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Ryan Mallett not the right flier

By Dave Holcomb, Fantasy Sports Writer

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - It finally happened. Ryan Mallett is a Houston Texan.

New England traded the former third-round pick in 2011 to the Lone Star State for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016. With veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick currently holding the starting job under center for Houston, it is conceivable to see Mallett starting by Week 4.

Talk about steal of the century, right? Potential starting quarterback for a seventh-round pick. Better yet, a quarterback who learned under Tom Brady and is once again paired with his first offensive coordinator in the NFL, now Texan head coach (quarterback guru) Bill O'Brien.

Sounds like a match made in heaven. On paper, it sounds like the perfect fantasy flier pick.

But before owners jump to their computers to pick up Mallett, take notice that there is probably a reason the Patriots traded him. It wasn't to get value because Houston gave New England virtually nothing. It wasn't to make cap space: Mallett makes less than $800,000.

This looks like a classic Bill Belichick move, admitting to a mistake and immediately cutting his losses rather than being too stubborn to admit a wrong.

He did it with Chad Johnson, who was a fantasy nightmare with New England in 2011. He caught 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown that year. After one reception in the Super Bowl, the Patriots released him that summer.

Belichick did the same with Tim Tebow, who never even made it to the regular season with New England. And although it had no impact on fantasy, Albert Haynesworth was another flier Bill Belichick took that just flat out did not work. He made two tackles in six games, lasting just four months with the team.

Mallett falls in the same category. Someone the Patriots valued highly three years ago, yet this weekend, they could not wait to get him off their hands. Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo helped push Mallett out of town, but with so many other needs and a chance to make one more Super Bowl run with Brady, it is doubtful Belichick would have picked Brady's eventual replacement if he felt a future NFL starting quarterback was already on his bench.

It is always a good idea to take a flier late in a draft, especially in deep leagues, leagues with lots of bench positions or dynasty leagues. Belichick certainly takes his fair share of fliers and lots of them work out. Mallett, however, is not the flier owners want.

O'Brien really had no choice but to take Mallett as his flier. With very few quarterbacks available even after final cuts, he can either go with Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Tom Savage or roll the dice and trade for Mallett.

Fantasy owners have a choice. No need to roll the dice on Mallett.

08/31 16:32:08 ET

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