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Fantasy Football: Case Keenum Who?

It’s not T.J Yates who’ll start for the Texans when they face the tenacious Kansas City Chiefs. No, that dubious honor will go to Case Keenum.

Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum
Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum

Aug 25, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) rushes against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at Reliant Stadium. The Saints won 31-23. Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The thinking a week ago in fantasy football land was that if Matt Schaub were to lose his starting job in Houston, T.J. Yates would be next in line.

While Yates did relieve Schaub, who went down with an ankle/foot injury in Week 6, it’s not Yates who’ll start for the Texans when they face the tenacious Kansas City Chiefs defense on Sunday.

No, that dubious honor will go to undrafted quarterback Case Keenum.

It’s not like Keenum has a rough go of it or anything in his regular season NFL debut. It’s no big deal playing in Kansas City, at loud Arrowhead Stadium, facing a defense that is first in sacks (30), tied for second in interceptions (10), is fourth in passing yards allowed (1,142), is first in completion percentage (52.9), is first in passer rating (59.8), and is tied for third in passing touchdowns allowed (5).

No matter how you slice it up, the Chiefs defense this year is all kinds of nasty against the pass.

While the Chiefs pass defense has been dominant this year, their rushing defense isn’t as stout. The 696 rushing yards they’ve allowed is the ninth most in the league. The Chiefs defense has also succumb to rushing quarterbacks, allowing 99 yards rushing to Michael Vick, 50 yards rushing to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and 56 yards rushing to Terrelle Pryor.

Of the 696 rushing yards allowed by the Chiefs this year, 236 of those yards have come from the quarterback position, or nearly 34 percent.

One thing Keenum has going for him is his mobility, and might have played a role in why he was named the starting quarterback for Houston this week over Yates.

But, who exactly is Case Keenum?

Here’s what he know about him: he’s an undrafted quarterback, was the third string quarterback for Houston this year, and is the all-time NCAA leader in completions, passing yards, and touchdowns.

Keenum is also a hometown hero, having played college football at the University of Houston, where he was deemed to be nothing but a system quarterback, and one without out any arm strength. Those two knocks were part of the reason why he went undrafted

During the pre-season this year, Keenum was 43-of-63 for 482 passing yards, three touchdowns, and a quarterback passer rating of 106.7. His completion percentage was 68.3, and he had a yards per attempt average of 7.7.

Now that we know a bit about who Case Keenum is, the next question to ask is can you start him this week? Playing against the Chiefs, in Kansas City, is not an ideal situation for an undrafted quarterback to make his debut, and hopefully you have somebody better to start this week in your 2-QB league.

If you have to start Keenum, hope that he pulls a Fitzpatrick, and makes something happen with his feet.

With Keenum, and the Texans’ quarterback situation, the real question shouldn’t be if you should start him this week, it’s if you should pick him up in your 2-QB league and stash him on your bench.

The answer is yes, and has to do with the Texans’ schedule later on in the season.

During Weeks 11 and 12, the Texans face the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively. The Raiders have given up the 14th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and the Jaguars are ninth in that category this season.

Quarterbacks with byes in Week 11 are Tony Romo and Sam Bradford. In Week 12, Andy Dalton, Michael Vick/Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, and Thaddeus Lewis/EJ Manuel are taking the week off.

If you haven’t secured a QB3 bye week fill-in for those quarterbacks yet, Keenum could be the answer.

The only thing holding Keenum back right now is the uncertainly revolving around the Texans’ starting quarterback job. If Schaub returns to health, will he retain his spot atop the quarterback depth chart in Houston? If Keenum gets blown up Sunday versus the Chiefs, will he have a short leash, and get pulled for Yates?

We don’t really have any idea how this situation will unfold, but for now, Keenum is the starting quarterback in Houston, and in 2-QB fantasy football leagues that warrants at least a pick-up.

If Keenum starts and is productive, the Texans might give him more than one start. If Sunday is an unmitigated disaster then you can safely drop him, and not worry about it at all.

If you were to ask June Jones what to do, he would tell you to roll with Keenum, and he was trying to tell us since May.

It’s been an usual year for quarterbacks in the NFL this season, and if Thaddeus Lewis can put up a Top-5 fantasy football quarterback performance against the Bengals, who knows what Keenum can do?

Stats used in this article from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, and ESPN.com

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