Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Fantasy & Reality: Too many quarterbacks

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

It's no secret that quarterbacks put up more points than players at other positions. That we knew. But it's getting a little out of control: Fifteen quarterbacks have put up at least as many Fantasy points as Arian Foster, the highest-scoring non-quarterback in standard formats through four weeks. The likes of Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub and even Kevin Kolb have outscored Foster.

Yet, quarterbacks as a whole aren't considered ultra-valuable pieces to a Fantasy roster. Take this one-question poll to confirm this: In a basic league, would you take Matt Ryan straight up in trade for Arian Foster?

Most (if not all) of you would not accept that deal. Foster is considered ultra-valuable because of his steady production thanks to his dominant role in one of the league's best run-oriented offenses. And in Fantasy, you need at least two running backs in your lineup each week compared to just one quarterback. And most leagues have 10 or 12 owners, so only a dozen quarterbacks are really necessary. The demand for quarterbacks, even high-end ones, isn't nearly as great as the demand for high-end players at other positions, especially running backs.

As a result, owners trying to get good value for their quarterback -- whether they're from a good draft pick over the summer or off waivers -- will be disappointed.

It's an oversaturated marketplace. Even the owners of Michael Vick, Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo aren't in a hurry to make a move to replace them even though they're easily the three biggest Draft Day disappointments at quarterback so far. That's because the waiver wire has been and will continue to be rich with replacements. The passing era we're in has provided great Fantasy choices who mostly went undrafted in Flacco, Kolb, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton. The closest quarterback replacement, for a week or longer, is just a waiver claim away.

Your options are slim if you have two or even three excellent quarterbacks and you can only start one at a time. In one of my too-many leagues I landed Matt Ryan and Robert Griffin III on Draft Day, but I'm having an impossible time trying to move one of them in an adequate deal. I could get Stevan Ridley for one of them but that doesn't feel like enough. So my choices are to "settle" for something less than fair or just sit tight and wait for one of two things to happen: An injury to impact an owner in my league or a league-deadline deal to shore up my roster. Either way it doesn't look like a move is imminent.

Patience is prescribed for anyone loaded at quarterback. Eventually the right deal should come along and if it doesn't, make the best trade you can for your team as late as possible. But if you're not as lucky to have a couple of quality gunslingers on your team, the time is perfect to try and upgrade.

Whether you drafted Vick or Stafford or Romo or even Philip Rivers, you're probably unhappy. They each have only one game with 20 or more Fantasy points, the new benchmark for a good Fantasy week (25-plus points is now considered excellent). Two of them are on bye in Week 5 (Stafford and Romo) while Vick and Rivers get their breathers in a couple of weeks (Week 7). You need a bye week replacement anyway, so you might as well shop for a passer who can at least provide insurance in case of an injury or very favorable matchup.

This is where you'll win -- finding that second quarterback might be as easy as looking at waivers. Though Fitzpatrick and Dalton have been snapped up in most leagues, they're still out there in a few. And if they're not, choices like Kolb (21-plus Fantasy points in each of his last two starts) and even Jay Cutler (two 21-point performances) could be available. And if they're not your cup of tea, starters rich with receiving threats like Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman and Matt Hasselbeck are there in a pinch. Not that you'd start them outside of bye weeks, which is why leaving them on waivers instead of on your bench isn't much of a risk.

Landing a Flacco/Fitzpatrick/Dalton in trade, however, shouldn't set you back. That's your next move after scoping what's available for free on waivers. Getting one of those breakouts won't mean giving up a quality starter, mainly because the owners of those quarterbacks probably have them as backups and would view your offer of a good (not great) player in exchange for their backup as a victory. Want proof? Take this one-question poll: Your backup quarterback or Jonathan Stewart? If you didn't say Stewart then your backup quarterback better be RG3. Pretty much anyone would rather have another backup running back or receiver than a backup quarterback so long as their starting quarterback is a must-start.

