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How Rookie QBs may affect this fantasy season

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I feel like this year, more than in years past, there are many rookie signal callers who may start early in the season. Many of these players are currently behind established veterans on the depth chart. If these rookies eventually take over, it could seriously affect the value of the players around them. The likes of these include players such as Jake Locker in Tennessee, Christian Ponder in Minnesota, Blaine Gabbert

in Jacksonville and Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco.  One would tend to believe that a teams offensive production would decline, and the value of offensive skill position players such as wide receivers and tight ends, would suffer.

There are also several rookie quarterbacks who seem likely to start immediately. It appears that both Cam Newton and Andy Dalton have the inside track to the starter’s job in Carolina and Cincinnati, respectively. Consider the negativity displayed towards some of their players so far. A.J. Green would surely be a more touted fantasy asset with a veteran throwing him the ball. Steve Smith, who to be fair is coming off a very disappointing season, surely would have more people predicting a bounce back year, or at least a respectable season, were his passes not being thrown by Cam Newton.

Now imagine the kind of players who’s value could be hurt if rookies begin starting. How would Vernon Davis do with Kaepernick throwing him the ball? What about Kenny Britt, a risky pick already with a likely suspension coming, with Locker throwing to him? The same can be said for players like Mike Thomas and Marcedes Lewis in Jacksonville. This may be taking it a bit too far, but surely defenses could focus on Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson much more if they had a rookie behind center. It is not likely, but knowing the unpredictability of the Oakland Raiders, we could even see Terrelle Pyror behind center at some point this season.

For what it’s worth, it looks like Kaepernick and Locker are the least likely to see the field early, likely starting only late in the season if their teams are out of contention. While Gabbert and Ponder are behind solid if not spectacular veterans in David Garrard and Donovan McNabb, it seems those two rookies are more likely to take over early in the season should the veterans falter.

Obviously, this does not mean you should avoid players on teams with rookie quarterbacks who may start. It could turn out that barely any of the rookies see the field this year. However, the trend in the NFL recently is to start rookie quarterbacks earlier and earlier, so I would consider a safe bet that a majority of them, if not all, end up starting eventually. On the other hand, rookie quarterbacks could have a positive impact on the player’s around them. They may even bring help unknown players succeed, perhaps if they have developed a rapport working with the second team together.

It is just very important this season to monitor quarterback situations around the league. Take last season for example. When the Denver Broncos really started losing games and the season was out of reach, they benched Kyle Orton to see what they had in Tim Tebow. This destroyed Orton’s value, and negatively affected Brandon Lloyd’s as well. If one was paying close attention, you could have seen this coming and perhaps traded Orton or Lloyd when they’re value was still considered to be very high.

I’ve focused on 6 teams whose players could be negatively affected. This is not a quarter of the league, and the number of fantasy relevant players may well be an even smaller portion. However, you cannot take anything for granted. Any advantage you can seek out, any potential drops/increases in a players value that you feel you can predict and use to your advantage, you must pounce on. Watching the status of rookie quarterbacks this season is simply one example.

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