Remember what I said earlier about Byron Leftwich? Yeah, never mind.
In a surprise move, the Jacksonville Jaguars have named David Garrard as their starting quarterback and have announced that they're shipping Byron Leftwich out of town as fast as they can. From the Jags' official site:
"We've gone through the offseason, training camp and the preseason with Byron as our starter, but after thorough ongoing evaluation of the entire body of work, we have made the decision that David gives us the best chance to win," Del Rio said. "We're naming David as our starting quarterback.
Wow. I had a been a fan of Leftwich, touting him as a sleeper this year. Oops. I have to admit, I never saw this coming. There was always the chance that Leftwich would get hurt (again) and Garrard would take over again, but the Jags giving Leftwich the boot in the preseason really caught me by surprise.
So, what about the fantasy value of Garrard? After blowing the Leftwich call, let me get some perspective from Big Cat Country, our excellent sister blog that covers everything Jaguars:
Byron Leftwich, since his anointment as starting quarterback, has looked poor.
David Garrard, against second string defenses, has looked excellent.
Byron Leftwich, in regular season games, plays hard, with heart, and through injury until relieved by his coach.
David Garrard, in regular season games, can best be described as moments of brilliance followed by overwhelming disaster (see Tennessee)
What do the facts tell me? That we've got a new era in Jacksonville. But this era, in my not so expert opinion, is that we're gambling. Not like some teams do with aged veterans brought in to win now, but gambling that David can spark life into an offense that is simply sagging. If starting David gives us that jolt that puts the missing piece into our offense, then I'm all for it.
Hmmm, sounds like even the most partisan Jaguars fans are uneasy about this move.
Garrard has performed well over the past two seasons and you could easily make the argument that he's been better than Leftwich over that time. Garrard may have a solid fantasy season, but even if you're in a league that starts multiple quarterbacks there's no reason to draft him. If he breaks out early in the season after two easy games against Houston and Atlanta, then he may be worth a pickup.
This move also reduces the fantasy value of the Jacksonville receivers. A slight improvement over last season is probably the best you can expect from them.