What's On My Mind - Quarterback
By Sigmund Bloom
August 7th, 2011

If you are into statistical analysis, there is plenty of that at Footballguys. However, sometimes, you have a nagging feeling about things. Sometimes, there is just something you can't get out of your mind. That's what this series is all about. Today, quarterbacks are on my mind.

Tony Romo continues to fly under the radar as a QB that you can get 7th (or even later) even though he has produced at the clip of the six guys ahead of him since Miles Austin broke out in 2009. He makes it very hard to take a QB in the first three or four rounds this year.

After Romo, you have high floor guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, and Matt Ryan along ascending young talents like Sam Bradford and Josh Freeman. That's a pretty wide safety net if you miss on Romo by a few picks.

After that top 12 QB, it gets pretty dicey pretty quick folks. Matthew Stafford does offer top 10 upside with a healthy side of injury risk, and it gets ugly from there on. Eli Manning and Jay Cutler are unpredictable week-to-week and seem to have hit their ceilings. Joe Flacco lost at least two of his three most reliable targets last year (Todd Heap and Derrick Mason) with only unproven replacements on the roster behind them. Perhaps Mark Sanchez, Donovan McNabb, and Kyle Orton could be good low cost reinforcements, and both Matt Cassel and Ryan Fitzpatrick could put up good numbers if they recapture the form they lost at the end of 2010. Without Tim Tebow starting in Denver, high ceiling QB2s are in very short supply.

The QB situation in Denver appears to be set with Orton as the starter, while Tim Tebow is fighting for second-team snaps with Brady Quinn. Tebow is still absolutely worth stashing away late in 2QB and full flex leagues, and also 4 pt per pass TD/pt per 25 yd passing leagues where his running ability will give him extra value. This situation is fluid and the Orton trade rumors could pick up again at any moment. The Broncos also have a very strong interest in seeing what Tebow can do before the end of the season to give them clarity in their approach to the position in free agency and the 2012 draft. I'm not a long-term Tebow believer, but his demonstrated fantasy upside is undeniable, yet overlooked in the wake of the latest news out of Dove Valley.

Looking even deeper, Tarvaris Jackson and Cam Newton are both intriguing fantasy commodities. They both have strong running games to keep the heat off of them and the ability to be productive as runners. Jackson has a strong set of weapons, including a #1 receiver that he has experience with (Sidney Rice), and Newton just gained a strong receiving TE (Greg Olsen) and retained his #1 WR (Steve Smith).

While my comments might seem overall discouraging about using a QBBC, I do think the "first to the waiver wire" factor is one of the most underrated aspects of going QBBC. While everyone else is probably focusing elsewhere in early waiver wire periods because they are happy with their QB situations, the QBBC drafter has a hair trigger for potential surprises, like Michael Vick, Jon Kitna, and Shaun Hill last year. While a QBBC approach costs you a valuable extra roster spot in short bench leagues, it also means the waiver wire pool will be a lot deeper.

The other side of that "waiver wire pool as an extension of your roster" effect is that this could be the year to go without a backup fantasy QB in your draft if you're not going QBBC. It might be wise for Michael Vick and Tony Romo owners to handcuff their QBs because their injury risk and the backups demonstrated fantasy upside, but otherwise, you will probably be just fine taking the starter on the waiver wire with the best matchup in your starters bye week. The risk that you have to start a weak QB against your own better judgment is still smaller than the risk that you miss on a sleeper you like because you can't use that roster spot on a RB/WR while it is tied with your backup QB, both in the draft and while you're waiting on your starting QB's bye.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

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