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Fantasy Football 2013: Case Keenum Is On The Rise

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Quarterback Case Keenum has had a history of being undrafted.

First, he was undrafted back in the 2012 draft. After producing some scorching numbers in college, it was a bit surprising to a talented arm like Keenum fail to be selected by an NFL team. However, it wasn’t the only time he has been undrafted. Obviously, after riding the bench his entire career, no one even considered selecting Keenum in their fantasy drafts. He had no value whatsoever.

Until now, that is.

With initial starting signal caller Matt Schaub throwing nine interceptions on the year (throwing a pick six in four straight games), Keenum has taken over during the last two contests. It also helped that Schaub was dealing with a leg injury as well, but after consecutive strong outings under center, this may be Keenum’s job from here on out. In his first career start against arguably the best defense in football in Kansas City, Keenum threw for 271 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes and tossed a touchdown. He looked good, but not nearly as good as he looked on Sunday night against division rival Indianapolis. Keenum wasted no time getting going, tossing a 62-yard strike to Andre Johnson for a touchdown. He would continue to look Johnson’s way, as the tandem would produce two more touchdowns. Keenum finished with a whopping 350 yards and three scores. He has yet to throw an interception this season. Unfortunately, both strong efforts resulted in losses, but against two of the AFC’s best, Keenum has thrived. The job is his now, but what he makes of it is up to him. Fantasy owners must take notice.

The Player

I was very impressed while watching Keenum on Sunday night. He certainly isn’t afraid to throw the deep ball, which says something about a guy who has made just two professional starts under center. In just eight quarters of action, Keenum has completed 11 passes of 25 yards or more. Keenum has basically been playing like Andrew Luck did a season ago. Rather than checking down for five or six yards, he’s taking shots down the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Keenum is sporting the highest aDOT (average depth of target) among all quarterbacks (12.4). That is easily the most. And in his two starts, he is averaging 0.66 fantasy points per drop back, which is third among signal callers. Like I said, I really liked what I saw from Keenum. The touch on his deep ball has been beautiful, he hasn’t forced any passes and can really sling it into tight spaces. Of course, opposing defenses have a significant amount of tape on the young quarterback now, but still, he has massive upside compared to a handful of other fantasy signal callers right now.

Matt Miller, one of the top player scouts out there, gave me his take on some of the strengths and weaknesses of Keenum’s game. Check out his terrific work on Bleacher Report.

Strengths:

-Plays loose

-Good mobility

-Sets up accuracy on the move

-Confident passer who can get hot with ball placement

Weaknesses:

-Mechanically just okay

-Locks on to one read

-Hasn’t been challenged by a defense that’s game planning for him

Keenum is only going to get better, folks. He has some very strong weaponry around him. Between Johnson, talented rookie DeAndre Hopkins and stud running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate, Keenum has some fantasy upside that certainly intrigues me. He’s a strong quarterback two for the rest of the season, especially when you consider he still gets another matchup versus Indianapolis, two more against the lowly Jaguars and another against Denver’s under-performing pass defense.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.