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2-QB Fantasy Football: Playoff Stretch Run QB Handcuffs

Sal Stefanile looks at the top QB handcuffs 2-QB fantasy owners should keep in mind for their playoff run.

Derek Anderson

Most trade deadlines have either passed, will pass this week, or take place next week. Every fantasy football league is different though, so it’s kind of hard to gauge when teams can no longer trade.

Whether the deadline has passed or not in your 2-QB league, I wanted to round up a few names to keep in mind that could play some sort of role in your 2-QB league during the stretch run to the playoffs or aid in the actual playoffs.

The players I’m going to list are current backups, but as we’ve seen this year, 48 different quarterbacks have started at least one game, meaning that what a depth chart looks like one week could look completely different the next…

Derek Anderson

Cam Newton’s 2014 season is a letdown from last year. Really, it’s a letdown compared to any of his first three seasons in the NFL.

So far this season, Newton has a 12:10 passing touchdown to interception ratio, and has added only 293 yards and two scores on the ground. You’re getting mid-tier QB2 numbers, rather than the elite QB1 numbers you paid for.

Newton’s been dealing with injuries this season, so some of his performance can be attributed to that, and he did miss one game already to start the year. If the 3-7 Panthers weren’t in the dreadful NFC South, where a losing record might win the whole thing, you would have to wonder if Newton would be pulled in order to get a head start on his healing.

It’s something to keep in the back of your mind if you own Cam Newton in 2-QB leagues, and if it were to come true then it would be Derek Anderson time in Carolina, who has proven to be quite capable in relief of Newton this year.

In Week 1, Anderson finished as the fantasy QB8, and on the season he has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 424 yards and four touchdowns. The Panthers are on a bye in Week 12, but come back to face the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, and Atlanta Falcons.

This might sound crazy, but Derek Anderson could be the most valuable pick up in 2-QB fantasy football leagues. If he’s available, and especially if you’re a Newton owner, please go pick him up.

Johnny Manziel

It doesn’t seem like the Cleveland Browns have any interest or reason to bench Brian Hoyer. He’s done a respectable enough job leading the team to a winning 6-4 record, and he’ll be getting back Josh Gordon this week.

However, if the Browns were to start losing they could be the next NFL team this season to hand the starting quarterback reins to a rookie quarterback. They released veteran running back Ben Tate this week and went with an all rookie duo. Maybe they go that route at the quarterback position. But it’ll probably only happen if Hoyer and his 55.8 completion percentage stumble and the losses pile up.

I wouldn’t say Johnny Manziel is a must-own in 2-QB leagues, but he should be at the top of the waiver wire speed dial.

Colt McCoy

If you’ve been following the soap opera in Washington it doesn’t seem that head coach Jay Gruden and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III have a friendly relationship. Or any sort of relationship at all for that matter.

Reading between the lines, it almost feels like Gruden would prefer to put Colt McCoy under center.

It’s hard to judge Griffin in Gruden’s system, as he’s only had three starts this year. In those starts, Griffin has completed 70-of-97 passes for 725 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. He’s also added 67 yards on the ground.

In his lone start, Colt McCoy completed 83.33 percent of his passes and threw for 299 yards, both totals higher than any single-game performance from RG3 this season.

At 3-7, Washington is out of the playoff picture and the direction of the team will depend on how Gruden feels (or what Dan Snyder tells him to do). However, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see RG3 deactivated/benched for the rest of the season at some point, repeating the end of his 2013 season under Mike Shanahan.

Never change, Washington “football” team.

Ryan Nassib

Unlike RG3 in Washington, there is no franchise quarterback-head coach drama with Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin. Although that would be a pretty fun feud to see play out in the back pages of the New York tabloid rags, as it would just be a bunch of Eli Manning faces vs. Tom Coughlin fuming/cold red faces memes.

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However, just like Washington, the Giants are 3-7 and in cellar of the NFC East. The Giants have drafted a few quarterbacks over the years (Andre Woodson, Rhett Bomar, Ryan Nassib), and the current young QB du-jour in New York is second-year player Nassib.

The former 2013 fourth-round draft pick has only made one regular season appearance in his career, where he completed four-of-five passes for 80 yards. That’s not much to go on and if the Giants truly want to see what they have in Nassib they might give him an extended shot later in the year.

EJ Manuel

The Buffalo Bills are currently 5-5, and still alive in the AFC Wildcard picture. They’ve lost their last two games though, and have scored only one touchdown during their mini losing streak (a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Chris Hogan).

Doug Marrone is sticking with Orton at quarterback, but if the Bills quickly fall out of the playoff picture they might give Manuel another shot to see what he has. It does seem they have lost complete confidence in Manuel, which could instead pave the way for Jeff Tuel.

Mike Glennon

It’s highly unlikely a healthy Josh McCown gets benched for Mike Glennon, but don’t forget about Glennon if, for whatever reason, he had to suit up again. In four of his five starts in relief of McCown, Glennon threw two touchdowns and also had two 300+ passing yard performances.

Logan Thomas

The Arizona Cardinals already lost Carson Palmer for the season, and during an early stage in the season when Palmer was dealing with a nerve issue in his shoulder Drew Stanton took over. Stanton himself gave way to rookie Logan Thomas after he suffered a concussion in Week 5.

Stanton isn’t in any danger of losing his starting job, but if he were to get injured again it’s not a bad idea that you know Logan Thomas would be his replacement.

*He’s no a backup, but Zach Mettenberger might be toiling around the waiver wire in your 2-QB league, or could be had for cheap in a trade (if your deadline hasn’t passed). This week the Titans take on the Eagles, and has two plus matchups in the fantasy playoffs: Week 15 vs. the New York Jets and Week 16 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mustache Mett might be a 2-QB playoff darling this year.

**Stats used in this article from FantasyData, Pro-Football-Reference, and ESPN

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