Aug 1, 2007
by Jim Coventry, Guest Blogger
The best ones are protected already. The above average ones are flying off the draft board quicker than George Bush supporters. You are picking next and it will be quite a while before you pick again, so what do you do? If you don’t think you will be getting a really good QB, address the needs at another position. The Guru lists six keeper QBs as the top guys and then three QBs as ‘next best things.’ The drop off after the top six is potentially large and it drops very quickly after the top-nine. You should either get into the mix and get a top guy or wait it out and use plans ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and maybe even ‘D.’
In your keeper league, you should always be ready to pounce on the waiver wire if you don’t have a great option at QB. Draft one or two that you can mix and match on a weekly basis and be ready to get a QB that is in line to take over a full-time job. Think back over the years and you’ll remember the following QBs that started a year classified as below-average or were total non-factors in fantasy drafts: Kurt Warner (when Trent Green went down in a preseason game,) Tom Brady (Drew Bledsoe’s unknown caddy,) Marc Bulger (Kurt Warner’s unknown caddy,) Matt Hasselbeck (after some erratic play earlier in his career,) Tony Romo (you know the story by now,) Jon Kitna (last year very little was expected of him after riding the bench in 2005,) Jeff Garcia (last year many people figured he was washed up,) and even Mark Brunell (when he was traded after backing up Brett Favre.) There are many more stories and they happen almost every single year.
My main league is a dynasty league, and whenever I get an above-average QB, I always trade him for other positional depth. Last year (early in the season, before it all went south for him) I traded the #6 QB of 2005 Matt Hasselbeck, who was coming off of a year winning the NFC championship. That left me with Jon Kitna, who I felt was serviceable enough (he ended up blowing away Hasselbeck. In free agency, I took a risk on a guy named Tony Romo and a few weeks later, Jason Campbell. I figured Romo was in a good situation with some excellent weapons and he worked out well. Campbell was an NFL 1st round pick and I figured that he had enough raw talent to risk as a #3 QB that might eventually be an excellent player. If Campbell didn’t work out, I could cut him with no risk. I will enter this season with the same three QBs and if I can get the right deal, I will gladly trade any of them.
This season, I am already keeping my eyes open. Brooks Bollinger (QB, Min) or Tarvaris Jackson (QB, Min) could take a starting job and run with it. Maybe one of the three Cleveland QBs (Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, or Charlie Frye) might become something special. Maybe Chris Simms (QB, TB) will figure things out and flourish under QB guru, Jon Gruden. There are two or three other teams that could easily produce the surprise QBs of the season. The key is to sign them a week too early, because once the QB steps in and surprises, you lose out. Last year, when Tony Romo stepped in for Drew Bledsoe in the Sunday night game against the Giants, he didn’t have a great game- especially after throwing a TD to the wrong team! I decided that I would need to place a waiver claim on him at that point, because if he started the next game and took off with the job, my bottom waiver spot would have been useless. Acting a week too early might get me a special player, if not, I had no risk since I could have cut him a week or two later.
Unless you league starts two QBs every week, the simple math has 32 QBs with starting jobs and a few capable backups on good offensive teams. There should always be an available option ready to play QB for you, unless you’re in a 16-team league.