Welcome to another edition of the Twitter Roundtable. As always, our group of Fantasy Experts discuss a topic of fantasy relevance to your league and season.
 
Today, we talk about Quarterbacks.
 
While many an owner is thinking about grabbing QB early, still others wait for their signal-caller. Which guy currently projected outside these twelve Quarterbacks has the best shot at making the top 8? Why?

Brady, Tom – NE
Brees, Drew – NO
Manning, Peyton – IND

McNabb, Donovan – PHI
Warner, Kurt – ARI
Rivers, Philip – SD
Rodgers, Aaron – GB
Palmer, Carson – CIN
Schaub, Matt – HOU
Romo, Tony – DAL
Cutler, Jay – CHI
Garrard, David – JAX
Orton, Kyle – DEN
 
 
Jared Feree – What’s Your Fantasy Podcast
Based on THAT list, two guys step out to me. 

1) Matt Hasselbeck – Hasselbeck, the last time he was healthy, finished top ten and he is gaining a great receiver in Houshmandzadeh.  He does still play in one of the weaker conferences in the NFC West.  I also think Carlson is a nice weapon and Deion Branch, when healthy, is a nice target as well.  I wouldn’t want to place any bets on Hassebeck finishing top 10, but wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up there. 

2) Matt Ryan – I like him to be close to top 10 and would prefer him over a guy like Garrard.  Roddy White is solid, Turner is solid, and the addition of Tony Gonzalez could add a few redzone passing TD’s.  While his overall numbers weren’t that impressive last season, he did finish top 15 as a rookie.

HONORABLE MENTION:
Brett Favre for obvious reasons, but I think he will move very close to the top 12 once he is in camp. 

 

 
Matt Schauf – RapidDraft.com
From what I’ve seen, Matt Ryan is far more often considered among the top 12 than Orton or Garrard. I agree that Hasselbeck doesn’t have a long trip to get back into the top 12, although I also don’t trust him to make it through a full schedule. I really like Trent Edwards, though his success (or failure) will depend on how quickly a whole new line can jell. I’m not betting on him as a starter right away, but I’ll absolutely take a shot on him as a backup/spot starter with upside. Matt Cassel got sacked more than any other passer in the league last year and he still managed to have a pretty nice season.

Terrell Owens was awesome in his first seasons with Philly and Dallas (despite some new kid taking over at QB during that year with the Cowboys), and he seems to be saying and doing all the right things again in Buffalo.

Another really late sleeper is Jason Campbell, who has a more experienced line and is, by all accounts, determined to finally put it all together this year. He’s done a pretty good job avoiding interceptions as a starter overall, so the big question will be whether he has enough at receiver.

 
Ginny Loveless – Footballdiehards.com
With Falcon’s bruuuuutal schedule, there’s no way I’d put Matt Ryan on the list.

HHmmmm…. Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Edwards

MH: In the past, Hasselbeck has been a proven fantasy starter. So, knowing he can be in that role eases the assumption that he can do it again.  Last year was extremely subpar for him due not only to the injuries to his receivers, but his own injury which caused him to miss half the season. Hasselbeck has said himself that he is now completely recovered from his back woes and even Coach More is happy with his progress, so that’s always good to hear. 

Doing some quick math here, had he played all 16 games –all things being equal – he would have ended the season with about 2850 yards and 11 touchdowns.   While that’s pretty middle-of-the-pack stats, he should thrive this year as he gets to air it out to TJ Houshmandzadeh and John Carlson. Not to mention that if Nate Burleson and Deion Branch can stay healthy, things will be even easier for the 10-year vet.

TE: From what I’ve seen and read, Trent Edwards is a great decision maker who understands the offense and we should see an overall improvement of him at this position as he enters his third year.  But, it’s the addition of Terrell Owens to his receiving crew that makes me include him here. Lee Evans is great to have on the other side of the field, too. If Marshawn Lynch and the Bills’ running game keep steady, that should make things easier for him as well.

Between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson…..whoever wins that job I would add to the list… There’s talent in Cleveland with Braylon Edwards and Brian Robiskie.  Quinn is one more year into being more mature and I think he can really start something good this year with Edwards. Braylon’s flub last year was a fluke and he will rebound. :::crossfingers:::

 
Parag Gheewala – Mockumentary
I like the Matt Hasslebeck pick, but I’ll stick my neck out and go with Ben Roethlisberger.  I have a feeling that Ben will have solid but unspectacular season.  His owners will be constantly looking for an upgrade because he’ll never quite be a difference maker each week.  Not many will try to trade for him because he won’t seem like an upgrade.  But at the end of the season, everyone will be shocked to see that Ben’s made it into the top 8 (barely).  Some of the better QBs will get hurt (Kurt Warner, I’m looking at you) and some will sit because their teams have clinched the playoffs.  The result is that one of the best NFL QBs will put together a top 8 fantasy football season. Since his ADP is outside of the top 12, he sounds like a nice backup QB to grab.
 
