Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at the ACC quarterbacks.
ACC Fantasy Quarterback Rankings and Profiles
Fantasy points based upon standard scoring system – passing touchdowns = 4 pts, rushing touchdowns = 6 pts, 25 passing yards = 1 point, 10 rush/receiving yards = 1 point, receptions = 0.5 points, 2 point conversions = 2 points
1. Joshua Nesbitt, Georgia Tech (SR) – Bye Week – 9
In the fantasy era of the running quarterback, it does not get much better than Nesbitt. The 1,730 rushing yards and 25 TDs over the last two seasons speaks for itself, but it is who he has excelled against that points to him maintaining his high level of production. In six games (two apiece) against Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech, Nesbitt has totaled 654 yards and 9 TDs.
Athlon’s Take:The stability of the offensive scheme should keep his rushing stats relatively constant but finishing second in the ACC in passing efficiency once again is unlikely as he will sorely miss deep threat Demaryius Thomas.
2009 Stats: 284.92 fantasy points
Passing: 1,701 yds, 10 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: 1,037 rush yds, 18 TD
2. Russell Wilson, NC State (JR) – Bye Week – 8
The top fantasy passer in the ACC a year ago is back for his third season under center. The Wolfpack returns a quality receiving corps, so finding open targets shouldn’t be an issue, but the offensive line needs to be largely rebuilt and the running backs will be inexperienced. Four times last season Wilson threw one touchdown or less while five games he threw four or more scores, so being more consistent will be key. Cutting down on the mistakes against the quality opponents — all 11 interceptions came in conference play — would only help as well.
Athlon’s Take: Wilson has all the talent in the world and will be playing from behind in many games. A repeat of last year’s numbers isn’t out of the question but his surrounding cast limits him from take any sort of step forward in production.
2009 Stats: 291.68 fantasy points
Passing: 3,027 yds, 31 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: 260 rush yds, 4 TD
3. Jacory Harris, Miami (JR) – Bye Week – 3
Leading the ACC in interceptions (17) offered the slender passer a primary focus this off-season: be more efficient with the ball. If Harris can cut down in the unforced errors, he has the makings of a fantasy star. With one of the nation’s best receiving corps returning, an actual uptick in both yards and touchdowns isn’t out of the question. Keeping him upright, of course, is another issue as the Canes ranked 100th nationally in sacks allowed a season ago (2.69 spg).
Athlon’s Take: If Harris can cut down on the mistakes and the offensive line play improves, the Miami quarterback has a chance to be an every week starter. Simply eliminating the interceptions and the sacks could push Harris into fantasy stardom.
2009 Stats: 207.56 fantasy points
Passing: 3,352 yds, 24 TD, 17 INT
Rushing: (-219) rush yds, TD
4. Christian Ponder, Florida State (SR) – Bye Week – 8
This senior might be the value pick of ACC fantasy quarterbacks this fall. Before injuring his shoulder against Clemson with four games to play, Ponder was averaging over 300 yards passing per game and might have eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark had he stayed healthy. For good measure, he has added 653 career yards and 6 TDs on the ground as well. The offensive line, running backs and receivers are all among the ACC’s best, so a return to his early 2009 form is all but certain.
Athlon’s Take: If he can return to full strength — which it appears will happen — then Ponder becomes one of the best draft day values in the nation. He has a quarterback guru as a head coach, an experienced offensive line and a plethora of talented skill players.
2009 Stats: 192.52 fantasy points
Passing: 2,717 yds, 14 TD, 7 INTs
Rushing: 179 rush yds, 2 TD
5. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (SR) – Bye Week – 9
A drastic improvement in efficiency (103.3 to 149.4 QB rating) saw Taylor go from a spot-starter in 2008 to a legit fantasy option in 2009. To be an every week starter in 120-leagues, however, he will need to post more complete stat lines. His rushing numbers of two years ago (738-7) combined with his passing stats of last year would warrant week-to-week consideration this fall. Otherwise, he a really good quarterback who’s game does not translate into fantasy victories.
Athlon’s Take: If Taylor can reach his potential both rushing and passing, he has the makings of an excellent spot starter in 120-leagues. He needs to continue his growth as a passer and having defenses focus on the stacked backfield of runners will help.
2009 Stats:196.08 fantasy points
Passing: 2,311 yds, 13 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: 370 rush yds, 5 TD
6. Kyle Parker, Clemson (SO) – Bye Week – 4
For better or worse, this Tiger offense is now Parker’s to control. Gone are C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford, so finding play-makers to get the ball too will be paramount early on. The ground game should be fine but there are major questions at wide receiver. Inconsistency was an issue last fall but he showed flashes of fantasy brilliance in key wins over Miami (326-3) and Florida State (242-4).
