Blaine Gabbert could be a solid fantasy football backup -- stop laughing....

      August 20, 2013 @ 15:28:12 PDT

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert
Not the bottom of the barrel

There's more short-term hope for Blaine Gabbert than most suggest.

Will I draft him? Not outside of leagues where taking three QBs is the norm. I'm marginally more inclined to make him my third, though, in those cavernous formats because of new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. The former University of Miami OC incorporates more free-flowing, intermediate-depth dissection than the Jacksonville Jaguars' last two vertically inclined directors.

Dirk Koetter, who now relishes working with Matt Ryan, has a productive plan but couldn't do much with a rookie QB surrounded by little offensive talent in 2011. Last year, former Cincinnati Bengals architect Bob Bratkowski, who helped enhance the downfield game of Chad Johnson back when he was relevant, tried to shoehorn a deep-leaning philosophy into the arm of Gabbert and Henne, two less-than-apt options.

Fisch's direction opens up more of the field for creative outlets to avoid turnovers. Ergo, Gabbert could take bigger advantage of after-the-catch beast Justin Blackmon (man, I wanna own him somewhere) upon his return from a four-game suspension. Cecil Shorts, if healthy, will continue opening up the field. Luke Joeckel's presence at RT may buy him more time, as well, on the strong side. A healthy Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) will push this offense further, too.

Note the tone: Might, could, may ... when you're spending pennies, you can live on such conditionals. In the totem of QB production, Gabbert isn't going to be a 1. But in the ever-volatile backup ranks, there's a better chance than ever that he'll offer fill-in value for at least a few weeks.

Gabbert should outperform Matt Flynn and Mark Sanchez, so that's ... something. Either way, don't label him as "nothing."

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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