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2007 Fantasy Football Sleepers - Quarterbacks
Huddle Staff
August 9, 2007
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

David Dorey's Quarterback Sleepers

Tony RomoTony Romo, Dallas
The Cowboys signal caller may not be able to hold a field goal attempt but he returns with the same cast from 2006 – Terrell Owens,  Terry Glenn, Jason Witten and a two-pronged rushing attack that all defenses must respect.  The conventional wisdom is that Romo faltered down the stretch last year and while he had more interceptions to be sure (thanks to game film to finally study), he did score in all but two games that he started last year and had multiple scores in six of eleven starts. And that all came in his first season as a starter. With more experience under his belt and an offense directed by ex-quarterback Jason Garrett, Romo should do no less than where you would draft him with a nice upside for turning in much more.

Philip Rivers, San Diego
Like Romo, Rivers comes off his first season as a starter and he too had multiple scores in about half his games.  Rivers enters his second season not only with the premier running back and tight end in the league, but also a new cast of starting wideouts since McCardell was released and the ineffective Eric Parker will be out until week seven or so. The Chargers drafted rookie Craig Davis and already had promising Vincent Jackson.  Chances are good that Tomlinson cannot repeat the greatest rushing performance in fantasy football history again so Rivers will need to throw no less than he did in 2006. Only this time he’ll be more experienced and have an improved set of targets. Also quietly critical here is that Rivers inherits Norv Turner as head coach who is a noted offensive mastermind and quarterback-friendly coach who turned Alex Smith around last year.

Jason Campbell, Washington
The Redskin signal-caller only started seven games last year but he’s been on the bench learning since 2005 and still has never had a game without at least one touchdown. Just as impressive was that he had ten scores in those seven games but only six interceptions. That’s remarkable for a first-time starter for a team that hadn’t passed very well for the first nine games of the year and that had lost Clinton Portis. Campbell will not become a top 5 quarterback this year by any means but he should be a solid back-up that you can rely on when needed. He’ll come pretty cheaply and yet he is improving in that KC-style offense in Washington with a great rushing game to support him and nice targets in Santana Moss and Chris Cooley.

Scott Boyter's Quarterback Sleepers

Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay
Garcia plays with a Texas-sized chip on his shoulder. Doubt him and it fuels his fire. And there are plenty of doubters in Tampa, evidently in his own organization, since the Bucs only have about 15 quarterbacks in camp. But when the bullets fly for real, look for Garcia to be the starter so that he can start silencing his critics yet again. With a solid receiving corps and a decent enough running game to support him, Garcia will put up strong numbers. He'll be a strong No. 2 QB for your roster.

Tony Romo, Dallas
Romo has lasted until the 10th round in The Huddle's 10-team mock draft. If he's there in your draft, don't hesitate to grab him. Romo struggled some during the latter stages of the 2006 season, but if you extrapolate his numbers over a full 16-game slate you come up with more than 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns; more than worthy of a No. 1 fantasy quarterback.

Trent Green, Miami
Another player with a lot to prove is Green, who has been a 4,000-yard passer in his career but is hoping for a rebirth in Miami. And with receivers Chris Chambers, Marty Booker and Ted Ginn, Jr. (if he can recover from a foot injury, and that's a big "if"), Green should have ample opportunities to put up good numbers. He'll also get passing yardage courtesy of RB Ronnie Brown, who in Cam Cameron's offense will get a lot more looks in the passing game.

Brent Clement's Quarterback Sleepers

Jason Campbell, Washington
Campbell is the undisputed starter this year for the Redskins, and with his big arm, and Santana Moss quick feet, this combo should hook up early and often, deep.  Campbell came in to start his first game in week 11, and threw at least one TD in every game for the rest of the season. To put that in perspective, Campbell would have thrown 23 TD’s in his first year at the helm,  had he held that pace over a complete season.

