Complete Stat Predictions, Fantasy Value for Every QB on a New Team
It's been an interesting offseason at the quarterback position in the National Football League, especially over the past few days.
Over that span, both Matt Flynn and Carson Palmer were traded, landing each player with a new team and making Flynn the starter under center for the Oakland Raiders.
This signal-caller shakeup will have an impact not only in the NFL, but in fantasy football as well—let's take a look at the quarterbacks in new homes and what it means for their fantasy value in 2013.
The Clipboard Holders
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For some of the quarterbacks signed this offseason, including this trio, the only way they're going to see meaningful action is if something goes horribly wrong.
Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans: After two seasons in Tennessee, the 37-year-old headed across the AFC South to Indianapolis, where he'll serve as a sounding board and seat warmer for Andrew Luck.
Colt McCoy, San Francisco 49ers: The upside for Colt McCoy is that he's finally going to get to see what it feels like to win consistently in the NFL. The downside is that he won't be anywhere near the field while it's happening.
Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals: New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians spent the past few weeks talking up Stanton as a "capable NFL starter," but after the Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer, the only way we're going to find out is if Palmer gets hurt.
Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings
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The 2012 season was an absolute disaster for quarterback Matt Cassel.
The ninth-year pro turned the ball over 19 times last year while throwing only six touchdown passes, leading Chiefs fans to actually cheer when Cassel got hurt—Kansas City severed ties with the 30-year-old after trading for Alex Smith.
Now Cassel will try to resurrect his NFL career in the Twin Cities, but unless Christian Ponder gets hurt or completely faceplants, the odds of Cassel seeing the field aren't good.
Neither is his fantasy value, even when he is playing.
Projected Stats: N/A
David Garrard, New York Jets
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You know that your quarterback situation is a mess when a 35-year-old passer who hasn't seen the field in two years is considered a viable candidate to be your starter.
That's the situation the New York Jets find themselves in, as the abysmal play of Mark Sanchez in 2012 led to the team signing free agent David Garrard in the offseason.
Granted, Sanchez is considered the nominal starter at this point, but if Garrard is healthy, it's not hard to imagine him pushing Sanchez for the job.
Of course, it's also not hard to imagine Garrard getting hurt again. Or to imagine that the Jets will draft a quarterback early and just hand the reins to him.
From a fantasy football standpoint, this is a high-end ten-foot-pole situation.
As in, I wouldn't touch it with one.
Projected Stats: N/A
Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns
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Many pundits questioned the wisdom of the Cleveland Browns selecting a 28-year-old rookie in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
After a very uneven first season by Brandon Weeden, those questions have only grown louder—in the offseason, the Browns added veteran Jason Campbell as an insurance policy of sorts.
However, for fantasy owners there's very little to see here.
New head coach Rob Chudzinski has already stated that Weeden remains the starter. Even should Campbell, at some point, supplant Weeden, the fact remains that Cleveland's passing offense isn't exactly stockpiled with weaponry, and Campbell looked horrible in his lone start for the Chicago Bears last year.
Projected Stats: N/A
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans
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In October of 2011, the Buffalo Bills signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a six-year, $58 million contract, believing him to be their quarterback of the future.
From there, things fell apart pretty quickly, and Fitzpatrick now finds himself holding a clipboard for Jake Locker and the Tennessee Titans.
As such, the 30-year-old is hardly draftable in fantasy football leagues, but of the backups on this list, Fitzpatrick is also the one most worth watching as the season progresses.
Locker has struggled with injuries and inconsistency during his time in Nashville, and while no one's going to confuse Fitzpatrick with Peyton Manning anytime soon, he is at least a capable pro.
Projected Stats: N/A
Kevin Kolb/Tarvaris Jackson, Buffalo Bills
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This pair of newcomers to Buffalo share a slide, because it's quite possible that the two will share the starting job for the Bills, at least after a fashion.
The Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick less than two years after signing him to a fat contract extension. At that time, it appeared that Tarvaris Jackson would have the inside track to the starting job, at least until the rookie quarterback that everyone assumed the Bills would draft was ready.
The signing of Kevin Kolb has muddied the waters considerably.
The 28-year-old Kolb actually played fairly well for the Arizona Cardinals last year, throwing for nearly 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns before a rib injury ended his season six games in.
If Kolb can stay healthy this season, not only would he appear to be the favorite to start in Buffalo, but he could potentially become the sort of mid-range fantasy QB2 that Fitzpatrick was for much of his tenure with the Bills.
However, durability isn't exactly Kolb's strong suit, so there's a good chance we'll see Jackson taking snaps at some point this year.
The former might be draftable as a fantasy reserve in deeper formats, but Jackson is waiver wire fodder unless he's elevated to starter, and even then his upside would likely be minimal.
Projected Stats (Kolb): 2,650 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 11 interceptions (12 games)
Projected Stats (Jackson): 725 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 4 interceptions (4 games)
Matt Flynn, Oakland Raiders
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OK, we've reached the point in this slideshow where it's time for fantasy football enthusiasts to start paying attention, so wake up!
With the Oakland Raiders in rebuilding mode and staring at a $13 million salary for Carson Palmer in 2013, the team once again went to Plan B under center, acquiring Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks for a pair of draft picks.
In return, the 27-year-old Flynn finally gets his chance to start at quarterback, an opportunity that was denied him in the Emerald City last year by the emergence of Russell Wilson.
Unfortunately for Flynn, he's starting for the Raiders.
From a fantasy perspective, it's rather hard to peg Flynn's value, if only because we have a very small sample size to draw from where actually seeing him in action is concerned.
Palmer topped 4,000 yards and threw 22 touchdown passes last year, finishing 13th among quarterbacks in fantasy points.
Those numbers likely represent something of a best-case scenario fantasy-wise for Flynn, who is a lower-end backup that may well go undrafted in shallow leagues.
Projected Stats: 3,575 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
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It's not very often that a quarterback completes 70 percent of his passes, posts a quarterback rating of over 100 and loses his job.
That's what happened to Alex Smith in San Francisco, however, as the ninth-year pro's concussion last year opened the door for Colin Kaepernick to ascend to the starting role for the 49ers.
Now Smith finds himself on a new team altogether, as a trade landed him in Kansas City, where he'll try to help new head coach Andy Reid reverse the fortunes of the Chiefs.
Reid has had considerable success with quarterbacks in the past, but for as effective as Smith was over the past two seasons in San Francisco, that success hasn't really translated to fantasy football.
The 28-year-old has never finished higher than 15th in fantasy points among quarterbacks, and it's likely that a higher-end QB2 finish is about the best that can be expected in 2013.
Projected Stats: 3,600 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
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Of all the people excited about Carson Palmer's arrival in Arizona, the one who is most pumped may not even play fantasy football.
Larry Fitzgerald must be doing cartwheels.
That's because after a season of quarterback play so bad that the adjective to describe it hasn't been invented yet, the Cardinals now have a player that actually resembles an NFL starter under center.
Granted, at 33, Palmer may no longer be the player he was during his heyday with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he still has the arm to make all the throws in Bruce Arians' vertically-based passing offense.
That same offense propelled Andrew Luck to an 11th-place fantasy finish as a rookie, and on a Cardinals team that will be playing its fair share of catch-up, it's not hard to imagine Palmer bettering those numbers, especially with Fitz in the fold.
That would sneak Palmer into the back end of the top 10, making him a starter in larger leagues or at least a platoon option for fantasy owners who wait before drafting a quarterback.
Projected Stats: 4,400 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 18 interceptions