17. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 3,800 yards, 25 TDs, 14 INTs
Here he is, one of the highest paid QBs in league history all the way down at #17. The Ravens will still lean on Ray Rice and the running game, especially with Anquan Bolding being traded away for almost nothing.
18. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 3,600 passing yards, 30 TDs, 15 INTs
Cutler has the ability to blow up at any time for the Bears, so if you’re looking for a sleeper backup, pick this guy up. He’s gotta return to his Denver form at some point.
19. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 4,000 yards, 25 TDs, 15 INTs
Rivers absolutely stunk last season, and for the first time in a long time, it was probably a lot of his fault that cost the Chargers a shot at the division. Will we see a repeat in 2013?
20. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye 5)
Projected Stats: 3,500 yards, 24 TDs, 14 INTs
Freeman needs to step it up in a contract year. The Buccaneers drafted Mike Glennon in the third round to push Freeman, so we’ll see if he answers the call.
21. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (Bye 11)
Projected Stats: 3,800 yards, 23 TDs, 13 INTs
Bradford has some excellent young targets in the passing game, but the lack of a running game concerns me here. The loss of Steven Jackson could loom larger than most are thinking.
22. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye 12)
Projected Stats: 3,200 passing yards, 24 TDs, 16 INTs; 500 rushing yards, 5 TDs
The Eagles need Vick to stay healthy. If he can play in 14 or more games, they have a chance to return to the playoffs. I think he is a good option as a #2 QB but he could also be a huge bust.
23. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (Bye 9)
Projected Stats: 4,300 yards, 22 TDs, 16 INTs
Palmer can still air it out, and with Bruce Arians, he might even see a career resurgence with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd to throw the ball to. Not a bad #2 QB if you ask me.
24. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 3,500 yards, 25 TDs, 13 INTs
Schaub is not a terrible fantasy QB in a pinch, but you don’t want him as your weekly starter. The Texans run the ball far too much. He is mostly a between the 20s QB.
25. Jake Locker, Tennssee Titans (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 3,200 yards, 20 TDs, 14 INTs; 400 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Locker needs a breakout year for the Titans in 2013 if they plan on winning anything at all. He is a sleeper fantasy player, but maybe wait to pick him up as a free agent if he shows well early in the season.
26. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye 8)
Projected Stats: 3,300 yards, 22 TDs, 12 INTs
Smith isn’t flashy, and the Chiefs will be a run-first offense, but there are worse #2 QBs out there.
27. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns (Bye 10)
Projected Stats: 3,400 yards, 20 TDs, 15 INTs
Weeden isn’t overly favored by the new regime in Cleveland, and Josh Gordon was suspended. That doesn’t bode well for his fantasy prospects.
28. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (Bye 5)
Projected Stats: 3,400 yards, 21 TDs, 14 INTs
Ponder knows the offense in Minnesota runs through Adrian Peterson. If he doesn’t make mistakes, the Vikings are happy. He is going to need to break out as a passer to rise on this list.
29. Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders (Bye 7)
Projected Stats (if named starter): 2,800 passing yards, 20 TDs, 16 INTs; 500 rushing yards, 5 TDs
If Pryor is named the starter, he is worth keeping an eye on. I wouldn’t even rank Matt Flynn if he’s the starter, but Pryor’s running ability gives him fantasy upside.
30. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills (Bye 12)
Manuel has a chance to beat out Kevin Kolb as the starter for the Bills, and he should see flashes of brilliance in year one but don’t expect him to be a top fantasy QB immediately. If he starts, he is a guy to monitor closely.
31. Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets (Bye 10)
I really like Geno Smith, but I don’t like the Jets targets in the passing game and the distraction this team is right now. If named the starter, he should be a solid pickup by season’s end.
32. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye 9)
Gabbert isn’t a great option. Unless he has a breakout season in 2013, this could be his last go-round with the Jags.