Handicapping preseason NFL action is a lot like picking winners on the baseball diamond. So much of your wager is riding on one position. In MLB, it’s the starting pitcher. In the NFL preseason, it’s the quarterback – or should we say quarterbacks.
Finding teams with starting experience on the depth chart is key to cashing in during the preseason. Starting QBs may only see a handful of tosses through the first two tune-up games, leaving passing duties to the second, third and sometimes fourth-string pivot.
Here are four teams who hold their preseason betting value long after the No. 1 QB takes off his helmet:
QBs: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Dennis Dixon
New head coach Chip Kelly has been working out his platoon of passers this summer, trying to find which QB best suits his up-tempo offense. Vick and Foles split time as the No. 1 last year and there is a movement lobbying for Barkley to take over the offense. Dixon could actually slide into the No. 3 spot if the Eagles drop Vick or Foles following camp.
QBs: Andy Dalton, Josh Johnson, John Skelton, Zac Robinson
Dalton is maturing into one of the AFC’s best passers and has some experience behind him on the depth chart. Johnson has starts under his belt, going back to his days with Tampa Bay, and Skelton started 17 games in three years with Arizona. Robinson is currently out of action due to injury, so the preseason load could be spread amongst the top three QBs on the depth chart.
QBs: Russell Wilson, Brady Quinn, Tarvaris Jackson
Wilson’s sublime rookie campaign has the Seahawks looking to air it out a little more in 2013. However, Seattle may be without offseason addition WR Percy Harvin for the year and will use the preseason to fill that void in the WR corps. Quinn had 12 starts during this tenure in Cleveland and was the No. 1 for eight games in Kansas City last year. Jackson has 34 career starts, including 14 with Seattle in 2011.
QBs: Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum, Stephen McGee
Schaub passed for more than 4,000 yards, starting all 16 games for the Texans last year. Yates picked up starting stripes when Schaub got hurt in 2011, taking first-team snaps in five regular season games and two postseason performances. Keenum hasn’t seen any regular season action but has a stud passing pedigree, breaking records during this college days. McGee was buried on Dallas' depth chart for a few seasons but was actually impressive when he did get time under center.