Fantasy Football Draft: 4 Late-Round Quarterbacks Who Are Steals
It may only be April, but here are some late-round quarterback options you need to consider for your 2012 fantasy football draft.
It is never too early to start getting ready for your fantasy football season.
The scouting and studying you do in the offseason always pays off in your fantasy leagues. It makes the difference from dominating your friends to being the laughing stock of the league.
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Jay Cutler is going to be a steal if you can get him as your No. 2 quarterback late in your fantasy draft.
The entire time Cutler has been in Chicago, he has never had a No. 1 wide receiver to throw to. Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Dane Sanzenbacher are not the answers.
When you are throwing to a bunch of No. 3 wide receivers you are not going to put up the best stats.
That all changed this offseason.
The Bears got a steal in a trade when they acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall for two third-round draft picks. Cutler is now reunited with his No. 1 wide receiver when he was in Denver.
These two were one of the best quarterback and wide receiver duos in the NFL back in 2008. Cutler threw for 4,526 passing yards and 25 touchdowns, while Marshall had 104 receptions, 1,265 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
With Cutler and Marshall back together, I expect Cutler to put up 4,000 passing yards and 25-30 passing touchdowns.
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Andy Dalton shocked everyone this year with the rookie season he had. Heading into his second season, expect Dalton to put up better numbers as he is more comfortable now.
When the Cincinnati Bengals named Dalton the starter, I thought they were going to be one of the worst teams in the league. I figured he was a project, and it would take some time for him to develop.
Instead, he threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Dalton has a great go-to target in soon-to-be-superstar wide receiver A.J. Green. When you have a wide receiver with that talent, you always have a chance to put up big numbers every week.
In Dalton's second season, I expect him to throw for 3,800 yards and 20-25 touchdowns. Those are some pretty solid fantasy numbers for a late-round quarterback.
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If you want a consistent No. 2 quarterback, then look for Joe Flacco later on in your drafts.
The past three seasons he has thrown for at least 3,600 yards and 20 touchdowns. Flacco doesn't put up great numbers, but he is usually reliable for two touchdown passes and 200 yards passing.
This upcoming season, I expect Flacco to make an improvement and have some great games for fantasy football players.
The Baltimore Ravens brought in Jim Caldwell as their quarterback coach. Caldwell was Peyton Manning's quarterback coach for the past 10 seasons, so expect him to teach some valuable lessons to Flacco. Along with Anquan Boldin, the Ravens have a lot of young receiving targets that are improving. Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta have all shown a lot of promise and became popular targets for Flacco last season.
What Flacco has been missing is a reliable No. 3 wide receiver. They thought they had found the answer in Lee Evans last year, but in the words of Charles Barkley, he was flat out "turrible."
If the Ravens can find Flacco a solid No. 3 wide receiver option, he has the potential to throw for 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
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After throwing for 25 touchdowns in his first full season as a starter two years, everyone thought Josh Freeman was going to break out and become one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Last year ended up being a horrible year for Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw only 16 touchdown passes, while throwing 22 interceptions. After having a down year, Freeman is going to slip down a lot of people's fantasy draft boards.
That's good for you because now you are going to be able to get a steal in a late round.
The Bucs changed their head coach and brought in wide receiver Vincent Jackson. With the arrival of Jackson, Freeman now has a dependable No. 1 target. Jackson gives him a Pro Bowl threat downfield.
Freeman is going to bounce back this year. He has all the tools and talent to become a good fantasy quarterback.
I predict Freeman will throw for 3,750 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Other Late-Round Quarterbacks to Consider
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Carson Palmer: He has shown in the past he can put up big numbers. He came into Oakland last year not having worked out in a while and still threw for close to 3,000 yards in only 10 games.
Matt Flynn: This is the huge wild card. There is no way he's going to have another six-touchdown performance like he did in Green Bay. In the few games he has played in, he has looked great—granted he was playing in one of the best offensive systems. Now he is in Seattle, where he does not have the same weapons he did with the Packers. Keep your eye on Flynn during preseason to see how he looks.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III: These two have not played one NFL snap, but they both could be solid No. 2 quarterbacks. Both of them have the athleticism and tools to put up solid numbers in the passing and running game. The only problem I have with them is that they are both going to bad teams.