While there are a number of rookies from this April’s NFL draft that should prove to have fantasy value headed into the 2010 season, none of them are likely to be quarterbacks.
Of the four big name QBs that were picked up in the draft only four have a reasonable likelihood of doing anything at the NFL level in the near to distant future, and only one has a somewhat direct path to playing this season from day one.
So few rookie quarterbacks who have started for their teams their rookie season have been successful enough to warrant fantasy consideration. Of those in recent memory who have started; Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan (2008), Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez (2009), none proved to be fantasy relevant.
In 2008, both Ryan and Flacco finished outside the top 15 at their position, while a year later Stafford and Sanchez finished outside the top 20. Unless you play in an extremely deep league or a league that starts two quarterbacks, none of those guys would have helped you.
So where does that leave us in 2010?
Sam Bradford, STL – Bradford is the only one of the four on this list that seems to have a direct path to at starting job in week one. Unfortunately for him, he lacks a solid defense and running game like the Baltimore Ravens gave Joe Flacco, or a solid group of receivers like the Atlanta Falcons gave Matt Ryan, a top offensive line like the New York Jets gave Mark Sanchez. What Bradford inherits, (like Stafford did last season) is a team with holes everywhere across the board. The only shining beacon is his stud running back, Steven Jackson who has no offensive line to help him either.
Quite honestly the former Oklahoma Sooner may not be as good as any of the QBs mentioned above, and he’s on the league’s worst team None of this offers much fantasy promise. In fact the St. Louis Rams would be wise not to throw him to the wolves and simply start AJ Feeley and give Bradford a season to learn the ropes. At the very best Bradford will be a low end back up QB in 2010. Could he surprise? Of course, but the likelihood is slim. His fantasy finish will be somewhere between 25th and 32nd at season’s end.
UPDATE: This week Head coach Steve Spagnuolo said that A.J. Feeley will be the starting quarterback for now because of familiarity with the system.
“It would be an injustice to Sam and the rest of the team” to set a timetable, he said. “He’s in the early stages of developing as an NFL quarterback. He came into the league far advanced from some quarterbacks I’ve worked with. We’ll do first what’s right for the team and second what’s right for Sam.”
Jimmy Clausen, CAR - I like Clausen’s immediate NFL ready talents a bit more than I like Bradford’s, however, Clausen should probably sit most of, if not all of the 2010 season. If he does start, the Carolina Panthers give him an excellent running game with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and a star receiver in Steve Smith to help his out. It’s unlikely Clausen would start the season either way, but he could take over down the stretch. If he does he could put up top 15 to 20 #’s. Still not a great fantasy threat in 2010.
Tim Tebow, DEN – For some reason, despite grabbing Brady Quinn from the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos reached to grab Tebow. While I can see him in some special play line-ups this season, he really has no fantasy value until at least 2011, or 2012.
Colt McCoy, CLE – Despite the Cleveland Browns less than exciting QB situation; Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, I don’t see GM Mike Holmgren and Coach Eric Mangini giving McCoy the keys to the franchise in 2010. He has long term value in dynasty leagues, but barring injuries or a dreadful start for the team, Colt will have zero 2010 fantasy value.
So unless you are in a dynasty or keeper league, I would avoid all rookie QBs this season even as back-ups or second starters.