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Deep sleeper QBs

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Cam Newton - CAR 6 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Jimmy Clausen is doing nothing to stop the Panthers from making Newton the starter from the get-go, and the team was committed in free agency to surrounding Newton with good talent. Yes, Newton will have rookie growing pains, but similar rookie QBs have flourished from a fantasy perspective even while struggling on the field. Tim Tebow was the number 1 fantasy QB during his three starts last year. Vince Young was a top 12 QB during the second half of his rookie year. Newton has as high a ceiling as any QB outside of the top 15, and might be one of the fantasy surprises of the year.

Will Grant - The passing game in Carolina is going to struggle this year, but Newton looks like the real deal. The Panthers re-signed DeAngelo Williams to keep the solid running game in place and the additions of Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey at TE give Newton some great safety valve type players to lean on if he gets into trouble. He's not going to be a top 10 finisher, but Newton is definitely worth a backup slot.

Jeff Haseley - I think there's no question that Newton will be starting in Carolina sooner rather than later. Jimmy Clausen, may be improved after taking his lumps in his rookie year, but he just doesn't have the arm strength or the ability to make plays that Newton has. In Carolina's more creative offense, led by Rob Chudzinski, it calls for more down field throws that Clausen takes a back seat to. Newton has a long way to go, but he has the tools to be an effective QB in this league, beginning this year.

Dave Larkin - It is not even a certainty that Cam Newton will be the starting quarterback for the Panthers at this time, but I believe the coaching staff is setting it up so that Newton has the inside track. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has even incorporated some read option concepts. Newton is a dynamic athlete who will be an inconsistent option for your team, but has enough upside to warrant strong consideration.

Bob Magaw - The #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft ran for nearly 1,500 yards and 20 TDs in his 2010 Heisman winning season. For perspective, top drafted rookie RB Mark Ingram, in his 2009 Heisman winning season, had nearly 1,700 yards and 17 TDs. He flashed dual pass/rush skills at Auburn, becoming the first QB in SEC history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000, as well as joining the exclusive 20/20 club (passing and rushing TDs). Tim Tebow was extremely valuable for fantasy purposes towards the end of last season. Newton should be in line to start immediately, is a more technically advanced and pro ready passer and a faster and potentially better runner. Newton enters the league as one of the top running QB prospects in league history (a notch below four time Pro Bowler Michael Vick, but ahead of two time Pro Bowler Vince Young, who won a Rookie of the Year award). He will be protected by maybe the top 1-2 RB punch in the league with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and has talented receiving weapons in WR Steve Smith and TE Greg Olsen.

Jason Wood - I don't have a lot of faith that Cam Newton is ever going to be a big time NFL QB, and will need a lot of convincing to the contrary. But fantasy football isn't judged in the same way real football is, particularly because we treat rushing yards and TDs as more important than passing yards and TDs. That's important because even though Newton will struggle as a passer, he's going to put up some eye-popping rushing totals if history repeats itself. Steve McNair ran for 674 yards and 8 TDs in his first year as a starter. Vick ran for 777 yards and 8 scores. McNabb had 629 yards and 6 TDs. Vince Young had 552 and 7. You get the idea...Newton will use his legs, and that makes him a viable QB2 in deeper leagues.

Kyle Orton - DEN 5 votes

Steve Holloway - Orton may eventually rise up draft boards, but he is currently being taken as QB #20 and 145 overall, based primarily on the idea that Tebow will be playing soon an possibly taking over at QB for the Broncos this season. There is a risk of that happening, but as long as Orton plays you will be rewarded. If he is replaced and not traded, then you lose your benefit. Last season Orton finished as QB #16, even while missing three 3 games. His points per game were excellent, but he gave way to Tebow in the final three games. If the Broncos open strong and they have Oakland at home, Cincinatti at home and then Tennessee on the road, Orton may keep starting. If they begin losing and Orton plays well, maybe you could trade him as when the lose Tebow should get an earlier call.

Jeff Pasquino - Kyle Orton had a big, big year last year with Denver, right up until they pulled out the rug from underneath him and installed Tim Tebow for the last few games. Orton lit it up with Brandon Lloyd in 2010, but some are worried that new head coach John Fox will go more with a ground game than ask Orton to throw deep. Orton fans can rest easy as Denver's defense is not much better this year than last, meaning that the Broncos cannot hope to win many games if they do not outscore the opposition. Knowshon Moreno is not a strong lead back for Denver either, meaning Orton will have lots of chances for 250+ yards and 2-3 touchdown games this year.

Chris Smith - Due to the fact it appeared the Broncos were going to use Tim Tebow as the starter in 2011, Orton has been nowhere on the draft boards through early summer. However he is now firmly entrenched as the Broncos starting quarterback and will be a serviceable starting quarterback. The only concern is the Broncos begin the season slowly and with an eye to the future, they allow Tebow to learn on the field.

