Tough Week for Fantasy Quarterbacks

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Sure, Peyton Manning (29 points) and Tom Brady (22 points) were solid fantasy producers as they almost always are, but Week 1 of the 2010 NFL season was a tough one, both physically and production- wise for the quarterback position.

We started the season off with two of the league's premier quarterbacks tossing "duds" in the Thursday night season opener. Drew Brees, who averaged 18.66 fantasy points-per-game in 2009, could only manage 13 points in the Saints' 14-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, Brett Favre, who was a fantasy bargain in 2009 after averaging 17.13 ppg, was much worse, posting just eight fantasy points.

The trend continued on Sunday when the No.1 fantasy quarterback of last season couldn't crack the 200-yard mark against the Philadelphia Eagles defense. His Packers won the game, but Aaron Rodgers failed to earn his lofty RapidDraft ADP of 17.9 with his 19-for-31 for 188 yards, two TD, two interception performance.

Probably the most surprising quarterback statistics came from Houston's Matt Schaub, who barely threw for 100 yards in a win against division rival Indianapolis. Schaub and superstar fantasy receiver Andre Johnson hooked up just three times for 33 yards as they let rising star Arian Foster (231 rushing yards, three TDs) lead the team to victory.

Sunday night came to a close with another top-five fantasy quarterback disappointing owners as Tony Romo couldn't get the second touchdown pass or 300-yard passing bonus on the final drive. Though he did finish with a respectable 282 yards and one touchdown pass, the 15 fantasy points were below expectations for such a high draft choice.

One of my "sleeper" picks for 2010, Alex Smith, also disappointed as he completely fell apart in the season opener in Seattle. Throwing 45 times should have produced a lot better results than 225 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He'll certainly need to improve if he wants to keep his job and satisfy fantasy owners.

The physical beating that quarterbacks endure took its toll on three young "fantasy-worthy" quarterbacks - Kevin Kolb (ADP 81.3), Matthew Stafford (ADP 127) and Matt Moore (ADP 196).

There was a lot expected of Kolb this season after last season's two starts and the off-season trade of quarterback Donovan McNabb. Unfortunately, Kolb looked overmatched against the tough Green Bay defense and was just 5-for-10 for 24 yards before suffering a concussion while scrambling.

What's worse for Kolb's fantasy owners is that backup Michael Vick performed well in the relief role posting 21 fantasy points (16-for-24 for 175 yards one TD, 103 yards rushing) in less than three quarters of action. If you didn't handcuff the two on Draft Day, you could be in for a confusing few weeks as Kolb tries to return from the concussion. And beware, even when Kolb comes back, the Philadelphia offensive line looks like it's going to be a problem all season long.

Matthew Stafford owners won't have to deal with the confusion next Sunday, because the 2009 No.1 overall draft choice is likely to miss four-to-six weeks with a shoulder injury. We'll know more after a Monday MRI, but expect Shaun Hill to be the starter when the Lions face the Eagles next Sunday. I would hope that Stafford owners had another quality starter on their roster as it appears that he will be prone to a lot of injuries behind the porous Detroit Lions offensive line.

Moore also went down with an injury on Sunday (concussion) but was at least able to fly home with the team, indicating that the concussion wasn't too bad. At least not as bad as his performance, which was awful (14-for-33 for 182 yards, one TD, three interceptions). Perhaps rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen will have some fantasy value in 2010 after all.

There were a few bright spots on Sunday to go along with Manning and Brady, Jay Cutler (20 points) threw for 372 yards and only got picked off once and Carson Palmer (19 points) and the "new" Bengals passing game looked potent, but as a whole, the quarterback position struggled in Week 1.

Maybe Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel can pick up the pace on Monday night?

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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