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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT GUIDE

2007 Player Rankings: Quarterbacks
Updated: September 3, 2007
Sort This Page By: Rank Movement: Huddle Rankings: Projected Stats: Huddle Cheat Sheets:
Tier One
Peyton Manning - DEN YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 18%
Auction 12: 18%
2004 IND 16 336 497 4557 49 10 25 38  
2005 IND 16 305 453 3747 28 10 33 45  
2006 IND 16 362 557 4397 31 9 23 36 4
Avg   16 334 502 4234 36 10 27 40 1
Proj DEN       4300 33 10   40 2

Nothing much to talk about here. Manning is simply the most productive and consistent quarterback over the nine seasons that he's played. His 4397 yards last year were only third best in his career and yet ranked second in the NFL last year. His 31 passing scores ranked #1 in the NFL for 2006 and yet he’s done better in two other seasons including setting the all-time passing touchdown record with 49 in a season. Manning enjoys all his skill position players returning this season with the same coaching staff and scheme and an offensive line that featured two Pro Bowl players.

The worst you get with Manning (who has never missed a game in nine years) is great and the best would just set yet another NFL record. Manning is as "slam dunk" as it gets for NFL quarterbacks. The only question is when your league makes sense to take him as the first quarterback drafted.

Tom Brady - NEP YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 14%
Auction 12: 14%
2004 NEP 16 288 474 3690 28 14 43 28  
2005 NEP 16 334 530 4110 26 14 27 89 1
2006 NEP 16 320 517 3533 24 12 49 102  
Avg   16 314 507 3778 26 13 40 73 0
Proj NEP       4280 28 14   80 1

(+Upside) After coming off career high marks in 2005, Tom Brady ended last season with the lowest yardage since becoming a full-year starter in 2002. His "fall" still turned in 3529 yards and 24 touchdowns against only 12 interceptions. His worst year and he still tied for 4th most passing scores on the season. Brady has never had less than those 3529 passing yards last year or worse than 23 scores in a 16 game season.

What this season ushers in is all new optimism that Brady could once again reach a career best mark. He comes off the worst cast of receivers since coming to New England and now has the best of his career. In addition to Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney, the Patriots added Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Wes Welker in the off season. The Patriot scheme was always hard to defend since it never relied on any one wideout. Now it has added Moss and Stallworth who were #1 wideouts on their prior team and Wes Welker. It’s a dangerous looking crew now and since the team opted to not directly replace Corey Dillon, there’s a good chance that those short rushing scores of previous year’s will now turn into passing touchdowns. Ben Watson is another year more experienced. The stage is set for the best passing year ever for Brady and in the past he’s had as many as 4110 yards and 28 touchdowns. And for one of the even more rare times, the Patriots passing schedule is easier than it has been in several seasons.

Carson Palmer - ARI YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 14%
Auction 12: 14%
2004 CIN 13 263 432 2897 18 18 18 47 1
2005 CIN 16 345 509 3836 32 12 34 41 1
2006 CIN 16 324 520 4036 28 13 26 35  
Avg   15 311 487 3590 26 14 26 41 1
Proj ARI       3980 30 12   50 1

Despite tearing a couple of ligaments in his knee in the first round of the 2005 playoffs, Palmer was able to start the entire season last year and ended with a career high 4035 passing yards with 28 touchdowns. He never missed any time and ranked 5th best in passing yardage last year and 2nd best in touchdowns. Palmer has only been a starter for three years and has not only been productive, he threw for 60 touchdowns over the last two seasons with only 25 interceptions.

No need to over-analyze here. Palmer has been a top quarterback for the last two years and showed great resiliency in returning from a bad knee injury within seven months so that he never missed a regular season game. This offense is unchanged other than the absence of Chris Henry for the first eight weeks. That isn’t a positive, but with Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Palmer will make up the difference in other ways. The Bengals schedule is actually a bit lighter than last year anyway. Notable too is the tasty schedule during fantasy playoffs – STL, @SF and CLE.

Drew Brees - NOS YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 14%
Auction 12: 14%
2004 SDC 15 262 400 3159 27 7 53 85 2
2005 SDC 16 323 500 3576 24 15 21 49 1
2006 NOS 16 357 555 4424 26 11 41 32  
Avg   16 314 485 3720 26 11 38 55 1
Proj NOS       4300 28 14   20  

After spending five years in San Diego where Brees had enough success to keep first round pick Philip Rivers on the bench for two seasons, he moved to New Orleans to take over a franchise that had completely imploded in 2005. The Saints brought on new HC Sean Payton and started shaking up the team which included getting rid of Donte Stallworth and keeping the aging Joe Horn. It looked like starting with humble beginnings but by the time it was over, Brees had led the Saints on one of the most dramatic turnarounds in NFL history. In his first season as a Saint with no apparent stars other than Horn, Brees ended the regular season with a career high 4418 passing yards (#1 in the NFL) and 26 touchdowns (#3) and only threw 11 interceptions. He took a bottom dwelling 3-13 team all the way to a 10-6 record and a NFC conference championship game. He topped 300 passing yards eight times and even threw for a head-spinning 510 yards against the Bengals.

Along the way, Brees connected with Marques Colston to create perhaps the greatest 7th round wideout in the history of the NFL. Drafting Reggie Bush game him yet another outlet and yet Brees had great games using so many different receivers that it’s impossible to argue that he alone was not the central key to the dramatic turnaround. He could have done more but the Saints clinched the division three weeks out and Brees only had 385 total yards over those final three games. He was on pace for a 4960 yard season.

Joe Horn has left but the Saints drafted Robert Meacham with their first pick in the draft to help replace him and kept all other receivers from 2006. The schedule is no more difficult than it was last year and likely will prove easier. This year everyone will see Brees coming, but how many will be able to stop him anyway?

Tier Two
Jon Kitna - DAL YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 8%
2004 CIN 4 61 104 623 5 4 10 42  
2005 CIN 3 17 29 99   2 2 14  
2006 DET 16 372 596 4208 21 22 34 156 2
Avg   8 150 243 1643 9 9 15 71 1
Proj DAL       4280 27 20   50  

Kitna’s first season with the Lions resulted in a mere 372 completions (#1 in the NFL) on 596 attempts (#2 in the NFL) for 4208 passing yards (#4 in the NFL). All this in his first season in the new offense while throwing every pass in every game for Detroit. He even added 156 yards and two rushing scores to add to his 21 passing touchdowns. Kitna threw 22 interceptions, but his ratio was only 27:1 for passes thrown – no difference than what any Martz offense produces. Bulger’s final two years in that system produced 32:1 and 34:1 with a far better offense around him. Kitna set a career high for passing yardage and turned in four 300 yard games in 2006.

2007 will include the ever-hyped Calvin Johnson to add to Roy Williams and Mike Furrey which can only improve the passing. Kevin Jones is still recovering from his foot injury last year but at least the Lions went out and picked up Tatum Bell and T.J. Duckett as replacements as needed – bit of an upgrade from Arlen Harris and Aveion Cason. The only question revolving around Kitna was the drafting of Drew Stanton with the 2.11 pick as the 5th quarterback taken in April. Stanton was a local favorite of sorts coming from Michigan State but the complicated offense is far better off this year with Kitna rather than dumping the year’s fortunes with a rookie quarterback. The Lions are in a good spot to improve and starting a rookie QB makes no sense for this year. Barring an amazing training camp, Stanton won’t be a factor for 2007 in this pass-happy offense. Kitna gets head up what should be one of the best passing attacks in the league this year – just expect a few interceptions along the way.

Marc Bulger - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 8%
Auction 12: 6%
2004 STL 14 321 485 3964 21 14 19 89 3
2005 STL 8 192 287 2297 14 9 9 29  
2006 STL 16 370 588 4301 24 8 18 44  
Avg   13 294 453 3521 20 10 15 54 1
Proj FA       4340 25 9   30  

The first year in Scott Linehan’s offense and Bulger’s level of play did change from his old Martz-days. He got better. In fact, he had career highs in completions (370), yards (4301) and touchdowns (24). Bulger ranked #2 in completions last year, #3 in passing yardage and #4 in passing touchdowns. All this and only eight interceptions. Yes, the change did not hurt him at all.

While Bulger had a few uncharacteristic clunkers in 2006 (142 yards in CAR and 137 yards in OAK without any scores), he still posted eight games over 300 yards – half the time he played. He also had seven efforts with two or more touchdown passes. What has made Bulger even better is using Steven Jackson as a receiver and finally having a dominating rushing game that must be respected. The Rams have also acquired Drew Bennett to replace the departed Kevin Curtis so there should be no reason for Bulger to have a lack of targets this season. Even Randy McMichael comes over to shore up the tight end spot. Not only does he have all this going for him, he also has the softest passing schedule in the league this year. Consider Bulger a very safe and productive pick at quarterback this season.