The last step in the quarterback evaluation process is to put the position under the microscope and re-tier them based on what we've seen through four weeks. If your starting quarterback is in the first two tiers, it's up to you whether you need to even carry a backup, save for the bye weeks. If your starting quarterback is in the third tier, you should be comfortable with a game plan that involves an alternate starter in the event of tough matchups or slumping play. It would be dangerous if your regular weekly starting quarterback was in the fourth tier.

Must-starts Near must-start Mostly reliable Matchup-dependent
Drew Brees, NO Cam Newton, CAR Michael Vick, PHI Andrew Luck, IND
Matt Ryan, ATL Eli Manning, NYG Tony Romo, DAL Andy Dalton, CIN
Aaron Rodgers, GB Matthew Stafford, DET Philip Rivers, SD Matt Schaub, HOU
Tom Brady, NE Peyton Manning, DEN Ben Roethlisberger, PIT Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF
Robert Griffin III, WAS   Joe Flacco, BAL  

Fantasy & Reality

Quick observations about the misconceptions (Fantasy) and truths (Reality) from around the league.

Fantasy: Christian Ponder will outproduce Cam Newton in Week 4. I was pretty confident in this pick before Week 4, and I am feeling that much like a horse's patootie now. Friends, followers, radio show hosts and even my own boss saw what I saw with Ponder and started him over Cam on what turned out to be Newton's best Fantasy week so far this season. Go ahead and laugh at the pick, I deserve it. If you didn't listen, I'm happy for you. By the way, I still see Ponder as an effective quarterback loaded with receiving threats. It just would have helped if the Vikings' special teams didn't score all of their touchdowns against the Lions. And speaking of those Lions ...

Reality: There are rough weeks ahead for Matthew Stafford's Fantasy owners. The Lions quarterback just hasn't quite been himself this season, but it's more of a byproduct of his receivers than anything else. Cumulatively the Lions have 14 drops (more depending on who you ask) this season and Stafford is not getting as much production from secondary receiving options like Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson and Titus Young. In fact, if you remove the Hail Mary catch Young had (from Shaun Hill, not Stafford), he's averaging about 18 yards per game. That's a far cry from the roughly 43 yards per game he had in the 14 games he actually caught a pass in. Tack on a rough three-game stretch coming after the bye (at the Eagles, at the Bears, vs. the Seahawks) and he could be a disappointment. The bright side is that he'll have some nice matchups in the second half of the year. Stafford's owners have a lot of thinking to do.

Fantasy: Something's amiss with Marques Colston. In Week 3 Colston played just 57 percent of snaps against the Chiefs. There was some thought that his achy foot was holding him back from playing at all, much less playing effectively. That went directly out the window in Week 4 when he slammed the Packers at their place for 153 yards and a score on nine catches. What's funny is after a slow start in 2011, Colston broke out on the road at the Bucs for 118 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with an even better game at home against a weak Colts defense. Can't help but think history might repeat itself, even if the Chargers pass defense is better than the lowly Colts of 2011.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

Reality: The Dolphins offense, not just Brian Hartline, is on the fast track. Ryan Tannehill appears to be finally "getting it" and is maturing in the West Coast offense at the pro level. Against the Cardinals in Week 4, Tannehill ran an offense that reminded me a lot of what the Packers have been running for years: Well-timed, well-run routes of different varieties with downfield shots mixed in. He has put the ball on the money several times when throwing to Hartline, including an out-route where Hartline made an impressive catch with Patrick Peterson blanketing him. The gutsy Fantasy owner in need of a one-week replacement might consider starting Tannehill this week against the Bengals.

Fantasy: Chris Johnson is back, baby! I was stunned to see Chris Johnson land 141 yards on 25 carries, but a closer look might throw a wet blanket on any enthusiasm. He had 55 yards on eight carries in the fourth quarter, his best rushing quarter of the game, when the Texans had a huge lead and had no problem letting him chew up yardage if it meant grinding the clock. I'll admit he ran effectively in the first half (58 yards on 10 carries) and hope it's a sign of things to come, but no one should be ready to put him back on the stud running back mantle.

