Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at the Pac-10 quarterbacks.
Pac-10 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. Jake Locker, Washington (SR) – Bye Weeks – 4, 12
The future first-round draft pick is back for his final season in college and his second under quarterback guru Steve Sarkisian. Locker took major strides in his passing development a year ago and should be equally as productive if not better. He still offers some dual-threat ability, finishing last season with 388 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. With the league’s best receiving corps, Locker becomes a must start in every league format.
Athlon’s Take: Locker is the best bet in the Pac-10 and could actually out-perform his draft status in most 120 leagues as well. The talent around him, his experience, talent level and coaching staff makes him a great value in the 3-5 round range.
2009 Stats: 230.58 fantasy points
Passing: 2,800 yds, 21 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: 388 rush yds, 7 TD
2. Matt Barkley, USC (SO) – Bye Week - 8
Few players have ever entered college as ready to succeed on and off the field as Barkley did a year ago. A 9-3 record — including a road come-from-behind win over Ohio State — later, and Barkley is poised for fantasy stardom. The tall, strong-armed passer is the complete package at quarterback. Of course, having a depth chart loaded with elite recruits at every position doesn’t hurt either.
Athlon’s Take: This kid’s ability is painfully obvious. He will be the next in a long line of great fantasy options from Heritage Hall. With studs at wideout and running back, as well as offensive line, Barkley could easily eclipse the 3,000-yard, 30-TD mark.
2009 stats: 137.64 fantasy points
Passing: 2,735 yds, 15 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: (-38) rush yds, 2 TD
3. Andrew Luck, Stanford (SO) – Bye Week – 7
This tall Texan has all the skills and talent to be a first round pick after only two years of college play. Of course, it also helps having the conference’s best offensive line and a quality tandem of receivers. Luck nearly threw for 2,600 yards as a freshman, so a big jump in production could be expected now that he is the focus of the offense rather than Toby Gerhart. He also offers some sneaky athleticism as the 354 rushing yards indicate.
Athlon’s Take: Luck has rare talent, strong arm, a great line and now plays the lead role in what was the Pac-10’s No. 1 offense a season ago. Replacing Gerhart won’t be easy, but the talent is there for Jim Harbaugh to produce another big season on offense.
2009 stats: 202.0 fantasy points
Passing: 2,575 yds, 13 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: 354 rush yds, 2 TD
4. Nick Foles, Arizona – Bye Weeks – 5, 12
In only 10 starts last year, Foles posted adequate fantasy stats. He beat out Matt Scott for the starting gig, and although he is the No. 1, he could actually lose some time to the more mobile dual-threat in certain offensive packages. Foles has improved his overall technique and at times last season, was fantasy gold — he threw for nearly 800 yards and four scores in back-to-back games against Washington and Stanford shortly after taking the job.
Athlon’s Take: Foles will be hurt by the loss of offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes. He also needs to be more consistent — see the Nebraska, Arizona State and Washington State games. He is a middle of the pack QB3/spot starter for 120-leagues until he can prove to be a week-in, week-out producer.
2009 stats: 162.72 fantasy points
Passing: 2,575 yds, 13 TD, 4 INTs
Rushing: 354 rush yds, 2 TDs
5. Nate Costa, Oregon (SR) – Bye Weeks – 7, 12
Anyone who plays quarterback for the high powered Chip Kelly offense will worth a look in any fantasy format. Costa entered college as a highly touted dual-threat but has since dealt three knee surgeries and will be more of a pocket passer should he keep the starting job all season. He has plenty of weapons around him and has spent four years working in the system — albeit mostly on the practice field.
Athlon’s Take: Costa will likely begin the season as the starter, but should he struggle, Darron Thomas is waiting in the wings. Costa offers less upside than Thomas as well as less mobility, but is a more mature player and will likely make better decisions with the football. Costa is a risky pick, but should he keep the job all season, he could easily out-perform his draft status.
2009 stats: 24.48 fantasy points
Passing: 197 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 18 rush yds, 1 TD
6. Kevin Riley, Cal (SR) – Bye Week – 5
It is tough to pin down exactly what Riley is at quarterback. His sophomore season saw him get replaced by Nate Longshore for a few games and struggled at times a season ago as well. However, he is respectable 15-8 as the starter and managed to post decent numbers last year with little help around him. There is little experience behind him, so Riley’s third season as the starter figures to be his best.
