Carson Palmer has not had quite the effect that Oakland expected when they went all in and traded a first round pick and a conditional second round pick. He has passed for 1730 yards, 9 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in seven games. The Raiders record has reflected the rough transition, as they have gone 3-3 in Palmer's six starts. Of course, the injuries to their offensive skill positions has not helped. Oakland has been without Darren McFadden in all of Palmer's starts. Receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore have missed seven out of a possible twelve starts with their new quarterback. So, the blame does not rest entirely with him but as fantasy owners I think we expected bigger things. Hopefully, if you have him in a keeper or dynasty league, things will be better next season.
Another quarterback that big things were expected from was Sam Bradford. He threw for 3512 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his rookie season, while also playing every snap at quarterback for St. Louis. In the offseason, St. Louis did not really draft or sign any big gamebreaking threats for the passing game. However, they did bring in Josh McDaniels to be their offensive coordinator. It was thought that he would take the passing game to the next level. That has not happened and again injuries are partly to blame. Danny Amendola, Greg Salas, Michael Hoomanawanui, Mark Clayton and Mikail Baker have all been put on IR. While the Rams did pick up Brandon Lloyd to help their young quarterback, Bradford himself has missed three games with injuries. In the ten starts that he has made, Bradford has not passed for more than 1 touchdown in any of them and has gone over 300 yards twice. The one positive and it's actually quite surprising is that he has thrown only six interceptions. If St. Louis can improve his supporting cast and he can stay healthy, I can see him passing for over 3700 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2012.
Enough with the depressing though, how about the season that Andy Dalton has had. Currently in standard scoring he ranks as the 13th highest scoring quarterback in fantasy football. Dalton is ahead of Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman and Matt Hasselbeck. And because of their injuries, he's ahead of Michael Vick, Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler. Dalton currently has passed for 2833 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Added to that, he has had 7 multiple touchdown games and two 300 yard games. Remember, this is a rookie quarterback who had a shortened offseason, plays in a division with Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and has a young group of receivers. Looking at the next two games, Dalton has plus matchups as he faces St. Louis and Arizona. I wish I had drafted him in some of my leagues and look forward to his continued development in his next few years.
All 32 quarterbacks are ranked following the jump.
Quarterbacks to start: Tim Tebow (Denver) - Tebow passed for his highest yards of the season against Chicago last week (236). This week he faces a New England defense that has been giving up 416 yards/game and 308.7 passing yards/game. I realize that they are a "bend but don't break" defense but I just have a feeling that if anyone is going to break a defense like that, it would be Tim Tebow.
Jake Locker (Tennessee) - Locker may be making his first start on Sunday, if Matt Hasselbeck cannot start. Locker came into last week's game against New Orleans and passed for 282 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown. He scored the 4th most points by a fantasy QB in Week 14. The start would come against the lowly Indianapolis Colts, which could mean a bonanza of fantasy points for Locker.
Michael Vick (Philadelphia) - In his first game back from injury, Vick did not overwhelm with his performance. He had 208 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and only 9 yards rushing. I think this week will be a different story and I know he's playing the Jets. I see him passing for 280 yards, 2 touchdowns and running for 30 yards and a score.
Quarterbacks to avoid: Caleb Hanie (Chicago) - Chicago has started to rely almost completely on their ground game with Hanie at quarterback. After his first start of 2011, when he passed for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns, Hanie has not even gone over 150 yards passing or thrown a touchdown. Facing a very good Seattle defense, I think he passes for only 130 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception.
Colt McCoy (Cleveland) - As you no doubt know by now, McCoy sustained a concussion in last Thursday's loss to Pittsburgh. The team has not come under fire for mishandling the whole situation and McCoy was sent home Wednesday. If he is able to play, I think he'll be shaky and with good reason as his line has allowed him to be the fifth most sacked quarterback with 32. Arizona can get to the quarterback (34 sacks- 12th in NFL), so this is a terrible combination for McCoy.
Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh) - With Ben Roethlisberger questionable to play on Monday, Batch would get the start if Big Ben can't go. Even though the Pittsburgh passing offense has weapons, Batch would lead to a big dropoff in production. The matchup is particularly difficult as it comes against a great San Francisco defense. Mike Tomlin has said that Roethlisberger is day to day, so it may come down to a game time decision.
|1. Drew Brees||NO||MIN|
|2. Tom Brady||NE||DEN|
|3. Aaron Rodgers||GB||KC|
|4. Matthew Stafford||DET||OAK|
|5. Tony Romo||DAL||TB|
|6. Eli Manning||NYG||WAS|
|7. Tim Tebow||DEN||NE|
|8. Cam Newton||CAR||HOU|
|9. Philip Rivers||SD||BAL|
|10. Michael Vick||PHI||NYJ|
|11. Matt Ryan||ATL||JAX|
|12. Rex Grossman||WAS||NYG|
|13. Mark Sanchez||NYJ||PHI|
|14. Christian Ponder||MIN||NO|
|15. Jake Locker||TEN||IND|
|16. Carson Palmer||OAK||DET|
|17. Andy Dalton||CIN||STL|
|18. Joe Flacco||BAL||SD|
|19. Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||SF|
|20. Josh Freeman||TB||DAL|
|21. Ryan Fitzpatrick||BUF||MIA|
|22. Matt Moore||MIA||BUF|
|23. Matt Hasselbeck||TEN||IND|
|24. Dan Orlovsky||IND||TEN|
|25. Seneca Wallace||CLE||ARZ|
|26. Alex Smith||SF||PIT|
|27. Tarvaris Jackson||SEA||CHI|
|28. J.P. Losman||MIA||BUF|
|29. T.J. Yates||HOU||CAR|
|30. John Skelton||ARZ||CLE|
|31. Sam Bradford||STL||CIN|
|32. Caleb Hanie||CHI||SEA|
|33. Kevin Kolb||ARZ||CLE|
|34. Tyler Palko||KC||GB|
|35. Blaine Gabbert||JAX||ATL|
|36. Colt McCoy||CLE||ARZ|
|37. Charlie Batch||PIT||SF|