Backup QBs to Know for 2-QB Fantasy Football Playoffs

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Brock Osweiler
If the playoffs ended today the Denver Broncos would earn the #1 seed in the AFC, and a first round playoff bye.

However, they only hold a one game lead over second place AFC West foes Kansas City Chiefs in the division, and if the Chiefs win the division, the Broncos would then have to play a Wild Card game on the road.

Osweiler’s name is mentioned because if the Broncos clinch home field advantage in the AFC they might bench Peyton Manning at the end of the season to have him rest up for the playoffs.

A Week 4 52-20 blowout win over the Philadelphia Eagles gave Osweiler a chance to get some playing time already, and he completed two of his three passes for ten yards.

We don’t know how John Fox will handle resting his players this year, and Peyton might play every snap the rest of the season, but at the very least, Peyton 2-QB owners should stash Osweiler on their bench.

Austin Davis
My backing of Austin Davis this season when Sam Bradford went down with a season ending injury had more to do with how much I didn’t believe in Kellen Clemens as it did with what I thought of Davis.

Clemens hasn’t really proven much since being given the starting quarterback job in St. Louis, as he has completed only 51.7 percent of his passes, averages seven yards per attempt, which was boosted by an 81 yard Tavon Austin Week 10 catch, and has thrown five touchdowns to three interceptions.

The Rams are technically still in the playoff hunt with a 5-7 record, but the 49ers and their 8-4 record currently hold the last Wild Card spot in the division, and it would take a miracle for the Rams to earn a playoff spot this season.

If the Rams have nothing to play for, and they already know what they have in the 30-year-old Clemens, which is a career backup, it could pave the way for Davis to get a crack at earning a 2014 roster spot on the Rams, as he can showcase what he has to offer.

Don’t go chasing Davis yet, but monitor the Rams’ situation closely the next couple of weeks.

Terrelle Pryor
The Oakland Raiders turned to Matt McGloin as their starting quarterback in Week 11, replacing an injured Terrelle Pryor, and they haven’t gone back to Pryor since.

McGloin has done enough to impress the Raiders’ brass, and it doesn’t look like he’ll lose the starting quarterback job any time soon.

However, Raiders’ Head Coach Dennis Allen has mentioned he would like to see Pryor play again this season in an attempt to evaluate both quarterbacks.

What that means is anybody’s guess. It could mean Wildcat packages, or it could mean a full start.

If you held onto Pryor this long keep him stashed him on your bench as he might become fantasy relevant again. If he’s fully healthy, Pryor’s a dangerous weapon to have on your 2-QB team because of his rushing ability.

Kirk Cousins
There has been plenty of talk radio clamour that the Redskins should bench Robert Griffin III to give Kirk Cousins a shot.

Anybody involved with the decision making process in Washington has denied such talk, and it doesn’t look like the Shanahans want to bench RG3. They probably won’t, as RG3 can use all the playing time and reps he can get after missing the entire off-season.

Yet, there are some people looking for a quarterback controversy in Washington, and you never really know what might happen in Washington the rest of the season. It doesn’t hurt to keep tabs on the situation in Washington in case Cousins does get to play.

In his one start last year in Week 15 versus the Baltimore Ravens, Cousins did put up a QB1 performance, finishing as the ninth highest standard scoring fantasy quarterback for the week. The talent is there, he just needs an opportunity.

Tarvaris Jackson
The Seattle Seahawks have already clinched a playoff spot, and Pete Carroll has already rested Russell Wilson this year.

In his one extend relief appearance, Tarvaris Jackson was an impressive seven-of-eight passing for 129 yards, and one touchdown. He also added a rushing touchdown on the ground, which put him in the mid-range QB2 tier for quarterbacks that week.

Sure, it was against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, but it showed Jackson still knows how to operate Darren Bevell’s offense.

Carroll could give Jackson more playing time down the stretch, but the team is still fighting for the #1 NFC seed, and that could mean keeping Wilson on the field. For now, Jackson should be on the radar of 2-QB Wilson owners.

Any one of the above mentioned quarterbacks could put up a Matt Flynn circa 2012 Week 17 performance, but they could also put up a Matt Flynn circa 2013 Week 13 performance.

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have the power to stash any of the quarterbacks listed on our bench, in case they do get a chance to start a late-season game.

It’s best to have them rostered on your 2-QB team, even if you don’t play them, rather than watching a competing owner pick them up, and start them.

Nobody thought Flynn would throw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a game, but he did, and we’ll never be able to forget it. Who says an unheralded backup quarterback can’t do that again?

*Stats used in this article from FantasyData

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Salvatore Stefanile
Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and believes that 2-QB fantasy football leagues will be the future of fantasy football. You can read about his 2-QB fantasy football opinions and analysis at