Fantasy QBs: Who Can Keep Hot?
Of the top 10 QBs in fantasy points per game, seven are exactly the elite signal callers we would expect. Don't "sell high" on these guys -- they are who we thought they were, which is to say they're the seven guys you want most on your team.
The three guys we will examine further that are surprises to the QB top 10 are Kyle Orton, Michael Vick and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Who can keep hot?
Orton has been absolutely spectacular in 2010, averaging nearly 350 passing yards per game while topping 295 every time. He also has eight TDs (at least one in each game) versus three interceptions.
Part of Orton's stellar numbers have been a result of Knowshon Moreno's injury and the fact that Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter can't be combined to make one serviceable running back. Orton had two games (in Weeks 3 and 4) where he attempted at least 50 passes.
When Moreno comes back, Orton will start throwing less, but make no mistake: he's a QB1 moving forward. While he only needs to average 297 yards per game for the remainder of the year to break Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record of 5,084 -- again, he's thrown for no less than 295 in one game -- I don't think he'll make it there. Mark him down for about 4,700 yards, 28 TDs and 20 INTs by the end of the season.
Many thought Michael Vick deserved to be the Eagles' starter heading into the season, and a Week 1 injury to Kevin Kolb meant Vick would get his shot. In a little over two and a half games, Vick has piled up about 800 passing yards, almost 200 rushing yards, seven total TDs and no interceptions. Because of the excellent performance, he's the starter moving forward.
Unfortunately for Vick, a rib injury knocked him out of Week 4 after just seven pass attempts. After missing Week 5, Vick is no lock to be back for Week 6. Assuming he makes it back for Week 7's game against Tennessee, he'll have 10 remaining games on tap.
Extrapolating his stats over 2 1/2 games through the rest of the season, Vick is on pace for 4,000 passing yards, 900 rushing yards and 35 total TDs. He's definitely not hitting those marks, so if you can find someone willing to pay that kind of price for Vick, and you have another quality QB in reserve, I'd sell Vick to a QB-starved fantasy team. Expect a season-ending line of 3,200 passing yards, 700 rushing yards, 25 TDs and 10 INTs.
The Buffalo quarterback is probably the most surprising of any current fantasy QB1s, as like Vick, he was a backup entering the season. Unlike Vick, he doesn't have game-changing rushing ability (and don't let a 74-yard rushing game against the Patriots in Week 4 fool you).
In three games as the starter, Fitzpatrick has completed 61 percent of his passes, throwing for 595 yards and seven TDs while tossing just two INTs. He's also added 96 yards on 12 carries. Despite the nice numbers, the Buffalo Bills are now 0-5, and coach Chan Gailey must be contemplating another switch at QB to see if Brian Brohm could potentially be the long-term answer before Buffalo starts the search for a franchise QB.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding Fitzpatrick's role for the rest of the season, I'd treat him as a clear sell-high. He has multiple TDs in each of his three starts and no interceptions in either of his last two starts (and one of those was against the Jets). If someone is willing to pay a nice price for those stats, let them have Fitzpatrick.
At the beginning of the season, FanHouse had Orton ranked 26th among QBs and Vick 35th, while Fitzpatrick didn't make our top 40 (but likely would have appeared soon after at about No. 42). For the rest of the season, Orton and Vick both are top-10 options behind the elite seven of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and Matt Schaub. I'd put Orton at eight and Vick at nine. Fitzpatrick still belongs no higher than 20, making him a marginal QB2.