Fantasy Football 2010: Top Five Quarterback Sleepers
Fantasy Sleepers are an art that a true fantasy football enthusiast cannot afford to skip. Truth be told, if you’re serious about making a run in your fantasy league’s playoffs, you’ll likely have to draft (and pick up) at least a couple of guys that no one knows about, or at least aren’t talking about.
Let’s face it. Players under-perform, injuries rock your world (in a bad way), and real-life NFL playoff runs can kill your fantasy roster‘s momentum in the final three weeks of the season.
That means, whether you’re doing it on draft day or throughout the season, you need to be on top of your game, ready to snag the best fantasy value buys you can get your hands on.
The season is still a month and a half away, but we’ve got our eyes on five solid fantasy football sleepers at the quarterback position. Check our list out, compare notes and rankings, and by God, get ready for the 2010 fantasy football season!
Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia Eagles)
Can you say Aaron Rodgers Part II? No, it’s not a part of a trilogy (we don’t think), but it could be the beginning of something pretty magical.
Kolb doesn’t have the athleticism that Rodgers had, and he didn’t have the opportunity to learn behind Brett Favre, but he did play behind Donovan McNabb, and has shown in two games that he can sling the rock.
That, combined with the fact that Philly loves to throw the ball, and Kolb has a slew of elite offensive weapons, puts him as our number one quarterback sleeper. Yeah, us, you, and your brother’s wife, right?
Laugh all you want, but you’d be surprised at just how many people are ranking Kolb low these days. If you can snatch him up anytime after round six, you’ll be getting yourself one heck of a draft-day steal.
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens)
We saw some solid progress out of Flacco last season, as he helped the Ravens get to the playoffs for the second straight year. However, injuries had a significant impact on his play toward the end of the season, and Flacco wilted under the microscope.
You may have reason to doubt a huge leap from Flacco in 2010, but if that’s the case, were not seeing it. He’s still backed by Ray Rice and a healthy rush attack, a solid defense, and an improved arsenal of receiving targets.
With Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth, and two rookie tight ends joining the ranks of Derrick Mason and Todd Heap, Flacco’s stock is surely ready to rise to even greater heights.
Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
Believe it or not, but Matt Ryan is falling behind Joe Flacco in the race to elite status among NFL quarterbacks.
Injuries and a run-heavy offense have helped keep him from reaching his full potential. However, if he can stay healthy, he has the weapons (Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez) to put up big numbers, and at a cheap price.
Let’s put it this way, Ryan finished a hair under 3,000 yards passing, and tossed 22 touchdowns, despite missing two games and playing hurt (or without Michael Turner) in several others.
Chad Henne (Miami Dolphins)
Henne wasn’t much to look at in 2009, missing out on 3,000 yards passing, and just throwing 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. However, he also lost Ronnie Brown in the middle of the season, was playing on a team that dominate defenses on the ground, and didn’t have a single legit number one receiver.
Things have changed quickly over the course of one off-season, and now Henne is running into the 2010 season with stud receiver Brandon Marshall at his side. Marshall will open things up more than the casual fantasy fan would care to believe, which will mean big things for the rest of the receiving corps, and will undoubtedly mean some mighty big steps in the right direction for Henne.
Despite his improved potential, Henne can still likely be had in the late rounds, which makes him one of the best fantasy values entering the 2010 season.
Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs)
Matt Cassel had a rude awakening in 2009 when he got a fat paycheck to go to KC, and then suddenly realized he no longer had Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw the ball to.
Yes, that meant Cassel had to do more than chuck deep balls up to a 6’4” receiving God, or dump-off short passes to one of the best slot receivers the game has ever seen.
Indeed, as expected, Cassel stumbled out of the gates and finished with just 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
However, with decent upgrades across the board, Cassel should have more time to throw, and should be able to relax with an improved rush attack taking away some of the pressure.
Don’t expect 2008 Patriot-type numbers, but there’s a decent chance Cassel crawls back above 3,000 yards passing and 20+ touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
Yes, we know his best game came against the lowly Cleveland Browns, but we still couldn’t help but come away from that game thinking we were watching greatness go through puberty.
Stafford is on a traditionally terrible team and already has had injury issues. However, he just inherited a slew of offensive talent in Nate Burleson, Jahvid Best, and TonyScheffler, and still has Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron) at his disposal.
It’s just his second year on a bad team and in an increasingly more difficult division, but his numbers are a near-lock to improve.
Mark Sanchez (New York Jets)
We’re not banking on Sanche turning into a gunslinger and the Jets suddenly abandoning their potent rush attack. Rex Ryan and co. will continue on down the tracks with the train that works, my friends, which means Sanchez will remain a game manager.
There’s still a slight chance he makes huge improvements and breaks out, but we’d rather bank on the interceptions coming way down, and the yardage hovering around 3,000.