DLFMock: Ponder 12.07, Dalton 11.06, Flynn 14.10, Sanchez 16.08, Palmer 15.11
Dalton's late-season fade is a concern. I could see him outperforming Ponder as an NFL player over the next decade, only to have the more athletically gifted Ponder bypass him as a fantasy performer. At any rate, I think Ponder has the higher upside if things break right for both QBs. ... Flynn is the prototypical West Coast offense system quarterback. I'd place his ceiling at 90 percent of Matt Hasselbeck's career. ... Sanchez finished as the No. 10 fantasy QB in 2011, thanks to an unrepeatable six rushing scores. The Jets no longer maintain total faith in Sanchez as the Sanchize after a clear regression that had his coordinator on jailbreak alert by October. ... Palmer has a few interesting pieces in Oakland, but he's entering his mid-30s while replacing a bright offensive mind with a defensive head coach. ... Tannehill is purely a gamble on upside, as he's only played the position for a year and a half.
DLFMock: Kaepernick 18.11, Gabbert 17.10, Fitzpatrick 16.09, A. Smith 15.04, Cassel 20.04, Kolb 20.06, Skelton
Alex Smith answered a lot of doubts with the thrilling comeback victory over the Saints; he didn't answer mine. Smith spent the majority of that game bailing on pressure and arguably made just five quality throws throughout the game (all to Vernon Davis) before crumbling under pressure against the Giants in the NFC Championship game. At best, he's a game manager who can be spot-started as a QB2. At worst, he loses the job to Kaepernick when he reverts to pre-Harbaugh form by November or December. ... Gabbert not only plays scared in the pocket, he also finished at the bottom of all starting QBs with just 48.2 percent of his yardage coming before the catch. I wouldn't hope out much hope for a dramatic turnaround under new coach Mike Mularkey. ... Fitzpatrick and Cassel are placeholders, wasting valuable roster space during all but the bye weeks. ... Kolb is better than he showed in 2011, but he's a poor fit in Arizona and can't stay healthy. ... Mallett will likely have to wait one more year for a trade.
The best of the rest among the rookie QBs. ... Cousins is coming off a fine Combine performance. ... Weeden is viewed as NFL-ready, but it's hard to escape the Chris Weinke comparisons. ... Osweiler is purely a project while Foles is a mid-round NFL pick. ... VY has the talent and past production, but NFL teams aren't going to be won over by his 2011 game tape. His best hope is the opportunity to compete for a starting job, and that's probably a longshot. ... Henne is gaining steam as the third veteran quarterback on the market behind Manning and Flynn. Don't get your hopes up on a fantasy impact. ... Flashing major fantasy potential in small doses last season, Webb is one of the most intriguing roster stashes among the NFL's backups. ... Orton belongs with Fitzpatrick and Cassel as placeholders, only he may be left without a place to hold this year. ... Ditto Campbell and T-Jack. ... McCoy is likely to be replaced by Flynn, RGIII, or a discarded veteran such as Kolb.
Pryor, Taylor, Dixon, and Johnson have the legs to hit the fantasy radar if the opportunity ever comes. ... Hasselbeck won't start for the Titans unless he clearly outplays Locker in training camp. ... Moore will be rewarded for saving Miami from a miserable season by being sent to the bench in favor of the next franchise QB hopeful. ... Yates held his own late in the season, but he's heading back to the bench behind Matt Schaub. ... Coleman, Wilson, and Lindley are mid-to-late round fliers.
A borderline QB1 if Matthew Stafford goes down, Hill is one of the league's premier "handcuff" QBs -- provided he re-signs with the Lions. ... Seattle is high on Portis' potential, but he remains a long-term project. ... Garrard will have to take a backup job coming off back surgery at age 34. ... McNabb is headed down the same path even if he refuses to acknowledge it. He has a better chance of retiring than landing a starting gig. ... Daniel is a restricted free agent with interesting preseason numbers, but it's fair to wonder if he'd have even a prayer of succeeding outside of Sean Payton's offense. ... Wallace and Grossman are purely backups at this stage. ... Clausen is a never-was. ... Ditto Whitehurst.