Fantasy Football: Top Five Fantasy Quarterback Sleepers

The SportmeistersAnalyst IAugust 14, 2009

CINCINNATI - 2009:  Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by NFL Photos)

By Derek of The Sportmeisters

Hello again Sports Fans, Sportmeister Derek here and I am ready for some football. After watching the Arizona-Pittsburgh Preseason game and seeing all of the different players that were playing in the game, it got me thinking of who were the guys to watch out for this year that you don’t hear very much about.

In fantasy terms, who are your sleepers for the 2009 fantasy season? Today, I am going to tell you who are the Top Five Fantasy Sleeper QB’s to look for in your fantasy drafts. When I say sleeper, I don’t mean a guy like Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan (who are being taken in rounds three through five on average in ESPN drafts).

I am talking about guys who you can find in the middle to late rounds. Let’s get started!


1. Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – Projection: 320 Completions 500 Attempts 3800 Yards 23 TD 15 INT

Here is my comeback player of the year candidate. Palmer is coming off of an injury-filled lost season in 2008, but all systems appear to be go as he has looked good in training camp so far and looks ready to regain his elite status.

The Bengals did lose WR TJ Houshmandzadeh to Seattle, but they did add WR Laveranues Coles to replace him and WR Chris Henry looks primed for a breakout season.

If Palmer is truly healthy, expect him to be a number one fantasy QB that you can draft as a number two. You may be able to steal him in the middle rounds, as his current ADP is 83 (Round 9) in ESPN drafts and 73, Round Eight, in CBS Sports drafts.

Remember, Palmer did throw for 4131 Yards and 26 Touchdowns in 2007 and 4035 Yards and 28 Touchdowns in 2006, so we know he is capable of putting up great fantasy numbers when healthy. Palmer is the definition of a sleeper this year.


2. Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle Seahawks – Projection: 290 Completions 480 Attempts 3550 Yards 23 TD 15 INT

Here is another guy who lost 2008 to injuries, as he was limited to just seven games due to a bad back. He appears to be healthy again, as he has said that he feels good. However, he is 33 now and has a history with injuries.

He will be a high risk-high reward pick this year with the addition of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh and having WR Nate Burleson and WR Deion Branch healthy.

His injury history will make other owners weary about taking him and that should leave him until the middle to late rounds, as his current ADP of 117 (Round 12) in ESPN drafts and 100 (Round 10) in CBS Sports drafts shows.

Remember, Hasselbeck did throw for 3966 Yards and 28 Touchdowns in 2007 and 3459 Yards and 24 Touchdowns in 2005, so he can put up the numbers when healthy. He could end up being nice sleeper as a number two QB and may put up number one QB numbers.


3. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – Projection: 290 Completions 475 Attempts 3350 Yards 19 TD 15 INT 2 Rushing TD

Big Ben was a huge bust last year, compared to his 2007 season as he threw 15 fewer touchdowns and four more interceptions. He did, however, throw for 200 more yards and rushed for two touchdowns.

He was 4 of 6 for 33 Yards in Thursday’s Preseason game and doesn’t look to be distracted by his off-season problems at all. I actually like Palmer and Hasselbeck more than Big Ben, but others don’t seem to agree as they are taking him before both, with an ADP of 81 (Round Nine) in ESPN drafts and 91 (Round 10) in CBS Sports drafts.

Remember, Big Ben threw for 32 Touchdowns in 2007, so there is the possibility that he could do it again. With all the weapons around him, he could be a nice number two QB and a middle round steal.


4. Kyle Orton – Denver Broncos – Projection: 295 Completions 480 Attempts 3375 Yards 20 TD 16 INT 1 Rushing TD

Kyle Orton has had one heck of an off-season. He was traded to Denver in the Jay Cutler trade and then had to fight for the starting job with Chris Simms. He won the job and now is poised to have a breakout year in new Head Coach Josh McDaniels’ offense.

McDaniels likes to throw the ball and Orton will have the weapons to put up good numbers. He will have rookie RB Knowshon Moreno, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Eddie Royal, WR Jabar Gaffney, WR Brandon Stokley, and TE Tony Scheffler to throw to and just remember what McDaniels did with Matt Cassel last year.

He will be found in the later rounds, as his ADP is 115 (Round 12) in ESPN drafts and 123 (Round 13) in CBS Sports drafts.

Remember, Orton threw 18 Touchdowns last year with no real Receivers and in a run-first system. If you need a No. 2 QB, Orton just might be your man and could be a nice late round sleeper.


5. Trent Edwards – Buffalo Bills – Projection: 275 Completions 450 Attempts 3275 Yards 21 TD 15 INT 1 Rushing TD

Edwards became an intriguing fantasy option when the Bills decided to sign free agent WR Terrell Owens back in March. The fact is, Edwards has under performed in his first two NFL seasons and that has translated to an undraft-able fantasy QB. However, now he has TO on one side and Lee Evans on the other.

Evans has great speed and will now be able to exploit that in single coverage with Owens drawing the double coverage. He also has RB Marshawn Lynch (when he comes back from his suspension) to dump the ball off to.

I expect a breakout year from Edwards with his new weapon and you will be able to find him in the later rounds as his ADP is 127 (Round 13) in ESPN drafts and 121 (Round 13) in CBS Sports drafts.

Remember, he threw just 11 touchdowns last year, but that was without a star receiver like TO to throw to. Edwards may be a nice number two QB that you can grab in the later rounds and may wind up being your starter by the end of the year. He is definitely a super sleeper.


There are my top five sleeper QB’s of the 2009 fantasy season. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email them to me at