August 31, 2009
Over the next five days, the Noise, much to the chagrin of controversial televangelists, right wing extremists and self-proclaimed Noiseophobes everywhere, will publicly profess his man-love for several unheralded fantasy performers he feels will greatly exceed their ADP this season. Singular lady and gentlemen, here is today's candidate on the Fourth Annual All-Mancrush Team:
Last season, Aaron Rodgers, then the supposedly brittle, unproven post-Favre leftover, was the apple of the Noise's eye. Tall, dark and, in terms of skill set, extraordinarily handsome, the missile-launching quarterback, who was drafted on average around pick 120, netted an enormous profit, finishing the season second only to Drew Brees in points per game at his position. The fantasy masses and scantily clad swimsuit models instantly fell head over heels.
This year, Matt Schaub could make a similar ascension.
Though more highly coveted in drafts than A-Rod was in '08, the Houston Texans signal caller is primed for a memorable campaign. The commander of an explosive offense featuring arguably the AFC's most talented and levelheaded receiver, Andre Johnson, Schaub has the tools and talent around him to launch into the upper-echelon of QBs.
A highly-accurate rhythm passer, he completed 66.1 percent of his attempts a season ago, the fourth-highest in the league. Due to Johnson's ladder-climbing abilities and Kyle Shannahan's aggressive play-calling, he also averaged an appreciable 8.0 yards per attempt, the same mark as Drew Brees. In 11 starts, he compiled a 21.0 fantasy points per game mark in standard formats, the seventh-best tally in virtual pigskin.
With every starter from the offensive line back, a formidable rushing attack spearheaded by '08 All-Mancrush member Steve Slaton and a spectacular group of pass-catching weapons, including Johnson, possession receiver Kevin Walter and All-Pro tight end Owen Daniels, the 28-year-old has all the elements in place to establish new benchmarks across-the-board. According to Schaub, the burgeoning chemistry with his receivers might be the most crticial component for his and the team's immediate success:
"We're much further along at this point in camp than in the past. It's just such a comfort to have the same guys around. When you have 11 guys in the huddle together for multiple years, you're going to get better as long as you keep focusing on the little things. It's time for us to get over the hump."
Ultimately, Schaub's breakthrough campaign will hinge on pass protection. Plagued by the injury imp throughout his entire career, he's missed 10 games since '07. If he can remain upright, fantasy owners will look back at his 73.30 ADP in utter astonishment.
The sixth-year QB admitted to Shutdown Corner last week, the one superhero power he would like to possess is the ability to fly. Based on his rather favorable situation, he just might emerge from the fantasy fray with an "S" scrawled across his chest.
Fearless Forecast (14 games): 272 passing yards per game, 24 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 79 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
QB All-Mancrush honorable mentions: Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan and Matt Hasselbeck
Who are you crushin' on at the QB position this season? Detail your mantasy below.
Image courtesy of Getty