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QB Russell Wilson

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Outlook: Russell Wilson has outperformed common expectations from day one in Seattle, beginning with a terrific rookie training camp in 2012 and leading up to a Super Bowl championship in 2013. Wilson has all the characteristics that Pete Carroll covets in a quarterback: he is smart, coachable, accurate, mobile, and creative. He has shown the ability to put up big passing numbers when his team gets behind (as demonstrated, for example, by his 385 passing yards in the 2012 playoff loss to the Falcons), but such situations arise infrequently. Seattle is built to win with defense and a strong running game, and Wilson doesn't air it out enough to be a top-tier fantasy QB. Consider him a low-end QB1 or, preferably, a high-end QB2 with decent upside potential if the Seahawks' defense, for whatever reason, is much less dominant this year than last.


QB Philip Rivers

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Outlook: Rivers is a veteran passer known for his football intelligence, quick release, and accuracy when he gets to step into the pocket. He is a classic drop-back passer: he is a big, immobile quarterback with an excellent command of the offense, but is a liability when he is forced from the pocket and tries to improvise. He therefore depends more than most quarterbacks do on his offensive line to give him consistent protection. He has shown the ability to be a solid fantasy starter: he's been a top-five fantasy quarterback in three of the last six years. When his protection falters, however, he becomes error-prone and turns the ball over too much. While his durability is a plus, his inability to get fantasy points as a runner puts him at a disadvantage as more QBs have become true duel-threats in recent years. Consider him a high-end fantasy backup with the potential to significantly outperform his draft position if he can build on last year's success under Mike McCoy.


QB Andy Dalton

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Outlook: Andy Dalton had a fantastic regular season in 2013 only to see it come crashing down in the team's lone playoff game - a home loss to a Wild Card San Diego team. Dalton had his best statistical year by far last year under Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden. This season, however, he'll be under Hue Jackson as Gruden left the team for Washington's Head Coach position. Jackson is far more run-heavy than Gruden. Between that and the general doubt surrounding Dalton's future, it will be difficult for the fourth-year player to approach the success he had in his fantastic 2013 campaign. Jackson's commitment to the run game at every one of his NFL stops so far doesn't have Dalton's arrow pointing up.


QB Ben Roethlisberger

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Outlook: The Steelers are looking to Ben Roethlisberger to lead them to the playoffs again. Fantasy owners are doing the same thing. It may not seem like it to some, but Roethlisberger was a top-10 fantasy quarterback (8th) in 2013. We could see him improve slightly on those numbers this season. The Steelers have worked to improve the offensive line play in recent years. Getting a player like center Maurkice Pouncey back will greatly upgrade the protection for Roethlisberger. Pouncey was knocked out in Week 1 with an ACL/MCL tear, and the offensive line gave up the 5th-most sacks (42) in 2013. Roethlisberger did a good job in his second year running Todd Haley's offense, but his production was not consistent. In eight of 16 games last year, Roethlisberger failed to score 20 or more fantasy points. This makes him an unreliable starter even though his season totals look good. The team will have a more consistent ground game this year, and that should help Roethlisberger. Having Le'Veon Bell as the primary back will help keep defenses honest, and this will allow Roethlisberger to set up play-action passing. Last year, Bell missed a portion of the season due to injury and the team struggled to move the ball on the ground without him. The Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos) in free agency, and they will replace him with second-year pro Markus Wheaton. How guys like Wheaton, Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant perform will help determine how productive Roethlisberger is in 2014. Things are looking up for Roethlisberger. The offensive line and ground game are improved for the Steelers, and he's well-versed in the Haley offense. Roethlisberger may once again finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback this year, but this season he could be more consistent on a week-to-week basis.


QB Carson Palmer

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Projections

David Dodds's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Russell Wilson287.0430.0343625.010.090.04823.00.000.0368.0
Philip Rivers363.0557.0421129.014.030.0300.00.000.0359.6
Andy Dalton336.0540.0386629.019.054.01322.00.000.0354.5
Ben Roethlisberger336.0540.0390426.014.027.01001.00.000.0339.2
Carson Palmer339.0552.0397425.021.026.0160.00.000.0308.3

Chris Smith's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT

Bob Henry's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Russell Wilson291.0455.0370028.011.078.04403.00.000.0393.0
Philip Rivers354.0535.0430028.015.025.0400.00.000.0357.0
Andy Dalton327.0528.0382029.018.048.01502.00.000.0356.0
Ben Roethlisberger346.0540.0398027.012.030.01001.00.000.0353.0
Carson Palmer347.0555.0411024.018.023.0100.00.000.0314.5

Jason Wood's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Russell Wilson295.0450.0375026.010.085.04504.00.000.0392.5
Philip Rivers380.0570.0442030.015.025.0450.00.000.0375.5
Ben Roethlisberger355.0555.0417527.014.030.01001.00.000.0358.8
Andy Dalton346.0550.0405028.019.040.01001.00.000.0348.5
Carson Palmer350.0555.0395026.020.010.0250.00.000.0316.0

Maurile Tremblay's projections

PlayerCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDRECYDTDFPT
Philip Rivers366.0556.0437327.015.027.0721.00.000.0363.9
Russell Wilson266.0420.0335425.012.078.04132.00.000.0347.0
Andy Dalton337.0544.0384526.018.050.01492.00.000.0339.1
Ben Roethlisberger351.0554.0403625.015.029.01111.00.000.0338.9
Carson Palmer356.0571.0414624.020.020.0271.00.000.0320.0