Fantasy Football Sleepers: 7 Backup Quarterbacks to Watch

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIISeptember 3, 2011

Fantasy Football Sleepers: 7 Backup Quarterbacks to Watch

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    Winning or losing your fantasy football league might not always come down to your early-round selections. Anyone can draft an Adrian Peterson or an Aaron Rodgers.

    Many winners of leagues have good sleeper picks that really compliment their stars. Late in drafts, it's a good idea to take a flier or two on guys you think could end up putting up numbers at some point in the season.

    The quarterback position in fantasy football is normally pretty straight forward. Most people will end up starting the same quarterback on a weekly basis.

    That being said, it can still be useful to follow all of the quarterback situations around the league (think of Michael Vick from last year). Here are some potential backups that could end up having value at some point this season.

Tim Tebow, DEN

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    While it looks like Tim Tebow is going to start the season as the third quarterback on the depth chart in Denver, he is still someone to keep an eye on.

    Current starter Kyle Orton was expected to be traded this offseason and Tebow was going to take over. Orton didn't end up going anywhere, however, and will be back at the reins again in 2011.

    The big thing is that Tebow is still expected to be the quarterback of the future. Even if Orton remains healthy throughout the season, it's possible Tebow could take over if the Broncos aren't in playoff contention.

    Another possibility that could develop is that as the third quarterback, Tebow would be allowed to enter the game out of the wildcat in short-yardage situations. This could potentially give him some value in deeper, touchdown-heavy leagues.

Vince Young, PHI

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    Eagles backup quarterback Vince Young may end up finding himself in the same situation as his current superior in Philadelphia did last season. When Kevin Kolb got injured early in 2010, all Vick did was step in and become one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the game.

    Vick has been very injury prone throughout his career because of his style of play. It would almost be shocking if he was able to complete a whole season without suffering at least some kind of injury.

    Young is a proven winner in the NFL and would step in to a great situation if Vick were to get injured. The Eagles are expected to have one of the more explosive offenses in football.

    Due to Vick's history, you almost have to take Young if you draft Vick. Even if you don't get Vick but are looking for a late-round difference maker, Young would be a nice bargain.

John Beck/Rex Grossman, WAS

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    The Washington Redskins have yet to announce their starting quarterback for the 2011 season. John Beck and Rex Grossman have been neck and neck in their preseason battle.

    Since neither quarterback has been able to really separate themselves from the other, whichever one is named the backup may get a chance to start at some point if the other one struggles.

    The Redskins don't promise to have a very good offense, but the addition of Tim Hightower should make them better than last year. Plus, if you're in a league that starts two quarterbacks, any starting NFL quarterback should be on your radar.

Charlie Whitehurst, SEA

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    The Seattle Seahawks will enter the 2011 season with a new quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck is now in Tennessee and Tarvaris Jackson is his replacement.

    Jackson and the rest of the Seahawk offense has looked very shaky this preseason. He has completed just 58 percent of his passes and has only averaged 3.8 yards per pass attempt.

    Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has looked much better than Jackson, and has been praised by head coach Pete Carroll. If the regular season starts the way the preseason has gone, Whitehurst could unseat Jackson very early into the season.

    While Seattle is not expected to light up the scoreboard this season, Whtiehurst could end up with at least some fantasy appeal. That would mostly depend on whether or not he could develop a rapport with talented wide receiver Sidney Rice.

Colin Kaepernick, SF

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    Rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers doesn't appear to be ready to take on NFL defenses based on his preseason play.

    Kaepernick is playing behind Alex Smith, however, a player that is notorious for not being able to hold his starting job throughout a whole season. Kaepernick might just get a chance if the 'Niners don't make some early headway in the NFC West at the start of the year.

    Smith's inconsistency has caused many a headache for the 49ers organization in recent history. If that trend continues this year, it might be his last chance at a starting job as Kaepernick was taken to be the quarterback of the future.

Shaun Hill, Detroit

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    Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions can't seem to find a way to stay on the field. He played in only three games last year due to shoulder and knee injuries.

    Shaun Hill got a lot of playing time last season due to Stafford's injury and put up some solid numbers. He would benefit again this year from a Stafford injury as he is the second quarterback on the depth chart.

    Hill would at least become a matchup-based or bye-week starter if given the reins again in 2011. The presence of deep threat Calvin Johnson and safety net Brandon Pettigrew make Detroit a fantasy friendly passing attack.

Matt Flynn, GB

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    Superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers suffered two concussions last year. The possibility of more concussions in the future is of some concern for the Super Bowl MVP.

    Rodgers missed one game last year after one of the concussions, and backup Matt Flynn almost led the Packers to a win against a very strong New England Patriots team.

    Flynn's ability combined with all the weapons that he would have at his disposal would give him instant fantasy worth if Rodgers went down. Green Bay has one of the top offenses in football, and Flynn has shown he can perform at a high level.