39-Year-Old Quarterback – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Marc Bulger in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Marc Bulger Contract Information:
Signed a one-year $3.8 million deal with the Ravens in June of 2010.
Despite having received some offers to continue playing, Bulger has elected to retire, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Marc Bulger: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Marc Bulger.
Though once considered a fantasy hotshot, Bulger was brought in to provide some veteran back up to Joe Flacco and nothing more. He could be a capable starter should something befall Flacco. Otherwise there is no indication that Bulger will see much of the field this year.
Heís had two bad years now in a row, but the new regime apparently believes in him as it passed up Mark Sanchez in the April draft, instead replacing Orlando Pace at left tackle with Baylor behemoth Jason Smith. Favorite target Torry Holt is also gone, leaving the Rams lacking at wide receiver. But the good news is that new head coach Steve Spagnuolo brought over Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator. Although it was Andy Reidís offense in Philly, Shurmur was QB coach there for seven years so you assume he shares Reidís pass-heavy offensive philosophy. The leftover targets are Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, who looked like they have the requisite talent to play in the league. Neither, though, profiles as a No. 1 receiver. Nor does Laurent Robinson, acquired from the Falcons. Bulger is slight and always an injury risk, as he does not avoid contact well enough. Yes, the Rams offensive line was poor and awfully banged up. But QBs have to take some responsibility when they get dumped once every 11.5 attempts like Bulger (for comparisonís sake, Drew Brees has been dumped once every 44 attempts the past two years). Bulger had just 72 attempts and 33 fantasy points in the red zone. His four TD passes from this area of the field was 35th, and worse than guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dan Orlovsky and Brian Griese. And if you figure heíll feast in garbage time with the Rams likely to be bad again, consider that he threw for only 282 yards (4.4 YPA) down 14 or more points with 18 minutes or less left in games in 2008. Thereís serious evidence of a decline in skills Ė 55 QB rating on throws 11-to-20 yards from scrimmage and 15.2-percent poor throws, about 50 percent higher than the most reliably accurate passers. You can take a flyer on Bulger as a backup only if you believe heís retained his skills, that the Eagles system will fly in St. Louis and that Spagnuolo will struggle in instituting a capable defensive unit despite an offseason devoted to fortifying it.
He really hurt his owners last year as injuries and ineffectiveness destroyed his season. We warned that he was a high injury risk but didnít discount that risk enough in our final rankings. Let's learn from that this year. In 2007, Bulger was dumped 37 times despite missing four games entirely and most of two others. In 2006, he was sacked 49 times. That's too much punishment for a QB as slight in stature as Bulger. However, new offensive coordinator Al Saunders is from the Joe Gibbs/Don Coryell coaching tree that emphasizes pass protection above all things. They will keep in as many men to block as are necessary. Saunders, though, has been a run-oriented play caller since leaving the Rams Ė first with the Chiefs and then with the Redskins. And he has a premium talent to work with in St. Louis in Steven Jackson. So expect the Rams to be more conservative than average on first downs, when they ran more then they threw in the first and second quarter even last year. Bulger's receiving corps is no longer a strength, either. Torry Holt is still a very good player but limited by lingering knee problems. At 31, his days as an elite player might be gone. Isaac Bruce is now with the 49ers, and Drew Bennett has good size, but aside from a four-game stretch in 2004, his resume is pretty thin. Second-round draft pick Donnie Avery has excellent speed, but he lacks bulk, and rookies usually donít make large impacts at receiver. Bulger still offers a little upside given that he plays on a fast track indoors on a team with a sloppy defense. But donít get nostalgic thinking about what was once the Greatest Show on Turf. Those days are gone. Given his considerable injury risk, Bulger is ideally a backup fantasy QB who you can flip after the big week that will surely come.
A healthy Bulger could very well be one of the top quarterbacks in the league this year. Just keep in mind that heís a bigger injury risk than most, with the history of shoulder trouble, slight stature compared to most QBs and unsound protection (49 sacks last year). Bulgerís coach Scott Linehan last year continued the fantasy-friendly playcalling trends he exhibited as offensive coordinator of the Vikings and Dolphins. You know about Bulgerís passing yards, which were third in the league. Throwing 56 percent of the time in the first half of games is also a plus. And Bulger earns his status as an elite fantasy QB in the playcalling splits near paydirt. The Rams threw the most inside the 10 last year, 57 percent of the time. Only two other teams were more than 50 percent (Bucs and Seahawks). Note that Linehan did the same thing when calling plays for the Dolphins in 2005. As a result, the Rams offense generated 18 relatively easy TD passes despite average efficiency on these passing plays. A healthy Bulger should again lead the NFL in these short TDs (last year he tied with Peyton Manning). We know that Bulger throws a pretty ball, but heís also near the top of our functional arm strength rankings, with a 98.9 rating on 11-to-20 yard throws. And 21 percent of Bulgerís throws were this distance, above average. The receiving corps is strong again, with Drew Bennett and Dante Hall imported during the offseason, joining Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, who is declining but still effective. The other plus with Bulger is the garbage-time production. Last year, the Rams threw 80 passes when trailing 14 points or more in the fourth quarter Ė second only to the Titans (81). Bulgerís efficiency on these passes was just average (about 6.0 yards per attempt), as prevent defenses are much more effective versus the pass than advertised. Still, unless your league counts picks, these passes amount to cheap fantasy points. Expect the Rams to give up about 24 points per game again in 2007, as they did not invest heavily in the defense either in free agency or the draft. They spent a second-round pick on Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard, who is expected to be a factor in the passing game, and their biggest free agent acquisitions were Bennett and ex-Miami tight end Randy McMichael, who flourished in Miami under Linehan.
