2003 JAX 3 54 82 484 2   8 19 1
  Avg 11 196 324 2194 13 10 30 150 1
Brunell signed a seven-year, $43 million dollar contract with the “new” Redskins in the off-season and brings a capable veteran to command Joe Gibbs new offense. Brunell had started nine seasons in the NFL but gave way to Byron Leftwich in week four last year and then watched the rest of the season from the sideline. Patrick Ramsey was pacified with the notion that there is an open competition for quarterback in training camp but smart money is heavily for the veteran Brunell to step in and take control. He did not sign a long-term deal worth $43 million to be the highest paid back-up nor was he interested in going anywhere else as a mere backup. How the new offense will play out remains to be seen with Joe Bugel mostly in charge of the offense along with Don Breaux and even Ernie Zampese. For fantasy team purposes, Brunell will be in an offense with a premier runner and the passing game will be experiencing a learning curve at least for the first month of the season. Brunell is risky even as a backup but is worth a shot if you wait too long because of his upside in a new offense with good receivers.
Marc Bulger STL HT 6'3'' WT 215 AGE 27 EXP 3  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2002 STL 7 138 214 1826 14 6 12 -13 1
2003 STL 15 336 532 3845 22 22 27 78 4
  Avg 11 237 373 2836 18 14 20 33 3

It only took one game for Kurt Warner to get the hook and Bulger to step in. After Bulger’s big year, he is now the new Warner for the Rams. Bulger was 3 rd in the NFL with 3845 yards and was 2 nd with four 300 yard games. Thanks to his rushing ability, Marc had nine games with multiple touchdowns and only twice threw for less than 200 yards. Where Bulger stumbled was his NFL-worst 22 interceptions. While he lessened on the torrid pace from week 3 to 12 (16 in 9 games), he still threw one interception in each of his last five games. Turnovers aside, Bulger helped Tory Holt have his breakout season and the Rams were the 2 nd highest scoring team in the NFL (tied with the Colts). This season the same players return with the rookie Steven Jackson provided potentially more production should (when) Marshall Faulk is injured. Their schedule is no harder than last season and Bulger will be more experienced and prepared as a starter for 2004. His only downside is the declining production from Isaac Bruce.

08/25/04 - Bulger is a bigger concern now that his offensive line has lost the starting right tackle and center. Pace is still out but you can assume he comes to his senses right when the season is about to start.

David Carr HOU HT 6'3'' WT 230 AGE 25 EXP 3  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2002 HOU 16 233 444 2592 9 15 58 279 3
2003 HOU 12 167 295 2013 9 13 27 151 2
  Avg 14 200 370 2303 9 14 43 215 3
Carr enters his third season ready to take the next step up in his development if he can remain healthy. He suffered through an injured calf, ankle sprain, sprained shoulder and a case of the flu last year. In his absence the Texans lost all four games including the final two against JAX and TB that produced only three points total by the Texans. Through his first five games, Carr was on a pace that would total almost 4000 yards for the season and threw at least one score in four of the five weeks. Once he started his lengthy injury list, his level of play never returned to the high production. This season will see the Texans play their third year with far less player movement from the previous season. They now have an established back in Domanick Davis and the trio of Andre Johnson, Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney are more seasoned. Their opening schedule involves SD, @DET, @KC, OAK and MIN and then becomes much more challenging. The Texan players should look as good in week five as they will all season, Carr included.
Quincy Carter DAL HT 6'2'' WT 221 AGE 27 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 DAL 9 90 176 1072 5 7 46 145 1
2002 DAL 7 125 221 1465 7 8 25 94 0
2003 DAL 16 292 506 3302 17 21 68 257 2
  Avg 11 169 301 1946 10 12 46 165 1

Carter started out the season red hot with almost 600 yards in his first two games but by week six, he was back to his old self. Parcells offense typically would not throw unless needed and the Cowboys schedule was exceedingly kind, allowing the defense to win games. In half his starts, Carter threw for less than 200 yards (the standard for fantasy quarterbacks) and his weakness was clearly turning over the ball. Carter ranked second only to Marc Bulger for most interceptions last year. Those turnovers are a distinct reason why Carter is not considered a lock to hold the job forever. The Cowboys acquired Drew Henson as the hopeful next quarterback but the reality is that Henson’s lengthy layoff from football means he is probably a year away from merely being equal to a rookie. The Cowboys acquired Vinny Testaverde in early June and he will compete with Carter for the starting job in 2004. The Cowboys have upgraded at receiver with Keyshawn Johnson in a possession role but the offense is not designed to score a lot of points. It is meant to control the ball, gain yards and win the game. Carter is a hold-over from the previous regime and is not a “Parcells guy” like Testaverde is. Training camp will determine the starter but there’s no guarantee it does not change during the season anyway. The fantasy value of the Dallas QB is already risky enough without introducing a weekly unknown into the equation.

Update 8/4/04: Carter was released by the Cowboys today in light of a rumored positive testing for cocaine. He had already been in the substance abuse program and would have been due a four game suspension. As one commentator aptly put it - "either he has a serious drug problem or he is the dumbest man on the planet".

08/25/04 - Carter was signed by the NY Jets as the backup to Pennington.

Kerry Collins OAK HT 6'5'' WT 248 AGE 31 EXP 10  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NYG 16 328 568 3770 19 15 37 73 0
2002 NYG 16 335 545 4076 19 14 43 -3 0
2003 NYG 13 284 500 3110 13 16 17 49 0
  Avg 15 316 538 3652 17 15 32 40 0
Collins evidently found some negative in the Giants trading up and spending a fortune in both money and draft picks to make the first player in the 2003 draft be his “much sooner than later” replacement. Go figure. Collins insistence that he is far more valuable than to just be a back-up/wet nurse for Eli Manning led to his leaving the Giants and joining the Raiders where all old players go to fade away. Collins was saddled with a terrible and continually changing offensive line in 2003 and his numbers were far below his average even before he left with a high ankle sprain in week 14. Now with the Raiders, Collins is behind Rich Gannon who has 15 years on Eli Manning. Collins is only 31 years of age and still has several good seasons left (even if the Giants thought otherwise). Gannon has made it past the June 1 st cuts, but his salary is too big and he is not interested in giving anything back. Gannon could be cut at any time before opening kickoff if a trade is worked out. He is the starter but smart money has him elsewhere by the first of the season. Collins will inherit a team that is rebuilding with the oldest receivers in the world.
Daunte Culpepper MIN HT 6'4'' WT 260 AGE 27 EXP 5  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 MIN 11 235 366 2612 14 13 72 409 5
2002 MIN 16 334 551 3859 18 23 105 603 10
2003 MIN 14 295 454 3479 25 11 72 422 4
  Avg 14 288 457 3317 19 16 83 478 6
Culpepper dropped in yardage last season due to missing all or part of three games with fractures to his transverse processes on his spine and yet still ended tied with Manning for the 2 nd most touchdowns by a quarterback (29) in the NFL. Had he not been injured, he would have easily been first since Gus Frerotte threw seven scores as a replacement. Even though he missed almost three full games, he still tied with Favre for the most games with multiple touchdowns (10). In the past two seasons, Culpepper has ranked 1 st in most fantasy leagues for quarterback scoring and his rushing ability tacks on nice fantasy points. Not only do the same players return from last season, Marcus Robinson has been added to the mix and Michael Bennett starts the season healthy. Culpepper and Manning make the two most low risk, high reward quarterbacks in fantasy football and thanks to rushing skills, Culpepper usually tops Manning in most leagues. With quarterbacks often devalued compared to the standard hot running backs, Culpepper will be drafted far later than warranted in most leagues.
Jake Delhomme CAR HT 6'2'' WT 205 AGE 29 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2002 NO 4 8 10 113 0 0 4 -2 0
2003 CAR 16 266 449 3219 19 16 42 39 1
  Avg 10 137 230 1666 9 8 23 18 0
Delhomme brought the Panthers back from a 17 point deficit to beat the Jaguars in week one and never looked back. He ended his first season with an impressive 19 passing scores but fell short in the fantasy world with only 3219 yards. The Panther defense coupled with an effective running game most often meant the need to pass was not great and that reflected in the inconsistent numbers that Delhomme put up. Delhomme still makes a serviceable #2 fantasy quarterback, throwing touchdowns in 75% of his games last year. The oddity here is that Delhomme had two 300 yard games – both at home. He threw for at least 2 touchdowns in six games and all of those were at home as well except for the final week against the Giants and by week 17, everyone was pouring it on the G-men regardless of venue. Remember that the next time you need Delhomme as a fill in. The Panthers have a relatively nice schedule in spite of being the reigning NFC Champs and the same set of receivers return with the addition of rookie Keary Colbert. Delhomme is a safe bet for similar numbers.
Ken Dorsey SF HT 6'4'' WT 220 AGE 23 EXP 1  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2003 SF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Avg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
What a difference a few years make. Dorsey was drafted by the 49ers with the 7.27 pick in the 2003 draft and was far closer to being “Mr. Irrelevant” than being an NFL starter. After spending last season buried on the depth charts, this ex-Miami quarterback suddenly finds himself with a shot at being the starting quarterback when the season opens. With Garcia jettisoned and Tim Rattay recuperating, Dorsey will be the signal-caller until Rattay’s groin mends. Dorsey was considered to be too slight for the NFL which led to his drop in the draft. However, since the year started he has been working out at the 49ers facility and has added 15 pounds from his playing weight last season and the 220 pounds on his 6’4” frame will help him withstand the almost certain beating that all 49er quarterbacks are due this season. Dorsey could be the starter if Rattay has a longer anticipated recovery and could figure in if Rattay is not 100% in games earlier in the year. Particularly if the game gets out of hand and Rattay’s presence only adds to his injury risk. This will be an interesting situation to follow the rest of the summer but given the talent purge in San Francisco, it is unlikely any worthwhile fantasy quarterback will show up in 2004, regardless if it is Dorsey or Rattay.
Brett Favre GB HT 6'2" WT 225 AGE 35 EXP 14  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 GB 16 315 511 3923 32 15 38 56 1
2002 GB 16 341 551 3658 27 16 25 73 0
2003 GB 16 308 472 3361 32 21 18 15 0
  Avg 16 321 511 3647 30 17 27 48 0
After fighting off rumors of retirement, Favre went into the 2003 season and threw for more touchdowns (32) than any other quarterback. He was in a three way tie with Culpepper and McNair for having the most games with two or more touchdown passes (10). The only place he did not top lists was in pass yardage (13 th) and, of course, he rarely ever runs the ball. This season has all the promise of 2003 and maybe more with a maturing set of receivers in Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson to add to old stalwart Donald Driver. Favre suffers in value for leagues that reward rushing yards but in touchdown only leagues he is a gem, having thrown 30+ touchdowns seven different years of his career. The Packers have a formidable running game and play only a moderate schedule, so the “great one that never sits” is a lock to make him worthy of being a fantasy starter. Given his multiple touchdown games and consistency, he is a tremendous pickup at quarterback still available deep in most leagues considering his value.
A.J. Feeley MIA HT 6'3'' WT 217 AGE 27 EXP 2  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 PHI 1 10 14 143 2 1 0 0 0
2002 PHI 6 86 154 1011 6 5 10 9 0
  Avg 4 48 84 577 4 3 5 5 0
Feeley was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Dolphins 2005 second round draft pick. He went 4-1 as a starter for the Eagles in 2002 but never played a down with McNabb healthy in 2003. A late fifth-round pick by the Eagles in 2001, Feeley came to the Dolphins only after trades for Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey failed. While Feeley’s biggest asset is that he is not Jay Fiedler, he has not shown much progress yet in mini-camps. The Dolphins “number” system for calling plays is foreign to him and he has struggled to pick up the new language. His slow start on learning plays and executing them has not been particularly impressive but as always, the coaches claim he is getting better. Feeley will need to take a big step in learning the offense before Fiedler has to worry about where to sit. Whether it is Fiedler or Feeley, this offense is not designed to produce more than around 3000 passing yards or 18 to 20 receiving scores. Fiedler is the incumbent and appears to remain so.
Jay Fiedler MIA HT 6'2'' WT 225 AGE 33 EXP 7  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 MIA 16 273 450 3292 20 19 73 321 4
2002 MIA 11 179 292 2024 14 9 27 108 3
2003 MIA 12 179 314 2138 11 13 33 95 3
  Avg 13 210 352 2485 15 14 44 175 3