Donovan McNabb - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 8%
Auction 12: 6%
2004 PHI 15 300 470 3875 31 8 42 221 3
2005 PHI 9 211 357 2507 16 9 25 55 1
2006 PHI 10 180 316 2647 18 6 32 212 3
Avg   11 230 381 3010 22 8 33 163 2
Proj FA       3780 25 8   170 3

(-Risk) (+Upside) Donovan McNabb was having a career best season in 2006 when he had had averaged 307 passing yards and almost three touchdowns per week through the first seven games. After two uncharacteristically low games, he tore his ACL against the Titans in week 11 and was lost for the season. That makes three of the last five years with him getting injured and missing the rest of the season. He had surgery on the injury at the end of November and at the time; it was described as an "eight to twelve month" recovery time. That span puts him ready either at the start of training camp all the way until after mid-season. McNabb has been throwing the ball in the off-season and rehabbing the knee. The expectations according to HC Andy Reid is for him to be ready by the start of training camp.

The 31-year old quarterback has missed 13 games over the last two years and hasn’t started all 16 games since 2003. Prior to the addition of Terrell Owens, McNabb had been turning in around 3200 passing yards and 17 passing scores per year but shot up to 3875 in his career best with 31 touchdowns (2004). But he surprised in 2006 when Owens was gone and yet McNabb was every bit as effective as he had ever been – if not better. And once again, he suffered a major injury and missed the rest of the season. That no doubt was a factor when the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb with their 2.04 draft pick. The move shocked McNabb and he publicly speculated as to what the team was doing but has since made nice with Reid. McNabb has a very nice passing schedule this year and the Eagles picked up Kevin Curtis so the receiving crew is improved from last year. No one questions if McNabb has the talent and ability to be a top quarterback, the question is if he’ll be there for you when you need him most. If you draft McNabb, expect to get excellent results from him. And then spend your next pick on the guy you want to fall back on when McNabb gets hurt. Just to make it more complicated, the addition of Kolb makes getting the back-up in Philadelphia even harder since A.J. Feeley should remain the #2 for at least the early part of the season but at some point in the future, Kolb will be given a chance as well.

08-17-07 Update: McNabb jumps up one spot with reports that he is going to play in the preseason game tonight and is very near 100%. That is no guarantee that he won't get hurt again but at least he looks good to go until that happens.

Tony Romo - DAL YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 12
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 4%
2004                    
2005 DAL 1           2 -2  
2006 DAL 13 220 337 2903 19 13 34 102  
Avg   7 110 169 1452 10 7 18 50 0
Proj DAL       3840 25 14   50 1

(+Upside) After a rather inglorious end to last season, Romo will be the week one starter for the first time in his five years in the NFL. On the plus side, he is dating Carrie Underwood. On the down side, the last time anyone saw him play was when he bobbled a simple field goal snap and Dallas lost their only game in the playoffs. That last play bobble shouldn’t obscure what Romo did accomplish last year.

Romo was the starter in Dallas for only the final 11 weeks and yet posted 2903 passing yards and 19 touchdowns. Extrapolate that over a 16 game season and it equates to 4222 yards (which would have ranked 4th best in the NFL) and 27 touchdowns (3rd best in the NFL). In the span of those 11 games, he had three 300 yard games and six games with at least two scores. His three principle receivers are back again this year and while Owens and Glenn are aging, they combined for 2227 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2007 with the help of Romo. The Cowboys will have a new head coach in Wade Phillips but his interest will remain more on the defensive side. A new offensive coordinator in Jason Garrett is a wildcard of sorts, but the team added no new offensive skill players and will return the exact same cast from 2006. It’s a risk to assume Romo will be just as effective in 2007 since the offense will undergo scheme change of unknown proportions, but he has even more upside for fantasy drafters since his totals from last year were only 11 games and many will last remember “the bobble" instead of just what he accomplished in his first season as a Cowboys starter. Nice upside here and should be a bit undervalued in many drafts.

Philip Rivers - SDC YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 2%
2004 SDC 1 5 8 33 1   2 -1  
2005 SDC 2 12 22 115   1 1 -1  
2006 SDC 16 284 460 3387 22 9 47 53  
Avg   6 100 163 1178 8 3 17 17 0
Proj SDC       3580 24 12   50 1

(+Upside) After sitting on his hands for two years, Rivers finally took the reins last season and turned in an impressive 3388 yards with 22 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. This was made even more impressive since it happened while LaDainian Tomlinson was setting all-time NFL records for rushing touchdowns. The Chargers not only had the highest scoring offense in the NFL for 2006, they were 65 points ahead of the #2 team. While any team owning the record holder for rushing scores will have an easier time throwing the ball, Rivers made good on his debut with a nice ratio of passes to touchdowns and one of the lowest interception rates in the league last year.

Rivers should improve at least incrementally this year as well unless Tomlinson goes completely nuts again with the rushing scores and yards. Norv Turner replaces Marty Schottenheimer and while that has never been a boon for a team’s defense, Turner knows offenses as well as anyone and promoted running backs coach Clarence Selmon to offensive coordinator to help keep the continuity of the league’s premier offense from last year. Keenan McCardell is gone but not much was lost since Vincent Jackson is stepping up and the team is already excited about their first round pick Craig Davis. Eric Parker remains and of course, Antonio Gates can be relied on to easily take the #1 tight end in the league. The biggest problem for Rivers will be a very tough schedule that matches against not only the AFC West with Denver and Oakland, but also with the AFC East and NFC Central with Chicago.

Matt Leinart - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 ARI 12 213 376 2542 11 12 23 44 2
Avg   12 213 376 2542 11 12 23 44 2
Proj FA       3640 22 16   70 1

Leinart enters his second year and, yet again, has to learn a new offense. Gone is pass-happy Denny Green and now the team falls under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt from the Steelers. That will signal a toning down of the passing game to some degree but Whisenhunt is not likely to ignore it either. The Cards were already transitioning last year with Edgerrin James and that focus on the rushing game will continue to increase.

Leinart was given 11 starts last season with good results for a rookie. But even in that system he only had two efforts that exceeded 235 yards and he passed for around one score per game. Leinart will be able to run the Cards new offense but it may take some time to once again get and the rushing game is going to get more focus. Expect a better, more effective and experienced Leinart but that likely won’t equate into many more fantasy points.

Ben Roethlisberger - PIT YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 11
Keeper: 11
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 PIT 14 196 295 2621 17 11 56 144 1
2005 PIT 12 168 268 2385 17 9 31 69 3
2006 PIT 15 281 470 3528 18 23 32 98 2
Avg   14 215 344 2845 17 14 40 104 2
Proj PIT       3500 20 16   100 2

Big Ben may have seemed to plod through a bad season in 2006, but the reality is that he set career marks for completions (280), passing yards (3515) and touchdown passes (18). Of course he also led the NFL in interceptions with 23 – double the amount of either of his first two seasons. That he played at all last year was remarkable given his face plant into a windshield before the season started. He also had an appendectomy when the season started and later had a concussion. It was not the best of years for the Roethlisberger and his insurance agents would agree.

This means after three years, he still has not played a full 16 game season though he only missed one game last year. This year enters a new era with Bill Cowher gone and Mike Tomlin takes over with Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator who was promoted up after being the WR coach for the last three years in Pittsburgh. This is not the first stint for Arians as the OC since he had that job for three years in Cleveland before coming to Pittsburgh. Arians obviously already has a tie to the passing game in Pittsburgh which is a positive for Roethlisberger. But in Cleveland, Arians used Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb all three years and no Arians quarterback had more than 3040 yards or 18 touchdowns with him as the OC. The Steelers should be more talented than the Browns squad, but so far Arians has yet to show he can be successful in the OC role. That at least indicates that Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense have a little more risk than in previous seasons.

With his penchant for at least getting nicked up and never having more than 3500 passing yards or18 touchdowns, Roethlisberger cannot be considered as more than a back-up fantasy quarterback. If he can have as good of luck this season as he had bad last year, then he’d be the #1 QB for 2006. Figure him just for a bye week filler for this year.

08-15-07 Update: Roethlisberger gets a small bump up after looking very impressive in brief playing time in the first preseason game. The new offense by OC Bruce Arians seems to be coming together better than anticipated but has the personnel unlike Arians had in previous NFL stints.

