NFL Week 11 QBs: There is a Perfect Storm Brewing

I am excited to write this post today because I want to forget about how horrible Week 10 was. Week 10 featured 10 underdogs winning outright. These are the kind of weeks that the novices win by dumb luck which is a good thing in the long run because once the order is restored, they will return to the fish they are. We're playing the odds and they aren't always in our favor, but they are more often than not, which is the key.

So we move on to Week 11 and there is some intrigue within this next week. We've got backup QBs now starting. Brock Osweiler, Mark Sanchez, Matt Hasselbeck, and possibly TJ Yates.

Oh, and this guy.

Do you recognize this man? He's got the most passing yards in D1 College Football history. His name is Case Keenum. If you're an astute football fan, you already know who he is. You know he was given a chance with the Houston Texans and due to injuries, has some starting experience under his belt. He's now the starting QB for the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are facing the Baltimore Ravens this week. The Baltimore Ravens are not a bad team defensively any more, but they will certainly look to attack the line of scrimmage and load the box to stop Todd Gurley.

Enter Keenum. He's your typical scrappy-Texas-country-boy "Aw shucks" quarterback. He's going to have to throw the ball to move it on the Ravens. It will be interesting to see what Case can do and how the offense adjusts to him versus the utterly ineffective Nick Foles. Case is a gunslinger who isn't afraid to try and fit the ball into tight windows. He'll also look downfield to hit the deep ball.

Looking at DraftKings pricing, it looks like there will be a staggering 10 starting QBs at bargain basement price ($5000) this week. Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Blaine Gabbert (or Kaepernick, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick (or Geno Smith), and possibly TJ Yates. Conventional wisdom postulates that at least one of these QBs will hit 20 points and provide 4X value. It could be 3-4.

Back to Keenum for a minute. I attended the University of Houston at the same time Keenum-mania was sweeping the nation. I attended the game in which UH upset Top-10 ranked Texas Tech when Keenum lead a 2 minute drill and threw the game-winning TD. I have a special fondness for Case, so I will try to look at this objectively. I do not have illusions that Case Keenum is a good NFL QB, but I do think on a given Sunday in the right circumstance, we could see a moment of pure excellence.

So we have a significant lower class at the QB position. Over half the field will be at $5200 or lower. Tom Brady ($8500) and Aaron Rodgers ($7500) make up the exclusive upper class. The middle class consists of Matt Ryan at $7100, Phillip Rivers and Cam Newton at $6900, Carson Palmer at $6700, and Andy Dalton at $6600. The lower middle class will be Derek Carr at $6300, Tony Romo at $6000, and Russell Wilson at $5900.

Brady is a little bit of a question mark now down two of his most effective weapons (Edelman and Dion Lewis). Do we pay up for Brady at that price tag against Buffalo? Well, it is still Brady at home. Buffalo is coming off 10 days of rest and a very impressive defensive performance against the Jets. Tommy still has a Gronk and Danny Amendola will likely slide into the Edelman role of possession receiver while Brandon LaFell will continue to get looks deeper down the field. I think we can still safely project a high floor for Brady, but there are concerns here about the ceiling at that price tag.

Aaron Rodgers almost certainly cost a ton of people money in cash games last week. With a relatively low price and a juicy matchup, the Packers failed to deliver and have now dropped 3 straight games. Now he will go into Minnesota to face the Vikings. I think a lot of people will spurn ARod this week due to matchup and lingering burn from last week, so he could be an intriguing contrarian play this week.

Matt Ryan versus Indy does not fill me with wonder and excitement, but I do see a decent floor there. Even with Vontae Davis shadowing Julio Jones, we will see Ryan look to utilize Jacob Tamme and feed Devonta Freeman.

I am intrigued by Derek Carr against Detroit, but I am also more intrigued by Matt Stafford against Oakland, especially at the low price of $5400. Stafford actually hasn't been too terrible fantasy-wise, just consistently mediocre. Carr is probably going to look to air it out against a listless Detroit defense, but they will (or should) also try to get Latavius Murray going.

Of the other middle class QBs, Palmer, Newton, Dalton, and Rivers, I see Cam as the most volatile pick. I think that makes for GPP consideration over cash. Rivers is facing a KC team that is playing better defensively, but that is what a week against Peyton Manning will do for you. Then we have Palmer and Dalton facing off against each other in the AFC/NFC clash which does usually bump up the EV+ a little bit.

All things considered, I may go completely fish-crazy and roll with Keenum in one GPP this week just to say I was there for the ride. This is definitely a week where you can take a chance on a pay-down at QB because there just doesn't seem to be any clear-cut favorite plays to pay-up for.

-- DF

Derek Finley

Existing in a world of psychotic monkeys. Writing about sports for passion. Thirsting for knowledge and beer.