Athlon’s Take: Cal has not had a go-to receiver since the loss of DeSean Jackson. Riley and the Bears will need to find some dependable targets if they expect to be more productive this fall. His yardage totals should once again be respectable, but to be considered a weekly fantasy option, Riley needs to produce more scores — he had nine games of one TD or less last season.
2009 stats: 173.64 fantasy points
Passing: 2,850 yds, 18 TDs, 8 INTs
Rushing: 51 rush yds, 1 TD
7. Kevin Prince, UCLA (SO) – Bye Weeks – 7, 12
The most important Bruin of the 2010 season will be Prince. The forgotten sophomore of the Pac-10 (Barkley, Luck) experienced plenty of growing pains in his first year in college but managed to top the 2,000-yard mark — with three 300-yard efforts.
Athlon’s Take: Prince was young and inexperienced last season so his numbers should improve in 2010. The Bruins have also recruited very well recently, so his skill players should be getting better. However, until this offense proves it can be consistently productive, Prince is a Pac-10 only option.
2009 stats: 120.46 fantasy points
Passing: 2,050 yds, 8 TDs, 8 INTs
Rushing: 179 rush yds, 1 TD
8. Ryan Katz, Oregon State (SO) – Bye Weeks – 2, 8
A year ago, Sean Canfield proved to be an underrated fantasy option for the Beavers. With a deep well of talented skill players returning, Katz has a solid chance to post numbers similar to Canfield’s. If he does, Beaver fans — and fantasy owners alike — will be extremely happy.
Athlon’s Take: If Katz secures the job and starts every game, he has a shot at nearing the totals posted last season by Canfield — roughly 2,800 yards and 20 TDs. The ground game is outstanding and the pass catchers are talented, so the pieces are in place for Katz to succeed in 2010.
2009 stats: 8.04 fantasy points
Passing: 232 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: 27 rush yds, 2 TDs
9. Steven Threet, Arizona State (JR) – Bye Week – 7, 12
The Michigan transfer won a coin toss to run the first team offense in spring and it appears he performed well enough to be the front runner entering the summer. Threet never fit in the RichRod spread but he was a highly touted pocket passer coming out of high school (so he has ability). The new no-huddle passing attack is an unknown currently but has plenty of potential for higher scoring than the 22.3 ppg ASU averaged last season.
Athlon’s Take: Threet is an intriguing case study of offensive scheme change. He could be playing in an offense that takes 20-30 more snaps per game than the average offensive unit. If this is the case, he should have plenty of opportunity to post big passing numbers. If the personnel doesn’t fit the scheme, however, it could be another long season in Tempe.
2009 Stats: none
10. Jeff Tuel, Washington State (SO) – Bye Weeks – 12, 13
In only his freshman season, Tuel averaged just under 200 yards passing in the four full games he played (injuries). He also completed nearly 60-percent of his passes too, which is quite a statement for a Washington State team that has few bright spots heading into 2010. He has little help around him — Brandon Gibson isn’t walking through that door anytime soon.
Athlon’s Take: The one thing that is certain about Tuel: he will almost exclusively be playing from behind. This means plenty of pass attempts. Which is also his only route to fantasy relevancy — if he can stay healthy and start all 12 games that is.
2009 stats: 53.96 fantasy points
Passing: 789 yds, 6 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: (-28) rush yds
11. Darron Thomas, Oregon (SO)
12. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State (SO)
13. Mitch Mustain, USC (SR)
14. Richard Brehaut, UCLA (SO)
15. Matt Scott, Arizona (JR)
16. Beau Sweeney, Cal (SO)
17. Samson Szakacsy, Arizona State (JR)
18. Cody Vaz, Oregon State (FR)
19. Josh Nunes, Stanford (FR)
20. Nick Montana, Washington (FR)
21. Marshall Lobbestael, Washington State (JR)
22. Brock Mansion, Cal (JR)
23. Sean Mannion, Oregon State (FR)
24. Keith Price, Washington (FR)
25. Darius Bell, UCLA (SO)
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