Vince Young - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 12
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 2%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 TEN 15 184 356 2199 12 13 82 553 7
Avg   15 184 356 2199 12 13 82 553 7
Proj FA       2540 15 19   630 4

(-Risk) (+Upside) Nothing like being the Offensive Rookie of the Year to put a stamp of legitimacy on Vince Young. After taking over in week four, Young extended the Titans winless streak to 0-5 before turning the franchise around and ending the season 8-3 which included a one point loss to Baltimore. When Young took over, the Titans had no wide receivers of any note and ended the season the same way. He won games by mixing wideouts and tight ends with plenty of his own rushing to make the difference. He only threw for 2199 yards and 12 touchdowns against 13 interceptions but he gained 552 rushing yards and scored an NFL high seven touchdowns via the run. That was almost double the #2 rushing scorer who was, amazingly enough, Peyton Manning. Michael Vick only had three.

Young’s rushing yards and scores made him a top ten quarterback in many leagues though he offered more inconsistency since his best passing yardage of the year was only 249 yards and nine of his thirteen starts ended with less than 200 passing yards. And yet he was only a rookie playing for a team that has a wideout crew as weak as any other team. What is troubling is that the Titans did not use free agency to acquire a veteran this year and allowed both Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade to leave. Once again, the Titans are entering the season with a slew of inexperienced wideouts in the hope that one or more of them step up and exceed reasonable expectations. Complicating this more was allowing Travis Henry to leave and relying only on LenDale White, the very inexperienced rookie Chris Henry and bringing back Chris Brown. That’s not an equation for improvement but Young already took the team on his back in 2006 and ended a more than respectable 8-8 on the season. The Titans have a very tough schedule this year which will challenge Young again but that could end up with him running for more yardage this season. The worst of all worlds here is that neither White nor Henry make defenses respect the rushing game and the receivers show their inexperience and make Young a marked man for the entire defense.

Young's value during 2006 was his rushing yardage and scores and while he'll no doubt need to run again this year, expect his touchdown total to decrease. The best comparison for this is how Michael Vick's first full season saw him score eight rushing touchdowns but it was not until three years later he got as high as six scores again. Last year Vick had 1039 rushing yards but only two scores. Defenses adjust to what the strength of the offense is and that will once again be Young taking off on a run. With lesser receivers than in 2006, more effort will be placed on keeping Young out of the endzone.

08-20-07 Update: After already being concerned that the TEN offense would struggle this year, two preseason games have done nothing to suggest that is not true. Young has to drop a couple of spots in the rankings because his offense looks worse than last year.

Tier Three
Brett Favre - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 13
Keeper: 31
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 GBP 16 346 541 4086 30 17 16 36  
2005 GBP 16 372 607 3881 20 29 18 62  
2006 GBP 16 343 613 3885 18 18 23 28 1
Avg   16 354 587 3951 23 21 19 42 0
Proj FA       3863 19 18   30  

Favre remains in the news but for the last couple of years, it’s mostly been in the offseason about him retiring or requesting a trade from his beloved Packers. There’s really only one reason that the 38-year old Favre is still playing – NFL records. He only needs 136 pass attempts to pass Dan Marino for #1 (8359). He only needs seven touchdowns to pass Dan Marino (421). And he only needs two more career wins to surpass John Elway for #1 (149). If he can throw for 3862 yards, then he can eclipse Marino (61,362) for the last QB category for all-time records. He’s playing in 2007 to stick his name at the top of virtually every career passing record category.

No wonder he was upset when Randy Moss did not come to town. He has to try to at least replicate last year in order to get all the records. Instead, the Packers elected to stand pat in free agency and even allowed tight end David Martin to leave. If the Packers could give him anything above an average set of NFL wideouts and tight ends, he may have retired after last year. Favre’s skills have diminished at least a little and the offense around him makes it hard to determine just how much. In his rush to get records last year, he threw a career high 613 passes (#1 in the NFL) but only completed a career low 56%. He had 6.34 yards per attempt – another career low. His 18 touchdowns were tied with the lowest of his career – back in 1992 in his first year as a starter.

The fact that his wideout crew has not really improved and his tight ends are worse means that Favre cannot be considered as a fantasy starter anymore. He corrected his 29 interceptions from 2005 with just 18 last year but he needs to average 241 yards per game to get the most challenging mark – the all-time most passing yards. And with Ahman Green gone, he just may need to pass that much again this year. His final home game comes in week 17 against the Lions which would be a nice place to set the final record and a fitting way for Favre to say goodbye to the game.

Matt Hasselbeck - IND YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 14
Keeper: 13
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 SEA 14 279 474 3390 22 15 28 94 1
2005 SEA 16 294 449 3455 24 9 36 124 1
2006 SEA 12 210 371 2442 18 15 18 110  
Avg   14 261 431 3096 21 13 27 109 1
Proj IND       3500 23 17   30 1

Hasselbeck had a down year in 2006 when he only threw for 2442 yards and 18 touchdowns but he missed weeks eight through 11 when he sprained his right MCL. Adjust that for a 16 game season and Hasselbeck would have turned in 3250 passing yards and 24 touchdowns – almost exactly in line with his average over the three previous seasons (a little lower on yardage). Hasselbeck had averaged 24 touchdowns per season with about 3500 yards for those three years.

Hasselbeck also had a broken finger on his non-throwing hand last season and required off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder on his non-throwing arm. He has been ahead of schedule and was already throwing in minicamp and impressed everyone with his velocity only three months after the surgery. He is expected to be completely recovered in time for training camp.

The big difference this year will be the loss of Darrell Jackson who has been his primary target since Hasselbeck became the starting quarterback in 2001. Deion Branch is moving over to the flanker spot now vacant and D.J. Hackett will assume the split end role. Hasselbeck also lost tight end Jeremy Stevens who was replaced by the aging Marcus Pollard. But the Seahawks have not picked up any new wideouts and will look to get improvement from the group including Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram who is healthy again. Seattle has a soft passing schedule as it traditionally does but the players involved will be in new roles. That sheds a little more risk to this year and the decline of the dominating rushing game yields less consistency for Hasselbeck’s numbers since his need to throw can be great but it can also be well known by the defense. He makes a great back-up quarterback but due to his risk this year, he’s only a starter in a very deep league.

Eli Manning - NYG YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 15
Keeper: 15
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 NYG 8 95 197 1043 6 9 6 35  
2005 NYG 16 294 558 3762 24 17 30 80 1
2006 NYG 16 301 522 3244 24 18 25 21  
Avg   13 230 426 2683 18 15 20 45 0
Proj NYG       3460 23 15   50  

While Manning did not take the next step up last year, he held onto roughly the same production as 2004. His 24 touchdowns tied for fourth best in the league last year but his yardage total dropped to only 3244 from 3762 in 2005 despite completing a career high 301 pass attempts. That dropped his yards per catch from 12.8 down to 10.7 last year. This reflected what the Giants already knew – they had no deep threat and drafting Sinorice Moss did not resolve that problem.

Even more puzzling was the drop that Manning had during the season. In the first four games, he averaged 287 yards with 2.3 touchdowns and appeared to be taking the final step up but for the rest of the season he only managed 175 yards per game with 1.5 touchdowns. Those final twelve games only had three efforts exceed 200 yards – hardly the level of an elite quarterback. This season Manning won’t have Tiki Barber there to turn in his usual 390 or so touches per game so this year is all on Manning with Brandon Jacobs taking his first starting role. On the plus side, the Giants have an easier schedule this year and one of the softer ones in the NFL. On the negative – Can Manning step up in this offense playing in blustery New York even if he indeed has the skills?

Manning’s level of play presents too much risk to consider him a fantasy starter this year but he does make a very solid fantasy back-up. There’s no change to the passing game other than the rookie Steve Smith and the fact that Amani Toomer is yet another year older. The loss of Barber may result in a bigger need to pass but so far Manning has lacked the consistency to suggest he will be able to take advantage of it. It is also troublesome that the Giants have failed to resolve their problems at the critical left offensive tackle position.

Jake Delhomme - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 16
Keeper: 14
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 CAR 16 310 533 3886 29 15 25 71 1
2005 CAR 16 262 435 3421 24 16 24 31 1
2006 CAR 13 263 431 2805 17 11 18 12  
Avg   15 278 466 3371 23 14 22 38 1
Proj FA       3500 22 16   20  

(+Upside) Delhomme comes off his worst season as a starter when he only threw for 2825 yards in 2006 – his previous low was 3219 in his first season. Delhomme also threw fewer passes (431) last year than in any other year as the Panthers quarterback with a 61% completion rate (the highest of his career). His 11 interceptions was also a career low. The Panthers as a team imploded last year and the offensive coordinator was fired. Jeff Davidson comes over from Cleveland though he spent most of his career in New England as a tight ends and offensive line coach.