A sprained MCL in his knee forced Fiedler to miss four games last season but even without that he was only on a pace for around 2800 yards which still falls well short of his 2001 performance. Add in that he only scored in seven of the twelve games and he was barely worthy of being a fantasy back-up. His best game of the season came in week 17 (328 yards) but he only managed five games over 200 yards. The Dolphins traded a 2005 second round pick for A.J., Feeley to challenge him this summer but early returns on the move see Fiedler hanging onto the job. Training camp could change matters but likely not. The Dolphins are on a quest to return to the playoffs because if they do not, this team will look different top to bottom in 2005. They’ve acquired David Boston to take over for Derrius Thompson and of course he has already underwhelmed the staff by reporting too heavy and, of course, acting like himself. Randy McMichael and Chris Chambers are two of the better players in their positions but with Ricky Williams leading the NFL with 392 carries last year, this is not an offense that throws very often. Watch the training camp battle between Fiedler and Feeley, but smart money has Fiedler again winning and again making only a serviceable backup quarterback for your fantasy team.

Update: This Ricky Williams fiasco should increase passing numbers and right now, Fiedler is the likely starter but still not a lock.

08/16/04 - Fiedler and Feeley are locked in a battle that may not be over until the season starts. Much too much risk to consider as even a backup quarterback except for very deep leagues.

Rich Gannon OAK HT 6'3'' WT 210 AGE 38 EXP 17  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 OAK 16 361 549 3828 27 9 62 231 2
2002 OAK 16 418 618 4689 26 10 50 156 3
2003 OAK 7 124 224 1270 6 4 6 18 0
  Avg 13 301 464 3262 20 8 39 135 2

Gannon took a mighty fall in only one season, dropping 3419 yards and 20 touchdowns from his MVP pace of 2002. That’s more than most quarterbacks manage to produce in a season. His only game of note was 348 yards and three scores against 11 mannequins wearing Charger uniforms. Otherwise the Raider wheels were already wobbling wildly before Gannon tore the labrum in his shoulder and called it a season in week seven. At the age of 38, Gannon is not a long-term answer for any team and the acquisition of Kerry Collins is the fallback for when he leaves. Since he refuses to take a pay cut and the Raiders have no monetary incentive to cut him before the season starts, he could depart at any time in July or August.Gannon has looked crisp and strong in mini-camps and claims to be back to 100% health. There is a chance that Gannon continues as the starter and Kerry Collins remains just a back-up. Hands off the Oakland quarterbacks until the situation is more clear.

08/16/04 - Gannon has looked good and Turner keeps reiterating that he is the starter. Oakland line looks improved so far as well. Still some risk from his age and Collins has looked okay as well.

Jeff Garcia CLE HT 6'1'' WT 195 AGE 34 EXP 6  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 SF 16 316 504 3538 32 12 72 263 5
2002 SF 16 328 528 3344 21 10 72 358 3
2003 SF 13 225 392 2704 18 13 54 325 7
  Avg 15 290 475 3195 24 12 66 315 5

Garcia goes to the Browns as a part of the 49ers attempt to remove all talent from their offense. He arrives never having scored less than 24 total touchdowns a season for the past four years and even during last year’s crash of the offense, he kept the offense going with a career best seven rushing scores. At 34 years old, Garcia is not a long-term answer for the Browns but he can turn in some nice fantasy games this season. He was brought to the Browns to provide a mature, winning attitude and to add quarterback mobility to the offense that has not fared well under either Kelly Holcomb or Tim Couch. The hope is that his scrambling will add a new dimension to worry the defenses. That rushing should ensure his fantasy value remains at least adequate. There may be no Terrell Owens to catch passes, but the Browns have a young and improving crew with Andre Davis, Quincy Morgan and Dennis “back in the fold” Northcutt. Add in the hottest rookie tight end in Kellen Winslow Jr. and Garcia will have plenty of targets when he decides to throw and not run. Watch out for the fantasy playoff weeks when the Browns are @BUF (14) and @MIA (16).