Mark Wimer - Orton is winning the QB contest in Denver hands down - Tim Tebow may end up third on the depth chart behind Brady Quinn. The new front office/coaching staff have nothing invested in Josh McDaniel's pick of Tebow, and Orton is outplaying him in training camp. Orton has been very effective with the receivers on the roster in Denver, and he is criminally undervalued as of mid-August.

Jason Wood - Orton was thought to be headed out of Denver because the team was ready to hand the reins to Tim Tebow .Yet, those plans were shelved after a trade to Miami fell apart, and then Orton started blowing Tebow out of water each and every day in Broncos training camp. So long as there's not another change of plans, Orton deserves consideration as a solid fantasy QB2. The Broncos defense will be improved, but not enough to keep them from having to win some shoot outs. And Orton is certainly capable of throwing 3,800-4,000 yards and 20-25 TDs over a 16-game span. He's not a guy I see being a breakout stud ever, but he's much better than some of the QBs going ahead of him in drafts.

Donovan McNabb - MIN 4 votes

Will Grant - While Sidney Rice may have moved on from Minnesota, the Vikings still have an above-average set of pass-catchers. McNabb has been able to do wonders with table scraps in his career, so a veteran group of receivers will be no problem for him, even if they are a bunch of second tier guys. Percy Harvin is electric and Visanthe Shiancoe provides that big red-zone target that McNabb likes to use around the goal line. Let's not forget Adrian Peterson to take off some of the heat.

Jeff Pasquino - Not many veteran quarterbacks get another shot to start with their third NFL franchise, but McNabb is not your typical veteran. McNabb has been a Pro Bowl quarterback numerous times when he was leading Philadelphia, and now he gets a shot to show how much he has left in the tank after a miserable year in Washington last season. McNabb has been a very productive quarterback with modest ground games and thin wide receiver depth charts with the Eagles, so imagine what he might do with Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin this year. He no longer is a big threat with his legs, but if his offensive line can protect him he can be a solid fantasy QB2 in 2011.

Chris Smith - Without question, McNabb's best years as an NFL quarterback are behind him. He also has a receiving core that isn't going to scare anybody. However he finished as the 12th or better fantasy quarterback in four of the last five seasons and definitely has the ability to become a good starting fantasy quarterback if everything comes together.

Matt Waldman - I believe McNabb will be a better conceptual fit with Minnesota and his play will reflect it on the field. The ground game is good enough that McNabb should be able to maximize his play action deep ball skills that he executed so well in Philadelphia. Although Bernard Berrian and Devin Aromashodu aren't complete receivers, they are above average perimeter threats. McNabb will make them look good. Anthony Armstrong looked good last year. Hank Baskett and Kevin Curtis had moments in Philadelphia. Berrian, Aromashodu, and Michael Jenkins will suffice.

Jason Campbell - OAK 2 votes

David Dodds - The Oakland QBs passed for 3,471 yards and 18 TDs in 2010. With little to no competition, Jason Campbell might finally be able to reach his potential in Oakland.

Jeff Pasquino - Once the Top 15-18 quarterbacks are gone, the depth of the QB2 pool gets pretty darn shallow. The nice things about Jason Campbell are that he has playmakers at wide receiver in Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and even rookie Denarius Moore who can all score on any reception from anywhere on the field. The loss of TE Zach Miller does hurt, but Kevin Boss can step in and provide decent value there. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush also offer good receiving options out of the backfield. Campbell is the unquestionable starter for the Raiders with no viable options behind him, making him a high upside QB2 this year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick - BUF 2 votes

Chris Smith - If you look at only arm strength and natural ability, there is no way that Fitzpatrick would be starting in the NFL. He is the classic overachiever at quarterback but has great intelligence and on-field presence. He has talent around him on offense and if the offensive line can block decently, he will emerge as a serviceable fantasy quarterback.

Mark Wimer - The Bills traded Lee Evans away - because they have one of the deepest, youngest rosters of wide recievers in the NFL. 25-year old Steve Johnson is a bona-fide #1 WR. 24-year old Donald Jones and 24-year old Marcus Easley have shown flashes of big-time talent. 29-year old Roscoe Parrish and 28-year old Brad Smith haven't become household names yet, but they are solid NFL-caliber players. Fitzpatrick has an embarrassment of riches to work with, and a suspect defense to overcome. He should air it out a lot this year.

Tarvaris Jackson - SEA 2 votes

David Dodds - Possibly the biggest winner of free agency was Tarvaris Jackson. He left a situation where he was buried on the depth chart and lands in Seattle where he has been named the starting QB. The Seahawks loaded up with weapons adding WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller to go with WR Mike Williams' breakout season a year ago. This team is on the rise. Could Jackson be the missing piece the team needs?

