BCS Conference QB Battles
Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at quarterback battles from BCS conferences. ACC
The Contenders: Skylar Jones (JR), Brendan Cross (FR), Tanner Price (FR), Ted Stachitas (SO)
Leader: Jones – An athletic option with excellent speed, but has no snaps from the quarterback position.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Don’t be surprised if Wake Forest starts a couple different quarterbacks this year. Jones likely begins as the starter, but Stachitas or Cross will see playing time.
The Contenders: Marc Verica (SR), Ross Metheny (FR), Michael Strauss (FR), Michael Rocco (FR), Miles Gooch (FR), Jake McGee (FR)
Leader: Verica – Verica has the most experience of any quarterback on the roster, but also has a disappointing 17 interceptions to only eight passing touchdowns in his career.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Like ACC counterpart Wake Forest, Virginia could end up starting multiple quarterbacks this year. Unless you are in an ACC-only league, don’t bother with Virginia quarterbacks this year.
The Contenders: Adam Froman (SR), Justin Burke (SR), Will Stein (SO), Dominique Brown (FR)
Leader: Froman – With new coordinator Mike Sanford wanting to implement more rushing from the quarterback spot this year, the mobile Froman would be a better fit than Burke or Stein.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Brown’s long-term value is intriguing, but Froman likely won’t offer much fantasy value in 120 leagues this year. If you are in a Big East-only league, Froman should be one of the last quarterbacks off the board.
The Contenders: Ryan Nassib (JR), Charley Loeb (SO), John Kinder (FR), Jonny Miller (FR)
Leader: Nassib – This sophomore showed potential in limited work behind Greg Paulus last year, throwing for 422 yards and three scores. Nassib is a tall prospect at 6-foot-3, but also possesses rushing ability.
Fantasy Impact: Wait and see. Syracuse coach Doug Marrone called the plays in the final two games of last season, and the Orange scored over 30 points in both contests. Nassib has a strong hold on the job and should be a sleeper spot as a QB4 or QB5.
The Contenders: Kale Pick (SO), Jordan Webb (FR), Quinn Mecham (JR)
Leader: Pick – This sophomore has limited experience, with only five passing attempts last season, but displayed good mobility on 14 carries, rushing for 167 yards. Pick took a step forward for the job when he completed 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and two scores in the spring game.
Fantasy Impact: Wait and see. Pick’s mobility could be a huge boost to his fantasy value, but his arm is still a question mark. Consider Pick a solid backup in Big 12-only leagues and a QB4 or QB5 in 120 formats.
The Contenders: Carson Coffman (SR), Collin Klein (SO), Billy Cosh (FR), Sammuel Lamur (JR)
Leader: Coffman – Coffman has starred in Kansas State’s last two spring games, completing 63 of 87 passes for 774 yards and 10 scores. However, fantasy leagues and real games certainly aren’t won from spring performances. The senior didn’t play particularly well last season, but is the most experienced candidate.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Klein and Lamur bring the most athleticism to the position – something the Wildcats want to incorporate into the offense. Expect Coffman to begin the year as the starter, but Klein and Lamur may end up getting a shot to play at some point this season.
The Contenders: Zac Lee (SR), Cody Green (SO), Taylor Martinez (FR), Kody Spano (SO), Latravis Washington (SR)
Leader: Lee – An elbow injury hindered Lee throughout 2009 and the senior had surgery to correct the issue before spring practice. The surgery prevented Lee from participating in spring practice, which allowed Martinez and Green to close the gap heading into the fall.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Nebraska will be better on offense this year, but it could come as a result of a couple of quarterbacks. Green probably has the best talent, but Martinez might be the best running threat, while Lee brings the most experience. Avoid this spot unless you are in a Big 12-only league.
The Contenders: Tate Forcier (SO), Denard Robinson (SO), Devin Gardner (FR)
Leader: Forcier – There were moments last season when Forcier clearly looked like a difference maker at this position. However, a shoulder injury limited his effectiveness in the second half of last season and Robinson closed the gap in the spring.
Fantasy Impact: High. If Forcier or Robinson can settle into the starting job, the winner should be a top 30-50 fantasy quarterback. Gardner is definitely one to keep in mind for keeper leagues, but owners in redraft formats should target Forcier.
The Contenders: Adam Weber (SR), MarQueis Gray (SO)
Leader: Weber – The senior has started for three consecutive seasons, but has regressed since a stellar freshman year. Even if Weber doesn’t produce huge numbers, he cannot have another season with 15 interceptions and a 52.0 completion rate.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Minnesota coach Tim Brewster anointed Weber as the starter exiting spring practice, but Gray is too much of a weapon to keep off the field. Expect Gray to see limited work in certain packages and if Weber struggles, he will get an extended look as the starter. New coordinator Jeff Horton has simplified the offense, which should help Weber’s productivity in 2010, but not enough to warrant fantasy consideration in 120 leagues.
The Contenders: Kevin Newsome (SO), Paul Jones (FR), Robert Bolden (FR), Matt McGloin (SO)
Leader: Newsome – Newsome ranked as the No. 72 prospect in the 2009 Athlon Consensus 100 and played sparingly last season, throwing for 66 yards and rushing for 95 and two scores. Although Newsome was the clear backup to Daryll Clark last year, the sophomore failed to put his stamp on the starting job in the spring.
