Salvatore Stefanile recaps Week 13 of the 2016 NFL regular season in his weekly 2QB Things We Learned blog, discussing Colin Kaepernick and Brock Osweiler. …
2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 13
1. Give a Kap
If you started Colin Kaepernick in Week 13 and are beating yourself up about it, don’t. Getting benched for Blaine Gabbert after completing just one of four passes for 20 yards (and adding 20 yards on the ground) was not in the outcome of probabilities we expected heading into Sunday.
Watching any part of the SF-CHI game and you immediately noticed the snow and how neither quarterback could do much of anything. Matt Barkley went from completing 28-of-54 passes the week before to attempting a total of 18 passes (completing 11) this week. This game was the antithesis of a quarterback clinic.
The main reason we start Kap is because of his rushing ability. Through his first six starts this season he averaged 62 rushing yards, providing a baked-in floor of six fantasy points. On the year, he has scored no fewer than 14 fantasy points, sported a 10:3 passing touchdown to interception ratio, was a top-12 fantasy QB in four straight starts, and he showed his fantasy ceiling last week putting up over 33 fantasy points (thanks to 113 rushing yards).
Your process was sound in starting Kap; it’s just that the result was the worst possible outcome we could have imagined. Whether Gabbert holds onto the starting job or they give Christian Ponder a shot remains to be seen, but it seems doubtful Kap has lost the starting job because of one bad game in not-so-friendly weather conditions.
It’s unlikely you have a QB2 option on your roster with a higher ceiling than Kap, so you shouldn’t let this one horrific fantasy performance dissuade you from starting him again. Repeat after me: Process Over Results. It won’t change the outcome, but it’ll make you feel better.
2. Brock Finally Did It
It happened. It finally happened. Brock Osweiler is going to have his first QB1 (top-12) fantasy finish of the season. After scoring 18.08 fantasy points (his highest total of the season) against the Green Bay Packers, Osweiler is the current fantasy QB6 with Andrew Luck and Ryan Fitzpatrick left to play.
The Giraffe has been an easy target to pick on this year. His best fantasy finish through 11 starts was QB16 and he scored 15+ fantasy points in only three games. He finished as the QB24 or worse (basically unstartable in 12-team 2QB leagues) six times. It was not pretty. Kevin Hogan had more top-12 finishes than Osweiler heading into Week 13 and Hogan didn’t even start the game he accomplished the feat. It’s been that kind of season for Osweiler and his fantasy owners.
Week 13 was an unusually low quarterback scoring week though. We saw 17 quarterbacks score 18+ fantasy points in Week 12 (only six so far this week) and Osweiler’s 18.08 points this week would have been QB18 last week. His fantasy output from this week would have been QB12 or better in five other weeks this season. Still, we don’t knock other QBs for having good fantasy numbers in low-scoring weeks and we won’t do that with Osweiler here, I just wanted to point it out.
What we should focus on is if he can repeat his Week 13 numbers? To get there this week he threw for 202 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and added an additional 20 yards on the ground. Shockingly, it was his first 200+yard/2 touchdown/0 interception game of the year. He did throw for 200+ yards and two touchdowns in three other games, but he threw at least one interception in those games.
Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati are up next for Houston. Those three defenses have allowed a combined 10 games of 200+passing yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions to opposing quarterbacks this year, with Indy allowing the most (6). Prior to Week 12, two of Osweiler’s better fantasy games came against IND and JAX so there’s a chance for him to put up decent stats in those two games. The Bengals have allowed 10-of-12 QBs they’ve faced to score 14+ fantasy points and have allowed six top-12 fantasy QB finishes on the year.
I would still be hesitant to roll out Osweiler as my QB2, but the schedule sets up nicely for him to finish out the season as a decent QB2 streaming option.