Greetings to all you fine Chiefs fans out there! First off, many thanks go out to Ryan, your host, for allowing me to contribute to the blog. I am hoping to pitch in over a number of areas, but as the case almost always is in life, fantasy football comes above everything. With the NFL Draft behind us, I’ve been given the task of previewing the propsects for some of the league’s newest players. Just so we’re on the same page, I’m focusing on one-year re-draft leagues. I’ll have a look at running backs and wide receivers in the coming days, but first, in honor of the man who went 1st overall to Detroit…the QBs.
Matthew Stafford, Lions, 1st Overall – I don’t expect Stafford to start right off the bat, and neither should you. Given Detroit’s lack of weapons outside of Calvin Johnson, it would not be in the club’s best interests to insert its prized rookie, especially since he’d be calling signals behind an offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last season, second most in the NFL behind San Francisco’s 55. Daunte Culpepper should start the season, and one it spirals out of control, Stafford is likely to get some playing time. I’d rather see the Lions have him sit for a whole year like Cincinatti did with Carson Palmer, but if he does indeed get into game action, he’ll be worth an immediate pickup because no starting QB should be left available for other owners to grab. Plus, the aforementioned Johnson can make any quarterback’s numbers look good.
Mark Sanchez, Jets, 5th Overall – In the interest of full disclosure, I declare that I am a Jets fan and I will be rooting for Sanchez to do well. He will compete with Kellen Clemens for the starting gig right off the bat, and I believe he will win the battle right off the bat. New York still could use a starting receiver opposite Jerricho Cotchery, but the Jets have a talented and now-deep backfield with the drafting of Shonn Greene, a rising pass catcher at tight end in Dustin Keller, and a number of solid complimentary receivers. This team didn’t shell out close to $150 million two off-seasons ago in order to rebuild. Everyone says he has the tools – arm strength, footwork, mobility, football IQ, the works. If he wins the job, owners in leagues that start two QBs should consider him as a low end 2nd option with a decent ceiling.
Josh Freeman, Bucs, 17th Overall – Considered a boom or bust prospect, Freeman is probably the least likely of the first round QBs to make a significant impact. There’s a realistic chance he could begin the season third on the depth chart behind Byron Leftwich and either Luke McCown or Brian Griese, whichever doesn’t get released. Tampa Bay brought in Kellen Winslow and Derrick Ward to help on offense, but the club is still in dire need of a gamebreaking wide receiver and new head coach Raheem Morris appears to be a smash mouth kinda coach. I don’t see gaudy totals for any QB starting under the current circumstances for the Bucs.
Nate Davis, 49ers, 171st Overall – Yay for default! Mike Singletary was impressed by Shaun Hill’s moxy at the end of last season, but his skill set doesn’t blow anyone’s doors off. The other options on the San Francisco roster? Former #1 overall pick Alex Smith, coming off arm surgery, and Damon Huard, who I know needs no introduction to you Chiefs fans. Every year, one or two QBs tend to come out of nowhere, and maybe it’s the Ball State product. Davis is known to have a learning disability, which could be a big hinderance in terms of learning the playbook and reading defenses. It’s a longshot, but isn’t half the fun in fantasy taking big hacks? He’d be a heck of a story, too.
Quick hits on the rest of the bunch… We won’t know if Pat White can play in the pros or not until we find out if Chad Henne can, and he won’t get HIS shot ’til Chad Pennington gives his up…Rhett Bomar, Curtis Painter, and Julian Edelman can get comfortable on the Giants, Colts, and Patriots benches…Tom Brandstader might one day benefit from the Jay Cutler fiasco in Denver, but with the McDaniels Era needing a fast start, it’s not anytime soon…Keith Null? Maybe if the Rams decide to void Marc Bulger.
Really quick dynasty league forecast…Sanchez first since he’s the best position of all, followed by Stafford then Freeman. None of the others are worth long term looks at this point.