By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on July 16, 2014
It is almost time to start your fantasy league, and the biggest question that everyone has to answer is when to draft a quarterback. Do you take one of the elites like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, or do you wait and stockpile other positions? If you do choose the latter as your strategy, here are five late-round quarterbacks who will be solid fantasy starters this season.
Ben Roethlisberger is going to be one of the last quarterbacks drafted even though he finished as a top-10 quarterback last season. He has several new targets in rookie Martavis Bryant, second-year player Markus Wheaton and free agent Lance Moore. The only question about Roethlisberger has to do with his suspect offensive line.
In his first season as a starter in Arizona, Carson Palmer reverted back to the Palmer of old, throwing for 4,274 yards and 24 touchdowns. He did this even with an average running game and no consistent tight end to throw to. The Arizona offense around Palmer has greatly improved with Andre Ellington taking over at running back, the arrival of Ted Ginn Jr., and the draft selection of TE Troy Niklas.
Philip Rivers had an incredible bounce-back 2013 season, which will give fantasy owners something to look forward to heading into this year. His six games with three or more touchdown passes made him a high-reward player, and he was also incredibly consistent, throwing at least one touchdown pass in every game. The departure of former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will hurt Rivers somewhat, but he has produced without him before.
Tony Romo underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc this past December, but is expected to be 100 percent by the start of training camp. With the Cowboys hiring Scott Linehan, who helped develop Detroit's Matthew Stafford, Romo's attempts and production should dramatically increase this year. He has topped 4,000 yards passing in four of his eight seasons as a starter.
Andy Dalton set career-highs in passing yards (4296) and TDs (33) last season, and has improved his statistics in each of the last two seasons. With big-play weapons around him in A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard, Dalton has an excellent set of receivers that he can target. But given new OC Hue Jackson's emphasis on the running game, Dalton's numbers could drop a little. However, it's not enough to completely ignore him.
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