The key component to any NFL franchise these days is the quarterback. Look at all of the past 10 Super Bowl champions; they all had Super Bowl-caliber quarterbacks. The teams I’ll be discussing are not Super Bowl-caliber teams. However, these quarterbacks are crucial for Fantasy production for numerous other players. I hope to clear up the quarterback position battles for these questionable teams, as well as possibly find a few diamonds in the rough.
Quarterback Position Battles to Watch
The following are the most intriguing quarterback position battles to watch from a Fantasy Football perspective. Even the winners might not become big Fantasy QBs, but they will affect the Fantasy value of their wide receivers and tight ends.
I am a fan of the Oakland Raiders, but it’s hard to understandhow they have been performing the past decade.
Carson Palmer was supposed to be the man to fill the void at the quarterback position. After an underwhelming first full year, he took the first flight out to Arizona, to take over their paltry quarterback situation there.Witnesses at Oakland Raiders training camp said that all the current quarterbacks looked very rattled and weren’t throwing accurately. Witnesses also said there were numerous batted balls at the line of scrimmage. Apparently, the highlight of the minicamp was a wounded duck throw by Matt Flynn that made the coaches cringe.
With these encouraging words, it’s safe to say this job is still wide open. It looks as though the job will be handed to Flynn.
Terrelle Pryor is waiting for his opportunity and has the name to take the job. This will be Flynn’s time to shine though, but if he struggles, they’ll pull him midseason, no question.
This is a rebuilding team trying to find a quarterback. They’d be happy to see themselves go .500. Flynn was projected to be a respectable starter for the Seahawks when he was signed by them last season, but was just outdone by rookie phenom Russell Wilson.
Palmer had a very solid fantasy season last year and I look for Flynn to step in and put up similar numbers. This team is likely to be losing in most games, so I expect Flynn to throw the ball more than one would think. I don’t expect him to be drafted in most Fantasy leagues, but he can become a very viable pickup in bye weeks.
New York Jets
Mark Sanchez is arguably the most scrutinized quarterback in the league. It’s hard to become a fan of this guy with his stupid decisions on the field and his persona off the field. Nobody throws wounded ducks and lobs over the middle quite like Sanchez. While I am badmouthing Sanchez, he is more viable then most players on this list. If he can just hold onto the ball, he isn’t that bad.
While his butt-fumble is something that will always be remembered by most people, I’ll remember him for fumbling the ball all the time. He has 69 interceptions and 43 fumbles in four seasons — that’s 28 turnovers a year.
His touchdown numbers and win percentage have been respectable over that time period, but if Sanchez can’t hold on to the ball, then he likely won’t have a job.
He will be battling rookie Geno Smith for the starting job, but I believe that’s Geno’s job in three years — not this season. Sanchez will have the reins this season, and his performance is just a matter of if he wants a job in the future in the NFL. Don’t trust him in any leagues, but don’t expect him to be as bad as most people project.
Vying for the Bills’ starting QB job are E.J. Manuel and Kevin Kolb.
I don’t expect either of these guys to be viable options in most Fantasy leagues. I would look for Kolb to get the nod, but if he struggles don’t be surprised to see Manuel as early as Week 6. The only worthy Bills Fantasy options are C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson and Fred Jackson.
While I expect the Bills to have a solid season, it’s impossible to expect either of these quarterbacks to bump themselves into the top 12 in Fantasy play. Kolb can’t get rid of the ball, and Manuel is a rookie — enough said.
It’s hard for me to believe this team is even on this list. Look at the previous three teams — all embarrassing last season. This Eagles team has the talent and motivation to get back to the playoffs this year. New head coach Chip Kelly has not confirmed if Michael Vick or Nick Foles will start, but I’d be shocked if the Vick Experience is out of business.
This guy still has the arm and legs to be an elite quarterback. It was only two years ago people were considering him with their first-round pick in Fantasy drafts — he hasn’t fallen that far.
I look for Vick to have a major bounce-back year and approach 10 wins on the season. The No. 1 question is, “Can Vick keep turnovers to a minimum?” Vick is a fantastic player to watch, but coaches won’t keep a player around who can’t hold onto the ball. With that said, his huge contract and name will likely find himself under center for Week 1, even though most sources favor Foles to be the opening day starter.
With a viable backup like Foles, I don’t expect the Eagles to fall off if and when Vick gets injured. If by some miracle Vick can stay healthy, you have found yourself a major steal in most drafts. Be sure to grab another solid quarterback, if you do draft Vick, to have a nice backup and platoon.
Less Important QB Battles
Two teams I failed to mention are the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars don’t deserve to be on this list because their quarterbacks have hardly ever been productive and the Titans offense is difficult to predict, in my opinion.
Mark Brunell was Jacksonville’s last solid quarterback and he was not a great Fantasy quarterback by any means.
Now they’re throwing out Sunshine from “Remember the Titans” to play quarterback — it’s a joke. Blaine Gabbert is simply scared in the pocket and doesn’t have anyone to throw to. Gabbert is competing with Chad Henne for the quarterback job and I expect Henne to win.
With that said, Henne is terrible and should not be relied upon in any Fantasy league or NFL franchise. Although, I believe Henne will win, the favorite to win the job is Gabbert because of his age and prestige in the organization. He simply doesn’t have the skills in my opinion though.
The Titans recently signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, so it looks as if he and Jake Locker will compete for the job. It’s tough to get a read on who the guy will be, but I look for them to give Locker another chance. He’s very young and they need to see what they have in him. Don’t expect a lot from whoever gets the job.
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So these are some of the quarterback position battles happening this summer, during training camps and preseason games. Keep an eye on them!