Evaluating unsettled quarterback situations

Rex Grossman will be battling Kyle Orton for the starting quarterback job in Chicago.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While there is no question that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo will be drafted early, there are a number of quarterback situations which need to be resolved in the preseason before they can be assigned a position in your rankings. Most of these will be of little interest to the fantasy owner, but a couple might be of consequence.

Certainly the soap opera in Green Bay must be followed. Should Brett Favre come back, and start, he would be worthy of a roster spot. His 4,155 yards and 28 passing TDs placed him in the upper echelon in 2007 and with the quantity and quality of receivers in Green Bay there would be no reason Favre couldn't do it again.

On the other hand, should Aaron Rodgers be the starter then you would obviously expect a falloff in production in his first year as a starter and couldn't comfortably put him in your lineup until you collected more data (ie: watched him play a few games).

The situation in Arizona also has fantasy implications because either quarterback as a starter could put up big numbers with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin as their receivers. But figuring out who will start and who will sit is the problem. Kurt Warner proved he still had "it" last year when he threw for 3,417 yards and 27 TDs following Matt Leinart's broken collarbone. For now, coach Ken Whisenhunt has installed Leinart as the starter, but this could be a fluid situation.

The quarterback battle in Chicago might be of interest as both Rex Grossman (19-11 as a starter) and Kyle Orton (12-6) are capable starters in "real" life. However, as far as fantasy owners are concerned, only one of the two is viable. In 2006 Grossman had seven games where he threw for two-or-more TDs and nine times when he accumulated more than 200 yards passing. But he can also be very, very bad. In the same season he threw three-or-more interceptions on five occasions.

Meanwhile, Orton seems to have less of an upside, having thrown two TD passes in just two of his 18 starts and never passing for more than 230 yards. He is not worthy of a roster spot on your fantasy team.

The 2007 New York Jets quarterback position waffled between Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens. Neither threw very well, but they do have a couple of solid receivers in Laveranues Coles (55-646-6 in 11 games) and Jerricho Cotchery (82-1130-2). It's possible that the younger Clemens could develop into a fantasy quarterback worthy of at least a backup position and spot starter against weaker opponents.

The remainder of the unsettled quarterback positions (San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore) have little interest except in keeper leagues where Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Joe Flacco in Baltimore might be worthy of a later round pick.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.
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