I’m ready to take my beating, but I feel like many fantasy owners in general are really missing the boat on these three Quarterbacks. I’m not saying that these guys should be drafted high in the draft, but they will end up being steals late in the draft and have a very good chance of finishing in the top 12.
Vince Young – Currently being drafted in the 11th round, as the 18th or 19th QB off the board. The key with him this year is going to be his new Coach, Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. Coach Heimerdinger was the one that made McNair. He was the coordinator for 5 years, from 2000-2004. During that time, the Tenn. Offense averaged 3527 passing yards per year. That’s not just McNair, that includes O’Donnell, and Volek. The later two not near the talent Young is.
They were not throwing to stud WR’s either. Mason and Wycheck were the main two, and both good. But the other names, (Dyson, Sanders, McCariens, Calico, and even Bennett) were no better than what they have now. Let’s just look at what McNair did, because I think he compares favorably to Young.
From 2000 to 2003, a four year span, he played in 61 games. He averaged over 209 passing yards a game. In 2002 he played all 16 games and had 3387 passing yards and 22 TD’s.
Probably his best season. I do think McNair was a better passer than Young is now. However, I think Young is a better runner. With that being said, from 2000-2002, McNair had over 400 yards rushing each year. I think Young can do that much at least.
Young has proven himself in the past, he was top 12 in 2006. Owners have soured on him because he or the team didn’t play as well last year.
They bring in a stud TE in Crumpler, do you remember how well Wycheck did in that offense? He is being way undervalued also. Lendale will take over the Eddie George role.
How can Young not be better? My projections for him right now are:
3100 yds passing, with 17 passing TD’s, and 525 yards rushing with 5 TD’s. Easily putting him in the top 10.
Matt Leinart – Currently being drafted in the 12th round, as the 21st QB off the board. This is just a matter of Stats. The Arizona passing attack puts up huge numbers. The three QB’s last year put up 4220 passing yards and 32 TD’s. That’s with Fitz missing 1 game, and Boldin missing 4. I will admit that Warner put up the majority of it, and may indeed be a better QB right now than Leinart.
But Coach Whisenhunt knows Leinart is the future, and has given every indication that he is the starter. In June the local newpaper reported that Coach Whisenhunt expressed his desire to do away with the two-quarterback system, and said that Leinart was much further along in the no huddle offense this year. The Arizona Republic reported, “
Cardinals HC Ken Whisenhunt said that he doesn’t feel as much of a need to run a dual quarterback tandem as compared to last year. QB Matt Leinart has begun to establish himself in the two-minute drill, which would make the need for QB Kurt Warner’s presence less necessary. Although Whisenhunt wouldn’t rule it out completely. “Last year we did it because we felt it gave us the best chance to win. It wasn’t really a thing about who did this better. Obviously, Kurt ran the no huddle better at that time,” he said. “But Matt is much further along with it. He was very efficient again today when we ran the two-minute drill. I think that’s going to play itself out. I wouldn’t say we wouldn’t do that, but I don’t anticipate “that being a necessity for us this year.”
Not to mention the Cardinals having been dragging their feet on a contract extension for Warner. Warner is in the last year of his contract. Making me think even more they are convinced that Leinart can run the whole show. Leinart showed me in 2006 that he has the talent to put up the numbers. He threw for 2547 yards and 11 TD’s in just 12 games when he took over for Warner that year. That’s an average of 212 yards a game and almost one TD. Which equates to almost 3400 yards and 16 TD’s for a full 16 games. Warner threw for 3400 yards and 27 TD’s in 14 games last year. The no huddle offense was a big part of his success. With Leinart taking over for good this year, I have him projected for 3600 yards passing and 24 TD’s which makes him a top 10 QB, with some upside in my opinion.
Alex Smith – Currently being drafted in the 16th round, as the 25th plus QB taken. My reasoning on him is that I know the 49er QB position is going to put up some great numbers, and I think he will be the QB putting up the numbers. However, go ahead and draft Hill as your last pick if you don’t think Smith is going to win the starting job. I’ve already done this in one league, just to protect myself. It’s not necessarily the QB that is going to make the difference, it’s Martz’s system that is going to help whoever the starter is put up the numbers. First let me talk a little about Smith. Lets look at the QB’s that Martz has had success with. For the most part they are Warner, Bulger, and Kitna. All three were backups at some point in their career and pretty lightly regarded. Unlike Smith who was a No. 1 pick. None of those three have half the athletic ability of Smith. Bulger and Kitna can’t come close to him in arm strength. Warner was the best of the three in my opinion, but he still doesn’t/ or didn’t hold a candle to Smith as far as potential. By all accounts Smith is very smart also, which is going to help him pick up Martz’s system that much faster. (Speaking of systems, how many systems has Smith had to pick up in the last three years? Three I think, so has Smith really been given a fair chance to progress.) If Martz can make fantasy studs out of those three, why can’t he do the same with Smith, who in my opinion has better all around physical skills.
Kitna had over 4000 passing yards and 18 TD’s in both years under Martz. Bulger, who I think has the least talent of them all, had over 3900yards/21 TD’s in 14 games in 2004, and over 3800 yards/22 TD’s in 15 games in 2003. Martz is so good a passing coach that he even got Jamie Martin to average 255 yards a game and 7 TD’s during a 5 game stretch in 2002 when Warner and Bulger were hurt. Jamie freakin Martin people. It’s the system, period. Warner’s numbers and accomplishments speak for themselves. And up to this point I think he was the most talented QB to run the system. However, Smith has the potential, and more athletic ability than them all, and could end up being better than Warner when all is said and done. For the Alex Smith naysayers, Hill has to be as good as Jamie Martin doesn’t he?
The system will create the numbers no matter who is playing QB. Martz’s system has averaged over 4000 yards passing and 20 plus TD’s for the last six years in a row. It really doesn’t matter what other players are involved as far as WR’s and RB’s are concerned either. With the Rams they had two stud WR’s for the most part and a great/good RB most of the time. On Detroit, they had one legit WR (Roy), one highly toughted rook (Calvin), and two former backups (Furrey, McDonald). Plus, no running game to speak of. What does he have in San Fran? Gore is a legit RB. Davis is a legit TE, and the first stud Martz has had at that position. WR’s Johnson, Bruce, and Battle, not great by any means but still all undervalued this year.
They all have to be at least as good as Furrey and McDonald. Hell, Bruce alone kept them two on the bench with the Rams for years. It just doesn’t matter who is catching the ball in this system, it’s still going to be thrown around like a hot potato! I have Smith or the SF QB position conservatively projected for 3700 yards and 18 passing TDs. Not to mention at least 2 easy QB sneak TDs like Bulger used to get every year because the defense was spread out so much. No doubt about the fact that Smith is three times the runner any of Martz’s other QB’s have been. Smith will end up a starting quality fantasy QB with huge upside potential.
I really hope this article helps turn a light bulb on in someone. I’m not saying take two of these three guys and run with it either, although I have in some leagues. But you can’t go wrong with them as a QB2 or QB3. Why not take Leinart in the 12th and follow him up with Warner in the 16th instead of taking your backup TE? Why not take Smith and then take Hill late instead of a second kicker or defense?
Let the other owners laugh now, you’ll be the one laughing at the end of the season!