Athlon’s Take: The talent is obvious, but owners must remember he will only be a sophomore this fall, so there still might be some growing pains. The glaring issues at wide receiver hurts his value as well. Parker was selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft, which clouds his value for this season. Will he choose baseball or return to Clemson for his sophomore season?
2009 Stats: 182.36 fantasy points
Passing: 2,526 yds, 20 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: 135 rush yds, TD
7. Jamarr Robinson, Maryland (JR) – Bye Week – 6
Terps fans caught a glimpse of what 2010 should look like under center when Robinson filled in for the injured Chris Turner in the final four games of 2009. He will be less consistent through the air this fall but brings elite athletic ability to the position. Throwing 85 passes without an interception has Maryland fans excited as well.
Athlon’s Take: Robinson’s athletic ability makes him an intriguing option in ACC and BCS-only leagues but there are still major questions surrounding the coaching staff and ground game. Playing from behind in most games could help his value.
2009 Stats: 49.5 fantasy points
Passing: 459 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: 229 rush yds
8. Sean Renfree, Duke (SO) – Bye Week – 6
Taking over for the most prolific passer in school history would normally be a daunting task for an underclassman. But not Renfree. There were early rumblings that Renfree was pushing Thaddeus Lewis for playing time and was excellent — 68-percent passing and a come from behind win over Army — in limited duty last season. A torn ACL restricted his late season and spring practice playing time but all reports are he should be ready to go by fall.
Athlon’s Take: Renfree was good enough to play last season as only a freshman, and under the tutelage of David Cutcliffe, he should flourish in his first season as the starter. There will be tough, inconsistent outings but with a solid supporting cast, Renfree has some sneaky fantasy value this fall.
2009 Stats: 28.0 fantasy points
Passing: 330 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: (-12) rush yds
9. Dave Shinskie, Boston College (SO) – Bye Week – 3
For the first time since 2007, Boston College features a returning starter at quarterback — a 26-year-old sophomore. Shinskie did set freshman passing records for the Eagles last year but has to limit the turnovers. He is all but certain to be the starter but too many interceptions could force someone else into action.
Athlon’s Take: With one of the best offensive lines and running backs in the league, Shinskie will not be the focus of the offense. However, the ground game could open up some passing lanes for a player who is much older and more experienced than his sophomore moniker would indicate.
2009 Stats: 125.42 fantasy points
Passing: 2,049 yds, 15 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: (-74) rush yds, TD
10. T.J. Yates, North Carolina (SR) – Bye Week – 2
Yates struggled last season as the starter. He set career lows in passing efficiency and yards per game while throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. In fact, he totaled 33 interceptions in 2009 and 2007 (he only two full seasons) and will feel the heat from the highly touted Bryn Renner should he struggle early on.
Athlon’s Take: Yates, until he can prove otherwise, is not a fantasy option for anything other than an ACC-only league. He does have some nice receiving options but has turned the ball over way too much to be considered for any 120 leagues.
2009 Stats: 120.72 fantasy points
Passing: 2,136 yds, 14 TD, 15 INT
Rushing: (-66) rush yds, TD
11. Marc Verica, Virginia (SR)
12. Skyler Jones, Wake Forest (JR)
13. Tajh Boyd, Clemson (FR)
14. E.J. Manuel, Florida State (SO)
15. Bryn Renner, North Carolina (FR)
16. Mike Glennon, NC State (SO)
17. Brendan Cross, Wake Forest (FR)
18. Ted Stachitas, Wake Forest (SO)
19. Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech (SO)
20. Tanner Price, Wake Forest (FR)
21. Michael Marscovetra, Boston College (SO)
22. A.J. Highsmith, Miami (SO)
23. Brandon Connette, Duke (FR)
24. Michael Strauss, Virginia (FR)
25. Ross Metheny, Virginia (FR)
26. Danny O’Brien, Maryland (FR)
27. Chase Rettig, Boston College (FR)
28. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (FR)
29. Danny O’Brien, Maryland (FR)
30. Stephen Morris, Miami (FR)
31. Tyler Smith, Maryland (FR)
32. Sean Schroeder, Duke (FR)
33. David Sims, Georgia Tech (FR)
34. Ju-Ju Clayton, Virginia Tech (SO)
35. Michael Rocco, Virginia (FR)
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