Salvatore Stefanile recaps Week 11 of the 2016 NFL regular season in his weekly 2QB Things We Learned blog, discussing Alex, Kap, and backup QBs. …
Week 12 is just around the corner, meaning we are thisclose to the start of the fantasy playoffs in a majority of 2QB leagues. Before I get to this week’s recap I want to caution you on backup quarterbacks.
So far this season we have seen 47 different quarterbacks start at least one game. That number was 53 last season. Near the end of 2015, we saw the likes of AJ McCarron, Kellen Moore, and Josh Freeman each start a game. You want to play close attention to team records and quarterback depth charts the next few weeks because you never know what could happen.
Would it be inconceivable to see a team like the 0-11 Browns, who have already started three quarterbacks this season, to start a fourth? Or for the 2-8 Chicago Bears to bench Jay Cutler? Be prepared for anything like Brandon Weeden being a top-6 fantasy QB in Championship Week (yes, that did happen in 2015).
Below you can find a few of my Week 11 2QB fantasy football takeaways…
2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 11
1. #KonamiKap Is Here To Save The Day
Heading into Monday Night Football, Colin Kaepernick is the fantasy QB8 (tied for QB7 with Alex Smith) for Week 11. He scored 19.44 fantasy points against the New England Patriots and has averaged 19.6 fantasy points in his five starts. His worst fantasy performance of the year was 14.12 points against Tampa Bay in Week 7, and he has scored 18+ in four-of-five games, with two 22+ performances. Kap has been nothing but a streamer’s delight since named started in Week 6.
It’s hard not to think Kap will keep his current pace up. His rest of season schedule has him facing off against the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, and Los Angeles Rams. Prior to Week 11, those teams have allowed the following average QB finishes:
The above five teams have also allowed a combined 19 top-12 (QB1) finishes this season. ATL, MIA, and LA also each rank in the top-11 of rushing yards allowed per game to the quarterback position. The reason Kap finds his way in the streaming discussion is because of his legs, and in five starts he has averaged 52 yards or 5.2 fantasy points on the ground. That type of production helps boost a fantasy quarterback from QB2 status to the QB1 tier.
2. Alex Smith Might Lead You To The Playoffs
Before exiting Week 8’s contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts, Alex Smith was on pace to have a big fantasy day. He had scored 9.98 fantasy points and his replacement Nick Foles tacked on additional 16.82 points for a combined total of 26.8 points. When you add their two scores together they would have finished as the QB6 on the week. Smith would sit out Week 9 and put up a dud in Week 10 (8.42 points/QB24 against Carolina).
You wouldn’t be faulted for having little confidence in Smith, even in a favorable matchup against Tampa Bay, in Week 11. However, the opposite came true, as Smith scored 19.44 fantasy points (current QB7 with Monday Night Football left to be played). It was his fourth 17+ point outing out of eight full games on the year.
Minus two games against Denver left on the schedule (Week 12 and Week 16), Smith could help you solidify or earn a playoff spot with a Week 13 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. We’ve seen how bad the Falcons are against the quarterback position this year, having allowed six top-6 fantasy finishes this year.
Atlanta currently allows the most fantasy points/game to quarterbacks at a rate of 21.7. Out of ten games, only three single callers to start and finish the game have failed to score at least 15 fantasy points against them (Paxton Lynch, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz). Six times this season Atlanta has allowed 24+ points to the quarterback position in a game.
Following the matchup against Atlanta, Smith faces OAK and TEN back-to-back weeks, which puts Smith in a good spot to be a fantasy playoff starter.
3. Dandy Andy No More?
Week 11 was rough for the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense. First, they lost star wideout AJ Green to what was later diagnosed as a torn right hamstring (MRI results pending), which might end his season. On top of that bad news, reports surfaced that pass catching back Gio Bernard will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
If both Green and Bernard miss the rest of the season that would mean the loss of Andy Dalton’s top-two weapons in the passing game.
Green leads the team in catches (66), targets (100), receiving yards (964), and receiving touchdowns (4). Gio is second in catches (39), third in targets (51), and fourth in receiving yards (336). Dalton has thrown only 11 touchdowns this year, with Green and Brandon LaFell being the only two to catch multiple touchdown passes (4 each).
On the year, Dalton has completed 233-of-360 passes for 2,760 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dalton has targeted Green/Gio on 151 of those passes (42% target market share), connecting on 105 passes (45% reception market share), 1,300 receiving yards (47% rec. yards market share), and five touchdowns (45% rec. touchdown market share).
It’s safe to say a Bengals passing offense without Green and Bernard will be diminished and dampen Dalton’s rest of season prospects, which is a complete shame. Dalton was primed to be a top fantasy playoff contributor with matchups against Cleveland and Pittsburgh in Weeks 14 and 15.
Since entering the league together in 2011, in the five games Dalton played without Green he averaged 1.24 fantasy points less/game. Since Bernard entered the league in 2013, Dalton has averaged 6.49 fantasy points in the three games he has played without Bernard (both stats courtesy of the RotoViz Game Splits app).
Also complicating factors is that the Bengals are 3-6-1 this season and the playoffs look like a long shot. With no Green and no Gio would it be a total shock to see the team give AJ McCarron an extended look?