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QB Derek Anderson May Start Third Preseason Game | 2010 Fantasy Impact

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 23: Matt Leinart  of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on August 23, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Arizona, 24-10. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Every once in awhile some breaking news comes down the grape vine that echoes a possible changing of the guard in power. The Arizona Cardinals have been the top team in the NFC West and a solid fantasy friendly team for the past two season but with the retirement of Kurt Warner things were expected to change.

That change was thought to come from Matt Leinart finally getting the starting job and working himself into being the eventual leader of the Cardinals’ offense. Sure, Leinart has had his question marks in the past but fantasy owners and NFL fans had to believe he was the future at the quarterback position.

It’s not Arizona didn’t have chances to bring in a better option than Derek Anderson this offseason as Donovan McNabb was open for trade (has a house in Arizona) and Jimmy Clausen fell in the middle of the second round.

Throwing A Curveball

In the second week of the preseason Coach Ken Whisenhunt pulled Leinart early in favor of Anderson and much discussion came from this incident. While I was concerned about Leinart’s development, I never thought the Cardinals would seriously start week one with Anderson under center.

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 23: Coach Ken Wishenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals walks the sidelines during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on August 23, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Arizona, 24-10. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Turns out it may have started earlier than that as Anderson is the possible starter for the Cardinals third preseason game.

Coach Whisenhunt isn’t shy about having his players fight it out in competition and going with the best of the two players. If Anderson was lighting the world on fire and had a big game against the Titans last week I could understand this move.

However, Anderson wasn’t all that impressive and continued to display his inabilities outside of hooking up for one big play down the field.

NFL Impact

This is probably a knee jerk reaction on my part but if Anderson is indeed the starter for week three, you can forget about the Cardinals winning the NFC West this year. The 49ers have concerns at quarterback but at least most people in the 49ers organization like Alex Smith and want him to succeed.

Beyond that, Smith has displayed good leadership qualities in camp, and that is something that seems to be missing in Arizona. Anderson is definitely not the answer to the Cardinals’ problems, and it’s not like he’s much of a vocal leader in his own right.

This situation seems more like possible dysfunction from within the Cardinals, and I can only think that something must be seriously wrong with Leinart’s approach to the game for Whisenhunt to give up on him so soon.

Think about it, wouldn’t it make sense that if Leinart was giving a full effort in practice that his coaching staff would at least give him more than a few snaps as the starter this preseason?

Surly one can only speculate that Whisenhunt has either given up on Leinart or is seriously trying to drive a point home to him. My conclusion is that if Whisenhunt is still making a statement to Leinart, I can’t imagine this quarterback will ever receive what his Coach is trying to get across to him.

Fantasy Impact

I was already concerned for Larry Fitzgerald after he suffered the MCL sprain but now I seriously suggest you pass on drafting him this year in the first three rounds of your draft. Many fantasy owners love Fitzgerald but this just doesn’t look to be the season to get him with a high round pick.

Beyond the passing game issues, I’m growing concerned about Beanie Wells as a solid No.2 fantasy back. Wells has had a great offseason but if the Cardinals struggle mightily in the passing game it won’t help his chances to have weekly consistency for your squad.

If Leinart can’t win the starting job for week one, I suggest you drop all Cardinals down a few rounds on your boards and get them at a value.

More 2010 NFL Fantasy Football Player Rankings

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Kickers | Team Defense / ST

NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com

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