Take Two: Case Keenum vs. Eli Manning
November 23, 2013 | Joe Siniscalchi
Not much changed last week for two quarterback leagues. Matt McGloin has been named the starter for this week against Tennessee, Case Keenum has his job back (for now), and fill ins Scott Tolzien and Josh McCown will each get another start. If you’re desperate, I think Tolzien has a matchup worth starting him. As for McGloin, we’ll see what he can do against a respectable Titans defense to see if he has staying power. Having said that, I’d drop Pryor if you can find someone better on the waiver wire.
Last week, my suspicions that Keenum might be pulled were confirmed, although I didn’t understand the decision at the time. Head coach Gary Kubiak claims it was because Matt Schaub was better fit to run a more up tempo offense, but even in relief his play was lackluster at best. Unfortunately for Olivetti, he was benched with a final stat line of 170/1/1. Mike Glennon, on the other hand, had a decent posting of 231/2/0. He was the better play of the week, but he didn’t post the miraculous numbers I thought he would.
After this week, I’ve had a change of heart with Case Keenum. After the decision to bring in Schaub somewhat backfired, I believe Kubiak knows his best bet is to see what the franchise has in Keenum. If an owner dropped him, snatch him up and plug him in this week.
JS: My Candidate For Week 12: Case Keenum (vs Jax)
Anyone who has watched a Jaguars game this season knows that they’d rather have the three hours of their time back. They’ve been easily the most underwhelming team in the NFL this season, and their pathetic offense has been matched by their sieve of a defense. The Jags currently rank 32nd against the run and 24th against the pass. Over the last two games, they’ve surrendered an average of 341.5 passing yards a game as well as two passing touchdowns a contest.
Keenum still has plenty of weapons to use at his disposal, including Andre Johnson, who last year torched the Jags for 17 catches, 294 yards, and a score in two games. There is a very legitimate fear for fantasy owners that Keenum can get pulled again for Schaub, but if Kubiak knows what’s best for the team (he was well aware of the argument between Johnson and Schaub), he will leave Keenum in if he struggles. Keenum was bound to regress from his video game numbers over his first few starts, but expect him to make a statement out of this contest that he can play ball.
With such a porous run defense, the Texans should be able to run the ball at will, which will allow Keenum to make plenty of big throws. Footballoutsiders.com actually has the Jaguars pass defense ranked as the worst in the league in terms of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Keenum’s chance at redemption paired up with a matchup against one of the league’s worst defenses makes this a can’t miss matchup. The Jags have allowed Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick to put up very good numbers recently, and look for Keenum to continue to pour it on here.
Keenum bounces back and cements himself as the Texans starter, throwing for 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no turnovers.
AO: My Candidate For Week 12: Eli Manning (vs Dal)
I don’t know what was a bigger mistake, picking Case Keenum last week, or Gary Kubiak pulling him in favor of Matt Schaub. Either way I lost. Mike Glennon had a respectable, but not spectacular fantasy day. All in all I’ll generally take 230 yards and two TDs from a 2-QB streamer.
I haven’t been kind to Eli this season. Mostly because I’m from New York and it’s frustrating to see a hometown team struggle so mightily, especially one led by a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Even so I love Eli’s matchup this week against a division rival. Dallas has gotten torched by opposing quarterbacks all season, giving up 390 or more passing yards five times so far. Eli went for 450 against them in Week 1. They’re averaging less than one interception and giving up 2.2 passing touchdowns per game through ten games. There’s nothing not to like.
This will be a high scoring affair that sees Eli air it out at least 40 times. His TD:INT numbers this season are awful (12:17) but half of those touchdowns have come in division games, and four against the Cowboys. With the Giants finally on a roll, and playing the first place Cowboys in a must-win game, I expect Eli to have his best fantasy day of the year. He’ll easily eclipse 300 yards and will probably push for closer to 400. I have no problem being bold and saying he’ll throw for three touchdowns, while adding two picks. Even with the picks those numbers are more than enough and they add up to a great fantasy day from your second quarterback. Start him with confidence this week.
JS: Eli Manning seems to be on this list far too often, and it seems like each time he disappoints. Even with a matchup against a struggling Dallas Cowboys defense, I think he continues his trend of disappointment. Manning hasn’t thrown for 300 yards or two touchdowns since week five against the Eagles, and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon. Dallas may have allowed the second most passing yards this season, but they’re tied for fourth in the league in interceptions. Manning may have had his best game yardage wise against the Cowboys, but odds are he won’t throw for 450 yards again.Coming off a bye week facing a quarterback they see twice a season, I’m sure the Cowboys are well prepared for this game.
Manning has only had one game this season where he didn’t turn the ball over. In a high pressure game where a win would bring the Giants within one game of the top of the division, expect plenty of mistakes for Eli. The Giants will also look to get their recently revived ground game in motion. In the two games Andre Brown has played in, Manning hasn’t topped 35 passing attempts. Coughlin will look to avoid turning the ball over by giving Brown the rock.
Manning will deliver some big plays in this game, but the turnovers will also be there, as he has failed to deliver a wrinkle free performance this season. Jason Hatcher has notched seven sacks thus far, and will bring pressure up the middle all game, forcing Manning out of the pocket which will lead to poor decisions like we’ve seen all season. In what will be high scoring affair, I think Manning throws for 260/2/3 at the end of the day.
AO: I loved Keenum last week and this matchup is certainly a juicy one. The Jags are pretty terrible. But coach Kubiak’s decision to bench him in favor of Schaub last week has left me gun shy. He claims to have total confidence in Keenum this week – and who wouldn’t against Jacksonville – but I don’t see this being a very high scoring game. Both offenses have struggled to get things done. I expect this to be an ugly game, I feel bad for the thirteen fans in Jacksonville who will actually be watching this.
Keenum should do fine, but like I said this won’t be a shootout. The Texans should jump out to an early lead and then lean on Ben Tate and co. to get things done on the ground. There’s a reason the Jags have only given up 300 yards passing twice this season (R. Wilson/T. Jackson & C. Palmer), and it’s because opposing teams don’t need to throw for 300 yards to beat them. With Keenum only throwing the ball 25 times or so I see a 200/2/0 stat line on the horizon. Serviceable, but not eye-popping.
I like the shootout in New Jersey a million times more. Both matchups are favorable, but only one of the two will need to throw it a ton. I’ll take my chances with Eli.