Four Downs: Stafford, V-Jax prove worth

Updated: September 18, 2011, 10:58 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I had Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ranked eighth among quarterbacks for Week 2, similar to my colleagues, so I can't profess at being too surprised he carved up the lowly Kansas City Chiefs for 294 passing yards and four touchdowns Sunday. Stafford certainly showed signs of being a legitimate fantasy option last season, his second in the NFL, when he threw four touchdown passes against the Washington Redskins in Week 8, then produced three touchdowns (one rushing) the following week against the mighty New York Jets.

Of course, that Week 9 game against the Jets was also the last time we saw Stafford; he injured his throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter and didn't play again the rest of the season. Stafford's season also ended prematurely as a struggling rookie. That's basically my concern with Stafford, the durability, because it's not his ability. This guy was the first overall draft pick in 2009, which in itself isn't important -- other top picks have failed -- but I think the fellow has serious game. But the injury history is why I can justify ranking him in the top 10 for a given week, in a beautiful matchup when he's healthy, but not for the season. Who knows how many games he ends up starting?