The two big-name rookie quarterbacks from 2009 were New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez and Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
Sanchez was the fifth pick in the 2009 NFL draft and led the New York Jets to the AFC Championship Game behind a defense and running game that ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
Stafford was the first overall pick and played with a struggling Lions defense that finished 2-14 and has the second pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
One thing to remember is that team success does not necessarily have a correlation with a quarterback’s fantasy value. Even though Sanchez finished the season in the AFC Championship Game, he threw for only 2,444 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing 20 interceptions. Stafford was not much better, throwing for 2,267 yards, 13 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in five fewer games.
Stafford was the 26th-ranked fantasy quarterback, and Sanchez was the 25th-ranked fantasy quarterback. They were both poor fantasy starts for much of the 2009 season.
The big question is that with these two neck and neck in the 2009 quarterback rankings and both having good upside, which one has the more promising fantasy season in store for 2010?
Sanchez plays on the more competitive team, but that does not translate into a lot of throws. When the Jets went on their winning streak at the end of the season, Sanchez had fewer than 20 attempts in four of his last five regular season starts and had 68 attempts in three playoff starts, or an average of about 23 pass attempts per game. The Jets had the first-ranked scoring defense, first-ranked yardage defense and led the NFL in both rushing attempts and rushing yards. They finished 32nd in passing attempts, which really hurt Sanchez’s fantasy value.
Stafford, on the other hand, had over 35 pass attempts in seven of his 10 games and over 40 attempts in four games. ..