Placing the blame for 2006 on Delhomme would be at least partially inaccurate if not entirely wrong. Nothing worked in Carolina while several players left injured – including offensive linemen. Davidson is ushering in a new offense that has excited the players unlike last year when players like Steve Smith openly criticized the play calling. The loss of Keyshawn Johnson will be compensated for by Drew Carter and eventually rookie Dwayne Jarrett if all goes according to plan. New for this year will be more slant routes for Smith to turn into long gainers and more screen passes to the running backs. Unlike 2006, the Panthers appear re-energized going into the season and Delhomme could be a very nice value in fantasy drafts from teams who only remember last year. His two seasons previous to last year averaged 3600 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Panthers schedule this year is also much lighter than in 2006.

Jason Campbell - CLE YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 17
Keeper: 17
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 WAS 7 110 207 1297 10 6 23 112  
Avg   7 110 207 1297 10 6 23 112 0
Proj CLE       3200 21 14   200  

(+Upside) After sitting on his hands for the first 25 games of his career, Campbell was finally given the reins in week 11 last year and his performance locked down the starter position from now on. Campbell only had 1297 yards in those seven games (185 yard average) and he only had a completion rate of 53%. But behind those numbers are two even more telling statistics. Campbell threw for at least one score in every game as a starter, turning in two touchdowns three times. And he only threw interceptions in four of the seven games. Granted – it was hardly an eye-popping set of stats overall but for a player who had never thrown a single NFL pass, it has to be considered a success.

The Redskins declined to upgrade any positions in the offseason but Campbell has plenty to use already with Santana Moss, Chris Cooley and a solid rushing game to support him. Campbell has gained the confidence of his coaches and teammates and will take the next step in 2007 to becoming a solid NFL quarterback. The Skins have an average passing schedule but will be getting Clinton Portis back who will only help to soften the opposing defenses. Campbell is only a fantasy back-up at this point, but he is progressing as well as could be hoped for and gains more value in keeper leagues.

Alex Smith - KCC YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 18
Keeper: 18
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005 SFO 9 84 165 875 1 11 30 103  
2006 SFO 16 257 442 2890 16 16 41 151 2
Avg   13 171 304 1883 9 14 36 127 1
Proj KCC       3260 20 18   120 1

(+Upside) Smith took a much needed step up in 2006 when he threw for 2890 yards and 16 touchdowns against 16 interceptions – a bit better than the 1:11 ratio he had on TD’s versus interceptions as a rookie. Playing in the new offense installed by Norv Turner, he started out well with three straight games over 233 yards but then only had two more efforts eclipse the 200 yard mark again last year. He threw for a score in 12 of the 16 games but only three times did he have more than just that one touchdown. He ended with a 74.8 QB rating but that was almost twice that of his rookie season.

It could be argued (and should) that Smith accomplished that much with one of the weakest wideout crews in the league and even his much hyped tight end Vernon Davis missed about half the year injured. He did not have much to work with which should not be the case for 2007 since the team has dumped Antonio Bryant and picked up Darrell Jackson and Ashley Lelie, along with having a healthy Davis ready for his second season. The departure of Turner is troublesome, but the QB coach from 2006 – Jim Hostler – has been promoted to offensive coordinator to keep the continuity of the same system.

San Francisco has one of the softest passing schedules in the league for 2007 and there’s a vastly upgraded set of wideouts (not hard to do). Smith should take another step up this year but it still won’t merit him becoming a starter for a fantasy team. An intriguing back-up perhaps, but he still needs to show more in order to be taken in the first half of any draft.

Rex Grossman - WAS YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 19
Keeper: 20
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 CHI 3 47 84 607 1 3 11 48 1
2005 CHI 2 20 39 259 1 2      
2006 CHI 16 262 480 3193 23 20 24 2  
Avg   7 110 201 1353 8 8 12 17 0
Proj WAS       3300 22 18   20  

(-Risk) The patience of the Chicago coaching staff paid off last year when Rex Grossman finally remained healthy for the entire season and ended with 3193 yards and 23 touchdowns – only six quarterbacks had more passing scores. The Bears advanced to the Super Bowl so there is absolutely no question this year as to who the quarterback will be.

On the downside though, Grossman threw 20 interceptions which ranked third in the league behind only Kitna (22) and Roethlisberger (23). And he averaged 231 yards over the first 8 games but only managed 187 yards in the second half of the season (excluding week 17). Grossman started the season out on a hot streak with his first four games totaling eight touchdowns and averaging 265 yards per game with only three interceptions. But Grossman’s performance down the stretch diminished significantly, propped up only by 339 yard game he had against the Buccaneers in week 15. That was the only game in the final seven weeks where he topped 200 passing yards.

Grossman gets the benefit of playing one of the softest passing schedules in the NFL this year but with a dominating defense and what promises to be no less than adequate rushing game, his outlook remains only average this year. The addition of top rookie tight end Greg Olsen should help, but likely more in future years than in 2007. And his injury history did not haunt him in 2006 but cannot be ignored.

Jay Cutler - CHI YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 20
Keeper: 16
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 DEN 5 81 137 1001 9 5 12 18  
Avg   5 81 137 1001 9 5 12 18 0
Proj CHI       3300 20 15   60  

(+Upside) Cutler finally got the nod in week 13 last year and his performance was genuinely impressive. He threw for two scores in each of his first four games and ended with nine passing scores in five games – with only five interceptions. In his brief stint last year, he only twice managed more than 200 passing yards but that touchdown to interception ratio from a rookie is almost unbelievable. Before expecting Cutler to generate 30+ touchdowns in 2007, take into account that his five game body work came in games against SEA, @SD, @ARZ, CIN and SF. That’s against defenses that ranked 17th, 14th, 30th, 31st and 27th against passing yards. Not the toughest of foes but just as pertinent – this was a rookie quarterback thrown in as the starter without a single pass thrown prior to starting.

When Cutler played, instead of honing in on Javon Walker, he connected mostly with fellow rookie tight end Tony Scheffler who had only six catches for 67 yards in the first 11 games. In just five starts with Cutler, he totaled 12 catches for 219 yards and four touchdowns. Javon Walker only scored twice with Cutler and averaged just 46 yards per game. Walker was turning in 78 yards per game with Jake Plummer. This is not to say that Cutler is not developing well, just that he still has learning to do after only five starts. He was surprising with a 71 yard score to Brandon Marshall and was inconsistent with his wideouts who never had more than 84 yards in any game with him. Look for Cutler to continue to improve, but realize his impressive nine scores in five games were against softer secondaries and he’s not a finished product yet. But he’s undeniably on the right track. An even bigger obstacle will be one of the toughest passing schedules of any NFL team this year as well.

David Garrard - NYJ YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 21
Keeper: 25
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2004 JAC 4 38 72 374 2 1 12 76 1
2005 JAC 7 98 168 1117 4 1 31 172 3
2006 JAC 10 145 241 1735 10 9 47 250  
Avg   7 94 160 1075 5 4 30 166 1
Proj NYJ       2880 16 17   400  

After spending three years waiting for the couple of games per year that Byron Leftwich would always miss, Garrard took over in week eight of 2006 thanks to Leftwich leaving the stage extra early in the season. While he never had more than 249 passing yards and topped 200 yards only four of the ten games, he threw for 10 scores and had interceptions in only four of the weeks. Garrard also brings mobility to the quarterback position with often five or six rushes per game. Had Garrard performed better in his ten game debut, he might have taken the reins from Leftwich permanently but it didn’t happen.

Garrard once again provides back-up for the less than durable Leftwich and that usually means a couple of starts per year. But Garrard doesn’t do anything special when he does play, so he’s not even worthy of being an insurance pick for the Leftwich owner.

08-31-07 Update: The Jaguars named Garrard as the starting quarterback today and he takes the reins from Byron Leftwich. In fantasy terms this is an improvement if only because Garrard is a very good runner as well as passer and had 250 rushing yards just last year in just 10 games played.

Tier Four
Chad Pennington - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 22
Keeper: 19
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 NYJ 13 242 370 2673 16 9 34 126 1
2005 NYJ 3 49 83 530 2 3 6 27  
2006 NYJ 16 313 485 3352 17 16 36 111  
Avg   11 201 313 2185 12 9 25 88 0
Proj FA       3400 17 16   80  

They said it could not be done and Pennington proved them wrong. He really can play a full season without ending up on injured reserve. Pennington exceeded the lofty 13 game season mark when he finished out the 2006 season with 3352 yards and 17 touchdowns against 16 interceptions – pretty middle of the road after waiting for seven years for him to finish a season intact. This too despite the Jets having a revolving door in the backfield last year. Thomas Jones comes over from the Bears to offer some stability there and a decent rushing game will help but Pennington hasn’t shown yet that he is worthy of much more than being a fantasy back-up QB taken because you waited too long on the position.

