QB Movers (Post Draft)
By Sigmund Bloom
May 5th, 2011

Moving Up

  • Matt Ryan, Atlanta - The Falcons strong commitment to giving Ryan a top talent to throw to opposite Roddy White is a terrific sign for his 2011 fantasy prospects. Julio Jones adds a dimension the team lacked in the passing game, and it could vault Ryan into the elite tier of fantasy QBs. He's a rock solid QB8 and a good reason to wait on QB this year in fantasy drafts.

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo - The Bills passed on Blaine Gabbert at #3 (although GM Buddy Nix said they would have considered Gabbert if the Broncos had selected Marcell Dareus at #2). They passed on Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick at #34. They will almost certainly enter the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter. If Fitzpatrick can mostly play like he did in his first nine games (including heartbreaking losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh), then he might be starting on opening day again in 2013. He's worth considering as a very cheap late option in a shallow fantasy backup QB tier.

  • Carson Palmer, Cincinnati - It seems strange, but Palmer gained fantasy value during the draft. He will be throwing to the best wide receiver talent in the draft if he returns to Cincinnati, even though it would be a short stay. Bengals owner Mike Brown might be more sensible about dealing Palmer now that he has his QB of the future. Going into the draft, Palmer's retirement felt like the most likely outcome to this situation, but now alternatives seem more viable. Palmer is still on the decline, but he could find new life elsewhere.

  • Colt McCoy, Cleveland - Greg Little isn't quite the impact player that Julio Jones is, and the team could have selected Jones at their natural first-round pick of #6, but instead they traded down and took Greg Little the second-round pick they received as part of the package. Little is instantly the closest thing to a #1 receiver on the roster, and early fourth-round pick Jordan Cameron could be the Browns version of Jimmy Graham. McCoy has some promising young weapons to grow with in the passing game to go with the Browns excellent running game now.

  • Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - There's not much room to move Manning up, but it is still undeniable that his value increased after his team took potential book-end tackles in the first and second rounds. The team also grabbed a guy who can at least give them something resembling a real short yardage runner in the ground game. Not only does Manning get back two of his favorites targets that he lost mid-season, but now he'll have a better surrounding cast on cast on offense.

  • Matt Cassel, Kansas City - Cassel gained a giant jumpball target to exploit defenses obsessed with stopping Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. The organization also seemed to zero in on Baldwin as the pick with clarity, so getting Cassel that quality #2 target obviously was a top priority for the team. The loss of Charlie Weis is a lot for Cassel to overcome, but Baldwin will help.

  • Tony Romo, Dallas - Maybe it was because the pick had been anticipated by so many going into the draft (not to mention being bookended by franchise QB picks), but the Cowboys selection of Tyron Smith at #9 got little attention on draft night and in the following days. If Smith can arrive ready for prime time, Romo's blind side will be well-protected. Romo is underrated in fantasy circles right now and this development only increases that.

  • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - Not that he needed it, but the Packers used their first two picks to enhance the passing game. Derek Sherrod should be a long-term starter at one of the offensive tackle positions and Randall Cobb will give the offense a Percy Harvin/Hines Ward tough-as-nails presence. The rich get richer.

  • Sam Bradford, St. Louis - I can't say that I liked Lance Kendricks and Austin Pettis going into the draft, but I believe Greg Salas will be Bradford's version of Austin Collie, and I love the commitment to re-tooling the passing game weaponry. Josh McDaniels is going to make the passing game the focus of the offense, and that should make Bradford a potential top 8 QB that you can get outside of the top 10.

  • Kyle Orton, Denver, Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia - Arizona, Miami, and Seattle emerged from the draft without a QB of the future, so one of this duo is likely to be the QB of the present of for one of these teams.

  • Moving Down

  • Drew Brees, New Orleans - While Mark Ingram's presence will force opposing defenses to honor the run more often, you have to still think that the net effect of getting a real feature back on Brees numbers will be negative. Consider the possibility of more offensive game plans like the winning one in the 2010 season opener vs Minnesota, when Pierre Thomas took the life out of the Vikings defense with 17 second-half carries if you are planning on taking Brees as a top three QB this year.

  • David Garrard, Jacksonville - Jacksonville seized the day and traded up to get Blaine Gabbert after he fell to Washington's #10 pick, sealing Garrard's fate. The QB has just been too inconsistent over the years to believe that he can survive the season without a stretch of inexplicable poor play that compels the brass to plug in Gabbert and move on.

  • Jimmy Clausen, Carolina - Did we ever really believe that the Panthers liked Clausen and were still considering him as a potential long-term starter? Clausen will have to improve by leaps and bounds to do more than keep the job warm for #1 overall pick Cam Newton - if he even gets the chance to do that.

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

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