Dynasty QB Rankings: 21 Thru 30
By Joe Kilroy (@KilroyDFW)
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21. BEN ROETHLISBERGER, Pittsburgh Steelers | DOB: 3/2/1982 (31)
Short Term Outlook (STO): With the loss of Mike Wallace via free agency and the expected absence of Heath Miller to start the season it may be difficult for Roethlisberger to provide any type of worthwhile and consistent production in fantasy leagues this year.
Long Term Outlook (LTO):Roethlisberger tends to often flirt in QB1-territory, but few owners have ever felt confident using him in that role on a weekly basis. Last year however, under offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Big Ben’s averages would have resulted in a career high 552 pass attempts for 4018 yards passing and 32 touchdowns had he not missed three games due to injury. Whether he can produce at that rate going forward though is open to debate. The Steelers are also expected to go back to their more ground oriented offensive philosophy with second round pick Le’Veon Bell leading the way.
22. BRANDON WEEDEN, Cleveland Browns | DOB: 10/14/1983 (29)
STO:Weeden is surrounded by a young core of talented players. He tends to get overlooked though as fantasy leaguers are more enthralled with the likes of Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Greg Little. If those guys are to come through with productive outings however than so will Weeden. Norv Turner’s offense will play to his strengths and as such people shouldn’t be too surprised if Weeden finished 2013 somewhere in the range of 3800-4200 yards passing.
LTO:The new coaching regime in Cleveland is giving Weeden a one-year audition to show he’s worthy of being the Browns long-term starter. If all goes well he’ll be a productive fantasy option over the next few seasons. If he falters though chances are Weeden will quickly be relegated to back-up duties for the remainder of his NFL career.
23. E.J. MANUEL, Buffalo Bills | DOB: 3/19/1990 (23)
STO: Manuel will compete with Kevin Kolb throughout the preseason to be named the Bills opening day starter, but the veteran QB is currently expected to win that battle. Regardless of whether or not Kolb starts on opening day however chances are the rookie will be under center by the end of the year barring an expected playoff run. Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect much from Manuel as rookie though.
LTO: Buffalo’s selection of Manuel with the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft was a surprise to many, but it shows just how much the Bills believe in him as their quarterback of the future. He could rise to fantasy prominence if he gets a quick grasp on playing at the NFL level and his young cast of talented wide receivers meets their potential.
24. MATT SCHAUB, Houston Texans | DOB: 6/25/1981 (32)
STO: Like Roethlisberger, Schaub has flirted with QB1-territory in recent years but never quite attained that status. The addition of first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins may nudge him further in that direction this season, but for the most he’s a back-up option in fantasy leagues best used only in favorable match-ups.
LTO: The Texans inked Schaub to a long-term deal at the start of last season so his job security shouldn’t be an issue any time soon. If DeAndre Hopkins can make an immediate impact and Andre Johnson comes through with a few more strong outings in the years ahead Schaub’s value may be on the rebound. He isn’t getting any younger though and ultimately he’ll have to increase his touchdown output if he’s to suddenly emerge as something better than a solid back-up for fantasy owners.
25. JOE FLACCO, Baltimore Ravens | DOB: 1/16/1985 (28)
STO:Flacco posted a career high in passing yards last year (3817), but still failed to crack the 4000-yard mark. He also finished the regular season with just 22 touchdown passes and has a career high of just 25 in that category. With the Ravens having dealt Anquan Boldin to the 49ers it seems doubtful his production will be any better in the year ahead.
LTO:In five full, injury free seasons Flacco has thrown for better than 3625 yards just once. His career high in touchdown passes sits at just 25. Unless or until the Ravens add an impact player opposite Torrey Smith at wide receiver sometime soon there is little reason to believe Flacco will suddenly breakthrough as a force to be reckoned with in fantasy football.