With no Mike Martz, everything changes for Bulger. Was he a product of Martzí system and coaching, or is he really a quality NFL QB? Cautiously bet the latter if the opportunity presents itself in the late middle rounds of your draft. Bulger has three quality weapons, though weíd like to see the dynamic Kevin Curtis on the field every offensive snap. The prospects of that dimmed when Isaac Bruce was re-signed three days after being released. Bulger gets another offensive-minded head coach in Scott Linehan. Looking at Linehanís tendencies in Miami last year, you find the Dolphins were 16th in first-down pass percentage vs. a second-place finish for the Rams. But Linehan called the fourth-highest percentage of red-zone passes (just 13th overall for the Rams, who went more conservative after Bulgerís season-ending injury). Also on the plus side, Linehan allowed his QBs to get dumped 20 less times than the Rams less year; that increases Bulgerís chance of making it through the entire slate of games. Bulger averaged 7.82 YPA on first down. He had only 11 passes late and close last year, but 47 in í04 when he finished with a 111.7 QB rating on those attempts. Heís very accurate, with just 12.9 percent poor throws and has good-enough arm strength (84.3 rating on passes thrown 11-to-20 yards). Thereís a lot to like here, but donít discount the risk that his shoulder injury could be chronic and that he wonít adjust as well as expected to the new system. Again, at the bottom of this tier, you must quickly double up at QB.
While Bulger might never be Kurt Warner circa 2000, heís done pretty well considering heís never had an in-his-prime Marshall Faulk or Isaac Bruce. Bulger has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards in each of his two full seasons, despite playing just 15 and 14 games, respectively, and his 7.82 career YPA makes him the second-most productive per-pass active quarterback in the league (minimum 20 career starts). That is, unless you count sacks and interceptions. Bulger has thrown 36 picks in the last two seasons and taken 78 sacks, which explains why despite his ungodly per-play productivity and his idyllic home conditions, heís only thrown 43 touchdowns over that span. Itís hard to place all of the blame on Bulger, who often has little protection in coach Mike Martzís three- and four-receiver sets, and thereís no doubt that a number of those picks resulted from pressure that fell just short of a sack. Still, as long as Bulger can stay relatively healthy while absorbing the pounding, he should continue his big-yardage numbers and per-play averages. While Bruce might be aging, Torry Holt is at the top of his game and Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are emerging as downfield targets. Faulkís decline hurts a bit but he will contribute as the third-down back in '05, while Steven Jackson is more of a power back, but on the Ramsí speedy turf, Bulger has the accuracy and the timing to put up good numbers in Mike Martzís offense. Finally, while Bulger isnít much of a scrambler, Martz likes to call his number at the goal line for some strange reason, and as a result, Bulger has had seven rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons. In summary a 4,000-yard season and 25 TD passes seem in order for Bulger in 2005.
Bulger is going to be rightfully downgraded in many drafts because of his poor second half (10 TDs, 13 INTs). And that should be given considerable weight because there's not much of a sample size with Bulger to begin with. Closer examination reveals that Bulger was really awful in November, with 5 TDs against 11 INTS before rebounding slightly in December (though he played much more conservatively, averaging just over six yards per attempt that final month). The Rams are also a team in transition offensively. This is not the Greatest Show on Turf anymore. Marshall Faulk, so dangerous as a receiver and thus so useful to his quarterback, is in the throws of an obvious physical decline. Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt are a still-solid combo, with Holt firmly in his prime. But the pickings are slim after them. Also consider the poor job coach Mike Martz does in protecting Bulger. Martz is always hesitant to keep in extra blockers on passing plays. A look at last year's stats makes clear how Bulger is ill served by this reluctance. Bulger's effectiveness decreases with each additional wide receiver on the field (8.39 YPA with two WRs, 7.80 with three, 5.47 with four). Yet he threw the fewest passes (120) out of two-WR sets. When Martz gave Bulger two TEs (and thus at least one extra blocker in pass protection), he averaged 8.37 yards (on just 59 attempts). Sacrificing eligible receivers for pass protectors does not fit with the Martz' high-flying offensive philosophy. Unfortunately, neither does his current personnel. Either way, a season approaching that of Kurt Warner in his prime is completely out of the question.
The most intriguing backup QB on the 2003 draft board, Bulger could go off if Kurt Warner slumps or gets hurt.