It doesn’t get more exciting than watching two players battle head-to-head to determine who will enter the 2010 fantasy football season as a starting quarterback. The winner can earn a spot on many fantasy football teams as a No. 1 quarterback while the loser will spend much of the season on the waiver wire, an afterthought. Here are NFL quarterback battles to keep an eye on in the 2010 NFL preseason.
Sam Bradford vs. A.J. Feeley
St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo named A.J. Feeley the starting quarterback but that is going to change rather quickly. The Rams are Feeley’s fifth team in ten years. He has only thrown for 1000 yards twice in his career and has only started two NFL games since 2004. Even in 2009, when Jake Delhomme was benched, Feeley never took a snap. If Spagnuolo believes Feeley gives the Rams the best chance to win, he is delusional.
Sam Bradford has never started an NFL game. The number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Oklahoma, Bradford is the quarterback of the future for the Rams. Bradford won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 but spent most of his 2009 season injured. He is 6’4″ and is one of the most intelligent quarterbacks coming out of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Fantasy Outlook: A.J. Feeley will start the season but Sam Bradford will be the starter in short order. Neither will put up big numbers in 2010, but Bradford is a great keeper league pick. Bradford will also make Steven Jackson more valuable down the line.
Jimmy Clausen vs. Matt Moore
When Jake Delhomme was benched in 2009, Matt Moore took hold of the starting job and never let go. In only his third year in the league, Moore threw for 1053 yards and eight touchdowns in his five starts for the Carolina Panthers. He threw all eight touchdowns in the team’s final four games with no interceptions. The fact the games were against New England, Minnesota, the Giants and New Orleans makes that feat even more impressive. He was rewarded for this great finish by watching his Panthers draft Jimmy Clausen with their first pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Jimmy Clausen is the brash young quarterback who lit up the Notre Dame record books during the otherwise disappointing past few years at the school. The Panthers offense is similar to the one ran at Notre Dame and he is being given every chance to win the job during preseason. Clausen in an interesting prospect and Moore will have to remain hot to hold onto his starting job.
Fantasy Outlook: Matt Moore deserves the starting job until he does something to prove his strong 2009 finish was a fluke. Clausen is a good handcuff pick for Moore owners and might be a good keeper league pick since he might end up starting in the next couple of years. For seasonal leagues, Moore is the only safe pick until further notice.
Brian Brohm vs. Trent Edwards vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Buffalo Bills quarterback situation is a mess. Look at last year’s numbers, which sucked all around even with Terrell Owens on the team. Brian Brohm started one game for the Bills, threw for 146 yards and two interceptions. Trent Edwards, who entered the season as the starter, only started one game for the team after week 6. In his three years with the Bills, Edwards averaged 1800 yards a season with a 50/50 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Ryan Fitzpatrick moved into the starting lineup in week 6 and played the most of the three quarterbacks. In his first year at Buffalo, he threw for 1422 yards with nine touchdowns and ten interceptions.
Fantasy Outlook: Don’t touch any of these guys. If you have to take one, grab Edwards. While Fitzpatrick received the majority of the reps last year, new coordinator Chan Gailey might make a difference in the team’s passing game and Edwards is the most talented of the three gunslingers. Brian Brohm might be a good keeper league pick but its wait-and-see with the youngster.
Matt Leinart vs. Derek Anderson
Matt Leinart’s time has finally arrived. He faltered his starting position away a few years ago while Kurt Warner surged. He never regained his spot. That is not a surprise since the few times he did play, he couldn’t hit the Eiffel Tower if he was standing five-yards from it. The former USC star started 16 games during his four years in Arizona. His passer rating is a lowly 70.8 and he has 20 interceptions compared to 14 touchdowns.
Former Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Anderson didn’t fared much better at Cleveland following his breakout 2007 season. In 2009, Anderson started seven games and only threw for 888 yards. He lost three fumbles, threw 10 interceptions and only scored three touchdowns through the air. He hopes for a fresh start with a new offense and one of the best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald to haul in his passes.
Fantasy Outlook: This is bad. Owners of Larry Fitzgerald have to be kicking themselves watching these two guys competing to throw him balls. Matt Leinart is the better fantasy football choice but Derek Anderson can put up some monster numbers throwing the bombs to Fitzgerald too. Avoid both these guys until one of them proves they can actually complete passes to their own teammates.
Other quarterback battles to watch: Matt Hasselbeck vs. Charlie Whitehurst, Jake Delhomme vs. Seneca Wallace, Kyle Orton vs. Brady Quinn.
Other fantasy football articles to check out:
Injured Players to beware of
Veteran Players to drop in keeper leagues
Top Rookie Quarterbacks
Top Rookie Wide Receivers
Top Rookie Running Backs