Jake DelhommeJake Delhomme, Carolina
Delhomme is hardly a sleeper, but he is falling off most people’s radar, and its not justified. Delhomme the two seasons prior averaged 27 TD’s per season, and has one of the most explosive weapons in the game, Steve Smith, at his disposal. No one is debating Delhomme had an off year in 2006, but that is all it was, not a sign of things to come. Delhomme is easily a top 12 QB, and starter for some fantasy team in 2007. 

Rex Grossman, Chicago
Grossman gets a lot of pub for failing in pressure situations, which may be true, but what is over looked is he took this team to the Super Bowl, for the first time since 1985.  Even more impressive, this was his first full season as a starter, and he put up 23 TDs and 3200 yards. Grossman may never be the QB fans in Chicago want, but they, like fantasy owners should recognize he is not bad to have on your team.

Michael Courter's Quarterback Sleepers

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
As opposed to last season, where the fantasy gods seemed to toy with him at every turn (motorcycle accident, resulting appendectomy, etc.), Big Ben seems to have everything breaking in his favor this year.  He enters 2007 completely healthy, with none of the high, post-Super Bowl expectations that followed him into the 2006, his new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians boasts of an exciting, passer-friendly attack, and the environment under new coach Mike Tomlin has been a welcomed change of pace from his time under former longtime Steelers coach Bill Cowher.  Throw in the fact that the Steelers appear to be less imposing on defense and the ingredients are there for a late-round sleeper who will exceed expectations.

Joey Harrington, Atlanta
Purely based on how low expectations for Harrington are, the beleaguered journeyman has a number of positives going for him this year, which is a career first for the underwhelming veteran passer.  With Michael Vick’s eradication from the franchise, and no backup QB worth mentioning, the former Detroit Lions disappointment now finds himself in the most ideal playing situation for his career.  New head coach Bobby Petrino is an offensive play-calling wunderkind and quarterback-maker, (although mostly on the college level up to this point) and will provide Harrington with a successful game plan.  The Falcons, mired in controversy and a continued talent drain, will not be a good team this year, another plus going for Harrington’s fantasy value as he will be catch-up mode in many contests this year.  High-scoring offensive scheme,  no looking over his shoulder, and a crumbling franchise will conspire to make Harrington a nifty, garbage-sleeper pick in the late rounds as a second quarterback for teams that loaded up on running backs and receivers in the earlier part of their respective drafts.

J.P. Losman, Buffalo
Got to love the momentum J.P. created at the end of last year, throwing 12 touchdowns over the last seven games, but more importantly, establishing a strong chemistry with game-breaking deep threat Lee Evans, all accomplished with zero threat from a crumbling Bills rushing attack.  This year, the offensive line has been substantially upgraded through free agency (OG Derrick Dockery and RT Langston Walker) and the emergence of LT Jason Peters.  Add 2007 1st round pick Marshawn Lynch, a highly talented running and receiving backfield threat to the mix and there is an exciting fantasy scenario brewing up in Buffalo this season, with Losman being the centerpiece.

Bob Cunningham's Quarterback Sleepers

Jake Delhomme, Carolina
He had a very pedestrian 2006 season, but this is a smart, reliable guy.  The offensive line will be improved, a full-time load of DeAngelo Williams as the featured running back could take some pressure off, and it’s doubtful that any passing attack featuring the electric Steve Smith can endure mediocrity two years in a row.  Twenty-five TDs and a ranking in the top 10 in passing yardage is realistic.

Alex Smith, San Francisco
Although there still are some questions about the 49ers’ receiving corps – plenty of quantity but there are quality issues – his play down the stretch a year ago and with the overall improvement of the system seems to be a green flag for significant stats.

Matt Schaub, Houston
My logic is simple here.  The guy has shown tremendous poise and passing accuracy in what little action he’s received to date.  I still don’t think the Texans will be very good, which means they might be trailing a lot and be forced to throw.  And I really do like Andre Johnson.  It’s all about the performance of the offensive line. If they give Schaub time to make his reads and deliver the ball, look out.

