Every year there are fantasy quarterbacks that have a certain amount of positive buzz surrounding them heading into the season but end up sinking your team because of their poor performances.
For some of these guys, they were expected to be stars and couldn't live up to the expectations, while others were primed for breakout seasons that just never happened. Still others are quarterbacks that people continually talk themselves into liking almost inexplicably.
I am here to help you identify the guys to avoid, so your fantasy season is not ruined before it even starts.
Mark Sanchez is one of those guys for whom the perception of him as a quality quarterback outweighs his actual accomplishments on the football field.
Sanchez has had the good fortune to play for a quality football team, and in the NFL these days a lot of a people assume that if the team is good, then the quarterback must be good also.
It is a fair assumption.
It just happens to be wrong in this instance.
In his two professional seasons, Sanchez has failed to complete 55 percent of his passes, and his combined passer rating over those two years is 70.2, which is honestly just not good. I wouldn't want him leading my franchise, whether it were fantasy football or real football.
In his defense Mark Sanchez did dramatically improve his touchdown-to-interception ratio from his first to second season, although after throwing 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions as a rookie, it would have been difficult to do much worse.
I believe that someday Sanchez may prove to be a quality fantasy play at quarterback, but I wouldn't be willing to bet my fantasy season that this is the year that he makes the jump.
Quite frankly, I don't think David Garrard is going to start a game this season. Blaine Gabbert already started the Jaguars's first preseason game because Garrard was injured, and Gabbert played well enough that it is not difficult to imagine him taking over the job permanently.
I realize that Blaine Gabbert's performance in a preseason game should not be taken too seriously, but the truth is that Gabbert is the franchise's future and the sooner he gets on to the field, the sooner future can start in Jacksonville.
While David Garrard has been a solid quarterback in the NFL for some time and had a good season last year, I just don't see him being able to hold off Blaine Gabbert.
Matt Hasselbeck has not had a good season in the NFL since 2007, but he is still a big-enough name that I'm afraid that some of you might still try and draft him in your fantasy leagues.
Don't do it.
The Titans are going to be bad, and Hasselbeck is going to be even worse. The only reason Tennessee brought him in was to mentor Jake Locker, who will probably take over sometime around midseason anyway because there is no point in starting a 35-year-old quarterback on a team that isn't going anywhere.
Do yourself a favor: Ignore the fact that you rode Matt Hasselbeck's career year to your fantasy-league title four years ago, and go with someone else at quarterback.
I know what you're thinking: Who in their right mind would draft Alex Smith?
The problem is, oftentimes people in fantasy drafts are not in their right minds. Every year I hear someone trying to talk themselves into Alex Smith as an option for his fantasy league, and I just can't take it anymore.
Sure, Alex Smith's numbers the last couple years actually look halfway decent. Yes, Jim Harbaugh is supposed to be some sort of quarterback-coaching genius. And I know that Alex Smith has Braylon Edwards, Vernon Davis, and Frank Gore as weapons.
None of that matters.
You know why? Because he is Alex Smith. That's all you need to know.
First of all let me say that I love Michael Vick as a football player; he is incredibly exciting to watch and can do things on a football field that no one else can do.
That's why it hurts me to say that I think you should stay away from him in your fantasy draft.
Here is the problem with Vick: Last year was by far his best year ever as a quarterback in the NFL. It was so good that I have a hard time believing he can duplicate it again in 2011.
Before last season Vick had never thrown for 3,000 yards, never thrown for more than 20 touchdowns, never completed 60 percent of his passes in a season, and never had a passer rating higher than 81.6.
It is entirely possible that Michael Vick is just a better and more mature football player than he was with the Falcons, but even if that is true, I have to think he is going to fall back to Earth a little bit after his phenomenal 2010 season.
I'm not saying, "Don't draft Vick at all."
I am just saying think twice before you draft him too early.