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Five-minute guide to quarterbacks

For those who don't have time to consume every word of the expansive Fantasy Football Preview, we'd like to present the SI.com 5-Minute Guide to Fantasy Football, in five parts. Think of it as a Reader's Digest approach to fantasy domination. And should you have any questions or comments, be sure to follow me on Twitter. Herewith, a quick glance at quarterbacks.

Jay Cutler, Bears

Remember the Cardinals game last year when Chicago fell behind 35-7 early -- thanks to five Kurt Warner TD passes -- but Cutler finished the day with 369 yards passing and three touchdowns? Well, that scenario could easily play out 6-8 times this year, especially if Mike Martz has carte blanche in blowout situations.

Kevin Kolb, Eagles

There's a reason why Philly upset the D-McNabb apple cart back in 2007 by grabbing Kolb in Round 2 of the NFL draft. Consequently, there's no reason why you should let Kolb slip past your QB-less squad in Round 7 of fantasy drafts. He's a lock for 550 pass attempts and 20 touchdowns.

Matthew Stafford, Lions

Stafford is the only rookie QB in NFL history to throw five touchdowns and five interceptions in separate single-game performances. That alone details the kid's immense potential ... for the 2011 season. Until then, fantasy owners will simply have to view Stafford as a priority QB2. Why the tempered expectations for our favorite man-crush? Of his 12 starts last year, Stafford threw for 0-1 TDs in 10 games. Enough said.

Joe Flacco, Ravens

Don't get discouraged by Flacco's expected slow start against the Jets and Bengals to kickoff the season. Consequently, don't be afraid to make a trade play for Flacco immediately after that two-game gauntlet. The reason: Flacco has easy-cheesy matchups with the Browns, Broncos, Patriots, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons, Panthers and Buccaneers from Weeks 3-12. Cha-ching!

Alex Smith, 49ers

How's this for weird? Smith registered one TD and 11 interceptions in his ridiculously futile 2005 rookie campaign and now, he could be a dark-horse candidate for fantasy MVP this season, provided Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn (and maybe even Glen Coffee) post stellar seasons.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks

Here's some alarming food for thought: Hasselbeck only had four multiple-TD games last year, along with four games of zero touchdowns. In '09, Hasselbeck never threw for 200-plus yards and posted a positive TD/INT ratio in consecutive weeks. On the road, Hasselbeck averaged only 180 yards passing with 1.25 TDs and two INTs. And for 2008 sake, Hasselbeck had just one 300-yard game. That's two seasons of fantasy irrelevance, people.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Assuming Big Ben doesn't plan any more trips to Milledgeville, Ga. in subsequent off-seasons -- or any small-college town in the South -- his presence on this list will likely be a one-shot deal. His 4- or 6-game suspension to start this season is a fantasy killer -- no matter how you slice it.

Jake Delhomme, Browns

I can't produce one tangible reason why Delhomme deserves a starting nod at this point in his career. But I can produce one positive thought for this mini-section: He has plenty of experience throwing to irrelevant receivers from the last two years (excluding Steve Smith) ... and should relate well to the Browns' forgettable lot of Chansi Stuckey, Syndric Steptoe, Brian Robiskie and Bobby Engram (minus Mohamed Massaquoi). Yikes!

Matt Cassel, Chiefs

How can Cassel possibly fail with Charlie Weis calling plays in Kansas City, and Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster wreaking havoc on offense? He has a realistic shot at 3,400 yards passing or 19 touchdowns. That glowing assessment notwithstanding, Cassel still has to debunk the notion of being a one-year wonder with the Patriots in 2008 (3,693 yards passing, 21 TDs).

Matt Moore, Panthers

In Carolina's final three games last year, Moore established himself as a reliable QB2 prospect (632 yards, 7 TDs) and demonstrated an excellent rapport with go-to wideout Steve Smith. The most damning thing about his fantasy potential has little to do with his passing skills: The Panthers possess the best 1-2 running punch in all of football, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

Josh Freeman, Buccaneers

Freeman has a legitimate shot at hitting the 250-yard mark in 6-8 games this fall, more than doubling last year's production in that realm. Of the bottom-rung starting quarterbacks, he possesses the greatest capacity to reach the top 20 by season's end.

• The first quarterback to throw five TDs in one game will be ... Peyton Manning vs. Kansas City (Week 5).

• Carolina's Matt Moore will score the first rushing touchdown among QBs for 2010.

Drew Brees will be the best sell-high QB right before standard trade deadlines (Week 12).

David Garrard will be the best buy-low QB option before the trade deadline.

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