Joe Levit's Quarterback Sleepers

Jon Kitna, Detroit
This will prove to be a beautiful selection for some owners this season. Kitna will have another full preseason to work with Mike Martz, honing the timing of his passes. He has a few decent backs to work with (Tatum Bell, T.J. Duckett) until a good one gets healthy (Kevin Jones). He has the best receiving corps the Lions have seen since Herman Moore, Brett Perriman and Johnnie Morton – and this group will be better than that one.

Phillip Rivers, San Diego
Rivers acquitted himself well in what was truly a rookie season on the field last year. Nothing has changed except that he has more experience, more confidence, a receiver in Vincent Jackson ready to explode and a rookie receiver (Craig Davis) who could push for playing time. Best back and tight end in the NFL – Check.

Chad Pennington, NY Jets
This pick is based on three elements. One, Pennington played all 16 games last year, quite an achievement for him. Maybe he has turned the healthy corner. Two, his receivers are both above average. Three, and most importantly, adding Thomas Jones is a coup for this offense. You can draft Pennington late, so he represents tremendous value.

Kevin Ratterree's Quarterback Sleepers

Jon Kitna, Detroit
After a less than stellar career spent mostly clamoring for a starting spot, Kitna finds himself in a virtual paradise for quarterbacks.  This is almost like cheating.  If Kitna can stay upright for 14-16 games he will be a very valuable fantasy player capable of carrying your fantasy team on any given Sunday.  It is the worst kept secret in fantasy football this season.  The savvy veterans of fantasy football will pick up Kitna a round or two after the other "big name" guys are gone, and he will put up the same or better numbers as his higher priced cohorts.  If Kitna crashes and burns, there is a pretty good chance most of my fantasy teams will as well.

Ben RoethlisbergerBen Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
This is the time to take advantage of the lag in perception that is happening with Roethlisberger.  After his summer of discontent in '06, his production took a predictable hit.  A year removed, I'm betting he is closer to his old self.  He is being drafted around the 11th-12th round in 12 team leagues. I view him as possibly a lower level starter quality option available at a cheap backups price.  Lots of upside and a guy that you could pair up with someone like Kitna to have a high upside quarterback crew on the cheap.

Jason Campbell, Washington
I liked what I saw from Campbell late last season.  Mostly the part where he takes off with the ball. Campbell ran 24 times in 7 games for about 120, and he had at least one touchdown pass in each game he started, ten in all Despite the fact his team doesn't pass the ball all that much, he does offer a fairly dependable if not spectacular stopgap.  And he has a tight end that makes my sleeper list as well.  If Campbell can progress this season, he may surprise some people.  Not a guy I am falling over myself to get, but if I got carried away in my draft and missed out on the higher end backups I would have no problem going with Campbell in a pinch.

Jay Cutler, Denver
Second year quarterbacks are risky.  Second year starters are risky.  Cutler is risky.  But it is a risk I am willing to take.  This guy is going to take his lumps, no doubt about it.  He is still a work in progress.  But in his short stints last season, I saw what I needed to see.  I think this guy is going to be really really good.  Maybe not this season, but soon, and for the rest of his NFL life.  If you are in a keeper league, get on that plane.