08/16/04 - It is still early, but the Brown's passing game is not looking cohesive while the running game looks at least adequate. He needs to rank below Brad Johnson and Tom Brady due to risk alone.

Trent Green KC HT 6'3'' WT 210 AGE 34 EXP 8  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 KC 16 296 523 3783 17 24 35 158 0
2002 KC 16 287 470 3690 26 13 31 225 1
2003 KC 16 330 523 4039 24 12 26 83 2
  Avg 16 304 505 3837 22 16 31 155 1
In three seasons with the Chiefs, Green has never thrown for less than around 3700 yards and had his career best 4039 yards last year. He was second only to Manning and landed around 4 th most productive in fantasy scoring last season. Green may turn in the odd rushing score but his running rarely produces even 10 yards in a game. What makes Green so effective is that his primary receivers are Holmes and Gonzalez – not a wideout. The Chiefs will again play a moderate schedule this season and all skill players return from 2003. Gonzalez is still in his prime but Holmes (31), Kennison (31) and Morton (33) are inching closer to the line of decline with no sure-shot players behind them. Green will continue to be a worthy fantasy starter and if all players remain healthy, he could improve on last year’s fine performance. The risk is that their aging status may reduce the effectiveness of the offense, obviously most critically Priest Holmes if he is injured. Slight risk due to age but proven production the past three seasons means Green will be a great draft pick still available after the first wave of quarterbacks are taken.
Rex Grossman CHI HT 6'1'' WT 217 AGE 24 EXP 2  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2003 CHI 3 38 72 437 2 1 3 -1 0
  Avg 3 38 72 437 2 1 3 -1 0

Grossman has been given the starting nod for 2004 after showing enough in the final three games of last season and impressing the coaches during his first training camp last summer. During week 16, he put together a nice 27-24 win over the Redskins and likely cemented his role this season. Grossman was the runner-up for the Heisman in 2001 and played three years for Florida. Head coach Steve Spurrier said that Grossman was the most talented quarterback he had ever coached but Grossman’s numbers suffered his final season in college with a new coach and a lesser team. This season, Grossman inherits the helm with new OC Terry Shea (ex-KC QB coach responsible for Trent Green) and a nice set of receivers that include Marty Booker, Justin Gage and Desmond Clark. Chicago has never been considered a pass heavy team, but Smith intends on bringing a more wide open style to the offense with motion and multiple receivers and Terry Shea’s background is steeped in developing quarterbacks for the West Coast offense.

08/22/04 - The loss of Booker does not add to the attraction of Grossman for your fantasy team.

08/29/04 - The Bears pass offense is looking even worse now that Booker is gone and Grossman does not appear to even be a safe fantasy backup except for the deepest of leagues.

Joey Harrington DET HT 6'4'' WT 220 AGE 26 EXP 3  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2002 DET 14 215 429 2294 12 16 7 4 0
2003 DET 16 309 554 2880 17 22 30 86 0
  Avg 15 262 492 2587 15 19 18 45 0
Harrington comes off his second season with progress in yards and scores but the same problem with interceptions. It was to be expected considering the decimation of the Lions team last season with injuries in almost every position. Harrington started hot in 2003 with a four touchdown game and even though his receivers fell faster than Martha Stewart stock, he still managed to score in 10 of his 16 games, a total of four with multiple touchdowns. There is reason to expect a turnaround this season. With both Charles Rogers and the rookie Roy Williams on board and with new back in Kevin Jones, the Detroit offense is poised to make some noise. It will take some time to accomplish rhythm and chemistry with the new players but after the disaster of 2003, the new year looks far brighter. Harrington will have much more upside this season but is likely to start slow with several tough match-ups early on and many new players to contend with. By later in the season, he could make a great backup for your squad.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA HT 6'4'' WT 233 AGE 29 EXP 6  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 SEA 13 176 321 2023 7 8 39 149 0
2002 SEA 13 267 419 3075 15 10 40 202 1
2003 SEA 16 313 513 3844 26 15 36 125 2
  Avg 14 252 418 2981 16 11 38 159 1
In only three seasons, Hasselbeck has developed into one of the premier fantasy quarterbacks in the NFL, doubling his touchdowns each season while adding another 1000 yards to his passing. That streak will cool because otherwise he would be setting NFL records in 2004. Last season Matt tied for 2 nd in 300 yard games (4), 3 rd for games with multiple scores (8) and ended around 3 rd in the average fantasy league behind only Manning and Culpepper. He scored in all but two games in 2003 and starting in week 3, he only once threw for less than 200 yards in a game. Here’s the better part – he is returning virtually all the same players from last season. While Koren Robinson was the emerging star in 2002, Darrell Jackson took the forefront in 2003. Now both are hitting their absolute prime years and are supported by one of the better rushers in the league with Shaun Alexander. Hasselbeck has plenty of targets when you throw in Bobby Engram, Mili and Stevens. With the same players and a very moderate schedule, Hasselbeck should enjoy at least as good a season as 2003 and still has potential and upside left for an even bigger upgrade. The Seahawks are very optimistic that this is their year and there is little to refute that happening.
Brad Johnson TB HT 6'5'' WT 224 AGE 36 EXP 11  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 TB 16 341 561 3406 13 11 38 126 3
2002 TB 13 281 451 3049 22 6 13 30 0
2003 TB 16 354 570 3821 26 21 25 33 0
  Avg 15 325 527 3425 20 13 25 63 1
At 36 years of age, Johnson is an elder statesman of quarterbacks and comes off his career best 26 touchdowns in a season. His 3821 yards ranks second only to 1999 with the Redskins. He also comes off his worst season ever for interceptions (21) as a reflection of the receiving crew. For comparison, he only had 13 in 1999 and had never thrown more than 15 in a season before 2003. He tied for 2 nd best in the NFL with four games over 300 yards and scored in his first 11 games of the season. He also had eight games with multiple touchdowns – not too shabby for an old man that lost Keyshawn Johnson after week 11 and made do with Keenan McCardell, Charles Lee and pretty much no other receivers. An easy later schedule helped with the transition. The Buccaneers have a favorable passing schedule this season but Johnson has only played two full 16 game seasons in his career including last season. In his favor the rushing game could be even worse than last year and the need to throw just as common. Johnson makes a very solid backup quarterback and proved last season that he can fill-in as a starter at any point and contribute well. His age is a slight concern but his receiving corps is upgraded this year.
Byron Leftwich JAX HT 6'5'' WT 240 AGE 24 EXP 2  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2003 JAX 15 239 419 2819 14 17 25 108 2
  Avg 15 239 419 2819 14 17 25 108 2
Leftwich only needed three games to take over the Jaguars helm and his first season was cause for excitement. Leftwich ended with only 14 touchdowns but scored in 12 of the 15 games that he played and had six efforts over 200 yards – his best being 336 yards against the Chargers in week 5. He naturally struggled with interceptions especially when he faced a top defense and usually threw more than one in those games. For a rookie quarterback on a team with only one notable receiver (Jimmy Smith), his results were encouraging. During the off-season, Leftwich has impressed his teammates with his dedication and work with conditioning, study and working with the other players which has led to a growing confidence that this will be Leftwich’s big year. The Jaguars have added an exciting rookie in Reggie Williams and Jimmy Smith has lost weight to improve his speed. Fred Taylor appears to have forgotten he was supposed to get injured last season and the rookie Greg Jones is turning heads already. The Jaguars actually play a slightly easier schedule than most teams and Leftwich could surprise this season. With the defense and rushing game already among the best, the passing game is the final piece of the puzzle.
J.P. Losman BUF HT 6' 2" WT 217 AGE 23 EXP R  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
ROOKIE BUF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Taken with the 1.22 by the Bills who traded down to get him, Losman comes from a Tulane squad that did not provide him with many tools to win last year. Losman has good size, a great release and a big-time arm. He is considered raw but with great potential down the road. He’ll be more value down the road, but late in the season he could get some playing time as a precursor to getting a starting shot in 2005. Bledsoe has always been pretty durable, so it is not likely Losman gets much opportunity this season. He makes a decent pick deeper in a dynasty draft with no expectations for this 2004.

