This new series will examine the fantasy football status of key players returning from injuries… See the entire series HERE.

By: Glen Levy, FFSpin.com and FantasyFootballCrystalBall.com  Contributor.

 

The Injury

Cassel suffered a fractured right throwing hand in the week 10 game against Denver and was lost for the season. He’s apparently looked impressive in camp but remains nothing more than a lower end QB2 in what figures to be a run heavy offense under new OC Brian Daboll.

Coming off an impressive 2010 season that included 27 TDs and just 7 INTs, Cassel resorted back to his mediocre self last season posting a 10:9 TD-to-INT ratio while averaging just 190 passing yards per game. Owed close to $22 million over the next three seasons, the 30 year old signal caller will likely need to show improvement in order to avoid being a cap casualty after the season.  With just Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi behind him, Cassel should remain the starter barring injury in 2012.

Career Stats: Final column is Fantasy Points Per Game (FPG) based on standard scoring.

YearTeamGCompAttComp %YdsYPG300+TDIntFPG
AVG. (2008-2011)1425543259%2,8622062191112.7
2005NE3132454%183610214.8
2006NE65863%325.30000.2
2007NE64757%386.30010.1
2008NE1632751663%3,6932313211113.8
2009KC1527149355%2,9241951161611.0
2010KC1526245058%3,116208227715.0
2011KC916026960%1,713190010911.1

Other Expert Opinions

Mike Clay at PFF Fantasy ranks Matt Cassel at #26 among QBs heading into 2012.  He projects 197 fantasy points which puts him 72 points out of the top 12.

WalterFootball.com is of the opinion that the 27 to 7 TD to INT ration of 2010 was a mirage for Cassel.  They too have him ranked at 26 on their 2012 QB Rankings.

CBS likes Cassel as a back up that you can late and maybe even a bye-week replacement you can pluck off the waiver wire.

FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN

Even though the injury tone was set early on in training camp by for the Chiefs, Matt Cassel didn’t seem to get the memo until November, when he joined Tony Moeki, Eric Berry, and Jamal Charles on the IR, with a fractured right hand.  After Cassel (and the Chiefs) surprised the football world by winning the AFC West in 2010, big things were predicted, but expectations were not met. Injuries coupled with regression by players and coaches conspired to take the wind out of the Kansas City locker room.

Much has been made about Cassel since he took over for Tom Brady back in 2008 yet it seems he must prove himself yearly, maybe even weekly.  After an NFL career that has been full of ups and downs, 2012 just might be a make or break year for the Cassel who could see himself replaced if he disappoints. Questions abound regarding the Chiefs signal caller; is it the quarterback that threw for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2010, or is it the quarterback that had only 16 touchdowns to match 16 interceptions in 2009?  Unfortunately, it’s not too hard to figure out.

This leads us to discuss what seems to be the most interesting view of Matt Cassel. Since becoming a full time starter in 2008, his record for even years is 20-10; he has a TD-INT ratio of 48-18, and averages more than 3,300 yards passing. His record in odd number years is 8-19, has a ratio of 26-25, and averages 2300 yards passing.  That, my friends, is inconsistency incarnate.

Tony Moeki and Jamaal Charles join Cassel in returning from injuries but only Jamaal Charles is generating real excitement.  The Chiefs have added a proven pile moving bruiser in Peyton Hillis and the plan appears to be to run, run, run, and there is nothing friendlier for an inconsistent quarterback than a hard pounding, successful running game, but where does that leave him in fantasy football terms?

Cassel is a low-end QB2.  Even if he performs at his best the Chief’s offensive simply will not yield a QB1.  His top receiver, Dwayne Bowe, is what we refer to as a jackass around here and while he’ll have a strong running game, an emerging talent at the other starting wide receiver position and a talented TE returning from injury Cassel has a low ceiling.  He may still be a winning QB in reality but in fantasy he’s almost irrelevant.

 

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