Steve McNair - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 23
Keeper: 30
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 TEN 8 129 215 1343 8 9 21 130 1
2005 TEN 14 292 476 3161 16 11 32 139 1
2006 BAL 16 295 468 3050 16 12 45 119 1
Avg   13 239 386 2518 13 11 33 129 1
Proj FA       3050 18 14   120 1

McNair comes off his first season in Baltimore and he ended with just an average sort of year. McNair threw for 3050 yards and only 16 touchdowns during the 14 games that he played – about the same as his last year in Tennessee. His 119 rushing yards were his lowest since 1995 and that includes 2004 when he only played in eight games. At the age of 34, McNair may have improved the passing in Baltimore from 22nd best in the league to 11th last year, but most of that came from Boller throwing for 485 yards and five scores in just two games. Otherwise, the production just wasn’t appreciably higher.

The receivers will be the same again this year so there’s no real reason to expect that the Ravens will have a much better passing game in 2007. The only difference is that Mark Clayton has one more year of experience and the rest are just one year older. Expect just an average year again in 2007 that could actually be a little lower since the addition of Willis McGahee should have a positive impact on the rushing game.

Jeff Garcia - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 24
Keeper: 34
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 CLE 11 144 252 1731 10 9 34 169 2
2005 DET 6 102 173 937 3 6 17 51 1
2006 PHI 7 116 187 1309 10 2 23 86  
Avg   8 121 204 1326 8 6 25 102 1
Proj FA       3300 16 14   80 1

Once Garcia left San Francisco after 2003, he had two very mediocre seasons in CLE and DET before landing in Philadelphia last year. Ends up that was a good move by the Eagles coaching staff since Donovan McNabb suffered yet another season ending injury and Garcia started six games. While he had one 312 yard effort, he only had two others around 240 yards and the remaining three were very low – 189, 140 and 164 yards. But he threw at least one score in each game and half his starts resulted in two or more touchdowns. The Eagles opted to let Garcia leave since his impressive play made him a more desirable commodity on the free agent market. The 37-year old Garcia signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers for an undisclosed amount.

While Chris Simms was the starter in 2006 before getting injured, there’s no guarantee he returns in that role. Garcia and Simms will battle in training camp for the starting role. Simms would seem to have an upper hand since he is familiar with the offense, but the Bucs are impressed with how quickly Garcia picked it up in the spring. He has spent all his time either at the team’s training facility or at home studying. Garcia has to make up ground in order to beat out Simms but so far he’s been doing exactly that. Simms busiest year was 2005 when he started 10 games but only had 2035 yards and ten scores. Garcia just did that much in six games last year.

The reality here is that the winner of the starter role still likely won’t merit anything more than being a very deep fantasy back-up. If you wait far too long to grab your back-up quarterback, make certain of the situation here before taking either Simms or Garcia. And know that there’s no guarantee that either would play the entire season anyway.

Matt Schaub - HOU YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 25
Keeper: 21
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 ATL 6 33 70 329 1 4 8 26  
2005 ATL 6 33 64 495 4   9 76  
2006 ATL 3 18 26 208 1 2 3 21  
Avg   5 28 53 344 2 2 7 41 0
Proj HOU       3420 17 15   30  

The Texans finally tired of waiting for David Carr to come around and sent him packing to the Panthers while acquiring Schaub for his first chance as a starting quarterback. Schaub languished behind Vick for three seasons, only starting three games in that time. His real claim to fame came in 2005 when he played against the Patriots and threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s been a hot property for two years but the Falcons retained him in 2005. New HC Bobby Petrino wanted to stick with Michael Vick and Schaub was allowed to leave.

In ever so brief action, Schaub has been impressive and even made it seem like the Falcons had wide receivers. He signals the change in the Texans under HC Gary Kubiak who tried to use inherited pieces in 2006 and now is turning the soil and starting over. Schaub is paired with the talented Andre Johnson but the rest of the wideout crew is hardly distinguished – the #2 spot may not be decided until the end of training camp. The Texans also have a tough passing schedule and Schaub will need the Texans to improve their pass protection from past years as one of the worst. 2006 saw them rise to 24th for sacks allowed in the NFL (this was an accomplishment) but many of those sacks also stemmed from Carr holding onto the ball too long. Then again – Schaub won’t have any real difference in the receivers that Carr had last year. His biggest advantage here – he has almost nowhere to go but up after the Texans only threw for 14 touchdowns last year.

Trent Green - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 26
Keeper: 33
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 KCC 16 369 556 4585 27 17 25 85  
2005 KCC 16 317 507 4014 17 10 35 82  
2006 KCC 8 121 198 1342 7 9 19 59  
Avg   13 269 420 3314 17 12 26 75 0
Proj FA       3400 17 12   30  

The 37-year old Green heads to his fifth NFL team after finally becoming a full-time starter from year to year in Kansas City. Green had been one of the most productive passers from 2003 to 2005 when he threw for over 4000 yards and averaged almost 23 touchdowns per season. But in 2006 with a new head coach in Herman Edwards, the change in offensive scheme took a toll on Green's production. In his eight games last year before his injury, he had only thrown for 1342 yards and seven touchdowns with a 74.1 QB rating.

Green did not suddenly become an ineffective quarterback in 2006 after three years of outstanding yardage. The scheme changed and brought him down with it. Green suffered a severe concussion and even on his return suffered a sprained ankle later. The Chiefs are embarking on a youth movement and a 37-year old quarterback doesn't fit that plan. The Chiefs and Fins finally came to agreement in June to send him to Miami.

Miami is already installing a new offense by ex-SD offensive coordinator Cam Cameron but instead of LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, there's only David Martin and Ronnie Brown. And there'll be a learning curve. The addition of Green should be a big help to Chris Chambers but it could almost work against him since the Fins released Randy McMichael and did not get any #2 wideout to help draw attention away from Chambers who will be no less the focus of the secondary. If the rookie Ted Ginn Jr. can stretch the defense, then Chambers may improve more signicantly but an aging quarterback with a too recent severe concussion coupled with a new offense being installed makes for a tall order to expect more than average numbers from Green this year.

Joey Harrington - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 27
Keeper: 29
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 DET 16 274 489 3047 19 12 49 175  
2005 DET 12 189 331 2021 12 12 25 80  
2006 MIA 11 223 388 2236 12 15 19 17  
Avg   13 229 403 2435 14 13 31 91 0
Proj FA       3200 18 15   40  

The Falcons signed Harrington to a two-year contract and his biggest attraction is that he is not under suspicion for dog fighting. If you plan on taking Vick this year, Harrington is a mandatory pick considering not only the legal issues of Vick but more importantly his injury history. HC Bobby Petrino is bringing in a power running game that is balanced by a vertical passing attack so Harrington could surprise give the chance with Joe Horn, Michael Jenkins and Alge Crumpler.

07-18-07 Update: Harrington moves up in the rankings with the indictment of Michael Vick in the dog fighting case. Unless the Falcons bring in another quarterback, Harrington may have just inherited a starting job thanks to the legal woes of Vick. This will have a positive impact on the passing game actually but the team is trying to install a new offense amidst the media circus around the Vick situation.

J.P. Losman - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 28
Keeper: 22
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 BUF 3 3 5 32   1 2 15  
2005 BUF 9 114 229 1340 8 8 31 154  
2006 BUF 16 269 430 3049 19 14 38 140 1
Avg   9 129 221 1474 9 8 24 103 0
Proj FA       2800 16 14   130 1

(-Risk) After three seasons in the NFL, Losman finally comes off a year as a starter and the results were not that bad – or that good. He threw for 3051 yards and 19 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and had a QB rating of 84.9. He threw touchdown passes in 13 of 16 games but only five times had more than one. With two 300+ yard games, he has some ability to post fantasy stats but over half his games totaled less than 200 passing yards. Overall – he was just average. The Bills used their 3.29 draft pick on Trent Edwards out of Stanford in the hopes that he may turn out to be more than merely average but that likely won’t cause any switch until the end of this year at the earliest. Most likely Losman carries the load in 2007 and then the two battle for the starting job in 2008, but the risk that Losman has of losing time later in the year makes him worth less than the average numbers he is capable of producing. The Bills have a very tough schedule this year which will not help Losman to hang onto his job.

Daunte Culpepper - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 29
Keeper: 27
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 MIN 16 379 549 4717 39 11 89 406 2
2005 MIN 7 139 216 1564 6 12 23 148 1
2006 MIA 4 81 134 929 2 3 10 20 1
Avg   9 200 300 2403 16 9 41 191 1
Proj FA       2460 17 16   80  

(+Upside) After struggling for two years after his reconstructive knee surgery, Culpepper claims to be ready to resume his role as a starting quarterback. But HC Cam Cameron wants to build the Fins into his mold and drafting John Beck fills the future need. Obtaining the aging Green satisfies current needs and allows Beck to learn from a quarterback that Cameron wants him to emulate. That all leaves Culpepper out of the equation though he has been adamant that he is healthy and will once again be the starter until they tell him otherwise.

