I'm a strong believer in waiting to pick up your quarterback until late in your draft, when they have the most value for the pick. If you don't get one of the elite quarterbacks in the second or third round, you may as well wait and pick up another wideout or running back with that pick.
That being said, here is my list of quarterbacks that you can wait on to pick and bank on their value and the guys you shouldn't waste your early picks with.
Kurt Warner- I love Warner as a starting quarterback for any team this year. Warner was second only to Drew Brees in yards last year and his 30 touchdowns were third-best.
While I agree with those who are skeptical of Warner (I do not see him repeating his numbers from last year), there is no reason to believe that the Cardinals can't balance out their offense with two young power running backs and help Warner have another solid fantasy season.
While I wouldn't draft him too early, look for Warner to be a good value pick in the fifth or sixth round, or even later if people are avoiding him.
Carson Palmer- Carson Palmer is my favorite sleeper quarterback this year. He's coming back from an injury-plagued season in which he only played three games. This drops Palmer off radars everywhere, but there is no reason to believe that he can't bounce back and return as one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league.
Just two years ago, Palmer had over four thousand yards and 26 touchdowns. With Chad Ochocinco still catching passes in Cincinnati and Laveranues Coles to fill in for T.J. Houshmandzadeh, look for Palmer to be a big sleeper pick in as late as the 10th round.
Tony Romo- Romo is catching some hate for losing Terrell Owens, but I see a bright future for him. While Romo didn't do bad last year, more was expected from him as he saw a decrease in yards and touchdowns from his '07 season.
With T.O. gone, Romo still has a lot of weapons at his disposal with Jason Witten, an underrated Roy Williams, Marion Barber, and a pair of young hands in the 6'3", 216-pound Miles Austin, who's playing the slot.
While Romo may not be your first choice as a starter, look for him as a good pickup in the sixth or seventh round after the more popular names disappear.
Jay Cutler- I'm on the fence with Cutler, and I only think he's worth a draft pick if you can get him around the seventh round or later. The No. 1 issue with Cutler is the Bears' lack of receivers, but Devin Hester now has a year of receiving under his belt and should look very sharp for his new quarterback.
I also like second year man Earl Bennett, who's catching passes from his old college quarterback again.
What I like most about Cutler is the presence of an every down back in Matt Forte, who is a real threat in the passing game. His new team is making people doubt him, but I say bag Cutler if the timing is right.
Matt Ryan- I'm not entirely sold on Matt Ryan. I don't think he's worth as early a pick as the fourth or fifth round. But that is also the same reason I like the Falcons' quarterback.
If you see Ryan hanging around late getting near the double-digit rounds, he's a steal.
I've seen Ryan hang late in drafts because less and less people want him starting for their team. He's absolutely going to post starting quarterback numbers, and he doesn't have a bad schedule ahead of him.
With Roddy White and new addition Tony Gonzalez at tight end, Ryan should post good numbers in back-to-back seasons.
Matt Cassel- The only way I like Cassel is as trade bait.
He's seeing a dramatic change in the team around him, and not for the better: losing Randy Moss to Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker to Bobby Engram, no Tony Gonzalez, and the Chiefs' offensive line is far from as talented as New England's. Look for Cassel to flop.
Donovan McNabb- While you can certainly do worse than McNabb as your quarterback, I wouldn't pick him for my team. Inconsistency has been the name of his game for the past couple years and I don't see a reason for that to change.
He's 32 now and you have to believe he's losing some strides. He had one or less touchdowns in nine games last year and needed the threat of losing his job to get a fire going underneath him. I wouldn't pick Donovan any earlier than at least the seventh round.
Ben Roethlisberger- A relatively inconsistent set of wideouts to throw to and an aging Willie Parker in the backfield make Roethlisberger a pretty unattractive fantasy pick.
Plus, the 46 sacks he received last year make you want to think about someone else as your quarterback.
Kyle Orton- Unlike Jay Cutler, the one thing Orton has going for him is a group of good receivers.
But, Brandon Marshall might not stick around in Denver, and I don't think Eddie Royal will look as good as he did last year without Cutler throwing to him.
Orton no longer has Forte to throw to and doesn't have a solid tight end in Greg Olsen anymore. I'm looking for Orton to have numbers similar to last year's.
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