Fantasy Impact: High. Newsome could earn 500-600 rushing yards if he is the starter. However, Jones had a strong finish to spring practice and could figure into the mix this year. Consider Newsome the frontrunner and the sophomore has a ton of upside.
The Contenders: Steven Threet (JR), Brock Osweiler (SO), Samson Szakacsy (JR)
Leader: Threet/Osweiler – After finishing 91st in scoring offense last season, Arizona State is hoping a change in philosophy spices things up in 2010. The Sun Devils hired well-traveled Noel Mazzone as coordinator and he’ll look to upgrade an offense that was average last season. Mazzone is implementing a no-huddle offense, which is intriguing from a fantasy perspective.
Fantasy Impact: Wait and see. Arizona State still has concerns about the offensive line, the receivers and finding a stable signal-caller. Osweiler or Threet are capable, but neither capitalized on the job in spring practice. With the new offensive scheme, keep a close watch on this battle.
The Contenders: Darron Thomas (SO), Nate Costa (SR)
Leader: Costa – Three knee surgeries have limited Costa’s mobility, but the senior remains a solid quarterback and a good leader for this offense. Costa led Oregon to a 24-10 win over UCLA last season and has completed 25 of 38 passes for 270 yards and one score in his career. Thomas redshirted last year, after completing 16 of 33 passes for 268 yards and three scores in 2008.
Fantasy Impact: High. Thomas has a ton of upside and is a better runner than Costa. However, with an early season game against Tennessee, look for the Ducks to rely on the veteran for the first couple of weeks. Thomas is a great pick in keeper leagues, but exercise patience with his value in 120 leagues this year.
The Contenders: Morgan Newton (SO), Ryan Mossakowski (FR), Mike Hartline (SR)
Leader: Hartline – It seems Hartline is in a never-ending battle for the starting job at Kentucky. Although Hartline began last year as the starter, he suffered an injury in the fifth contest and played in only one more game the rest of the way. Hartline has 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in his career, along with completing 56.7 percent of his passes. Newton assumed the starting role when Hartline was injured, finishing with 706 passing yards and six scores.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. If you are in an SEC-only league, Hartline will be selected as a backup, but owners in 120 leagues likely won’t look to Kentucky quarterbacks for value. Newton is one to watch as a keeper prospect for 2011.
The Contenders: Nathan Stanley (SO), Raymond Cotton (FR), Randall Mackey (FR)
Leader: Stanley – With only one starter back on offense, 2010 will be a rebuilding year for the Ole Miss offense. Stanley completed 11 of 23 passes for 163 yards and one score in a backup role last season and asserted himself as the starter in spring practice. Cotton suffered a shoulder injury in spring practice, but will be back to compete in the fall. Mackey, a junior college transfer, will get a shot to win the job in the fall, but could be a change of pace option in the Wild Rebel offense.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Mackey or Cotton have more fantasy upside, but the rebuilding effort around the quarterback will limit the value of any Ole Miss passer.
The Contenders: Chris Relf (JR), Tyler Russell (FR)
Leader: Relf – Relf was Mississippi State’s change of pace option at quarterback last season, rushing for 500 yards and two scores. Although Relf is a strong runner, he needs to progress as a passer for the offense to improve in 2010. The junior must hold off a challenge from highly-touted Tyler Russell, who redshirted last season.
Fantasy Impact: Wait and see. If Relf improves as a passer, the potential is certainly there for a solid fantasy season. However, coach Dan Mullen has indicated a two-quarterback system with Relf (the runner) and Russell (the passer) could be used. Owners in all formats should monitor this job closely, with Russell holding the most value in long-term leagues.
The Contenders: Matt Simms (JR), Tyler Bray (FR)
Leader: Simms – The son of 1987 Super Bowl MVP and NFL broadcaster Phil Simms, Matt Simms exited spring practice atop the depth chart. Simms saw limited time at Louisville, before transferring and spending one season at El Camino Community College. Bray enrolled in time to compete in spring practice and completed 18 of 40 passes for 200 yards and one score in the Orange and White Game.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal – Simms wasn’t particularly impressive in his stint at Louisville, and Bray needs more development before he can be considered a solid week-to-week fantasy option. Consider Bray for keeper leagues, but owners in 120 formats should steer away from Tennessee’s quarterbacks this season.
The Contenders: Larry Smith (JR), Jordan Rodgers (JR), Jared Funk (SR), Charlie Goro (FR)
Leader: Smith – Offense is a major concern for Vanderbilt heading into 2010, after finishing 112th in passing offense, 110th in total offense and 113th in scoring offense last season. Smith has good mobility and a strong arm, but topped 150 passing yards only twice last season. Jordan Rodgers has good bloodlines – brother of NFL signal-caller Aaron Rodgers – and led Butte College to an undefeated season in 2008.
Fantasy Impact: Minimal. Expect Vanderbilt to be better on offense this season, but the winner of the quarterback battle won’t have much value in 120 leagues.
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