August 24, 2008
More importantly, he needs to give pal Nick Lachey a call. Because we all know how soothing Lachey's angelic voice can be.
After an abysmal 4-for-12, 24-yard, three interception showing Saturday against Oakland, the former USC golden boy has reportedly ceded Arizona's starting gig to ageless wonder Kurt Warner. If the speculation is true, it would contradict Ken Whisenhunt's loose post-game endorsement that, despite Leinart's Rex Grossman-like effort, the third-year QB is still his No. 1. Per the Associated Press:
"It wasn't all Matt. I was pleased with the response of our team, the way we responded. Just based on what Matt's done this spring, what he's done this camp, tonight doesn't negate any of that...I know Matt's down because he didn't play as well as he would have liked," Whisenhunt said. "This competition, being pushed by Kurt, has made Matt tougher. It's one of the things you have to be as a quarterback."
For those that have already drafted, Warner, owned in a mere 38 percent of Y! leagues, is someone to acquire promptly via free agency. Assuming the rumors are true, those still waiting to construct teams need to rocket him up draft boards.
At 37, the former Super Bowl MVP is undeniably the John McCain of NFL quarterbacks, but he still delivers a crisp, accurate ball, especially on short-to-intermediate pass plays. With arguably the most talented receiver tandem in the league - Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin - as his primary targets, he could easily yield a top ten return.
Recall that last year after Warner stepped behind center full-time Week 7, he sparkled. From that point on, the Sultan of Stubble averaged 280.8 passing yards and 2.3 touchdowns per week. And over the final five weeks, the most crucial time of the fantasy season, he tallied a stupid 25.6 fantasy points per game in standard leagues, the highest mark among signal callers.
Sure, durability and persistent fumble problems are concerns, but given the Cardinals' lethal aerial weapons, suspect defense and Warner's terrific skill set, he would be a mid-round oasis. Again assuming Whisenhunt formally changes the guard and Warner stays healthy, expect final totals around 258 YPG, 25-29 touchdowns and 18-21 interceptions.
Leinart owners in deep leagues (12-teams+) should wait for official confirmation, but those in shallower formats shouldn't hesitate to cut ties.
Image courtesy of AP
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