Posted on: July 10, 2008 11:27 am

The No. 2 QB dilemma

So while much of the focus on Fantasy QBs is on the top of the rank list (and when they should be taken), a developing concern we have is about the flux of backup Fantasy passers.

No need to breakdown the top dozen Fantasy passers, but the next dozen -- for the most part -- are completely interchangeable and so close as far as potential and likely statistics go.

13. David Garrard
14. Jake Delhomme
15. Aaron Rodgers
16. Jason Campbell
17. Philip Rivers
18. Jon Kitna
19. Matt Schaub
20. Jeff Garcia
21. Vince Young
22. JaMarcus Russell
23. Trent Edwards
24. Matt Leinart
25. Tarvaris Jackson

The expectation is that at least 10 of these guys will get drafted. Which 10 is the question.

Garrard, Delhomme and Rivers are no-brainers. Rodgers is too so long as Favre doesn't come back (and if Favre does come back, then Eli Manning becomes a no-brainer ahead of Garrard and Rodgers falls off the face of the earth).

Everyone else is either a low-risk, medium-reward QB or a high-risk, high-reward option.

Jason Campbell should be good for about 200 yards and two TDs per week, but people fear his ability to grasp the West Coast offense in time for the year. A good preseason will lock him in as a good No. 2, but he won't post amazing stats.

Jon Kitna still has incredible receivers but is now playing in an offense with a running conscious. His days of chucking the rock 45 times per game each week are long gone.

Matt Schaub has the skills and the stud receiver but Houston's schedule is dreadful and Schaub and Andre Johnson are far from locks to play 16 games.

Jeff Garcia was consistent last year, but no one wants to rely on a 54-year-old quarterback with a 55-year-old receiver.

That brings me to the five wild cards of the No. 2 QB derby: Vince Young, JaMarcus Russell, Trent Edwards, Matt Leinart and Tarvaris Jackson. I think most people could take all five guys, throw 'em under a rug and just see who crawls out, but I think I like them differently than how we have them ranked.

Vince Young is like a delicious stuffed Giordano's pizza. You know you shouldn't get involved with him, but the draw to his potential is strong. Young is not only a rusher and a passer, but the Titans have added decent help in Alge Crumpler, Justin McCareins and rookie Chris Johnson that should push Young's passing totals well over 3,000 yards. If he rushes for 500 yards, the Fantasy point equivalent is that to a 4,250-yard passer in standard-scoring leagues. BUT ... those are some huge numbers to associate with a guy who threw 9 TDs in 2007.

Matt Leinart is also appealing because of his stud receiving corps and the expected decline of Edgerrin James. But how much of Kurt Warner will we see in 2008? Will Warner play whenever the Cards must score quickly? Those are opportunities Leinart needs to be a capable Fantasy passer. When Leinart did play last year, he was not Fantasy friendly at all, so a lot of people are scared to draft him.

The other three -- Russell, Edwards and Jackson -- have upside thanks to improved receiving corps (in Russell's case, Darren McFadden is reason for optimism). The potential for a 3,000-yard season is also high with these guys.

So the question I am posing to you guys is to rank the quarterbacks that we have listed 13 through 25, and target three quarterbacks you want the most. I've pretty much ranked mine above, but the three I'd target are: Garrard, Delhomme and Young.

Pass the pizza, please.
Posted on: May 15, 2008 2:07 pm

Greetings from the homestead -- a.k.a. Chicago

I have a free minute to post and thought I'd drop a line from lovely Chicago, where if it ain't winter, it's time for some construction on one of the highways!

Most of my vacation is over, but the two-and-a-half days away from the wife and kids while I hung out with good friends from high school was some much-needed therapy. I spent most of the time either eating pizza (Aurelio's and Giordano's), playing cards and being a derelict, sleeping or watching my buds golf. During much of that time, I was hammered with football questions, not that I didn't mind ...

  • Upon my arrival at my friend Matt's house, the discussion quickly turned to football, notably football as it pertains to Matt. He asked me hypotheticals about his keeper league team (which I'm a rival owner in, so all of my advice was tempered) as well as the Bears' future (not good at all).
  • On the way to New Buffalo, Michigan (don't ask), Matt and my other good friend, Quincy, talked football. About half of the trip was football-related talk (the drive was over an hour). They were both floored when I didn't stutter my AFC Champion team: Cleveland.
  • More Bears questions while playing roulette -- the manliest game in any casino, of course. Casino dealer Brian, a devout Royals fan, also wanted to know how I thought the Bears would do. Believe it or not, Brian wanted to know my thoughts on Cedric Benson (anyone NOT off his bandwagon by now?). The most upbeat, positive news I could give him was to draft Matt Forte in Round 6 or 7. "Really?! That high?" he asked. Hey, if a player's going to play ...

Only other note of interest -- not really Fantasy related -- my brother-in-law, David Farby, just finished his freshman year at Syracuse. He's in their Newhouse School of Broadcasting and Journalism, which has churned out legendary sports-broadcast figures such as Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Jason Horowitz and Eric Mack. Before he finished his first year, he landed an internship at WMVP-AM in Chicago, a sports-talk station affiliated with a network not many people have heard of (it's pronounced "Espen"). Interestingly enough, it's the rival station of the one I am on during the football season, WSCR-AM 670 The Score, which is affiliated with a network EVERYONE knows about, CBS Radio!

Anyhoo, David is an intern for the Silvy and Waddle Show, featuring Chicagoland fave Tom Waddle, an ex-Bears receiver. Waddle was one of my faves when I was younger too. A gritty player who never got the recognition he truly deserved while playing. By the way, David said that Waddle is a cool guy really into his work -- I could have figured that myself, but it's good to know.

Now, get this ... the announcer who does the sports updates during the show is Bryan Dolgin, who was (is?) a fraternity brother of mine at Miami. I met Dolgin before I even came to school at a pre-UM party for incoming Chicagoland freshmen. He's got a year on me and came to the party wearing his fraternity letters with his best friend, Dan Fleischer. Suffice to say, four of us who were at that party wound up being in the fraternity. Now he's pushing around my brother-in-law, who BETTER think long and hard about joining the same fraternity at the Cuse ...

I'm not done ... the executive producer of the show is Randy Merkin, the brother of Chicago White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin. The Merkins lived in Olympia Fields, Ill., right near where I lived when I was little. One of them ... I think it was Scott ... was my camp counselor at River Oaks Camp one summer when I was like 10.

Just a crazy series of coincidences. It really is a small world (or maybe Chicago is just a small city). By the way, if anyone at WMVP wants good, embarrassing stories about David (or Bryan), email me.

Upon my return to Florida, I'm going to help put the finishing touches on the CBSSports.com/Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Preview Magazine. One of the projects: 165 words on why I like Ernest Wilford. Not a tough assignment since I think he's got a shot to post career-best numbers (not 1,000 yards, though) with Miami in 2008. The magazine is shaping up to be the most informational -- and believe it or not, controversial -- preview magazines you'll find. Our mock draft is off-the-charts stunning, and Jamey and I each have some really provocative articles to help you get ready for '08.

After the mag is put to bed, I have to start crankin' out preseason outlooks for every player and DST you'll find in the CBSSports.com draft room and player pages this summer. You know, quick blurbs that paint the picture of what you can expect from players this season. I also have to tweak our projections and begin delving into a Draft Prep content series deeper than a Giordano's stuffed pizza (second Gio's reference in the same blog! Nice!!).

But until then, I still have some time left to relax at home.

See ya next week.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com