Donovan McNabb: Do You Trust McNabb as a Fantasy Football Starter?

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IAugust 15, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 13:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins runs out of bounds for a first down during the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field on August 13, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The price is going to be right for McNabb. His ADP according to Mock Draft Central is 103, which puts him as the seventh pick in the ninth round of 12-team fantasy drafts. He is the 14th quarterback coming off the board. I actually have him as the 11th quarterback (click to see my ranking), which would make him a starter, but he clearly has some risk associated with him.

He made the obvious switch from the Eagles to the Redskins. While Mike Shanahan’s concurrent arrival helps, there is still something to be said about switching teams after 11 years with an organization. Even if the transition is flawless, there are other factors that could jeopardize your fantasy team.

McNabb will turn 34 this year. While that isn’t nearly as old as the quarterback the Vikings are waiting on, it’s still an age where you feel the bumps and bruises a little more.

If we were talking about an Iron Man like Favre or Peyton Manning, I wouldn’t stress it as much, but this is a guy who has missed multiple games in five of the past eight seasons. Washington tied for fourth in the league with 46 sacks allowed last year. They addressed their line adding rookie tackle Trent Williams, but it is still cause for concern.

As are his lack of playmakers. His top wideout, Santana Moss, is a major downgrade from the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. Devin Thomas (40 career receptions), Malcom Kelly (28 career receptions), and Terrence Austin (rookie) have to prove they can excel at this level. Tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis both have ability, but how often will they both be running routes at the same time.

Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker aren’t making anybody envision Brian Westbrook.  McNabb has dealt with inferior talent before, but he at least had Westbrook to lean on.

McNabb also isn’t the runner he once was. He hasn’t topped 250 rushing yards in a season since 2003. He has only had 4-plus rushing touchdowns twice in his career, the last time being in 2002. McNabb only has two years of 3,600-plus passing yards and has thrown 26-plus touchdowns just once, back in 2004 when he had Terrell Owens.

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So do you trust him as your starting fantasy football quarterback? Personally, I do not. I would rather address the position early and get someone that I rank in the top eight or so. If you do take McNabb, I urge you to add a high-end backup. One that you could envision becoming your full-time starter. Just in case.

What do you think of Donovan McNabb?



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