Culpepper has not spoken with the press much since coming to the Dolphins but in May he revealed that his "minor surgery" last November to clean up his knee and remove some scar tissue was much more serious than the Dolphins admitted at the time. Culpepper has faithfully rehabbed and is expected to return to health but the bottom line is that he has done very little in the last two seasons thanks to injury. More telling than anything, the Fins are doing everything expected to signal that Culpepper is not in their plans and he is not "Cameron’s guy". Like Ricky Williams, Culpepper just represents a brief era that the Fins are trying to forget. Expect Culpepper to be traded but even then he'll only be a back-up quarterback where ever he lands. Culpepper is his own agent and is proving why that is not an ideal situation when you are returning from a catastrophic injury and have fallen from favor with your club.

07-18-07 Update: Culpepper was released today by the Dolphins who elected to stop the union arbitration that was slated to begin tomorrow. Culpepper is now free to sign on any other team.

08-01-07 Update: Culpepper has signed with the Raiders thanks in part to the holdout of Jamarcus Russell. It's only a one-year contract and he still has to battle Josh McCown for playing time before Russell eventually starts but at least he has a team again.

08-31-07 Update: Scoot Culpepper up another notch. He's looked more like the Cpep of old than he has for two years and more importantly, he looks better than Josh McCown. With JaMarcus Russell still unsigned, it's looking more like Culpepper could pull off a full year behind center in Oakland.

Damon Huard - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 30
Keeper: 44
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 KCC 10 148 244 1878 11 1 9 9  
Avg   10 148 244 1878 11 1 9 9 0
Proj FA       2650 16 8   20  

After banging around the NFL through three teams and ten years, Huard finally made good on his role as a back-up quarterback when he took over for the injured Trent Green in week one and started the next eight games. Huard threw for 1684 yards and ten scores in his time as a starter but only had three games that exceeded 210 passing yards. Overall, he was about average in production though he sported a solid 98.0 QB rating. With Trent Green almost certainly gone as soon as the Dolphins and Chiefs agree, Huard is next in line for the starting job… maybe. The Chiefs want to infuse some youth into the aging team and using a 33 year old journeyman back-up quarterback is not exactly building for the future.

The team plans on second-year player Brodie Croyle stepping into a starting role but that could mean that Huard either starts the first couple of games or is ready to step in if Croyle struggles. There's almost no upside in taking Huard without Croyle and it's not even an important back-up move to make since Croyle will come cheaply enough in drafts that he'll likely be your third or second quarterback at worse.

08-24-07 Update: Huard moves up a couple of notches mainly because he is not Brodie Croyle who looks terrible in preseason play. But you still cannot rely on Huard being a starter for the entire year because the Chiefs want Croyle to step up and not rely on the aging Huard.

Tarvaris Jackson - SEA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 31
Keeper: 24
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 MIN 4 47 81 475 2 4 16 79 1
Avg   4 47 81 475 2 4 16 79 1
Proj SEA       2700 14 18   150 1

Tavaris Jackson was a surprise pick in the 2006 NFL draft when the Vikings used their 2.32 selection to get the Alabama State product who was considered by most to go a few rounds later (think Quincy Carter here). With the aged Brad Johnson as the starter, Jackson had only limited play last year and turned only one start – Week 16 against the Packers when he completed 10 of 20 passes for 50 yards and one interception. His best effort of the year was splitting time with Johnson in week 15 against the Jets when he completed 14 of 23 for 177 yards and one touchdown with one interception. He steps in as the starter this year having only thrown for 47 completions and 475 yards with two scores and four interceptions. That’s a 62.5 QB rating and a 58% completion rate. As surprising that Jackson was an early draft pick last year is the fact that he will be the starter in 2007. HC Brad Childress stands behind him and the Vikings did not bring on board anyone that would realistically compete with him for the starting job.

The Vikings passing game has a fairly light schedule which will help but the wideouts were all ineffective last year and the only upgrades from the offseason were signing Bobby Wade and Cortez Hankton. Doesn’t look like much of an upgrade and in minicamps the most notable tidbit about the passing game was that all the receivers were dropping passes. The Vikings have one of the better offensive lines, but considering Jackson as anything beyond a #3 fantasy quarterback for your team is wildly optimistic.

Brady Quinn - STL YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 32
Keeper: 23
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj STL       1900 16 15   40  

(+Upside) The Browns traded back into the first round last April by surrendering their 2008 first round pick to Dallas along with their second rounder. That’s a fairly high price to pay unless there is every intention of making Quinn be the starter as soon as he is ready. With only Charlie Frye to beat out, that could come sooner than later.

Quinn may have waited around to be drafted but the Notre Dame product was the #2 quarterback in April’s draft by almost every draft board. He comes off a college career where he learned the offense by Charlie Weis – Crennel’s counterpart in New England for several years. The Browns are also changing the offensive scheme under new OC Rob Chudzinski who last was the tight ends coach in San Diego. Frye loses any advantage of already knowing the offense. And Brady has already been likened to the Pats Tom Brady. Sure – Frye has all the chances in the world to keep his job. Actually no.

Quinn has shown all the qualities that scouts want to see – big frame, good leadership skills, strong arm and quick release. He’s been tutored by one of the better NFL offensive coordinators of the last decade in Weis and the only question here is when he takes over. The Browns have a brutal schedule this year and not a lot to use to challenge it. That means at worse, Cleveland throws in the towel towards the end of the season and lets Quinn get some playing time. At best – Quinn takes over at or near the start of the season.

08-05-20 Update: Quinn remains a holdout and falls a bit in the rankings from lost time and higher risk that he won't gain the starting job any time soon. His agent Tom Condon is working with the Browns but the sides remain at odds. Condon wants Quinn to be paid the same as a top ten pick while the Browns want to pay him like the #22 draft pick that he was.

08-20-07 Update: Quinn looked sharp in his first showing of the preseason and threw for two scores but he still has a long way to go. Sadly enough, he already looks better than either Frye or Anderson thought either of them could start the season. Nothing to mess with in a redraft but consider Quinn a little more attractive in a keeper league.

Charlie Frye - OAK YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 33
Keeper: 35
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005 CLE 7 98 165 1002 4 6 17 53 1
2006 CLE 13 251 391 2449 10 17 47 215 3
Avg   10 175 278 1726 7 12 32 134 2
Proj OAK       1100 6 14   60 1

(-Risk) Frye has played for the Browns for two years now and started 18 games. He played in 13 during 2006 and missed three games with a bone bruise in his wrist, returning just in time for the last game of the year. His first year as the unquestioned starter only resulted in 2454 passing yards with 10 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. As low as that sounds, realize too that he played in five games during his rookie season and had a 72 QB rating both years. Frye may not be entirely to blame since the Browns offensive line had injury problems and gave up 54 sacks last year to rank 30th in the NFL. But the Browns could not resist trading to get back into the first round last April so that they could select Brady Quinn with the 1.22 selection they got from Dallas.

Clearly the Browns want Quinn as the future franchise quarterback and it would not be that difficult to look good in comparison to Frye. It will be an open competition for the starting job in training camp according to HC Romeo Crennel and Frye will be the #1 entering August. If he will be the #1 entering September may be another story. This all plays out for great risk to rely on Frye this year (and maybe any future year at that) but chances are best he will start the year and at some point either surrender playing time to Brady if not the actual starting job.

Brodie Croyle - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 34
Keeper: 26
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 KCC 2 3 7 23   2 3 -3  
Avg   2 3 7 23 0 2 3 0 0
Proj FA       500 4 12   50  

The Chiefs drafted Croyle with their 3.21 selection in the 2006 NFL draft but Croyle only threw seven passes as a rookie – three completed and two intercepted. The plan is to give him every chance to win the starting role this year and with Trent Green gone, he only has to go through Damon Huard to get there. Croyle was a star at Alabama where he completed 60% of his passes and threw for 2499 yards as a senior. Though he only had 14 touchdowns, Croyle only had four interceptions his final year.

The Chiefs want Croyle to be the starter and he proved to be a quarterback with all the desired intangibles and who coolly led several game winning drives in college. The only knock on Croyle so far is that he’s only 6’2" and just 207 pounds, despite trying to bulk up unsuccessfully during the offseason. That would make him the lightest quarterback in the league if he starts, but then again – only a couple of pounds behind Drew Brees who certainly was able to overcome the need for size since he is only 6’0" tall. Croyle is intriguing in keeper leagues but playing for a Herman Edwards team has never spelled big things for any quarterback. Let the Chiefs homer grab Croyle – there’s plenty of lower risk choices out there.

08-24-07 Update: Croyle just has not been able to grab the starting spot and with such poor play in week three against the Saints (5 of 17 for 45 yards) it has to be assumed that Huard gets to start the season. Croyle will figure in eventually, but he does not look ready yet.

