Carson Palmer owners in 2-QB fantasy football leagues were enjoying quite the return on their original investment. According to 2-QB fantasy football ADP from earlier this offseason, Palmer had a 2-QB ADP of 87.8, which made him the 20th quarterback drafted on average in 2-QB leagues.
Yes, he did miss three weeks earlier in the season, but in the five games he started and finished he averaged 277 passing yards, 2.2 passing touchdowns, and 0.4 interceptions. In those five starts, Palmer was averaging 19.16 fantasy points/game. You can’t be disappointed with those numbers from a 2-QB late-round quarterback.
In Palmer, we had the perfect fantasy QB2, who was someone we could plug into the QB1 slot.
Having two top-tier QB1s is a huge advantage in 2-QB leagues, but the cost associated with drafting two quarterbacks early is immense. You always hope the quarterbacks you draft later on as your QB2 play at a level worthy enough to feel comfortable starting them as your QB1. Palmer was that type of quarterback this year.
Sadly, he tore his ACL in Week 10, and is now out for the season. In his place is backup Drew Stanton, who has already started three games this year.
Stanton’s stat-lines from those three starts weren’t all that inspiring, and on this week’s Living the Stream, quarterback streaming aficionado C.D. Carter said Stanton is a “disaster waiting to happen.”
Here’s how Stanton produced this year in his three starts: 48.86 completion percentage, 529 passing yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 14 rushing yards.
In only one game did he score double digit fantasy points out of his three starts, and that was in Week 2 when he put up 19.36 fantasy points vs. San Fran. We should be reminded he did get concussed in Week 5 and had to leave the game.
In relief of Palmer last week, Stanton completed 3-of-5 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, giving some 2-QB owners hope.
The numbers during Palmer’s first absence show that Stanton was nothing more than a stop-gap quarterback plugged into lineups as a Palmer QB2 replacement or as a QB3 bench stash. Once Palmer returned to action, and proved he was healthy, many were quick to send Stanton back to his home on the waiver wire.
Now that the former Michigan State Spartan is starting again, don’t try to kick yourself too much if you dropped him and weren’t able to reclaim him. Overall, including Week 10’s cameo, Stanton still has only completed 49.46 percent of his passes. That’s kind of scary.
Bruce Arians is comfortable with Stanton as his quarterback though, as he recruited him to Arizona and the team gave him starter’s money before trading for Carson Palmer.
“Physically he has everything you want in a quarterback — big with a strong arm, can get it up the field and make all the throws.”
We know Arians likes quarterbacks with big arms that can throw deep, and when you adjust the attempts setting to 25 percent on Pro Football Focus’ Deep Passing Signature Stats you see Stanton leads the league with a 24.7 percent deep passing attempts percentage. His accuracy on those passes is 39.1 percent though, which is 19th-best in the NFL.
That Stanton is willing to chuck the ball deep is promising, but his completion rate this year, and yards per attempt (6.60) do not paint a picture of someone that can be trusted as more than a QB2 streaming option.
Facing a Detroit Lions pass defense that is giving up the fewest fantasy points/game this year will be a tough test for Stanton early on in his tenure.
The Cardinals also have two games to play against Seattle, and one more vs. San Francisco. Kansas City is also another potentially tough matchup. That’s five of seven games where you might not have any interest in starting Stanton.
The other matchups for Stanton include Atlanta and St. Louis. Unless your desperate for quarterback help, Stanton will most likely be riding the pine of your 2-QB fantasy football bench. And former Carson Palmer owners (myself included) will mourn his fantasy loss this year.
If you’re interested to learn more about Drew Stanton you can read this comprehensive profile I wrote about Stanton and his potential in a Bruce Arians offense for XN last year.