You're having a great fantasy season, you drafted well at every position and have started the season with a bang. One Sunday while watching football, you are rooting on one of your fantasy players and then suddenly the player goes down with an injury. You are hoping it isn't serious, or your fantasy team is in jeopardy. Even worse, the injury is to your starting quarterback—and it turns out he is out for the season.
This nightmare scenario seems to occur almost every season, with a top quarterback missing significant time if not the whole season to injury. It happened to owners of Tom Brady in 2008 and just last year to Tony Romo owners. It pays off to have drafted a quality backup quarterback well in the draft or to have found a gem in the waiver wire.
The following slides contain quarterbacks who are primarily backup quarterbacks unless you're in a really deep league. These quarterbacks can carry you through an injury to your top quarterback and lead you to victory.
Last year Kevin Kolb was considered a sleeper, but ultimately disappointed as he was unseated as the Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback by the returning Michael Vick.
Now, Kolb is in a new city and uniform and is the clear starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals showed faith in Kolb by paying a great price to acquire him and don't have anyone to unseat Kolb like Vick did.
Kolb has had the luxury of sitting for the first few years of his NFL career and 2011 looks to be the year Kolb emerges as a true starter. Also, having an elite wide receiver like Larry Fitzgerald should help Kolb's development and lead to great fantasy numbers for both. With new surroundings Kolb should finally succeed and is great to stash on your bench or start if called into action.
However, when both were battling injuries or poor performance, Colt McCoy was thrust into the spotlight. McCoy caught the eyes of many. He had a solid year of production and the Browns finally look to have their answer at quarterback.
If you have McCoy on your bench, you too will have your answer at backup quarterback. Many fantasy players hold McCoy with high regard as a possible sleeper pick. Look for McCoy to mature into an even better quarterback in his second year and spread the ball around the Browns offense.
Last season Sam Bradford proved to NFL fans that he was not injury prone and could play at the NFL level. Bradford put up decent fantasy numbers last year and should only improve on them this year with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels previously coached Tom Brady and Kyle Orton to great seasons and should only prove to help Bradford's development, helping him to become a successful second-year quarterback.
This season, look for Bradford to throw the ball a lot more to Mike Sims-Walker and Danny Amendola. The Rams, who were one game shy of the playoffs last year, will look to improve on their record and enter the playoffs this time around.
While putting up good numbers last year, look for Bradford to have an amazingly successful season this year and prove to fantasy football players that he is a quality starting quarterback.
Last season, Matt Cassel led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs and had a 93.0 quarterback rating. Cassel proved that he was worth the trade the Chiefs made with the Patriots two years ago. While Cassel may not have been the top choice for fantasy players in last year's draft, he was quickly claimed off waivers after seeing his play in the first few weeks of last season.
This year Cassel will be on more fantasy players' radars in later rounds as a quality backup. With a returning Dwayne Bowe and a newly signed Steve Breaston, the Chiefs will have a more complete receiving core that will assist Cassel in becoming an even more dependable fantasy football quarterback.
Each year Mark Sanchez has been in the league he has slowly become a better quarterback and someone the Jets can rely on. While Sanchez is prone to mistakes, especially when it comes to throwing interceptions, look for him to cut down on his mistakes even further and prove he was worth the Jets' draft pick.
This year look for Sanchez to further develop as the leader of the New York Jets and produce more solid play in the Jets' quest to return to the playoffs. While the loss of Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith will be felt, the Jets more than successfully replaced them with key veterans Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason to go along with No.1 receiver Santonio Holmes.
With a core of veteran receivers ready to help Sanchez, look for his fantasy numbers to benefit. The Jets offense should involve more spreading the ball to the receivers, so Sanchez should have a very productive year and be able to step into a starting quarterback role for a fantasy team in need.