Reality: Ryan Mathews' situation is concerning. In July, Norv Turner was talking about Mathews as if he was Emmitt Smith. And he still did even after he broke his collarbone. But when Mathews fumbled in his first game back Turner went haywire and now Jackie Battle is in the mix for carries. I'm getting the feeling Battle will play much like Mike Tolbert did over the last two seasons in San Diego, and that means Mathews' superior stats we had all hoped for are not going to happen. It doesn't mean he's a bust, but it's certainly disconcerting.

Impactful injuries

Greg Jennings, WR, Packers: Jennings re-aggravated a groin injury after a touchdown catch against the Saints. It is believed that he could miss another game, maybe two. James Jones is an ideal replacement.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants: After missing his second straight game with knee and foot issues, there's an uneasy feeling Nicks might have a year like Andre Johnson had in 2011. When he's active he's worth starting, but who knows how often that will be?

Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets: Holmes hurt himself after making a catch, clutching his left leg. There's already talk that his season is over.

Jake Locker, QB, Titans: For the second time this season the quarterback has hurt his left shoulder. It's believed to be a separation. Matt Hasselbeck appears to be the Titans' starter for Week 5 at Minnesota (not a completely horrible matchup).

Laurent Robinson, WR, Jaguars: The team confirmed he suffered another concussion, his second in as many weeks and his third since training camp. His absence only solidifies playing time for Justin Blackmon.

Cordy Glenn, OT, Bills: One reason for Ryan Fitzpatrick's passing success: Excellent offensive line play. Glenn's absence will make an impact there as well as in the ground game. And Glenn is one of two starting linemen not expected to play against the 49ers (the other is guard Kraig Urbik).

Kenny Phillips, SS, Giants: Phillips sprained his knee against the Eagles and is considered "week to week." A depleted secondary gets even thinner.

DST sleepers for Week 5

Last week's DST sleepers: Cardinals (14 points), Falcons (five points), Buccaneers (four points)

Vikings (vs. Titans) ... Minnesota's defense is for real. Eight of its 12 sacks came over the last two games and its secondary is a little bit better than advertised. They'll have a real good chance at some turnovers and sacks against the Titans in Week 5.

Rams (vs. Cardinals) ... The Rams secondary has been outstanding thanks to the addition of Cortland Finnegan. He'll likely get locked onto Larry Fitzgerald. Not that that means Fitz will be handcuffed, but with Arizona coming to St. Louis on a short week it could mean a surprise outing for the defense.

Panthers (vs. Seahawks) ... Got guts? The Panthers have three interceptions on the season but they've come up with 12 sacks and take on a one-dimensional offense that has yet to put up over 20 points in a game (the Seahawks had a special-teams score in their 27-7 win in Week 2).

Bengals (vs. Dolphins) ... I'm starting to see the good in the Dolphins' offense so this matchup isn't quite the pushover it looked like a few weeks ago (OK, maybe one week ago). The Bengals' banged-up secondary is an issue but their run defense against Maurice Jones-Drew last week can't be ignored.

Two more things

• How could you not be impressed with Andy Dalton's play over the last three weeks? True, he's posted 890 passing yards and nine total touchdowns against the Joe Haden-less Browns, punchless Redskins and struggling Jaguars, but isn't that what good quarterbacks are supposed to do? He's got the stud receiver in A.J. Green, the complementary weapons (it would be nice if Armon Binns or Andrew Hawkins could break out further) and a pretty good offensive line, all things considered. But the best aspects of Dalton's game are improvements made in accuracy and yardage -- he's averaging 2.2 yards per attempt more per pass this year than he did last year, and he's already notched half as many 40-plus-yard passes as he had last year through one-quarter of the season. He's evolving into a pretty darn good Fantasy quarterback, maybe even a low-end starter.

• And if Dalton's play wasn't impressive enough for you, how about Michael Turner's? It took him a couple of weeks but in back-to-back matchups against the Chargers and Panthers he's done damage on limited carries and even broke free for a long score on a catch last week. He's scored in three straight games for the first time since, well, last year. I was one of his most outspoken supporters during the summer and still feel pretty good about Turner going forward but there's one thing that's still troublesome: His carries. He has only one game with over 15 carries and one game with over 16 total touches. It's worked out well so far but we might be reaching if we expect him to keep up double-digit Fantasy production on limited reps. If a good offer comes across your desk for Turner, think long and hard about accepting it.

