Take Two: Mike Glennon vs Case Keenum
November 15, 2013 | Joe Siniscalchi
The quarterback carousel continues to spin in the NFL. Out is Jay Cutler (again), Jake Locker (again), Seneca Wallace, and possibly Terrelle Pryor. Enter Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Scott Tolzien, and Matt McGloin. McCown as of now is the only player worth starting (maybe Tolzien if you’re desperate), and even his matchup this week will be tough against the Ravens. Nick Foles should continue his torrid play against a generous Redskins defense, he’s locked in as a high end QB2. Falling is Eli Manning, who failed to take advantage of a Raiders team that gave up seven touchdown passes to Foles the week prior.
Speaking of Eli Manning, last weeks picks of Manning and Ben Roethlisberger left egg on the faces of both @AnthonyOlivetti and myself. They both had a touchdown to pair with an interception, but Big Ben barely eclipsed 200 yards, and Manning didn’t even hit that mark. At this point, Manning can’t even take advantage of easy matchups, and remains a low end QB2. The only reason he’ll still be started is because of the dearth of healthy quarterbacks.
JS: My Candidate For Week 11: Mike Glennon (vs TB)
I picked against the Falcons defense back in week eight, and I’m picking against them again. This season has gone south for the Bucs, and their rushing situation went from bad to worse as they lost yet another running back for the season. Taking the place of Mike James will be the terrifying twosome of Brian Leonard and Chris Rainey. This should lead to a reliance on the pass as Tampa Bay looks to take advantage of a Falcons secondary that has not shown much improvement since the last time these two teams met.
Last time they played, Glennon completed 59% of his passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Besides last weeks win against the Dolphins and an overtime loss to the Seahawks where Mike James took over, Glennon has been throwing the ball between 40-50 times a game. Expect that number to be closer to 50, perhaps even surpassing it this week, as they look to get the ball into the hands of Vincent Jackson, and surprise contributor Tim Wright.
The Buccaneers may have gotten their first win last week, but clearly they will be going through massive changes this offseason. From an organizational standpoint, the Bucs may be looking to see if Mike Glennon can be the franchise guy, or if they should look elsewhere next April. They may want to see what Glennon can do, and if he deserves a shot at being their quarterback of the future. This could mean increased opportunities for Glennon to succeed.
The Falcons have still been flat this season against the pass, and it will remain that way against the pass. They are still bugged with injuries, and even the return of linebacker Sean Witherspoon won’t do too much to help a poor secondary. Last week, Russell Wilson carved them up for 287 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. With more of an emphasis to pass, Glennon can easily top 300 yards and throw for a trio of scores. I think Glennon puts up QB1 numbers this week, and has a bottom line of 313/3/1.
AO: My Candidate For Week 11: Case Keenum (vs Oak)
This has been a painful year for us 2QB’ers. Week after week, injury after injury, it just keeps getting more and more difficult. It’s that added complexity that makes these leagues fun though. Drafting Peyton Manning and riding him to fantasy glory doesn’t take much skill. When you add in having to play the Eli Manning’s of the world, as they stumble their way through the season, separates the men from the boys.
There’s a reason why Case Keenum set so many records in college: he can flat-out play. Keenum has been playing fantastic football (even if the wins haven’t been there) since taking over for Matt Schaub. He’s got a 7:0 TD to interception ratio, averages 274 passing yards per game, and has a passer rating of 105.1.
Before I even consider the matchup we need to talk about what makes him a solid option on an every week basis. The stats above speak for themselves. The Texans aren’t afraid to let him throw the ball, and he’s capitalized on the opportunity to this point. With Andre Johnson and the talented rookie DeAndre Hopkins (who’s played exceptionally well with Keenum under center) to throw the ball to, why wouldn’t they let him air it out. On top of that the Texans lost Arian Foster for the season and Ben Tate is playing through four broken ribs, so they’re forced to rely on the pass even more. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t get the chance to throw it 30-40 times again this week against the Raiders.
Now that I’ve mentioned the Raiders let’s take a look at the matchup. Their defense has allowed an average of two passing touchdowns per week while only picking off six passes through their first nine games. They don’t do a very good job of generating a pass rush and they’ve allowed three 350-plus yard passing games so far this season, including two that went for over 400. Nothing about the Raiders defense is impressive. Last week I didn’t think Eli would be successful against them, that wasn’t because of their prowess but rather because of his ineptness so far this season. This week Keenum should have no problem eclipsing 300 yards while adding a pair of scores and a couple of scrambles for 15-20 yards. I don’t think he’ll throw any interceptions but I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost a fumble at some point. Even so he’s set up for a big, big day. Insert him in your lineup with confidence.
JS: It’s very hard to knock the Raiders given I just picked Eli Manning to play them because of their poor play, but last week they didn’t mess around. Manning had an ugly game like I mentioned, and even threw a pick six. Part of it could be placed on Manning, but he was disappointing in part to solid level of play.
Case Keenum has burst onto the scene in Houston, and has posted 822 passing yards and seven touchdowns in his first three career starts. He has taken advantage of Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, and is a breath of fresh life for what was a struggling offense. While it’s been a fun ride, Keenum will begin to fall back to earth eventually. His completion percentage has dipped with each game, and even though Arian Foster is on IR, the Texans will not abandon running the ball. They’ve given a banged up Ben Tate at least 15 carries the past three games.
What’s not helped Keenum’s case is Gary Kubiak’s insistence that Matt Schaub can still get the job done. He won’t even commit to Keenum as the long term starter, and if the rookie struggles, there’s the chance that he gets pulled for the inept Schaub. Just watching the Texans under the two different quarterbacks is reason enough to see they should stick with Keenum, but just ask Andre Ellington, sometimes a coaches stubbornness gets in the way of what’s best for the team.
Look for the Raiders to secondary to build momentum after a decent showing on the road again. I don’t think Keenum will play poorly, but I don’t see him topping Glennon this week. Keenum probably won’t need to top 40 attempts, especially if they can build a lead. 250 with two scores and his first interception are less spectacular than what he’s been putting up, but your quarterback can do much worse (just ask Jake Locker owners).
AO: As is so often the case it’s difficult to argue against Joe’s pick. Mike Glennon has a generous matchup this week against a team that he already beat up on to the tune of 250-plus yards and two scores. Those aren’t gaudy numbers but they’re nothing to scoff at either. Even so I think that Keenum is a far better play this week. The Bucs aren’t as quick to let their signal caller take over the game as the Texans have been so far. They’ll look to limit his throws even with a beat up backfield.
After averaging 45 attempts over his first four games they’ve reeled Glennon in, head coach Greg Schiano even went so far as to say that they’ve forced him to throw too many passes. That’s never something you want to hear out of a head coaches mouth (if you’ve got his fantasy stats in mind). Since making those comments Glennon has attempted 21 and 23 passes over the Bucs last two games. If my quarterback isn’t putting it up at least 30 times I’m just not going to be comfortable with starting them, no matter who they’re playing.
The bottom line is that Glennon averages just over 215 yards per game and a little more than a score per week. Those numbers won’t get it done. I don’t see Glennon breaking 250 yards this week, I’ll spot him two touchdowns and add in a pair of picks. I’m just not convinced they’ll give him enough opportunities to make this matchup worth my while.