39-Year-Old Quarterback – Indianapolis Colts
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Hasselbeck played just 13 snaps last season as Andrew Luck's backup and the Colts hope to similarly see him with a clipboard in 2014. At age 38, Hasselbeck has the experience to keep the offense above...
Matt Hasselbeck Contract Information:
Hasselbeck agreed to a two-year, $8-million contract with the Colts in March of 2013.
Hasselbeck was 2-of-5 for 68 yards and an interception in Sunday's loss to St. Louis. He got playing time late in the fourth quarter when the game became a blowout.
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|Passing||Pass Distance||Big Pass Games||Rushing||Fumbles|
|2014 Proj||38||IND||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Matt Hasselbeck|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Passing Stats||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
|2014 Proj||38||IND||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Matt Hasselbeck|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Passing||Pass Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Matt Hasselbeck: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Hasselbeck will offer some insurance if Andrew Luck gets hurt and provide a veteran mentor, but he may not make a start during his contract if all goes well.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Indy wasted little time in reaching out to Hasselbeck after the Titans cut the 37-year-old signal caller Monday. The Colts' starting job obviously belongs to Andrew Luck, but Hasselbeck will bring experience and veteran leadership to the bench.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)With the move, Jake Locker is currently backed up by Rusty Smith, with the Titans having met with former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to potentially fill the void created by Hasselbeck's departure. Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Hasselbeck figures to catch on elsewhere, likely in a backup/mentor role.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hasselbeck is expected to serve as Andrew Luck's backup.
Tennessee beat writers expressed confidence at press time that Hasselbeck would open the season as the starting quarterback for the Titans. He isn’t good enough at this point, though, to hold off Jake Locker for the entire season, or even a third of it. Hasselbeck will turn 37 on Sept. 25, and he was a major liability down the stretch last year, throwing nine touchdowns against 10 interceptions after Tennessee’s Week 6 bye. If the Titans do make Hasselbeck the Week 1 starter, they will likely regret it.
Hasselbeck will be 36 in September, and he hasn’t thrown more touchdowns than interceptions since 2007. That was also the last year he suited up for all 16 games. He is going to likely be the starting quarterback in 2011 for the Titans. The Titans hope he will be a solid mentor to the newly drafted Jake Locker, and bridge until Locker is ready to take over as starter.
Hasselbeck has been a consistent starter throughout his career, but his skills are diminishing quickly in his old age. He has really struggled the last two seasons, throwing 27 picks against 22 touchdowns as he has battled off injuries. As great as his Seattle career has been, the writing may finally be on the wall, as the Seahawks have high expectations for newly acquired Charlie Whitehurst.
The bottom line with Hasselbeck is that even if you believe last year was an injury-plagued outlier, you’re not looking at a top-12 fantasy QB. Mike Holmgren is no longer in Seattle. New coach Jim Mora brought in Greg Knapp, who has had offenses ranked in the top 10 in rushing in eight of 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Knapp, for example, was in charge of the Falcons during the Michael Vick era. Of course, we won’t see Hasselbeck running QB sweeps, but if there’s any doubt that the Seahawks will be run first, Mora talked about a “change in emphasis” from Holmgren when Knapp was hired. We do believe that Hasselbeck is a top 10-to-15 QB in real life. But there are just too many questions about his playing environment, which, in fantasy, is the most important draft consideration. Remember, the Seahawks passed on Michael Crabtree in the draft. Yes, they signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and he will help move the chains and be productive in the red zone. But he’s a possession guy, and this team has no gamebreaker. Deion Branch is not that even on the rare occasions he’s healthy. Nate Burleson is coming off major knee injury. Deon Butler (Penn State) was arguably the best wide receiver in the draft from Penn State (not Derrick Williams), but he’s more of a crafty/speedy slot receiver at 5-10, 170. Maybe he provides some home-run ability two or three years down the road, but not likely as a rookie. The other problem for Hasselbeck (and his owners) is that Walter Jones is 35 with failing knees and no longer able to anchor the critical left tackle spot. So don’t be at all surprised if the 33-year-old Hasselbeck suffers through another injury-shortened year.
You love the 28 TDs last year, of course, but they were built on a shaky foundation. A 7.1 YPA correlates normally to at least a half dozen less. He was incredibly efficient in the outer reaches of the red zone (the area between the opponent’s 20- and 5-yard lines). Most impressive were his 10 TDs in 43 attempts from the 20-11 yard lines. That level of success did not translate when the Seahawks were closer to the goal line, where the fantasy points usually are easier to come by. No one questions Hasselbeck's arm strength, and his 112.7 QB rating on our FAS throws was second best (behind David Garrard) last year. But he has an uphill struggle even in the pass-friendly, Holmgren-helmed West Coast offense. His receiving corps is alarmingly mediocre with Deion Branch not expected to be ready for the season opener off January ACL surgery. Branch was nothing special himself, but Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram are complementary guys at best. Again, the QB makes the wide receivers more than vice versa. But this is at least wind in Hasselbeck's face and makes it almost impossible for him to bust out with a championship-caliber fantasy season. His floor is admittedly high. But last year should be viewed as the ceiling, even with Shaun Alexander no longer around to vulture the vast majority of short TDs.