• Bonus thing: I met Chuck Pagano for the first time in April at the NFL Meetings. He was very open and friendly with the media, shaking hands and asking questions of his own. To him, the media wasn't a nuisance. We had a good talk about the AFC title game and the impact of new-breed tight ends on defenses. It was also then when he hinted at taking Coby Fleener to go with Andrew Luck if given the chance. Pagano's been a football coach since the mid-'80s and was even a Miami Hurricane coach at the same time a certain Fantasy writer was enrolled there. Everyone roots for people struck with serious illnesses to come back strong but Pagano deserves the support of football fans everywhere in appreciation of his coaching contributions.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is approaching the one-year mark for his suspension though his NFL status is still in limbo. 

But according to a report from FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix, Washington is unsure about his status with the league. He was suspended a year ago on May 30, 2014 for being a multiple offender of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

However, he was expected to apply for reinstatement a month ago but did not do so. 

Assuming Washington is reinstated to the NFL at some point he will likely be subjected to punishment under the NFL's domestic violence policy. On March 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 


Titans' Massaquoi rehabbing shoulder, to miss OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi will not participate in the Titans' first organized team activities, per ESPN.com.

Massaquoi, who was claimed off waivers from the Falcons earlier this year, is recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a bone spur removed from the area, but the procedure was categorized as a minor cleanup.

Massaquoi recorded 22 tackles in 15 games with Atlanta last season.


Entering third season, 49ers' Lawrence Okoye eyeing roster spot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) This might finally be the year Lawrence Okoye can crack a spot on the 49ers' roster, per the Bay Area News Group.

Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Okoye has worked under new head coach Jim Tomsula for two years and with Justin Smith's retirement, his emergence might be rewarded.

“You’re going to get lots of people telling you things. But the main thing is to just keep yourself motivated, despite what people say about you," Okoye said. "People will write you off. People will say this or that. Just keep yourself motivated, keep going every day and you’ll be good.”

 


Bengals' Terrelle Pryor still dreams about winning it all
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Terrelle Pryor's chances of taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl and winning it are slim, but that won’t stop him from dreaming.

Pryor -- in his fourth year in the league -- dreams about winning the Super Bowl with quite some frequency, he just isn't sure what team he's doing it with.

“I don’t know the team. It’s always in black uniforms,” Pryor said. “I didn’t see any orange. No, it’s not the Raiders. But I believe it can happen because I can visualize it like that. I’m into visualization.”

Pryor hasn't played a down since the 2013 regular season, when he passed for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games.


Flowers' college position coach thinks he can fill in for injured Beatty
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Things are moving really fast for Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. The eighth overall pick in the draft, because of an injury to Will Beatty, might have inherited a huge workload this season, per nj.com.

Art Kehoe, Flowers' offensive line coach at the University of Miami, thinks Flowers will be up to the task of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.

"I'm sure he raised his level up a notch or two, but I think he plays every week, I think he plays hard in practice," Kehoe said. "He's an unproven commodity at the next level, and he's a high draft pick, [the Giants] drafted him to be a fixer, so I'm sure he's going in there to do what he did in Miami — scrap his ass off every day in practice, and if you're supposed to be a badass the next weekend [against] your opponent, he's gonna be there and he's gonna bring everything he's got. That's what he does. He wants to know that there's a dude, and he has to take care of him, and he'll be up to the challenge.

Giants' 2013 first-round pick, Justin Pugh is also a top candidate to fill in for the injured Beatty.


Union: Goodell must back off hearing of Patriots QB Tom Brady
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The league suspended Brady for the first four games next season for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, claiming that he likely knew that game balls were being deflated for his benefit before the 2014 AFC title game.

Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

As for the Wells Report, Smith stated that "you can't really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper." He offered into evidence the findings in regard to NFL official Walt Anderson, who was a key figure in the investigation, citing one part of the report questions his memory and another credits it.


Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


 
 
 
Rankings