Fantasy Football 5 Quarterbacks to Avoid for '12: Vick, Griffin & More

Eric StashinSenior Writer IAugust 27, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 20:   Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks for an open man against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August  20, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Just like with running backs, there are various reasons to avoid a quarterback on draft day.  Maybe he has unrealistic expectations placed on him.  Maybe he is an injury risk.  Maybe he is simply in a position where he is not going to excel.  Let’s take a look at which quarterbacks I’m avoiding this season and why:


Robert Griffin III—Washington Redskins

This is a situation we’ve discussed before (click here for my full take), but the fact of the matter is that if you are drafting Robert Griffin III and expecting a Cam Newton repeat, you will likely be disappointed.  It’s not that Griffin doesn’t have the potential to be a star, he just is not in the same situation to perform like Newton did a year ago in his rookie season.

He doesn’t have the same type of rushing attack (Carolina had DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart) to keep defenses honest (in fact, his running game is a complete question mark)…

Maybe Pierre Garcon takes the next step, but it’s hard to go into the season thinking that he is going to be anything close to what Steve Smith was for Newton.

In fact, the NFL has had a year of watching Newton perform to try to create a road map to stop him (and subsequently Griffin).  Can they do it?  Time will tell, but having that knowledge definitely helps, just as it has with the Wildcat in recent years.

I’m not trying to say that Griffin is going to be a complete bust, because that’s not what I believe.  The fact is that, if you are drafting him in the fifth round (as per his Mock Draft Central’s ADP of 61.98 would indicate), there’s a lot of room for disappointment.  He’s going ahead of guys like Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger in large part because people do not want to miss out on the “next” Newton.

In keeper leagues it’s a different story, but in redraft formats, I wouldn’t be reaching on him.


Michael VickPhiladelphia Eagles

He has the potential to be an elite quarterback with his ability to run with the ball as well as throw it.  The problem is can he actually stay healthy for a full season?  He has already suffered a rib injury this preseason, and while he’s expected to be ready for Week 1, there is still a chance that he misses the start of the season (though an extremely small one).

Just look at his games played since returning to the NFL in 2009:

  • 2009—12 games
  • 2010—12 games
  • 2011—13 games

Yes, he’s a great player, but you need to make sure you also have a very good backup.  Unfortunately, you are going to need it. 

If he falls significantly, then he will obviously be worth drafting, but it needs to be in the right scenario.  There’s way too much health risk to invest heavily in him.


Mark SanchezNew York Jets

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have no faith in the Jets to put Sanchez (or any of their skill players) in a position to produce in 2012.  It never made sense for Tim Tebow to be brought in, and now that he’s here, it feels like just a matter of time before he takes the reins of the offense.

The hope was that a new offensive coordinator would allow Sanchez to throw the ball more, but who knows how this ultimately will play out.  They want to go ground-and-pound, but likely don’t have the backs to do it.  Their offensive line has looked incredibly leaky throughout the preseason.  Plus, when the team is in position to score, how often will it be Tebow under center?  I don’t think we’ve ever heard of a TD vulture from the QB position, but this will likely be the first.

This situation has disaster written all over it, and fantasy owners would be best served to be looking elsewhere.


Matt Flynn—Seattle Seahawks
When you sign a quarterback to a three-year, $19.5 million contract, wouldn’t you expect him to be your starter?  One would think, but that’s not the case in Seattle, as Flynn has been badly outplayed by Russell Wilson in the preseason:

  • Matt Flynn—17-26 for 102 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
  • Russell Wilson—35-52 for 464 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT

Sure, you can argue that some of Wilson’s numbers came against second or third-teamers.  At the same time, he started the team’s third preseason game and went 13-19 for 185 yards, two TDs and zero INTs while also running the ball twice for 58 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs.

While we should see Flynn at some point, who knows what’s going to happen.  For now, he is waiver wire fodder at best.


Kevin Kolb/John Skelton—Arizona Cardinals
With Larry Fitzgerald at your disposal, one would think fantasy owners would be lining up to get the Cardinals' quarterback.  While he always manages to produce (somehow), the Cardinals' quarterbacks continue to look awful.  Just look at their numbers thus far in the preseason:

  • Kevin Kolb—22-37 for 203 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
  • John Skelton—14-25 for 131 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Would it really be surprising to see the Cardinals go outside the organization to try to bring stability to the position?  With cuts looming, one would think they would be on the lookout at this point.  Even if they don’t, it’s hard to imagine either guy establishing himself.  They likely will be rotated all year long in hopes of finding the hot hand.


What are your thoughts of these quarterbacks?  Which would you draft?  Which would you avoid?  Who else are you looking to pass on this season?

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: