In fantasy football you always have to expect the unexpected. No matter how many hours of research we put into fantasy players and situations, or how many times we submit different variations of our fantasy lineups before the games start on Sunday, you really have no control of the action.
Every week it happens where something completely unexpected occurs, and all you can do is watch the action unfold, wondering how to tackle next week, because once your rankings are submitted, or your lineup is set, you’re nothing but a backseat passenger.
In Week 9, for instance, Nick Foles throw seven touchdowns, and 406 passing yards, making him the highest scoring fantasy player, not just quarterback, for the week.
On top of that, Top-12 fantasy scoring quarterbacks for the week included the likes of Case Keenum (QB3), Jason Campbell (QB6), and Josh McCown (QB8). We see the unusual quarterback suspects penetrate the top of the quarterback fantasy scorer each week, and we hope the quarterbacks we started in 2-QB leagues were amongst the group.
At the beginning of the year Nick Foles and Case Keenum weren’t in the starting line-ups of 2-QB fantasy football teams, but with six teams on the bye in Week 9, there were probably more 2-QB teams starting that combination, than we would care to admit.
In standard scoring leagues, the Foles-Keenum combo scored a combined 78.82 standard fantasy points. Those 78.82 fantasy points were more than the combined points Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Tom Brady scored in Week 9. Those four quarterbacks were the first four quarterbacks drafted on average in 2-QB leagues this year, based on August 2-QB ADP.
Including Rodgers, one of the few irreplaceable NFL quarterbacks, is a cheat of sorts, because he got injured early during Monday Night’s loss to the Bears. We saw how different the Packers offense is when his back-up Seneca Wallace, who hadn’t played a snap of meaningful football since 2011, came in and stunk up the joint.
Wallace went a very pedestrian 11-of-19, for 114 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception.
Now, not only do 2-QB fantasy football owners have to find a Rodgers replacement, a quarterback they had no intentions of ever benching, they also have to wonder what to do with somebody like Jordy Nelson.
Nelson and Rodgers are tied at the hip, and prior to Monday’s game, Rodgers had completed 167 of 249 passes, and on the season, Nelson was targeted by Rodgers 54 times, with him catching 39 of his targets; both team highs. If Rodgers is out an extended period of time, it’s fair to wonder if selling Nelson is a conceivable option, knowing he won’t have Rodgers throwing him the ball.
Again, each week in the NFL we are thrown multiple curveballs, and the Rodgers injury will have a large impact on more than the quarterback position in fantasy football going forward.
Below are some quarterback waiver wire considerations for 2-QB leagues, whether you’re preparing for the loss of Rodgers in your 2-QB league, or you need to make alternate arrangements for the bye weeks of Jason Campbell, Alex Smith, Tom Brady, or Geno Smith.
According to a Chris Mortensen tweet , Cutler has plans to practice and play this week for the Bears. If that happens, Josh McCown’s 2-QB fantasy value becomes greatly diminished, and those that dropped Cutler in 2-QB leagues will look foolish for doing so. It goes without saying to pick up Cutler, if he’s on the waiver wire in your 2-QB league. But, even if Cutler doesn’t play this week, he’s closer to returning than we think. You also shouldn’t drop McCown yet, as he’s a streaming QB1 candidate every week he starts in Marc Trestman’s offense.
If EJ Manuel was released by the owner in your 2-QB league weeks ago, and is still lingering on the waiver wire, you need to make it a priority to pick him up. The rookie quarterback can resume practicing, after being cleared by doctors, and now it’s up to the team to decide whether or not he’s ready to play.
A week of strong practices could lead to Manuel being deemed fit enough to start this week versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even if Manuel doesn’t start this week, it’s encouraging news to see him back earlier than expected, and a Week 11 start versus the New York Jets would become more likely.
Manuel was averaging 214 passing yards in his full four games before going down with an injury, adding five touchdowns, and three interceptions. On the ground, Manuel added 77 yards of rushing in those four games.
After Keenum threw for 350 yards, and three touchdowns, and adding 26 yards rushing, there’s no way the Texans will be returning Matt Schaub under center any time soon. There’s also no way Keenum will be available in your 2-QB league after this week, so pick him up if you have chance to do so.
You can tell Keenum has a hunger to his game, knowing this might be his only shot, and he’s taken full advantage of it.
It’s been refreshing to see Keenum lead the Texans’ passing offense, and giving it something it has clearly lacked, a willingness to throw the deep ball. Schaub’s longest pass of the year was 41 yards, and his yards per attempt average sits at 6.66.
Keenum, on the other hand, has an astronomical YPA of 10.53, which is admittedly unsustainable season long. However, in the past two games he has completed ten passes of at least 35 yards, with three of them going for at least 40 yards, and his longest pass completion being a 62-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson in Week 9.
The Texans are a different offense with Keenum under center, and there’s no reason for them to go back to Schaub, meaning he’ll be a viable quarterback option in 2-QB leagues going forward. Next up for Keenum is a match-up versus the Oakland Raiders, who were recently torched by Nick Foles. After that, Keenum faces the Jaguars in two out of the three following games.
The severity of Rodger’s injury is unknown at the moment, with him undergoing more tests today. A tweet earlier today from ESPN’s Adam Schefter mentioned initial tests revealed a small collarbone fracture, which could keep him out of action three weeks.
Rodgers was shaping up to have a fantastic rest of season, with a cakewalk of schedule on the docket, including three back-to-back-to-back match-ups versus the Eagles, Giants, and Vikings. The Packers had also completed their bye, giving Rodgers even more 2-QB value.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Packers do at the quarterback position if Rodgers is indeed out for a prolonged period of time. Wallace is the only quarterback on the roster right now, making him the default candidate to start at quarterback for the team.
Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy tried to put a positive spin on Wallace’s poor Monday Night performance, chalking it up to a lack of practice time. Wallace was signed before the first week of the NFL, and him being unprepared is a valid argument.
But, still, the Bears game planned to take away Eddie Lacy, with stacked boxes, once Rodgers was gone, and Wallace couldn’t muster up much offense.
The Week 10 match-up versus the Eagles is a good one on paper for Wallace, and the Packers have a healthy compliment of offensive weapons, in Lacy, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones, making Wallace an intriguing 2-QB waiver wire pick up this week.
Other names to keep an eye on are Vince Young, who was with the Packers this off-season, before being cut, and former Packers back-up quarterback Matt Flynn. The Packers also recently gave practice squad quarterback Scott Tolzien a raise, so he wouldn’t be poached by any other teams.
Packers General Manager Ted Thompson was remorseful he didn’t give Young more time with the time to earn a spot, and had to eventually release him.
Flynn, who was tossed around like a hot potato from the Seattle Seahawks to the Oakland Raiders to the Buffalo Bills, was just released by the Bills, and can clear waivers at 4 p.m. today.
In two starts for the Packers, Flynn threw a combined 731 passing yards, and nine touchdowns. With Flynn’s familiarity in the offense, he has a chance to make a return to Green Bay, but an elbow injury concern could make such a return null and void.
For now, Wallace looks like he’ll be Rodgers’ replacement, so keep that in mind when making waiver claims this week, but also make sure to be aware of any quarterback related roster moves the Packers make.
This is only a precautionary mention, as Terrelle Pryor isn’t expected to miss this week’s game versus the New York Giants. Pryor even said the only reason he left Sunday’s blow-out versus the Eagles, due to an injured knee, was a safety move. If the score was close, Pryor might have been able to stay in the game.
McGloin at one point was considered a better in-house option at quarterback over Pryor, and the thought of that is laughable at this point. The Raiders have no other quarterback on the active roster, leaving McGloin the most likely candidate if Pryor’s knee injury takes a turn for the worst.
The quarterback carousal in Minnesota has come full-circle, with Christian Ponder starting for the team again. Week 9 saw Ponder and the Vikings almost upset the Dallas Cowboys, but even in a loss, Ponder showed promise.
In his last two games, Ponder has finished as QB12, and QB13, respectively, and part of that has to do with his rushing ability. The past two games Ponder has combined to rush for 67 yards, and two rushing touchdowns.
The Vikings have a short week to prepare for their Thursday Night Football showdown versus the Washington Redskins this week, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has no plans to switch back to Josh Freeman, or Matt Cassel.
It’s a good match-up for Ponder, as he’ll be facing a Redskins defense allowing the fifth most passing yards per game (282), and that has given up 17 passing touchdowns on the year. They also allowed Michael Vick to rush for 54 yards, and a rushing score versus them in Week 1, and Josh McCown ran for 33 yards versus them last week.
Ponder has a chance to not only put up a decent fantasy performance, but the Vikings have a legitimate shot at wining the game, too. If both happen, look for Ponder to keep the starting quarterback job in Minnesota indefinitely.
The #FreeAustinDavis movement, for the moment, is on hold.
Current Rams starting quarterback Kellen Clemens had a much better go of things the second time around, throwing for more yards than he did the previous week, while also having a higher completion percentage, and even adding a touchdown versus the Titans in Week 9. Clemens did lose a fumble though.
There are no indications Clemens won’t be starting in Week 10 versus the Colts, so if you need a quarterback, Clemens is one of the starting variety.
Locker didn’t perform the way some had expected him to in Week 9 versus the St. Louis Rams, but a rushing touchdown did save his fantasy day, allowing him to finish as a low-end QB2 for the week. It was a disappointing performance for Locker, but his rest of season schedule gives us hope he’ll be an every week starting quarterback option in 2-QB leagues. If for whatever reason he’s available, make room for him on your roster, if possible.