2013 Fantasy Football Dark Horse Sleeper: Case Keenum

By Dustin Manko

Bye weeks can wreak havoc on fantasy football owners. Your team is solid, you are killing it in the standings, then all of the sudden, you have multiple players on the bench this weekend. Even worse, you may have to drop some decent players to pick up a filler for a week or two. The problem is exacerbated when it is your quarterback on bye, as is the case with Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick and to a lesser extent Carson Palmer and Eli Manning this week. That is a lot of quarterback talent riding pine, leaving some owners feeling pressure.

Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum could be a sneaky dark horse sleeper selection if you need a bye week patch at quarterback. In case (no pun intended) you are not familiar with Keenum, he went undrafted after finishing his collegiate career leading the NCAA all time in pass completions (1,546), passing yards (19,217) and passing touchdowns (155). If that doesn’t impress you, then consider his first ever NFL start was against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead in week seven. The Chiefs have been destroying offenses this season, yet Keenum held his own, going 15-25 for 271 yards and a touchdown. That is pretty darn good for a rookie starting his first game in one of the most hostile environments in the league against what has been far and away the best defense in football so far.

Houston had a bye last week, so Keenum now has had the better part of three weeks to get familiar with the first team, along with two weeks to prepare for his first home start against the Indianapolis Colts. Make no mistake the Colts have a good defense, but they are not the Chiefs. If Keenum can do what he did on the road against the Chiefs, he should be able to handle the Colts.

Both Arian Foster and Ben Tate are banged up, so Houston can’t simply rely on the running game, they will have to pass. Andre Johnson is still catching the ball well and rookie DeAndre Hopkins has been inconsistent, but has shown good flashes. In fairness, the Colts pass defense is currently seventh in the league and they have had two weeks to prepare for Keenum after giving Peyton Manning fits.

In shallow or single quarterback leagues, he isn’t yet a starter. However, with so many top tier quarterbacks on bye, Keenum could be a decent option for a plug and play this week in deep or two quarterback leagues. He played very well in one of the hardest places for opponents to play against the league’s best defense in his first start. He led the NCAA in career pass completions, passing yards and touchdowns, so he obviously knows how to get it done, and he’s had about two weeks to prepare for his second start. Owned in only six percent of Yahoo! leagues, Keenum should be available if you need a quarterback this week, and very well could put up decent QB2 type numbers.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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