AFC South Quarterback Preview

The AFC South division is lacking in potential starting fantasy quarterbacks, except for one team. Other than the Colts, it's hard to feel good about having any of the other three team's signal callers as regulars in starting fantasy lineups in 2013. In the Texans you have a steady veteran who can fill in and produce enough points for a few games if needed; while in Tennessee, this is a make or break season for Jake Locker. He has the supporting cast and just needs to show he was worth the first round pick the Titans spent on him a couple of seasons ago. As for Jacksonville? Just avoid the Jags quarterback situation if you can.
Houston Texans
Starter: Matt Schaub
Backup: T.J. Yates
Schaub is one of the better backup fantasy QB's as he has the ability to put up the occasional huge game and rarely has an outright stinker. More often than not he is middle of the road mediocre. He has a better complimentary WR opposite Andre Johnson for the first time in a long time in rookie DeAndre Hopkins, but the Texans are a run first team with Arian Foster. As long as you aren't counting on Schaub to be more than a spot starter during the season, he makes a fine fantasy backup you can try to trade after he has one of those big statistical games. But if you're hoping he can lead you to a championship, you're going to be disappointed. Yates is a good backup to Schaub as he has a lot of the same qualities. But they aren't qualities that will win you a fantasy championship.
Indianapolis Colts
Starter: Andrew Luck
Backup: Matt Hasselbeck
Luck was better than advertised as a rookie throwing for over 4,000 yards and posting a 23-18 TD-INT ratio. Make no mistake, it was Luck who made his stable of weapons look better rather than the other way around. He may miss Bruce Arians aggressive vertical style passing attack, but should have no trouble in the new system as his new OC (Pep Hamilton) was the OC at Stanford Luck's final year in college. The transition should be fairly seamless. I expect Luck to throw for over 4,000 yards again in 2013 while improving his TD totals to close to 30. There's always concern with a young QB and whether he will be all that he is expected to be, but in Luck, I buy into it and think him among the low end fantasy starting QB's and a terrific fantasy backup. Hasselbeck probably has just enough left in his tank to contribute if needed, but by signing with the Colts it appears he has moved on to the final chapter of his career as the backup and veteran sounding board to the Colts future superstar Luck.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Starter: Blaine Gabbert (projected)
Backup: Chad Henne
No matter who wins this job it is a poor bet for fantasy production. Latest reports say that it is Gabbert's job to lose and I believe that as I expect the Jags will give Gabbert one more chance to show marked improvement as a starting QB before pulling the plug on the former 1st round draft pick. That said, with the exception of a 354 passing yards, 4 TD performance in week 11, Henne was no more effective than Gabbert last season. Neither QB is to be trusted for fantasy purposes unless monumental improvement is shown early in the season by Gabbert. Considering he'll be without WR Justin Blackmon the first four games of the season, it's hard to buy into a great start for Gabbert. I expect both QB's will make starts for Jacksonville in 2013, but it's likely neither should make any starts for fantasy teams.  
Tennessee Titans
Starter: Jake Locker
Backup: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Locker's shoulder is expected to be fully healed by the start of training camp and he is expected to be fine. But this is a make or break season for the talented, yet erratic thrower as the Titans upgraded their backup QB by signing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Locker needs to produce in 2013 but I'm not sold on his capabilities. There are weapons at his disposal in Tennessee, but the Titans have the feel of a dysfunctional team in 2013 where wins will be few and statistical production will be erratic from the players. There is some upside, but there is also a lot of risk with Locker as a backup fantasy QB. If Locker can't get the job done or can't stay healthy, Fitzpatrick could see time in 2013. Fitzpatrick has had some modest success the last couple of seasons in Buffalo as a fantasy QB early in seasons, but his weak arm gets exposed once the weather turns cold and his numbers drop sharply.