Matt Schauf – RapidDraft.com
I’m definitely not a Braylon Edwards believer. I think that the numbers he has put up with various quarterbacks over four seasons indicate that he’s much closer to a 70-catch, 7-touchdown type of player at best than the blowed-up 2007 version. If he were a true, sure-fire No. 1 wideout, I have to think he either would have snapped out of the funk at some point last season or found the Giants willing to give up Steve Smith to bring him aboard this winter.
 
Roethlisberger is another player that I never end up drafting, because he has clearly shown that he can’t be counted on for big numbers. I’d like to think that the apparent emergence of Santonio Holmes will set Ben up to finally reach 20 TD passes for the second time in his career this year, but there was no good reason for him not to do so last year.

The potential for distraction in this new lawsuit that might involve sexual assault doesn’t help things either.

 
Josh Torrey – FantasyDC.com
I don’t believe Holmes “playoff” emergence will amount to much this season. He is a good player, but I don’t think he’ll be consistent enough to counter Ben’s lack of consistency.

That said, Trent Edwards & Matt Hasselback are my two nominations. I’ve written an article on Edwards (that received due heat) trying to show that big numbers from him are not that far fetched. The guy didn’t play in two games last year as was crazy efficient in his 2nd Year.  I obviously expect that efficiency to go down as he tosses the ball deep more often but he just got one of the best redzone WRs in the NFL. His TDs should be on the rise.

 
Ginny Loveless – Footballdiehards.com
 
Some thoughts on Parag’s Big Ben take:
 
Parag: I’ll stick my neck out and go with Ben Roethlisberger.
Me: Big Ben has never been a relevant/dependable fantasy option.
Parag: His owners will be constantly looking for an upgrade.

Me:  Agreed.

 
Parag: He’ll never quite be a difference maker each week.

Me:Agreed.

Parag: Not many will try to trade for him because he won’t seem like an upgrade.

Me: Agreed.

Parag: But at the end of the season, everyone will be shocked to see that Ben’s made it into the top 8. Some of the better QBs will get hurt and some will sit because their teams have clinched the playoffs.

 
Me: If he gets into the top 8 based on injuries and starters sitting then he has not achieved anything.  It will still be the same subpar fantasy performance we expect from Big Ben, but he is moving up in the ranks out of default.  I’ll pass.

 
Matt Schauf – RapidDrafts.com
From the looks of things, Holmes’ Super Bowl performance has led to him rededicating this off-season. He’s added some bulk and just generally seems more focused on proving himself every time I see him quoted. I’m not penciling him in as a fantasy No. 1, but I do think it’s possible he finally reaches that level.
 
Andrew Garda – ThunderingBlurb.com
Actually Big Ben is reliable from the standpoint of, he doesn’t lose you matchups – though he won’t win you championships.

But I’d be shocked if he hit the top 10.

Echoing thoughts here: I think Hasselbeck and Edwards have shots, though Hass has to stay healthy (and his Oline needs to hang on one more year) and Edwards has to overcome three new starters on the line.

I’m going to throw a different wrinkle in there – Chad Pennington.

Granted this will be a VERY tough climb – the schedule he has is abusive and just looking at the AFC East alone shows teams that managed to get better than they were last year. And last year they didn’t exactly suck.

Still, Pennington had a great season in 2008 and not much changed offensively for the Phins this off-season. Ginn has a year more experience, the team picked up some rookie help, Ronnie Brown looks healthy and ready to go and Penny is coming off a season where he finished top 10 in many leagues.

The Wildcat didn’t hurt Pennington and won’t this year – and Pat White hasn’t done a thing to impact the QB position yet (though White is a guy who always looks worse in practice than in games).

Aside from the tough schedule Pennington needs to: stay healthy (rare), stay accurate (usually a strength) and stay upright (Dolphins were ranked 23rd in sacks allowing only 26). The Dolphins were a top 10 passing offense in 2008 (according to NFL.com) – if that holds it gives Pennington (the main man there) a strong chance to do the same in 2009.

If you grab him as part of a QBBC, you limit risk and still have the upside for a nice season.

 
Jim Day – FantasyFootballWhiz.com
I am going to go outside the box here and say Shaun Hill. Yes I said Shaun Hill, STOP LAUGHING.

I know that Alex Smith was getting talked up out of OTA’s but he will NOT beat out Hill to start. Okay that established, let’s take a closer look at Hill.

In the last 8 games of 2008 (his starts) he finished 8th in QB scoring, beating out Warner, Big Ben, McNabb, Ryan, and most definitely Brett Favre. He has a completion percentage of 64% in his 10 career starts. He averages 250 yds per start and has 18 Tds versus only 9 interceptions over that same period.

Now he has a 2nd year receiver in Josh Morgan who many feel is in a good position to break out. Morgan has good size and speed and should improve on his 2008 numbers.

