Fantasy owners across the country are preparing for another electrifying season of fantasy football. This week GWR takes a look at the fantasy value of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Fantasy football leagues are beginning to prop up and football fanatics are now planning the selections that they are going to make come draft day. Perhaps no position is more crucial to a team's success than that of the quarterback. Despite producing less fantasy points in key categories than running backs or wide receivers, the quarterback still has a profound impact on whether or not a team can pull out through with a win. In the spirit of the upcoming fantasy season, the Green and White Report takes a closer look at Jets starting QB, Mark Sanchez, and what prospective fantasy owners can expect by drafting the young gunslinger.
In terms of fantasy statistics, Sanchez is coming off of his most productive year. The 2011 season saw No. 6 put up career-highs in touchdown passes, completions, completion percentage, and passing yards. His fantasy numbers added up to a grand total of 227 points, ranking him in the top 10 of last year's quarterbacks. What makes his numbers even more impressive is the fact that the Jets folded at the end of the regular season. After starting the season with its usual game-winning performances, the Green-and-White went on a three game slide to close out the season. Sanchez played poorly in the final two, chucking the ball into the air over 50 times with two picks in Week 16 and adding another three interceptions in a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Dolphins the following week. Sanchez will look to decrease his interception total this year, especially with newly acquired Tim Tebow waiting in the wings.
Sanchez is constantly scrutinized by critics as being one of the bottom tier starting quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL. However, despite some poor decision making on the field, the USC standout just came off of his best year as a fantasy producer. If the trend continues, his production will only increase this year. Sanchez is definitely better than the bottom half of the NFL's starting quarterbacks, and should be ranked between the No.11- No .15 range. He's not Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees, but he is also a far cry from Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannenhill, and Matt Hasselbeck.
Sanchez's numbers will steadily increase but will not be astronomically higher than they were last year. There are a number of reasons why his numbers will rise. First, Sanchez has a positive trend in his NFL career in passing yards and passing touchdowns. His numbers have increased every year since he came into the league and I believe and there is no reason to think that this trend will not continue. Secondly, the Jets strength of schedule is pretty weak in comparison to many teams. Playing teams with losing records in 2011 can only help a player's numbers pending they can perform to the level that they are capable of. Lastly, Sanchez knows that this is sink or swim time. Either he performs or he is replaced. The only negative impact that Sanchez might encounter is the recommitment to the run game. This offensive strategy could hurt him by taking away some of his drop-backs but it could also help him by making the Jets less one-dimensional offensively.