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Saturday, August 21, 2010
'Man 2 Man': Sanchez versus Stafford


The decision was pretty obvious when it came to the best quarterback in the 2009 draft. The Detroit Lions had their choice of any player, and they selected Matthew Stafford.

The New York Jets traded up to get Mark Sanchez fifth overall.

When it comes to fantasy football, however, the decision isn't so clear.

ESPN.com fantasy experts Tristan H. Cockcroft and AJ Mass debated the merits of drafting Stafford or Sanchez in your league. Neither quarterback should be your regular starter, but as a backup?

Cockcroft goes with Stafford: Sanchez's Jets ran 58.9 percent of the time in 2009, by far most in the league, and no matter how much of that was an attempt to protect the learning quarterback, it's clear this isn't an offense in which he's the focal point. Stafford's Lions, meanwhile, ran 39.4 percent of the time, and figure to again spend much of their games playing from behind. Another point in Stafford's favor: The Jets lack a receiving talent close to Calvin Johnson's equal.

Mass sides with Sanchez: the view that this is a running team is far from accurate. Shonn Greene will definitely get his share of touches, but the addition of LaDainian Tomlinson will give Mark Sanchez a target that will be utilized far more often than the 10 measly catches recorded by Thomas Jones last season. ... No, there isn't a Jets receiver who can provide as solid a downfield threat as Calvin Johnson -- not even close. But the Lions' supporting cast of Nate Burleson and Bryant Johnson is still a significant drop in talent from whichever of the Jets' receiving trio of Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Santonio Holmes you deem to be the weakest two options.