The fantasy spin on the QB situations for the 4 NFC East teams
We're getting into the dog days of summer now. This is the great calm before the storm that will be the 2013 fantasy football season. We're kind of in a quiet "watch" mode. With that in mind, I figured now is as good a time as any to do divisional reviews of the QB situation for each division.
Starter: Tony Romo
Backup: Kyle Orton
Few NFL QB's are as maligned as Romo. Few fantasy QB's don't get the respect they deserve as much as Romo either. Since 2007, Romo has averaged 275.1 passing yards per game and 1.9 passing TD's. In the 4 seasons he's been the starter for all 16 games, he has eclipsed 4,000 passing yards in each and thrown 121 TD's. In the last 8 games of 2012 he threw for 2,300 yards (287.5 avg) and 16 TD's. Romo takes a lot of heat for the Cowboys not winning more NFL games or winning in the playoffs, but for fantasy purposes, he's been just outside of the elite QB's. Currently, according to his ADP (Average Draft Position) he's being undervalued as the 12th QB selected. With Dez Bryant coming into his own as one of the elite WR's, and a plethora of other weapons to throw to, Romo is a guy you may be able to get in rounds 6-8 who still produces great fantasy numbers. There is a little concern about surgery to remove a cyst in his back several weeks ago, but Romo is fully expected to be fine for training camp. Orton is one of the better backup QB's in the league as he has a lot of starting experience and has proven himself capable.
New York Giants
Starter: Eli Manning
Backup: David Carr/Ryan Nassib
After falling just short of 5,000 passing yards in 2011, Manning threw for nearly 1,000 yards fewer in 2012 as injuries plagued his WR's. Manning is durable (he hasn't missed a start for 8 consecutive seasons) and has the ability to be a capable starting fantasy QB when all his weapons are healthy. A return to top 10 fantasy QB status for him in 2013 is certainly doable but I'd feel better about him being one of the top backup fantasy QB's as consistency eludes him. 18 of his 26 TD passes in 2012 came in just 5 games. In 4 games, he had zero TD passes. Because of his durability we haven't had to see a reminder of just how terrible Carr is and we probably won't get a chance to see much of Nassib (who apparently was drafted to be Manning's backup for the foreseeable future).
Starter: Michael Vick (projected)
Backup: Nick Foles/Matt Barkley
While there is a lot of talk about a QB competition between Vick and Nick Foles, it's believed that it is Vick's job to lose. IF Vick wins the starting job, he should be a good fit for Chip Kelly's offense. Vick is still a dual threat weapon with the ability to put up fantasy points with his legs and he is only 3 years removed from a 2010 season that made him a consideration as the 1st overall pick in 2011 fantasy drafts. IF Vick gets into a groove with this new offense, there's an excellent chance he becomes a strong starting fantasy QB. But there's also a chance Vick doesn't get it and ends up behind Nick Foles. As usual, Vick is a very high risk/very high reward type of fantasy QB. While Foles hasn't been eliminated from being the Eagles starting QB in 2013, I believe it more likely he will be a backup to Michael Vick. That or he'll be traded during preseason. Especially if the rookie Barkley shows well.
Starter: Robert Griffin III
Backup: Kirk Cousins
RG3 was one of the most electrifying players in fantasy football in 2012 before a week 14 knee injury. He returned sooner than he should have from that injury and needed complete reconstructive surgery on his right knee due to multiple ligament tears. His rehab has reportedly gone as good as it possibly can and while it's not a sure thing, there is plenty of optimism that he will be ready to start week 1 of the 2013 season. There have been conflicting reports about whether the team will scale back any of RG3's rushing attempts, but until I hear otherwise, I have no problem with RG3 as a solid starting fantasy QB. That said, I would STRONGLY recommend that if you draft RG3 as your starter, you get some insurance by selecting a high upside backup fantasy QB. You could also consider spending a late round pick on Griffin's backup in Washington, Kirk Cousins. Cousins showed well in relief of Griffin in 2012. It's rare I would have a QB handcuff, but this would be one of those cases where I would consider it.