At this time of year, people like me should be tracking free agency and adjusting fantasy rankings daily with the updates of signings and potential trades affecting the upcoming NFL draft. Late March, early April is usually the great NFL tease of the year with plenty of news and coverage, but no payout of games. Free Agency and the NFL draft mixed with March Madness, the start of the baseball season, and NBA post-season is my favorite time of year, next to September and Week 1 in the NFL. Thanks to greed, and many other issues, free agency is halted in the NFL, and so may Week 1 in September.
So back to how this affects me…
I co-founded www.fantasyphenoms.com, and we are focused on baseball at this time , and I am not usually a guy to do many mock football drafts and/or rankings until after free agency and the NFL draft. I just don’t see the necessity in ranking a guy like Cedric Benson now, since we have no idea where he will be in 2011. Same thing goes for guys like Mike Sims-Walker, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, and many, many more fantasy relevant players.
I already have my March Madness bracket full of red scribble, so I don’t need more of a mess on my football boards at the moment. Sorry for basketball talk on a football board, but there must be some lull in NFL coverage for some reason.
The point is, us fantasy guys are halted at the moment; I need to know where free agents are going and how it affects teams, divisions, opposing defenses who may face them twice a year….and plenty more intangibles I for one love to look at in constructing fantasy rankings and analysis.
During the construction of my fantasy football teams I try to look for a mid-round QB that I don’t have to pay a lot for to lead my team to success. Much like how I, and all of us for that matter, try to find that Cinderella in the NCAA to set my bracket apart from the rest.
So, to compensate for the lack of NFL off-season player movement, and in honor of the previously mention NCAA hoops tourney, here is a little look at some potential Fantasy QB Ranking Busters instead of NCAA Bracket Busters…thanks a lot VCU!
Perhaps one of these signal-callers could be calling the shots in Miami next season…
Quarterback Ranking Busters:
Carson Palmer- This situation to me is like Pittsburgh in the NCAA’s. Always a talent, but never seems to do that well in the post-season, and usually under-achieves. The current Cincy QB has claimed he is ready to retire with his 70 million dollar+ nest egg in the bank instead of playing another season as a Bengal. Cincinnati owner, Mike Brown, is notorious for sticking to his guns and not adhering to trade demands. However, the market may dictate that a move must be made, and Palmer could land on a team who is in need of a strong arm QB. The Dolphins are on the radar, I would say, but if it were me calling the shots I would prefer a younger signal caller to finally call a franchise QB in Miami. Palmer’s QB ranking could soar if he lands back home in the West. Teams like Oakland, San Francisco, and Arizona all could use a seasoned starter, and don’t discount a potential USC reunion with Pete Carroll in Seattle.
Chances with Dolphins…2/5
Smart Money…San Fransisco
Kevin Kolb- Speaking of younger franchise QBs, Kevin Kolb could be the guy, yet I am weary about over-spending with a top draft pick to acquire him. To surrender a first round choice for him is ludicrous, so anything in the 2nd or better I would be OK with, however, the Dolphins do not have a 2nd round pick this year in the Draft due to the Brandon Marshall deal last season. Here is a slightly confident prediction- if the Fins trade down in the first, and acquire a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, perhaps a pick package for Kolb will follow. Not a half-bad play, and certainly something to keep track of. Think of Kolb as Florida State. They’ve made it to the big show, but had to wait a few seasons until they made a significant impact. 2011 is Kolb’s shot…but who will it be with?
Chances with Dolphins…4/5
Kyle Orton- Orton can be the QB version of Virginia Commonwealth University. Should Tim Tebow be named the starter officially, AND Orton be dealt, he could end up being a major fantasy high-riser on a different team. Imagine he gets paired up with Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, or even a reunion with ex-teammate Brandon Marshall in Miami? Who knows if Orton will land elsewhere, but for now, he is in a QB controversy which can see his overall QB ranking go from bottom tier to high-middle tier in a flash.
Chances with Dolphins…3/5
Smart Money…staying with Denver
Matt Hasselbeck– Hasselbeck had a mini Cinderella run with the NFC West Champs-by-default Seahawks. Winning a first rounder against the Rams last season was just like Morehead State taking down Louisville in the first round a few weeks ago. That playoff win could very well allow Hass to finish his career in Seattle, but Pete Carroll may want to go younger, or simply go in a different direction and Hasselbeck is sure to have some suitors out there. Miami could be a nice option, but I don’t see that as a likely destination. A solid match-up with a stud WR could make Hass a solid QB, but his place in the rankings is very much an unknown right now.
Chances with Dolphins…2/5
Smart Money…staying in Seattle
Cinderella Team….Cleveland (Could there be a reunion with Mike Holmgren? Or is Colt McCoy for real?)
Rex Grossman- Say hello to Orton-2011…potentially. Grossman is kind of like Richmond. He will benefit from a little luck, like a QB ahead of him being cut or traded, analogous to when said Spiders avoided a dance with Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals for a Sweet 16 berth, thanks to Morehead State. Grossman could slide into a starter’s role for the Redskins should the separation of Donovan McNabb and coach Mike Shanahan lead to the inevitable divorce we all see coming. This potential upset in some people’s minds could let Grossman slide into a potential Sweet 16 of regular season games in 2011…that of course if there even are 16 regular season games.
Chances with Dolphins…1/5
Smart Money…Starter in Washington
Tim Tebow- Last season he teased the football world with some terrific performances, but can it be sustained for a full season as a NFL passer? I don’t know. Kind of reminds me of Butler. Excellent story, and everyone is a fan it seems. However, it’s tough to determine at this point if Tebow, or Butler for that matter, is a championship quality contender. Tebow could end up as a high-ranking backup to Kyle Orton, or he could be a mid-tier (or mid-major if you will) fantasy QB should he lock down that starting job.
Chances with Dolphins…0/5
Smart Money…Backup in Denver
Cinderella Team….Starting in Denver
Donovan McNabb- Perhaps the perfect guy in this article, as McNabb was a member of both the Syracuse football and basketball squads while in college. The Ex-Eagle and soon-to-be Ex-Redskin (in all likelihood) reminds me of Gonzaga. Like the very dangerous, yet still under-appreciated basketball school, McNabb seems to continually have to prove his doubters wrong. He always seems to be in the mix, but can never go all the way. Could that change on another team in 2011?
Chances with Dolphins…4/5
Enjoy Baseball’s opening week…enjoy next week’s Final Four…and continue to pray this darn lockout ends before the Hall-of-Fame game in August.
Until next time, and like every No. 1 seed in the tournament…I’m out.