Trent Edwards - OAK YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 35
Keeper: 32
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj OAK       290 2 1   50  

The least that Edwards will do this year is back-up J.P. Losman and there’s a chance he could end up the starter by the end of the year. Losman had a decent enough year in 2006 but with Edwards the Bills are looking to be above average – at least eventually. The rookie comes from Stanford where the team around him was bad but Edwards displayed leadership and competitiveness that impressed the scouts. Edwards missed the last half of 2006 due to a right foot fracture but poor protection had him battered before he was out. He has all the measureables desired in an NFL quarterback and most of the intangibles – he just wasn’t able to amass gaudy collegiate stats due to the team around him. He never had more than 17 touchdowns in any college season or more than 1934 yards.

Edwards only had one season at Stanford where he played every game and the Bills offense surrendered 47 sacks last year to rank 25th in the NFL. Both Edwards and the Bills will be better served giving him at least this one year of seasoning before considering him for a starting role but a bad record late in the year could have them opt to see what he can do.

Kyle Boller - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 36
Keeper: 45
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 BAL 16 258 464 2559 13 11 53 189 1
2005 BAL 9 171 293 1799 11 12 23 66 1
2006 BAL 4 33 55 485 5 2 22 34  
Avg   10 154 271 1614 10 8 33 96 1
Proj FA       260 3 1   15  

After being demoted behind Steve McNair, Boller was left to play only twice last year when McNair was out of the game. Oddly enough, he threw for over 225 yards in both and scored five times between the two games. If he just would have done that in 2005, there would be no McNair in Baltimore. Then again, they were just two home stands against CLE and CAR. Boller will hang on to his back-up role again this season which means short of a season-ending injury to McNair, he’ll carry almost no fantasy value this year.

Kellen Clemens - STL YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 37
Keeper: 41
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006 NYJ 1           1 8  
Avg   1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Proj STL       270 2     30  

Clemens showed up on the Jets team at precisely the wrong time. He was drafted in the only year of the last seven that Chad Pennington remained healthy and started every game. The Jets passing game is only average at best so even an injury to Pennington likely won’t yield a lot of fantasy value here and Pennington has several years left at the age of 31. Clemens is only attractive in the deepest of leagues as an insurance pick for the Pennington owner but that would need to be a very deep league to make any sense.

08-27-07 Update: The Jets back-up quarterback deserves to be noticed with good play in camp and in preseason games. Pennington proved surprisingly durable last year but the Jets have confidence in the position if Pennington gets injured again. Clemens was flawless in week three of the preseason when he threw 122 yards and went 6 of 8.

JaMarcus Russell - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 38
Keeper: 28
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA       250 2 8   20  

(-Risk) (+Upside) Get used to “the Franchise". The Raiders took JaMarcus Russell to be the next savior (some would say first) of the team when they made him the first player drafted in April. Quarterback was a big need with the Raiders after a season when they only had seven passing touchdowns. Just seven. The Raiders quarterbacks were sacked 72 times. A 10:1 ratio of sacks to touchdowns is not going to win many games (FYI – it equals 2 wins). The Raiders 2006 season made the Saints of 2005 look like they merely had a touch of bad luck.

What Russell brings to the Raiders is a huge frame (6’6", 256 pounds) and a cannon arm that can literally flick a pass 50 yards downfield. He has incredible arm strength but also can throw touch passes. At LSU last year, his only negative was that he was so confident in his passing skills that he occasionally would throw an ill-advised pass because he believed he could make it anyway. He’s big and yet surprisingly nimble. He was easily the best choice for the Raiders because even if their line does not improve much, he can get out of trouble with his legs and made highlight reels last year when he would be draped with pass rushers, shrug them off and then hit a receiver at the other end of the field.

Unlike so many quarterbacks, Russell is not going to get that year to season on the bench. He’ll be thrown into the fire with a cast of wideouts that have been less than impressive in the past and the running game still has major question marks. But if any rookie can turn Oakland around, it would be Russell. Knowing that the Raiders will still need to throw in most games this year, now they should have a better ability to connect. The new offense installed by HC Lane Kiffen and Greg Knapp will combine motion, ball-control passing and occasional deep strikes and Russell will be able to throw them all. Knapp in particular brings in a history with the west coast offense in both SF and ATL, which will be tweaked more to accommodate the deep strike ability of Russell. His fantasy value this year is full of obvious risk, but his long-term outlook should be ever-improving. He’s a huge risk to rely on for even a fantasy back-up this year, but in later years he should eventually become worthy of being a fantasy starter.

08-01-07 Update: Russell still has not signed and the two sides are still very far apart. Russell is missing critical training camp time and this will push back his learning curve and almost certainly reduce how many games he will play in this year.

Kevin Kolb - BUF YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 39
Keeper: 37
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj BUF       200   3   60  

The selection of Kolb with the 2.04 pick in the draft was a surprise to almost everyone – Donovan McNabb included. The injuries to McNabb over the last two years were obviously a factor and Kolb is a gifted quarterback, but no one saw the Eagles spending such a high pick on the position. Add in that Kolb played much of his college ball at the University of Houston in a very wide open passing scheme that extensively used the shotgun formation – unlike the Eagles. Kolb rolled up 3809 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in that pass happy offense and now goes to a team that still employs the west coast offense with a much bigger focus on shorter timing routes than the “air it out" mentality at Houston. Kolb even played in a similar pass-heavy offense in high school.

That is not to say he cannot adapt, just that he is different than McNabb. Kolb only weighs 218 pounds and is as opposed to McNabb’s 245 pounds. But Kolb can also run the ball, gaining almost 400 yards last year and scoring four times on the ground. Kolb is worth watching because a very good training camp could propel him into being the #2 quarterback and with a second round pick spent, he’s expected to get there eventually anyway. And the last two years has shown that backing up McNabb is not a clipboard job for the entire year. A.J. Feeley will likely enter the season as the #2 but Kolb could show up later in the year. In keeper leagues, he has some value but McNabb is only 31 years old and could play many more seasons – if he can stay healthy. Unfortunately, the Eagles have two contenders to replace McNabb if needed so buying insurance for him would be expensive if not costly for a fantasy team.

Brad Johnson - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 40
Keeper: 51
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 TBB 4 65 103 674 3 3 5 23  
2005 MIN 10 183 293 1885 12 4 18 53  
2006 MIN 15 270 439 2750 9 15 30 82 1
Avg   10 173 278 1770 8 7 18 53 0
Proj FA       140 2        

Johnson is the new back-up quarterback in Dallas but with Romo young and durable so far, there’s little chance that Johnson figures in this year. Only draft in very deep leagues when you have Romo to protect.

Dan Orlovsky - TBB YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 41
Keeper: 39
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005 DET 2 7 17 63          
2006                    
Avg   2 7 17 63 0 0 0 0 0
Proj TBB       160 1 1   20  

No analysis available.

Josh McCown - CHI YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 42
Keeper: 42
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 ARI 14 233 408 2511 11 10 36 112 2
2005 ARI 9 163 270 1832 9 11 29 139  
2006                    
Avg   12 198 339 2172 10 11 33 126 1
Proj CHI       150 1 2   20  

McCown was traded to the Raiders to compete for the starting role with Andrew Walter (not much competition) and JaMarcus Russell (too much competition at least eventually). McCown never threw a pass in 2006 while warming the bench in Detroit but he did start 22 games in Arizona during his four years there. Chances are very good that McCown may be the starting quarterback for the Raiders in week one since they are all learning a new offense and Walter has no experience in it while Russell has to learn the playbook and what it means to be an NFL quarterback. But McCown is undraftable in fantasy terms because he will give up the position to Russell just a soon as the team feels comfortable – and that could only a game or two into the season.

08-01-07 Update: The Raiders have signed Daunte Culpepper so the contract holdout of Jamarcus Russell doesn't neccessarily mean that McCown gets more playing time. This only makes the situation messier and more hands-off.

Kurt Warner - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 43
Keeper: 47
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 NYG 10 174 277 2054 6 4 13 30 1
2005 ARI 10 242 375 2713 11 9 13 28  
2006 ARI 6 108 168 1377 6 5 13 3  
Avg   9 175 273 2048 8 6 13 20 0
Proj FA       160 1 2   10  

At the age of 35, Warner is finished with second chances in the league and he won’t likely even get to baby sit some hot rookie quarterback who will steal his job again. Warner only has value to teams holding Leinart and even then it needs to be a very deep league before it makes any sense.

