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John Skelton: Fantasy Owners Should Avoid Cardinals QB at All Costs

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback John Skelton #19 of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass during the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Seahawks 20-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

John Skelton will replace the injured Kevin Kolb as starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, a role he originally earned after the preseason before getting hurt in Week 1. He should be avoided in all fantasy football formats in Week 7.

Skelton replaced Kolb late in last week's game against the Buffalo Bills, completing just two of his 10 passes and throwing a key interception in overtime to set up Buffalo's winning field goal. It was a dreadful performance.

Getting in a full week of practice as the starter should help, but not enough for fantasy owners to put faith in him. He's played the equivalent of nearly a full season since being drafted in 2010, and there have been no signs that he's a reliable starter.

In 15 games, Skelton has a completion percentage just a shade above 50 with 18 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. His career quarterback rating is just 64.2. Those are not the types of numbers owners want to see from a player filling a key role in their lineup.

With six teams on bye this week, there are probably a lot of desperate fantasy owners out there hoping for a waiver-wire miracle. The chances of Skelton providing it are slim to none, and closer to none. He should be the absolute last resort to fill a quarterback void.

That's not hyperbole, either.

The only way Skelton should be in a lineup for Week 7 is if every one of the other 25 quarterbacks suiting up is unavailable and he's the only chance an owner has of earning points for the week. Otherwise, he's not worth owning.

It's not just due to his poor play. The Cardinals offensive line is a mess, allowing Kolb and Skelton to get sacked a combined 28 times in six games, by far the most in the league.

With Jared Allen, who has recorded a sack in four straight games, pinning his ears back ready to attack Skelton, there's a good chance the Cardinals quarterback will spend just as much time picking himself up off the turf as standing in the pocket.

All told, there's no reason to believe Skelton will provide some lightning in a bottle. He's struggled throughout his career, and that's likely to continue against the Minnesota Vikings. The upside is extremely limited.

In other words, the risk far outweighs any potential reward, and therefore, he should remain a free agent in fantasy leagues.

 

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