08/24/04 - Losman fractured his leg and will be out until November at the earliest.

Tommy Maddox PIT HT 6'4'' WT 220 AGE 33 EXP 8  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 PIT 3 7 9 154 1 1 6 9 1
2002 PIT 13 234 377 2836 20 16 18 49 0
2003 PIT 16 298 519 3414 18 17 13 12 0
  Avg 11 180 302 2135 13 11 12 23 0
Maddox comes off his career-best season and apparently no one is watching in Pittsburgh. Instead, they are all huddled around Roethlisberger to see at what their future looks like. To his credit, Maddox had four 300 yard games and tied for 2 nd best in the NFL in 2003. He fought through a hyper-extended knee late season and threw all but eight passes for the Steelers last year. He had four games with multiple touchdowns and half his games had no interceptions. His downfall is in two areas. First – he is 33 years old this year and has not, obviously, given cause to think he has many good years left in him (some would question any). Secondly, when he was good, he was good. And when he was bad, he was terrible and often at inopportune times. His five games without any scores all resulted in losses and his die was likely cast with three bad games from weeks four through six when the entire offense could only score 14 or less points. He also ended the season badly with three games under 160 yards and a shutout by the Jets. The role of Maddox this season will rely entirely on the development of Roethlisberger in training camp and if Maddox gives the coaches to make a change. The Steelers want to give Roethlisberger a year to season before taking the reins in 2005 but the risk will exist for Maddox owners.
Eli Manning NYG HT 6' 4" WT 218 AGE 23 EXP R  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
ROOKIE NYG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Eli enters the NFL almost as a clone of his brother Peyton, only an inch shorter (but still 6’4”), a few pounds lighter and both were the first pick in their respective draft years. It only required about five minutes for Kerry Collins to digest the impact of Manning’s selection and a only a matter of days before he started packing his suitcase. Eli had mixed reviews this spring, struggling with learning the new offense but showing progress. Manning has the obvious pedigree, size and physical attributes to get the job done in the NFL as he did for Mississippi in the SEC. He is a proto-typical drop-back passer that rarely runs and lands on a team with Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard, Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey as valuable targets. His brother threw for 3739 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first season, so little bro should too – right? Probably not. With Kurt Warner as the likely starter for week one, Manning will be watching and waiting. He may not play in 2003. Then again, he may pull a Bulger and start week two if Warner stumbles mightily. The Giants face a fairly tough schedule but will benefit from the divisional match-up against the NFC North (MIN, DET) and also ARZ. Manning is a must in a dynasty league but for a redraft league, let someone else handcuff Eli and Kurt together this season.

08/20/04 - Manning may not be the starter in week one, but he will almost certainly take over sooner than later. He looked very sharp for a rookie against the first team CAR defense last night.

Peyton Manning IND HT 6'5'' WT 230 AGE 28 EXP 7  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 IND 16 343 547 4131 26 23 35 157 4
2002 IND 16 392 591 4199 27 19 38 148 2
2003 IND 16 379 566 4267 29 10 27 29 0
  Avg 16 371 568 4199 27 17 33 111 2
Manning represents perhaps the ultimate fantasy quarterback. Since his first start in 1998, he has never missed a game. He has never thrown less than 26 touchdowns. Since his rookie year, he has never thrown for less than 4100 yards. There is simply no player closer to a guarantee than Manning which is why he just signed a contract worth a paltry $99 million. Manning tied for 2 nd in the NFL last season for 300 yard games (4) and led all quarterbacks with 41 plays inside the 10 yard line. Manning rarely runs the ball but then again, there is a big reason why he has played his last 96 consecutive games. Each season there are often a few players that score more in fantasy terms than Manning thanks to rushing yardage usually, but there is no other quarterback that is a fixture in the top three for the past five years. Draft him, play him and smile.
Josh McCown ARI HT 6'4'' WT 223 AGE 25 EXP 3  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2002 ARI 2 7 18 66 0 2 1 20 0
2003 ARI 7 95 165 1018 5 6 29 164 1
  Avg 5 51 92 542 3 4 15 92 1
McCown finally walks into the season as a starter and there are reasons to be optimistic that he could hang onto the job and make a difference. McCown played the final three and a half games of the season and had five touchdowns against only two interceptions but games against SF, SEA and MIN were fairly kind to all quarterbacks. McCown threw the infamous last second pass that knocked MIN out of the playoffs. This year he has a new system and head coach and opens with two road trips and a home stand against the Pats. But through the season his schedule gets easier with an astounding stretch during fantasy playoffs – DET, SF, STL and SEA. McCown enters the season with a better receiving corps with Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson entering their second year and Larry Fitzgerald was the first receiver taken in the draft. Freddie Jones is an above average receiving tight end as well. McCown can grow with this team that should put up better offensive numbers with Denny Green in charge, His outlook this season has to be limited early on as he learns a new system but by the end of the year he’ll be a gem to have tucked away on your roster.
Donovan McNabb PHI HT 6'2'' WT 226 AGE 28 EXP 6  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 PHI 15 285 493 3233 25 12 79 487 2
2002 PHI 10 211 361 2289 17 6 62 464 6
2003 PHI 16 276 479 3223 16 11 70 359 3
  Avg 14 257 444 2915 19 10 70 437 4
McNabb started last season at a horrible pace and by week 8 he had only thrown three touchdowns against seven interceptions. He had averaged only 142 yards passing per game. The final nine games were a complete turnaround, averaging 248 yards and passing for 13 scores and rushing for three more. Those final nine games were a pace that could have produced almost 4000 yards a season and 28 touchdowns had he done it all season. He had two 300 yard passing games in spite of having possibly the least productive wideouts in the entire league. McNabb’s rushing yardage went down in the second half of the 2003 season but he still ranked 2 nd to only Culpepper in rushing yardage by a quarterback. Donovan has been a highly-ranked fantasy quarterback but has rarely delivered numbers worthy of his high pick in leagues. That should change this season. McNabb is in his absolute prime right now at 28 with five years behind him. The Eagles finally recognized that passing game might benefit from a legitimate #1 receiver and acquired Terrell Owens. The Eagles still have no full-time rusher so McNabb will continue to use the backs, Owens, Pinkston and the emerging L.J. Smith heavily in the passing game. Expect McNabb to have his best season yet.
Steve McNair TEN HT 6'2'' WT 225 AGE 31 EXP 10  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 TEN 15 264 431 3350 21 12 76 414 5
2002 TEN 16 301 492 3387 22 15 82 440 3
2003 TEN 14 245 393 3184 24 7 37 138 4
  Avg 15 270 439 3307 22 11 65 331 4
2003 provided a career high 24 passing scores for McNair and he has thrown at least 21 for the past three seasons. He does not run in scores with the regularity he did back in the late nineties, but his four touchdowns rushing were still second to only Jeff Garcia. McNair comes off his lowest rushing totals (138 yards) since his rookie season when he only played a few games. The Titan offense developed a deeper game last season and his 11 completions over 40 yards is a career high. McNair had long been a fantasy starter but last season became a premier player in leagues since he scored in every game of 2003 including an NFL best of ten with multiple touchdowns. McNair struggled with a bad ankle the final games of 2003 and had surgery to remove a bone spur this February. He is expected to be 100% healthy during training camp. McNair is not running as much, but he was consistent and productive passing in every game last season. His schedule should prove a little easier than last year and the only change is the loss of Wycheck and McCareins. With Mason, Bennett, Calico, Kinney and the rookie Troupe, McNair should come close to matching the numbers of 2003 even with the loss of the veteran Wycheck and emerging star in McCareins.
Carson Palmer CIN HT 6'4'' WT 235 AGE 25 EXP 2  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2003 CIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Avg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Now that Palmer has had his full year seasoning on the bench, he takes the reins of a Bengal team that is more exciting than any time in the past decade or more. Palmer is in the second season of his $49 million contract, six year contract and still has yet to throw a pass in an NFL game. The number one pick in the 2003 NFL draft has already shown nice accuracy and distance in mini-camps this season and is working hard at gaining chemistry with Chad Johnson. With Johnson, Peter Warrick and Kelly Washington as receivers and a good stock of running backs to support him, Palmer has the tools to succeed. What Palmer does not have in his first season as a starter is a good schedule. He actually has the worst and gets to start out his season playing @NYJ, MIA, BAL, @PIT and @CLE. Throw a bye week in there and his start is likely to be far less than stellar. In fantasy playoff time, he starts week 13 and goes against BAL, NE and BUF. Not exactly the easiest way to start or end a season.

