This is the 16th in a series of opinionated fantasy football columns that will be posted daily in July and August, providing fantasy owners with some insights to consider as they prepare for their drafts. You can get an in-depth preview of the upcoming fantasy football season with the purchase of the Yahoo! Sports / Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Guide 2010, available now in newsstands and bookstores, or online at PFWstore.com.
We saw two sides of Mark Sanchez last season.
After playing poorly for much of his rookie year, he recovered late in the season and had a passable postseason performance, throwing four touchdown passes and two interceptions while averaging 22.6 pass attempts in three playoff games.
So what should fantasy managers expect from Sanchez in Year Two?
Probably more of what we saw in the playoffs and less of the tumultuous regular-season run, when he compiled a touchdown-interception ratio of 8-18 from Week 4-15.
Sanchez isn't going to become an elite quarterback in his second season. He won't be cracking the top 12 in fantasy quarterbacks even with the addition of WR Santonio Holmes — who will be suspended for the first four regular-season games — and a full offseason of practice with WR Braylon Edwards, who was acquired in October last year. Sanchez's quality supporting cast appears to be even better thanks to offseason moves, but he most likely will not produce at a level that warrants making him an every-week starter in most fantasy formats this year.
The Jets are still a team that will run the ball early and often. RB Shonn Greene is expected to take on more of a workhorse role in his second season, and LaDainian Tomlinson and rookie Joe McKnight are there to also chip in with carries.
Sanchez has said his surgically repaired knee, which was operated on in February, feels better than ever. He was able to participate at full strength in team drills during OTAs and will be ready for camp. Head coach Rex Ryan said no player he has been around worked harder than Sanchez did this offseason.
That's all great news for the team, but Sanchez's knee and his work ethic were not his biggest problem last season.
Poor decision making with the ball is what hindered him most.
He forced passes into traffic when he would have been better off throwing the ball out of bounds, and that led to turnovers.
It looked like he put those problems behind him in the playoffs, but that was a fairly small, albeit impressive, sample size from which to judge. He still has to prove he can be a reliable, productive player for a full regular season.
Fantasy owners in deep leagues should expect mild improvement from Sanchez and consider him as a backup or watch him on the waiver wire early in the season. If he develops into a quarterback worth starting every week in fantasy leagues, it won't be in 2010.
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