26. GENO SMITH, New York Jets | DOB: 10/10/1990 (22)
STO:Smith may be the Jets quarterback of the future, but it’s doubtful he’ll unseat Mark Sanchez as the team’s starter in 2013. Head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback coach David Lee have acknowledged Smith has had difficulties adjusting to the West Coast Offense the Jets will employ this year. Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect much from him as a rookie.
LTO:Having slipped into the second round the Jets aren’t as heavily invested in Smith as they would have been if they selected him with their first round pick. He’ll certainly get the opportunity to start in New York at some point in the near future, but if Rex Ryan is fired after the season (a realistic possibility) or allowed to walk when his contract expires following the 2014 campaign a new coach may not be quite as committed to Smith as is the current regime. That situation aside, however, the Jets offense lacks any prominent playmakers for Smith to work with. As such it’s hard to envision him being a noted QB option in fantasy leagues within a three-year time period. He’ll most likely have to accomplish more with his legs in the pros than he had in college if that’s to be the case.
27. CARSON PALMER, Arizona Cardinals | DOB: 12/27/1979 (33)
STO: As the starting quarterback in Bruce Arians’ offense, and with talented targets in the passing game, Palmer should prove capable of a 4000-yard passing season. How valuable he’ll be in fantasy leagues however will ultimately be determined by how many touchdowns he throws for. His career high is 32, but that was way back in 2005. Since then his highest touchdown output has been 28 in 2006, 26 in 2007, and 26 again in 2010. Unless the Cardinals pass protection improves significantly its doubtful Palmer will surpass 24 touchdowns in 2013.
LTO: The Cardinals signed Palmer to a three-year deal after acquiring him via trade with the Oakland Raiders. The third-year of the deal voids five days after the 2014 Super Bowl, however, so it’s essentially a two-year deal. Palmer may be able fill-in as needed for fantasy owners this year and next, but his future beyond that is uncertain. He’s a QB2 that dynasty owners should look to cash-in on if he goes on a hot streak at any point during the upcoming season.
28. JAKE LOCKER, Tennessee Titans | DOB: 6/15/1988 (25)
STO:The Titans have notable talent surrounding Locker, but the team is likely at least a year or two away before being a realistic playoff contender in the AFC. If Locker is to find success in 2013 he’ll have to improve significantly upon his accuracy. He’s an option fantasy owners should shy away from.
LTO:Locker has this season and possibly next to prove himself as a viable starter in the NFL. His rookie deal expires following the 2014 season, but if he doesn’t show promise this year the team could turn to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in the short term and use the 2014 draft to find their quarterback of the future.
29. NICK FOLES, Philadelphia Eagles | DOB: 1/20/1989 (24)
STO: The Eagles quarterback situation is a guessing game at this point, but it’s believed Foles currently stands ahead of Michael Vick in the race to be named Philadelphia’s opening day starter. Should he win the position he may surprise if he truly masters Chip Kelly’s offense, but expectations should be kept pretty low for the time being.
LTO:It’s hard to place a long term value on any of the Eagles quarterbacks at the moment. Head coach Chip Kelly has declared an open competition that will run throughout the preseason. While current speculation has Foles the early front runner to win the job it wouldn’t stun anyone if Vick locked it up by opening day. For that matter there’s even an outside chance rookie Matt Barkley could be in the running.
30. CHRISTIAN PONDER, Minnesota Vikings | DOB: 2/25/1988 (25)
STO: Regardless of how well Ponder performs from an NFL standpoint this year, it’s doubtful the Vikings will rely upon his arm often enough in 2013 for him to hold much relevance in fantasy league redrafts.
LTO: Ponder’s career is likely about two go one of two ways; he’ll either play well enough that the Vikings believe he can grow into a competent starter capable of leading his team to the playoffs regularly, or he’ll struggle to such an extent that veteran Matt Cassel will take over midseason and Minnesota uses next year’s draft to find their QB of the future. Ponder’s current deal expires following the 2014 season, so this year will go a long way in determining his career path in the NFL.