Report: Warner could start in Arizona

Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/ Getty Images

Fantasy football fans rejoice!

According to published reports, the Arizona Cardinals could choose Kurt Warner as their starting quarterback.

Matt Leinart all but gave up the top spot on the depth chart Saturday night, as he completed one more pass to his teammates (4) than he did to the Oakland Raiders (3) in less than a half. He finished with a passer rating of 2.8 (no, that’s not a misprint) and looked like the mistake-prone quarterback who threw for two scores and four picks in five starts last season.

Now that he might be in a prominent role for coach Ken Whisenhunt, I think Warner could turn into a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In fact, he might be ranked as high as eighth ahead of Derek Anderson, Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb.

Despite five fewer starts, Warner was right there in terms of statistical production with Matt Hasselbeck and Carson Palmer. His 250 fantasy points were a mere 28 fewer than Hasselbeck and 24 fewer than Palmer.

Warner replaced an injured Leinart last season and produced enormous totals for owners. In 14 games (11 starts), the veteran finished with 3,417 passing yards and 28 total touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to finish in the top 10 in fantasy points on NFL.com among quarterbacks. Despite fivefewer starts, Warner was right there in terms of statistical production with Matt Hasselbeck and Carson Palmer. His 250 fantasy points were a mere 28 fewer than Hasselbeck and 24 fewer than Palmer.

If the former two-time NFL MVP is in fact at the helm of the offense, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin would both become far safer draft choices. Fitzgerald, who finished last season with 100 catches, 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns, would have a better chance to duplicate those totals. Boldin might not be content with the team or his contract, but he too would become more attractive in drafts.

Note: Whisenhunt hasn’t officially named Warner his starter. Until he does, I’m leaving Leinart as the more highly-ranked quarterback on NFL.com. And the Cardinals have refuted the story.

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