Top 40 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks: Nos. 31-35

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst IAugust 15, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Erik Ainge #10 of the New York Jets passes against the St. Louis Rams during their preseason game at Giants Stadium on August 14, 2009  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
*These rankings are based on ESPN's standard scoring system. They are ESPN's, not my own. The analysis is mine.
35. Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns  
Projected Stats: 101-of-181, 1196 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs, 69 points
Anderson is in an intense battle for the starting job with Brady Quinn. Until the winner is decided (late in camp, according to coach Eric Mangini's prediction), it's wise to pass on Anderson. The Browns need their starting signal-caller to be poised and a strong leader to stabilize their uncertain quarterback situation. Quinn fits the bill.  
If the competition remains close, then Quinn should get the nod. Odds are that Anderson won't start this year, and that detracts virtually all fantasy value from him.
34. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Projected Stats: 98-of-200, 1374 yards, 7 TDs, 8 INTs, 73 points
Smith didn't play last season. Shaun Hill started the 49ers' final eight games last season, and performed well. Hill should start in 2009 for the 49ers. 
Pass on Smith.
33. Luke McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected Stats: 157-of-269, 1868 yards, 9 TDs, 11 INTs, 28 rushes, 132 yards, 2 TDs, 113 points
Don't bite on McCown unless he wins the Bucs' starting job.
32. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Projected Stats: 130-of-248, 1857 yards, 9 TDs, 13 INTs, 18 rushes, 41 yards, 1 TD, 94 points
Unless he strongly impresses the coaching staff in the preseason, Stafford won't start. Don't draft him.
31. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Projected Stats: 170-of-350, 2453 yards, 11 TDs, 17 INTs, 113 points
Sanchez is expected to start for the Jets, so he's worth drafting. But late in the season, after being used to playing in warm southern California, how will he react to playing in freezing temperatures each weekend?
While Sanchez isn't a bad option, he should be your backup. He's a No. 2 QB when you're in a fix and the Jets are playing a team with a poor pass defense. If you're in a 12-team league, draft him no earlier than the ninth round. If you're in a league with fewer than 12 teams, you may not get down as far as Sanchez on the draft board.