Brooks Bollinger - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 44
Keeper: 48
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 NYJ 1 5 9 60     1 2  
2005 NYJ 11 150 266 1558 7 6 34 138  
2006 MIN 2 13 18 146   1      
Avg   5 56 98 588 2 2 12 47 0
Proj FA       150 1 3   10  

Bollinger will serve as the primary back-up to Tavaris Jackson but 2006 had Bollinger only throwing for 146 yards and no scores. The second-year player Jackson is no lock to stay healthy or do a great job, so there’s a small chance Bollinger may get some playing time this year.

Chris Redman - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 45
Keeper: 43
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA       500 4 7   80  

No analysis available.

David Carr - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 46
Keeper: 36
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 HOU 16 286 467 3539 16 14 72 303  
2005 HOU 16 256 423 2488 14 11 56 308 1
2006 HOU 16 302 442 2765 11 12 54 193 2
Avg   16 281 444 2931 14 12 61 268 1
Proj FA       100 1 1   10  

The Panthers picked up the ex-1st overall pick Carr and signed him to a two-year contract. He replaces Chris Weinke as Jake Delhomme’s primary back-up and after a declining 2006 season, some want to speculate that Carr will take over the starting role from Delhomme. Before you jump on that bus, realize that Delhomme’s worst season as a starter was 2006 when he had 2805 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Last year Carr only had 2767 yards, 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Other than 2004 when Carr threw for 3531 yards, his other four seasons in Houston never amounted to as many passing yards as Delhomme just had in his worst season. And Carr has never thrown for more than 16 scores – Delhomme has never done less than 17 and has averaged 23 touchdowns per season. Carr is the back-up – and just a back-up.

Brian Griese - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 47
Keeper: 49
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 TBB 11 233 336 2632 20 12 30 17  
2005 TBB 6 112 174 1136 7 7 13 12  
2006 CHI 5 18 32 220 1 2 6 -5  
Avg   7 121 181 1329 9 7 16 8 0
Proj FA       100 1     10  

From the “it figures" file, the Bears finally opted to get a veteran back-up quarterback last year and then never needed him. Plus they went to the Super Bowl. Griese never had more than cameo appearances at the end of decided games last year and since the Bears took the NFC Title, there’s no doubt that he will remain on the sidelines. Griese has no fantasy value this year without Grossman getting injured and last year he shocked the world by staying healthy.

John Beck - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 48
Keeper: 38
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA       100          

The Dolphins hope to have the quarterback of the future now that they used their 2.08 draft pick on this BYU product. The second-leading passer in BYU history, Beck comes to Miami after his senior season where he threw for 3385 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2006 and even had 3709 yards and 27 scores as a junior. Because Beck went on his mission as a Mormon, he’s now entering the NFL at the mature age of 25. The Fins liked Beck so much that they passed on Brady Quinn earlier in the draft knowing that they could grab Beck with their second pick.

Beck was a personal choice of new HC Cam Cameron and he brings all the intangibles to play. He is very patient in the pocket and rarely forces the ball where it should not go. He lacks deep arm strength but is accurate on intermediate routes and mobile when the pocket breaks down. Considered calm and poised, Beck is Cameron’s choice to build the franchise to his liking. That all said, Beck won’t likely get much playing time this year if at all. The Fins may or may not have Daunte Culpepper at the start of the season because they may or may not have Trent Green. And regardless of that situation, they just signed Cleo Lemon to a restricted free agent contract to keep him around this year. Beck will watch and learn in 2007 but likely gets the reins in 2008. He’s a decent pick in keeper leagues for the future as Cameron attempts to recreate San Diego’s offense in Miami.

Byron Leftwich - PIT YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 49
Keeper: 40
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
Movement:
2004 JAC 14 267 441 2941 15 10 39 148 2
2005 JAC 11 175 302 2123 15 5 31 67 2
2006 JAC 6 109 184 1158 7 5 25 41 2
Avg   10 184 309 2074 12 7 32 85 2
Proj PIT       100          

(-Risk) This is Leftwich’s last stand – at least in Jacksonville. After four seasons filled with promise and little more than the eventual injury, Leftwich is in the final year of his contract and whatever happens in 2007 will have a major impact on both his career and bank account. Unfortunately, Leftwich played in 15 games as a rookie and for the next three seasons lost more time each year due to injury. 2007 proved to be his worse with a badly injured ankle in week seven that forced him out for the rest of the season and eventually required surgery to correct. Leftwich reported to minicamp recovered from the injury and 25 pounds lighter which should help him with his mobility unless he just gains it back via muscle exercise.

Not only is Leftwich in a contract year that could be "do or die", but he has to learn a new offense being installed by OC Dirk Koetter who comes over from Arizona State where he was both the head coach and the offensive coordinator. The new offense has brought a sense of excitement by the players who know they could never talk badly about a new scheme or it would be Oakland all over again. But Koetter had much success in college and should bring a simpler offense that would benefit Leftwich. The new scheme should prove to be more vertical in nature and less the dink-and-dunk stuff of recent years. The Jaguars have a tough schedule this year which won’t help and fantasy playoffs will bring match-ups against defenses of CAR, OAK and PIT. But a new scheme always seems to work well earlier in the year until enough game film exists to figure it out. Once that happens, it’s all on Leftwich to play well and stay healthy. And that has never happened so far.

08-31-07 Update: Leftwich was demoted today and may be on the verge of being cut. He's not likely to land as a starter anywhere else so his only fantasy value now is marginal in keeper leagues.

Aaron Rodgers - GBP YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 50
Keeper: 52
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005 GBP 3 9 16 65   1 2 7  
2006 GBP 1 4 12 32     2 11  
Avg   2 7 14 49 0 1 2 9 0
Proj GBP       60       10  

Aaron Rodgers is recovering from surgery from a broken left foot that has sidelined him since week 11 of 2006. He is expected to be cleared in time for training camp where he has a nice seat to watch Favre try to wrap up all the records.

Chris Simms - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 51
Keeper: 46
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 TBB 4 42 73 467 1 3 7 14  
2005 TBB 11 191 313 2035 10 7 19 31  
2006 TBB 3 58 106 585 1 7 4 7 1
Avg   6 97 164 1029 4 6 10 17 0
Proj FA       50   2   20  

In 2005, Simms took over as the starter in week six and turned in 2035 yards and ten scores with only seven interceptions. Adjusted for a 16 game season, that would have equated to a 3250 yard, 16 touchdown season – pretty much the average in the NFL though it was in his first season as a well-used starter (he had two starts in 2004). His 81 QB rating that year was average as well. But it was good enough to secure the starting spot to open 2006 and in his first three games, Simms had games of 133, 313 and 139 yards with just one touchdown. Worse yet, he had seven interceptions and three came in the high yardage game without a score. Simms then suffered a rupture spleen during the game against the Panthers and never played again last season. Simms has healed completely from his spleen condition and led the team in voluntary workouts during the offseason but new acquisition Jeff Garcia has been closing the gap in a starter race that HC Jon Gruden says is still very much open.

The Buccaneers are installing the shotgun formation into the offense this year and that could help Simms who struggled in his three starts of 2006. But it also helps the mobile Garcia seen the field more clearly and gives him more running room. In 15 career starts, Simms only has a total of 52 rushing yards. Garcia is much more accomplished at running the ball and avoiding sacks. The reality here is that the starter may not be named until well into training camp and even when that is determined, there is no certainty that the team won’t switch starters later in the year. Better to leave this situation alone – the best you would ever get is average numbers.

Troy Smith - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 52
Keeper: 53
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                    
2005                    
2006                    
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA       50       10  

Nothing like winning the national championship and getting the Heisman Trophy (which often go hand in hand) to make Troy Smith a household name. And nothing like getting selected with the 5.37 pick in the NFL draft as the ninth quarterback taken to remind him that college and the NFL are two entirely different things. Smith was brilliant at Ohio State surrounded by an all-star cast but his height (6-0ish) is an issue seeing over the heads of much bigger NFL linemen and he’ll need to learn an NFL offense as well.

Smith may not play at all this year and even in the best case, he’ll likely only get a cameo. His value comes in keeper leagues but even that cannot be considered very high. Smith is mostly just a great example of the difference between a Heisman trophy quarterback and what the NFL needs. He’s too short, doesn’t run very well and is most comfortable throwing intermediate passes. A work in project but he definitely has experience in big games.

Gus Frerotte - FA YEAR TM GMS CMP ATT PYD PTD INT CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 53
Keeper: 54
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 MIN 1   1            
2005 MIA 16 257 494 2996 18 13 27 61  
2006 STL 1 1 3 27          
Avg   6 86 166 1008 6 4 9 20 0
Proj FA       60          

Frerotte remains the well qualified back-up in St. Louis and would make an interesting free agent pick-up should Bulger become injured but last year he only had one completion while Bulger enjoyed an offensive line that actually blocked. Just an insurance pick for Bulger owners and not all that attractive outside of very deep leagues.

   
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