Clayton Gray - Of course I realize Jackson has a nice history of failing to produce, but I'm putting my faith in Darrell Bevell and Sidney Rice. Those two guys are pretty good at what they do and want to tie themselves to Tarvaris Jackson. Bevell and the Seahawks could have had any of about a dozen available quarterbacks and quickly went after Jackson in free agency. Then Rice, who has spent his entire career with Jackson, willing went to Seattle, where Jackson was already tabbed the starting quarterback. Maybe Bevell and Rice already know what Pete Carroll believes: the Vikings simply "jerked around" Tarvaris Jackson.

Colt McCoy - CLE 2 votes

Sigmund Bloom - McCoy has a lot of things going for him. He has a west coast offense guru as a head coach (Pat Shurmur). He has the ability to gain yards with his legs. He has a very good offensive line. He was also studying with Brett Favre in the offseason and his execution looks very sharp so far in camp and the preseason. Once McCoy got his feet wet last year, he was a very solid fantasy QB when he wasn't playing the Ravens or Steelers. He might end up being one of the best backup fantasy QBs this year and you can get him outside of the top 20 QBs taken in almost every draft.

Steve Holloway - McCoy was a third round selection by the Browns a year ago and played in eight games down the stretch in 2010 with only moderate success. However, the off-season brought a new offensive strategy to Cleveland and the Browns will employ a West Coast attack. This is an excellent fit with McCoy's skills. He does not have a huge arm, but at Texas he made excellent decisions and was very accurate. Look for Peyton Hillis, Greg Little and Ben Watson to see plentiful targets and be very involved in the passing game. With McCoy's current ADP of QB #27 and 213 overall, he will be an excellent choice as your second QB and you can wait till extremely late to take him.

Tim Tebow - DEN 2 votes

Sigmund Bloom - It's hard to recommend holding a backup QB early in the season who can't help your fantasy team, but in QB flex, 2 QB, and maybe even non-PPR leagues with 4 pt passing TDs, Tebow will be very valuable when he becomes the starter. And he will become the starter at some point this year. The Broncos have too much at stake next year to go in not knowing what they have Tebow. He was the #1 fantasy QB during his three starts last year. Even if his play on the field is ugly, his fantasy stats are likely to be very pretty once he takes the helm for the Broncos.

Jene Bramel - The shine seems to have worn off Tebow's status as a summer sleeper. He needs time to develop and the Broncos weren't able to move Kyle Orton. But Tebow has been going much later than this ADP, which is still influenced by earlier drafts that saw him go in the mid to late teens, and is a great stash as an extremely high upside QB3 if you've room on your roster. He had nearly 900 total yards and scored 7 touchdowns over his late season two plus game stretch as the Broncos' primary quarterback. Those numbers were top five. He won't have to be anything close to that to hold much better value than his current ADP if and when he gets back in the lineup.

Blaine Gabbert - JAX 1 vote

Dave Larkin - Blaine Gabbert was considered by many scouts to be the top signal caller in the 2011 class, and that may prove to be the case. The reports out of training camp are that Gabbert has been very impressive and has picked up the offense quickly. He has a natural skill set to play the position and may see some playing time this season if he can unseat Garrard. If he does, I would take a chance on the cerebral passer.

David Garrard - JAX 1 vote

Mark Wimer - It's fashionable to be down on Garrard, but he's got one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league on his team and one of the elite tight ends in the game. Yes, his wide receivers are an unknown quantity, but Garrard finished 13th among all fantasy QBs in total points last season, laboring in similar circumstances.

Bruce Gradkowski - CIN 1 vote

Matt Waldman - The Gruden family has a man crush on Andy Dalton. I understand that Dalton is smart and aggressive. There's promise in his game even if I think there are more flaws than most analysts mention. I also expect Dalton get his bell rung more often in the AFC North than the one at the University of Georgia Chapel on North Campus during spring commencement. Gradkowski is smart, tough, mobile, and a leader. I think he'll be a great waiver wire substitute as a bye-week option capable of some low-end QB1 performances.

Rex Grossman - WAS 1 vote

Steve Holloway - Grossman appears to be set to start for the Redskins in 2011. As farfetched as it sounds, he sent Donovan McNabb to the bench and eventually to Minnesota in a trade. However, Grossman remains lightly regarded as he is currently in a QB competition with John Beck. To avert risk, you might not select Grossman until after Shanahan names the starter. The Redskins receivers are actually better than perceived with Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Jabar Gaffney and Tim Hightower all being solid players. Grossman's capacity for outperforming expectations is outstanding primarily because of his extremely low expectations, but down the stretch a year ago, he had over 300 yards in two of the last three games and threw for seven TDs. You could do worse than waiting to nab Grossman with your final pick, adding quality depth elsewhere while you wait and wait to take him.

Matt Hasselbeck - TEN 1 vote

Jeff Haseley - The Titans found a great stopgap QB while they groom Jake Locker for the long term role. Hasselbeck has a good young core of offensive talent that will benefit from his presence. It's hard to believe he is ranked as the 24th best QB. He should be able to make an impact and be the starter all year, if he can remain healthy.

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