Putting on the Fitz


By Zack Cimini


Fox Sports use to have a show called, Beyond the Glory. An interesting documentary that told the stories of how athletes rose to their acclaimed status. In the NFL, quarterbacks are usually known names expected to produce. Once in awhile though you will have the diamonds in the rough found. Kurt Warner is probably the last unknown to produce for a long duration of his career.

Is Ryan Fitzpatrick next?

By now everyone knows a little bit about Fitzpatrick’s past. An unheralded quarterback from Gilbert Highland High, that only had two scholarship offers. He went to Harvard became a 7th round pick, and instead of becoming a casualty like most late round quarterbacks, Fitzpatrick became the St. Louis Rams backup quarterback.

Injuries to Marc Bulger allowed Fitzpatrick to get on the field as a rookie. He shined in his first game action against Houston, leading a comeback win with three touchdown passes. His other starts that year displayed that Fitzpatrick was a rookie. It looked like a typical spotlight duty that came and went for Fitzpatrick.

When he became a free agent and landed on Cincinnati, it appeared he would be buried behind Carson Palmer. Again, the starter went down and Fitzpatrick got his opportunity to shine for a high amount of games. It was enough to attract teams interest for Fitzpatrick to be a solid backup quarterback.

Buffalo landed him, and after a couple seasons back and forth with Trent Edwards, Fitzpatrick finally surged past Edwards in 2010. Fitzpatrick has been more than a game manager for the Bills. He darts balls left and right, which has resulted in streaky stretches for Fitz. When his accuracy is on, Fitzpatrick has been a top ten fantasy quarterback. When he is off he makes owners dread the decision on drafting him.

He is sort of similar to Eli Manning in the fantasy realm. He has enough upside to want to start him, but his turnover issues make it problematic to insert him on a weekly basis. Overall though Fitzpatrick has thrown for solid yardage totals and around twenty four touchdowns each of the past two seasons.

When Fitzpatrick began to struggle last season after an impressive six games to start, it appeared that Fitzpatrick may have had the pressure of a new contract on his mind. Buffalo negotiated and sealed a big contract with Fitzpatrick, but instead of his play rising it started to get rougher. He did lose Fred Jackson, and had done as well as he could with a team of receivers unknown besides Stevie Johnson.

Yet it was not assurring enough and made Buffalo have to consider a backup that could become a starter. So in comes Vince Young. Will the Bills go back to the Doug Johnson/Doug Flute, Losman/Bledsoe and Fitzpatrick/Edwards quarterback brewing controversy? Come on it’s Buffalo, of course they will.

From a fantasy perspective based on last year, Fitzpatrick has to be considered a number two fantasy quarterback. Pressure is on him to produce, especially with the offseason additions the Bills have made. He is a streaky performer, so there is no doubt his value be higher certain weeks than others.

A quality that you will not find from most fantasy quarterbacks, as they usually perform fairly close to their quarterback ranking. Fitz on the other hand could have a top five or top ten performance any given week. It’s holding up for a full season that is worrisome.


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