He also has a great veteran in Isaac Bruce who had 61 receptions for 835 yards and 7 TDs in 2008. Many feel he won’t put up those numbers in 2009, but it is hard to count him out.

Now add in a receiver many felt was the best receiver, if not the best impact player, in this year’s draft, Michael Crabtree. Crabtree had over 3000 yards and 41 TDs in just two years in a high powered Texas Tech offense. He has good size, great hands and very good speed.  He is not your ordinary rookie and should give Hill a very nice red zone option.

Look for Hill to top 3000 yards and be very close to 25 TDs.

 
Ginny Loveless – FootballDiehards.com
RE: Jim – I am going to go outside the box here and say Shaun Hill. Yes I said Shaun Hill, STOP LAUGHING.

That’s it.  I want out of these Roundtable shenanigans.

 
Josh Torrey – FantasyDC.com

Matt Schauf said: From the looks of things, Holmes’ Super Bowl performance has led to him rededicating this off-season. He’s added some bulk and just generally seems more focused on proving himself every time I see him quoted. I’m not penciling him in as a fantasy No. 1, but I do think it’s possible he finally reaches that level.

Me: I know this is a QB thread but I have to respond to this, lol.

Holmes spent a lot of time this last off-season adding strength too. He went through almost all practices in Training Camp with weighted gloves. I really felt it made a difference in terms of him snatching balls from the air. But my point was this, I’m not slighting Holmes. I’m just saying he wouldn’t be good enough to change how Ben plays football. To make Ben consistent, you’re going to need to sit him in the pocket & ask him to not take wild chances….that will lead to losing games. Ben will be erratic, he’ll have horrific fantasy games and you’ll regret drafting him when you’re playing against Brees, Brady or Manning.

All this btw? I’m a huge Steelers fan and own Big Ben as my Dynasty QB in a 16 Team League. So this is no anti-Ben bias.

 
Steve Wyremski – retiredrookie.com 
Sign me up for Matt Ryan and Trent Edwards to replace Orton.

Matt Ryan
I realize that he’s got a nasty schedule (or so it seems), but it’s very tough to give that a ton of weight at this point given the parity in the NFL and the fluctuation of top teams year after year.  Tony Gonzalez should help out big time freeing up the receivers and with a year under his belt he should be golden.  Come on…!  I’m a BC fan!

Trent Edwards
This is pretty simple for me taking a look at a simple fact.  Last year’s squad was Lee Evans, Josh Reed and Robert Royal.  Now, we’re looking at TO, Lee Evans and Shawn Nelson.  Talk about night and day.  Edwards is primed for a breakout season and the team should largely benefit from the presence of TO during his honeymoon season.  Besides, TO looks like his finally matured from watching his show on VH1.  Really.   

 
And that’s it for today’s discussion – thanks to everyone for taking part and for reading.
 
To find out more about the folks involved, please take a moment to read below:

 

Matt Schauf  (@mschauf63) You can now find his work as the lead football writer for PFS and SportsBuff.com or at RapidDraft.com, where he also provides the strategy for the “Hollywood” character in the industry’s first single-player fantasy football game. His IDP writing can also be found at SportingNews.com and in preview magazines for Sporting News, Rotoworld and Football Diehards.

 

Joshua Torrey (@jmtorrey) is a contributor to FantasyDC.com & is a fan of not just football but football strategy. Joshua enjoys breaking down game tape and team schemes to predict long term fantasy success.

 

Andrew Garda (@ThunderingBlurb) writes for a myriad of sites including FantasyPros911.com, BleacherReport.com and his own site, ThunderingBlurb.com. He also hosts his own weekly show The Thundering Blurb Football Show every Wednesday (10pm EST) on BlogTalkRadio.com.

 

Steve Wyremski’s (@retiredrookie) primary focus is to reach out to NFL and NCAA players for interviews in an effort to bring the players closer to fans.  Dynasty leagues are a huge focus of his, but general football strategy is his love.

 

Parag Gheewala (@vote4parag) is an average guy with a day job who loves fantasy football and is also the mastermind behind Mockumentary, which started as his Twitter commentary on the first Twitter Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

 

Jim Day (@Fantasytaz)  has been writing for FF sites since 2000 when he started with Xpertsports.com. Jim started Fantasy Football Whiz in 2007 just as a place to have some fun and conversation with fellow league mates and any other fantasy fanatic that wanted to talk FF.

 

Jared Ferree (@WYFShow ) hosts the “What’s Your Fantasy” radio show/podcast on Blogtalkradio’s Fantasy Sports Channel with Raymond Summerlin.  He is also a frequent contributor to www.lindyssports.com with both fantasy player rankings and general fantasy football articles. 

 

Ginny Loveless (@GBGinny) is a staff writer at Football Diehards and is part of the weekly fantasy football recap crew. This beer-drinking, brat-eating, cheesehead will give you her best tip at being successful in fantasy football: numbers don’t lie. Stick with the facts and you’ll do alright. However . . . a little luck never hurts.

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