08/22/04 - While Palmer still will face a brutal schedule this year, he has been impressive in preseason play, particularly with the long ball.

Chad Pennington NYJ HT 6'3'' WT 225 AGE 28 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NYJ 2 10 20 92 1 0 1 11 0
2002 NYJ 15 276 400 3128 22 6 30 49 2
2003 NYJ 10 189 297 2139 13 12 21 42 2
  Avg 9 158 239 1786 12 6 17 34 1
Chad fractured and dislocated his non-throwing hand during the preseason and did not resume playing until week 8 of the 2003 NFL season. The pace he set from week 9 onward would have produced around 3500 yards and 26 touchdowns for the season instead of the apparently disappointing 2139 yards and 13 passing touchdowns (plus two rushing scores as well). Pennington was looking for a breakout year in 2003 until the injury so 2004 will have to suffice and the positive note is that it should be easier this season. Pennington has already established nice chemistry with Santana Moss and the Jets went out and acquired Justin McCareins as an RFA. The concept here was get the young guy before he breaks out, not the old guy well after he has (AKA Curtis Conway). Now Pennington has two legitimate starting receivers to target and both have home-rum ability. Pennington can score on a run a time or two a season, but he is never going to provide rushing yards. The Jets now have enough confidence in Chad that he will be given the authority to call his own plays on occasion and the future is bright if he can remain healthy. The rushing game could be the offensive feature that pulls the team down but would only result in yet more passing.
Jake Plummer DEN HT 6'2'' WT 202 AGE 30 EXP 8  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 ARI 16 304 526 3653 18 14 35 164 0
2002 ARI 16 286 530 2979 18 20 47 283 2
2003 DEN 11 189 302 2183 15 7 37 205 3
  Avg 14 260 453 2938 17 14 40 217 2
Plummer’s first season with the Broncos had encouraging results. He threw for only 2183 yards but with five games missed was on a pace for 3200 yards for the season. His 18 total touchdowns also trends out to 26 scores which would have made him 3 rd best in the NFL. Plummer threw scores in nine of eleven games and had five with multiple touchdowns. His broken foot forced him to miss a month but he came back in fine fashion. Plummer started last season with a couple of 40+ rushing games but settled down to only a few scrambles a game at the end of the season, the lingering effects of his foot injury being a primary reason. With Clinton Portis gone he could be slightly more likely to run again, but the Broncos have long been the magician by producing 1000 yard runners out of deeply drafted players. This season Plummer will have a new running game but that is of little concern given Denver’s history. The biggest concern is that Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey and Portis are gone and taken with them 119 catches, 1279 yards and nine receiving touchdowns from last season. Left behind is the aged Rod Smith (34), a disappointing Ashley Lelie and a new smattering of tight ends that smacks of the 2000 TE-by-committee. Plummer has a better schedule this season but with lesser players and will need Lelie and the running game to step up and fill the void. He makes for a solid backup that could surprise but his risk with a less experienced offense prevents him from being considered an immediate fantasy starter.
Tim Rattay SF HT 6'0'' WT 215 AGE 27 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 SF 2 2 2 21 0 0 5 -3 0
2002 SF 4 22 37 193 2 0 5 0 0
2003 SF 8 73 118 856 7 2 8 0 0
  Avg 5 32 52 357 3 1 6 -1 0
Rattay has his dream come true when Jeff Garcia departed for Cleveland and left the keys to the car for Rattay. He did not enjoy that for long before his nightmare began thanks to his torn tendon in his groin that required surgery. He is slated to return in late July all going well but if not, Ken Dorsey will take the starts until Rattay is ready. Rattay had three starts in relief of Garcia and produced wins over STL and PIT. In only three games he threw six touchdowns against only two interceptions. Of the five wideout touchdowns thrown then, only one went to a player still on the roster ( Brandon). Rattay has a long road of rehab and recovery to complete before being deemed healthy enough to practice. When he does return, he has missed all the chance to establish chemistry with virtually an entirely new set of receivers who are, by most estimates, only a fraction as talented as those who have left. There is tremendous risk in picking Rattay and unless August shows him to be 100%, he is better left for someone else’s fantasy roster.
Phillip Rivers SD HT 6' 4" WT 226 AGE 23 EXP R  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
ROOKIE SD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Rivers was drafted 4 th overall and then traded to the Chargers for Eli Manning. Marty Schottenheimer wanted him all along and Rivers is considered athletic and smart. His delivery is a little closer to side-armed than most coaches would like and he is not considered to have a big arm. His stock soared because of his maturity, leadership, quick release and instincts for playing quarterback. A precise passer, Rivers may not have the best physicals skills of all rookies but you can argue he has intelligence and the ability to “make it happen” as much or more than any other. There is no guarantee that Rivers is thrown into the fire starting week one, but there is virtually no chance that he’ll grace the bench all season. Smart money has him starting within the first month if not sooner. Rivers has struggled a bit in early mini-camps but that is to be expected. His outlook this season is very limited given that outside of Tomlinson, there are no playmakers in San Diego. The offensive line will continue to be a sore spot for preventing sacks and the wideout crew appears devoid of even second-string receiver quality for most NFL teams. As long as Schottenheimer and LT are there, Rivers will likely never develop into a formidable fantasy quarterback.