He gets a boost because Shaun Alexander appears to be declining. He’s blaming a still-broken foot, but the Seahawks deny it. This is Alexander sensing that the end is near and looking for an excuse. Last year, the Seahawks were pass-happy inside the 10, with 32 passes and just 23 runs. Unfortunately, those 55 inside-the-10 plays are far from prolific. For comparison’s sake, the Colts had 89 and the Pats 85. Hasselbeck must shoulder blame for Seattle’s offensive inconsistency last year. Another fact that makes one bullish about Hasselbeck is coach Mike Holmgren’s willingness to throw downfield. The Seahawks generated a higher percentage of air yards on passes (as opposed to run-after-catch yards) than any team in football. And this wasn’t just Hasselbeck but also backup Seneca Wallace, who was even more extreme at 67.5 percent air yards. The naysayers can point to the loss of top target Darrell Jackson. Note, however, that was not a free agent loss, but a trade. So the Seahawks obviously believe he can be replaced. The jury is out as to whether the other guys, including the overrated Deion Branch, can step into the No. 1 role. But there’s a solid argument that it’s better to be Patriots-like and distribute the ball to whoever is open rather than deal with the endless carping from these receiving divas. Can Hasselbeck still operate efficiently? His YPA last year was less than 7.0, which is the bare minimum for a No. 1 fantasy QB because TDs correlate to YPA more than any other passing stat. Anyone who overcomes a sub-par YPA to be a productive fantasy scorer is just plain lucky. Still, Hasselbeck has been efficient in the past and should be solidly in his QB prime. So, it’s reasonable to attribute last year’s struggles to some uncharacteristic Seattle sloppiness in pass protection, as the offensive line yielded 48 sacks, and Hasselbeck was sacked almost as frequently as the inexperienced Wallace (once every 11 attempts to once every 10 for Wallace).
Hasselbeck owners have had enough of Shaun Alexander, thank you very much. Because of Alexander’s record-breaking rushing TD quest, Mike Holmgren was unusually run happy in the red zone. Seattle ranked 29th in pass percentage inside the 20 last year (ninth in ’04). The good news is that Hasselbeck was very efficient on those attempts, tied with Mark Brunell in converting 37 percent of them into TDs. Will Seattle be good enough again to pack in the offense most second halves? Last year, Hasselbeck fired 16 TD passes in 256 first-half attempts. The schedule is tougher this year with matchups against the AFC West. And the Cardinals should be improved. So there’s a decent chance Hasselbeck will be called upon to carry that kind of performance deeper into games. His ’05 owners are likely to jump early for him, given the great taste he left in their mouths with a 135 QB rating and 11 TD passes last December. Hasselbeck has a high ceiling. He was fifth in YPA last year, which is typically good for at least 25 TD strikes. Only 14 percent of his throws were poor. He is good under pressure, with an 88 QB rating close/late. And Holmgren is generally aggressive despite calling the sixth-highest percentage of running plays in football last year. Seattle’s receivers are good enough, with Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram on hand to complement Darrell Jackson. Factor in the usually sure-handed Jerramy Stevens (as long as it's not the Super Bowl) and Alexander to keep defenses honest, and it's little surprise that Hasselbeck is a top-tier fantasy option.
While at first glance it might look like Hasselbeck took a step down last season – his touchdowns dropped from 26 to 22 and his yardage from 3,844 to 3,382 – keep in mind that he missed two games due to minor elbow and thigh injuries. When you prorate Hasselbeck’s 2004 numbers over 16 games, they’re pretty much in line with his 2003 totals. Now if you give Darrell Jackson (11) and Koren Robinson (10) merely an average amount of dropped passes rather than their near league-leading totals, then Hasselbeck’s numbers look even better. If we take five drops away from Jackson and six away from Robinson – the guy was only targeted 67 times! – and multiply those numbers by their yard-per-catch averages, that’s 166 more yards for Hasselbeck. So we’re talking about a 4,000-yard season over a full 16 games, given receivers with decent hands. That said, Hasselbeck probably won’t take a big step up, either. While he’s a nice fit for the West Coast Offense, he doesn’t have a ton of arm strength, and he’s not great at throwing the deep ball. And given that Jackson has had trouble catching the ball for the last couple seasons, we’re not going to assume a major improvement on that front. (Robinson was released after being charged with a DUI in May). To bolster the receiving corps, Seattle signed Jerome Pathon and 6-5 Joe Jurevicius, who should provide Hasselbeck with a big target out of the slot. But both players are more complementary threats than game breakers.
You have to respect Hasselbeck’s five TD passes against the bad-ass Ravens in Baltimore last year. But Hasselbeck left a bad taste in his owners' mouths by fading down the stretch (only four TD passes his last four starts of ‘03, including a virtual fantasy shutout in Minnesota, of all places). Hasselbeck was also let down mightily by his receivers, who last year dropped over seven percent of his total throws (a whopping 18 percent of his incompletions). Only the Lions dropped more passes than the Seahawks in ’03, and only the Chiefs' drops accounted for a higher percentage of incompletions. On the plus side, Seattle's receivers led the NFC in yards after the catch. Of course, Hasselbeck's well-timed passes have a lot to do with this. If Koren Robinson would develop into the game-breaking threat he's been projected to become since he was drafted, Hasselbeck's value would soar.
Over the last nine weeks of 2002, Hasselbeck was a fantasy star. He led the NFL in passing yards over that span, and for the second half of the year he was a top-five QB in any yardage-based league. With an extremely deep set of receivers with whom to work, it's not a major surprise that Hasselbeck was able to thrive in this system. Critics will argue that Hasselbeck's stats were padded significantly by garbage time – nine of his 15 touchdowns came with Seattle down multiple scores – and in games against weak pass defenses. And we should remember that in 2001, Hasselbeck was awful for most of the year, and Trent Dilfer was seen as the present and future QB of the Seahawks. Coach Mike Holmgren probably needs a playoff berth to save his job, so if Hasselbeck struggles early in the season, don't be shocked to see Dilfer get another shot.