Biggest QB Sleeper

The balance of mediocre quarterbacks after the top five is on an equal level of a questionable outlook. Fantasy owners thinking that Carson Palmer is a major sleeper, have absolutely no prior strong indications to bank on that. Sure he is a young quarterback that should build upon his progression towards the end of last season, but there is no guaranteeing.

Joey Harrington put the same mind frame in a lot of fantasy owners heads a few years ago, when he had a decent season. A few years later he is now the quarterback that has sunk to the bottom of the crop, and faces a tug of war battle between Jeff Garcia. Everyone is counting him out, but the reality is that it is still Harrington’s job to lose. Jeff Garcia’s strengths of a Pro Bowl quarterback are not comparable to his days with the 49ers.

We saw him struggle to finish his last year with the 49ers with a nagging back injury, and last season he just didn’t adjust quick enough to the Browns system. The fact of the matter is that Steve Mauriucci and the Lions could be setting themselves up to look bad in the end.

As soon as Harrington has a consecutive streak of bad mistakes or horrible play he should be yanked for Garcia, but the key is “if”. Just last year we saw coaches get bench happy with quarterbacks way too early. In Miami the Dolphins didn’t even give Jay Fiedler a chance before he was benched for AJ Feeley, which was obviously not the right choice. Down in the desert, the same thing happened when Dennis Green benched Josh McCown when the Cardinals were 4-5. He brought in Shaun King who folded, and then third string John Navarre to try to prove a point. Both didn’t work and cost the Cardinals a serious shot at clinching a wild card or division title when the Rams and Seahawks couldn’t win a game for almost a month.

Whatever happened to letting player’s develop, especially quarterbacks? Harrington has went through some extremely tough times, but he has improved every year since his rookie season. Since 2002, he has thrown 12, 17, and 19 touchdowns respectively, and his interceptions have even sloped back down from 16, 22, and 12 last season. On paper if you actually look at Garica and Harrington’s numbers over the last three seasons, you’d have to give the edge to Harrington.

Of course there are other factors that are hidden from stats, but facts do not lie. The mental aspect of the game still hasn’t clicked for Harrington, and when that happens he is going to be a top notch quarterback. Just look at how Drew Brees transformed in his fourth season last year. There just comes a time when a quarterback finally gets it, and Harrington shouldn’t be wrote off just yet.

Based on talent surrounding him, and job security thrown aside, Harrington would easily be a top ten quarterback. There aren’t many teams that can say they have a potential 1,500 yard running back, and four above average receivers (Roy Williams, Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, and Kevin Johnson).

With the worst expected from Harrington, there is nothing but upside for him. He should prove a lot of people wrong, and don’t expect to see Garcia on the field unless Harrington gets hurt. With Harrington being drafted as one of the last quarterbacks, he should prove to be a huge steal. There is no other quarterback being drafted so low that has the bonus potential of Harrington. It really is a non risk because if he doesn’t perform, a backup quarterback in a fantasy league is one of the easiest adjustment waiver pickups to make.


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