08/16/04 - Rivers holdout continues and Brees comes off an impressive exhibition game. Looking like Brees will be the season starter and Rivers is hurting his chances of learning the offense and making a difference in 2004.

Ben Roethlisberger PIT HT 6' 4" WT 242 AGE 23 EXP R  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
ROOKIE PIT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Steelers snagged Rothlisberger with the 11 th overall pick and considered him as the third and final low-risk quarterback on the board. He is dinged by some to have a slower delivery but has been very accurate even when on the run. At 6’5” and 240 lbs., he can move when he needs to but is still a pocket passer. Many had him above Philip Rivers and there is no denying his physical skills. Chances are he’ll stay behind Tommy Maddox this season and take the reins in 2005. With a receiving trio of Plaxico Burress (probably), Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El, he will pay off dividends to those in dynasty leagues that can stash him away for a year. The Steeler passing attack is not formidable enough to suggest backing up Maddox in a fantasy draft. During mini-camps, Roethlisberger impressed with a strong arm and good velocity. He has a big presence (6’4”/ 242 lbs.) in the pocket and has already shown the athleticism the Steelers craved when they drafted him. He’ll likely do little this season but if Maddox pitches shutouts again or the Steelers fall out of the playoff race early, expect Roethlisberger to receive at least token play.
Vinny Testaverde DAL HT 6'5" WT 235 AGE 41 EXP 17  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 NYJ 16 261 442 2762 15 14 30 22 0
2002 NYJ 5 54 83 499 3 3 2 23 0
2003 NYJ 7 123 198 1385 7 2 6 13 0
  Avg 9 146 241 1549 8 6 13 19 0

Testaverde was acquired by the Cowboys right after the June cuts began and as expected, he has reunited with Bill Parcells, Richie Anderson and Keyshawn Johnson. The starting quarterback position is an open competition this summer between Vinny and Quincy Carter and though Carter is the incumbent that may not be enough. While Vinny is no spring chicken at 41 years of age, he has the command of the offense well underway before he even got into Dallas. The Cowboys scheme under Parcells will be ball control and good defense with passing only featured when needed. Vinny has obvious experience in the league, but more than that he is a Parcells favorite and has not had quite the problems with turnovers as has Carter. That plays big in the decision of starter. Vinny will be a risk to draft even if he is named the week one starter (and chances are fair) because of his age and the style of offense that the Cowboys employs is not conducive to producing top fantasy quarterbacks. There will always be a chance that Carter steps back in as well. Unless this situation becomes crystal clear with some track record, you better bets at a fantasy back-up quarterback are on other teams.

Update 8/4/04: Vinny was named as the starter in the wake of Quincy Carter's dismissal. At the age of 41 on an offense that prefers not to throw, his fantasy impact is likely minimal and always risky.

Michael Vick ATL HT 6'0'' WT 215 AGE 24 EXP 4  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 ATL 8 50 113 785 2 3 28 305 1
2002 ATL 15 231 421 2936 16 8 112 796 8
2003 ATL 5 50 100 585 4 3 40 255 1
  Avg 9 110 211 1435 7 5 60 452 3
There is little debate about Vick’s talent – he can throw as well as any quarterback and run as well as any running back. His smaller size – one of the shortest starting quarterbacks - is a reason why his durability comes into question. His fractured fibula last season caused him to miss the first twelve games of the season on an otherwise innocuous rollout during a preseason game. Vick managed a nice first season as a starter in 2002 when he only had eight interceptions against sixteen touchdowns and that was with far lesser weapons for receivers. Now the shelves have been stocked with second-year Falcon Peerless Price and newly drafted Michael Jenkins in addition to one of the better receiving tight ends in Alge Crumpler. Now that his leg is 100%, expect that Vick will at least approach the rushing totals of 2002 and should have more success passing than in the past. He has a new scheme to learn and within that, a chance that his season starts very well as defenses adjusts to the new offense. If Vick stays healthy, he could easily end up a top fantasy quarterback this season thanks to his rushing yardage and scores. He ended around 3 rd in most leagues for 2002.
Kurt Warner NYG HT 6'2'' WT 220 AGE 33 EXP 6  
YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
2001 STL 16 375 546 4830 36 22 28 60 0
2002 STL 7 144 220 1431 3 11 8 33 0
2003 STL 2 38 65 365 1 1 1 0 0
  Avg 8 186 277 2209 13 11 12 31 0

Warner only played one game in 2003 before taking the clipboard from Marc Bulger for the rest of the season. After claims that his thumb was healed and that his 2002 disaster was an aberration were believed in training camp, Warner’s first and only start produced only one touchdowns and four turnovers – three of them fumbles. The rest of the season he spent sulking on the bench. He actually fumbled six times but lost only three. Released in a cap move by the Rams back in June, he now goes to the Giants where he will provide mentoring for rookie Eli Manning and veteran presence to start the season. Warner should end up as the starter for week one and potentially could start all the games while Manning watches and learns but there is no doubt that he is nothing more than a placeholder for Manning whenever that time comes. It all introduces much risk in drafting Warner because you cannot be certain how long he will start or even who will finish the game. Even though Warner was a two-time MVP, he goes to a team with a new coach and scheme, with a new cast of receivers to use and with a very big ticket back-up just waiting for his chance. Warner struggled in June mini-camp with his passing accuracy and there is some concern he may not return to previous form. Lot of risk here for the timid.

08/20/04 - Warner continues to look more like the version that got the boot from STL than his old self. He was sacked four times last night and he is not the future. He may not even be the present.

   
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