Paul Sandy's Quarterback Sleepers

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
First there was the motorcycle accident. Next there was the appendectomy. Then there were the 7 INTs and 0 TDs in his first three games. And finally, there was the stretch of the final 12 games in which Roethlisberger was a top 5 QB. What?! Yep, from Week 6 on Big Ben was money, averaging 245 yards and 1.5 TDs per game. Why then the low average draft position this season? You got me. The Steelers are switching to an offense that should put the ball in the air more. WR Santonio Holmes and TE Heath Miller have another year under their belts. It seems to me that Roethlisberger is a bona fide fantasy starter who you can probably land in the last half of your fantasy draft.
Jake Delhomme, Carolina
Just three years removed from a 29-touchdown season, Jake Delhomme has fallen out of favor with many fantasy owners. Sure, he had a rough 2006, but if you toss out the two games Steve Smith didn’t play, Delhomme averaged 1.5 TDs and 223 yards per game. Not too shabby for a QB on a team that battled injuries and struggled to find its identity all season. The Panthers are implementing a new offense this year, they’re healthy and they’re energized. All this should work wonders in helping Delhomme put the worst season of his career behind him. I love the idea of pairing him with another mid-to-late round QB.
J.P. Losman, Buffalo
Digging deep here. Losman connected on nine touchdowns in the last five games. That production may not exactly blow you away, but it’s notable nonetheless. Even more so when you consider that it came against some pretty stiff competition (SDG, NYJ, MIA, TEN, and BAL). What impressed me most about Losman last season was his completion percentage (62.5), which was higher than fantasy stalwarts like Carson Palmer and Tom Brady. With improving pocket presence and explosive weapons like Lee Evans, Marshawn Lynch, and Roscoe Parrish, Losman seems primed to throw for 22-24 touchdowns and 3,200 yards. That’d make him a borderline starter in many leagues.

Darin Tietgen's Quarterback Sleepers

Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay
Jeff Garcia has all but locked up the starting QB job for Jon Gruden’s Bucs. It’s well-documented that Garcia was fabulous for the Eagles last year, posting a terrific 61.7% completion percentage and 10 TDs (to only 2 INTs) in six starts. Garcia has always been a very accurate passer, and his game fits Gruden’s West Coast offense to a tee. Expect that completion percentage to surpass 60% yet again and with an improved receiving corps (free agent TE Jerramy Stevens, a hopefully-resurgent Michael Clayton and sophomore Maurice Stovall), Garcia could easily top 20 TDs. Gruden turned Rich Gannon into a fantasy superstar well into his career, and Garcia obviously has the same tools as Gannon. Garicia’s a safer bet as a backup fantasy QB, but could very easily be a starter if his WR corps steps up.

Alex Smith, San Francisco
Everyone and their mother knows about Smith and expects him to improve on his ‘06 numbers (2980 yards, 16 TDs), but I expect him to blow even the most liberal projections out of the water. Yes, the Niners have a killer schedule, but that may indicate the need to pass more to keep up with the big-time offenses in the NFC West. Add to it the fact that teams will certainly be keying on RB Frank Gore, who tore it up last season. Like Garcia, Smith has an improved receiving corps by way of free agency (WR Darrell Jackson), an improved sophomore (TE Vernon Davis) and some capable vets with big-play ability (WRs Arnaz Battle and Ashley Lelie). I project Smith will approach the 30-TD mark with upwards of 3600 yards. Instead of reaching for guys like Jon Kitna and Tony Romo, wait a few rounds and grab Smith. He’s a savvy, intelligent signal caller who has all the tools and talent around him to put up huge numbers.

Joey Harrington, Atlanta
In case you hadn’t heard, Mike Vick is in a little hot water with the law and subsequently with the NFL and the Atlanta brass. He may or may not play in 2007, which leaves Joey Harrington as the probable starter for the Falcons. I’m sure that Harrington is a blip on many fantasy radars now that Vick is all but done, but I suspect some will not be so hot on the journeyman QB. Harrington was all but a flop in Detroit, despite having a glut of young talent around him. He also flopped in Miami, again with plenty of talent around him. Now he comes to Atlanta, where there’s some talent (veteran WR Joe Horn, stud TE Alge Crumpler and young WRs Michael Jenkins and Roddy White) but the key will be new HC Bobby Petrino and his spread offense, which was a scoring machine at Louisville. Will Petrino’s style make the Falcons an offensive NFL juggernaut? Probably not, but with veteran RB Warrick Dunn a huge question mark (back surgery), the Falcons could be passing quite a bit. Take a flier on Harrington late in your draft and you could easily be starting him mid-season. 2,800+ yards and 20+ TDs is certainly not out of the question.

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