by Russ Bliss (8/5/11)


As we approach the first preseason games, most of us are anxiously pouring over the player projections and paying attention to all the news in training camps looking to see if we need to tweak our fantasy football cheat sheets at any position.
 
One position that definitely is likely to change in the bottom half of our rankings is the quarterback position. There are 5 teams whose quarterback situations are so bad I want nothing to do with them, and another 3 teams that could be intriguing, but are also very unstable. In my fantasy football blog, I've listed the 3 teams that are intriguing but scary, and here I am going to focus on the 5 teams you couldn't get me to touch a quarterback from at my fantasy football drafts.
 
1) Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton should start regardless of his lack of experience and having had almost no off-season to get comfortable with. I can't believe the Panthers brought in a disaster like Derek Anderson and last year's rookie, Jimmy Clausen, was just bad. Now I'm not so sure that Clausen has gotten a fair chance, but in terms of talent, there is a wide gap between him and Newton. And if you're going to be bad, it's best to be bad while giving your most talented QB some experience. However, I don't get to make these decisions and there is talk that because of his history with Panthers OC Rob Chudzinski from their time together in Cleveland back in 2007 and 2008, Anderson may even get a chance to start the year over Newton. Obviously they didn't watch any tape of Anderson last year with Arizona or the year before in Cleveland. Regardless of who ends up starting in Carolina, I won't be drafting a Panthers QB in re-draft leagues.
 
2) Washington Redskins. John Beck vs. Rex Grossman? REALLY? Mike Shanahan is quickly proving that he's lost his marbles. That's not just bad for the Redskins in the NFL; it's bad for fantasy football players. It's bad for the prospects of Santana Moss and Chris Cooley. Why? Because both Beck and Grossman are BAD quarterbacks! They're bad NFL quarterbacks, and they're bad fantasy football quarterbacks. Shanahan has previously proved in Denver that he hates fantasy football (with the way he would shuffle his RB's around), and now he's proving he still hates it by making many of the players on Washington difficult to draft, and the quarterbacks impossible. I know I won't be having any Redskins QB's on my target list at my fantasy draft.
 
3) Seattle Seahawks. Either Pete Carroll is a mad genius who can resurrect the careers of bad football players or he is spiraling into insanity. After giving up quite a bit to get Charlie Whitehurst last off-season, he decides to not even give Whitehurst a real chance to become a good NFL QB this season by going out and getting Minnesota Vikings flop Tarvaris Jackson and naming Jackson the starter. But here's where the story gets a bit more interesting. You see, Jackson has an understanding of Seattle's offensive coordinator's system. Jackson and OC Darrell Bevell both come from Minnesota. And with the lockout having given teams much less time to get ready for the season, the reasoning for Carroll is that Jackson will be the starter right away because he knows the offense, but once Charlie Whitehurst understands the offense, he will compete to be the starter too. HUH? So Jackson is the definite starter but Whitehurst will compete with him soon? OK. It's really a shame that players like Sidney Rice and Zach Miller will have their talents wasted playing with either of these QB's. I know I won't be drafting a Seahawks QB this year, and I encourage you not to as well.
 
4) Miami Dolphins. Two years ago, I really thought Chad Henne was going to emerge in the NFL, but he has regressed instead and is only the starting QB in Miami because the Dolphins couldn't go out and get a better free agent than former Panther Matt Moore. Henne will get one last chance to turn his career in Miami around, but I expect it will be a short leash granted to him and that we will see Moore start games at times this season as well. At the very least, both of these QB's (Henne and Moore) have proven to be decent enough at times during their time and they shouldn't hurt the fantasy football values of the players around them that much. But still, am I going to settle on a Miami QB as the backup on any of my fantasy teams? Not a chance!
 
5) Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have been selling us "Andy Dalton is NFL ready" since before the April draft. And so, are they going to stay true to that? Of course not! They brought in former Oakland Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski to compete with Dalton for the job. Gradkowski is familiar with the offense as Bengals new OC Jay Gruden and Gradkowski were together in Tampa Bay a few years back. The Bengals say that they want Gradkowski to mentor Dalton, but Gradkowski has a history of thinking he is the best QB everywhere he's been and not always supportive of other QB's on a roster. I'm not sure that's the type of mentoring they need Dalton to get. And regardless of which one starts the season, it's a good bet we see both start games during it. I wasn't high on Dalton coming into the league as a rookie, thinking he is more likely headed for a career as a decent backup than a starter. But in that sense, he is very similar to Gradkowski. And neither are QB's who will be drafted onto any of my fantasy football rosters.