Salvatore Stefanile recaps Week 5 of the 2016 NFL regular season in his weekly 2QB Things We Learned blog, discussing Roethlisberger, Hoyer, and The Gabbertini. …
I write this recap as the Bengals-Cowboys game plays in the background, treasuring each Dak Prescott snap. At the half, Prescott was 10-of-15 for 67 yards and accounted for two touchdowns (one on the ground, one through the air). His interceptionless streak grew to 146 passes without being picked off and he’s scored 17 or more fantasy points in four straight games. I’m treasuring each snap because Prescott’s rookie campaign has surpassed anyone’s expectations, even Anthony Amico’s, and it might be coming to an end soon.
The Cowboys have one game left before their Week 7 bye and some reports say Romo could return Week 8. It’s doubtful Prescott will keep the starting job when Romo is healthy enough to play, but I wouldn’t rush to drop Prescott from your team. We’ve seen Romo’s injury history the last two years and backup quarterbacks are valuable in 2QB leagues. Last year saw 53 different quarterbacks start at least one game (the Cowboys started four different QBs last year), and we’re already up to 41 through Week 5 (was at 39 at this time last season). Even Prescott rides the pine he could be back on the field just like that. I’d rather hold on to Prescott than some random WR5 or RB4. That’s just one takeaway from Week 5, below you can find a few more.
2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 5
1. I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, but Ben Roethlisberger is for real
“I would pass on Ben Roethlisberger at his current 2QB draft day cost.” – Salvatore Stefanile
While that quote might not be 100 percent correct, the sentiment was 100 percent something I believed this offseason.
I’m not a fan of drafting quarterbacks early. Even in 2QB/Superflex leagues. I feel the depth of the position allows me to wait and still land productive signal callers late. Roethlisberger was one of the early-round QBs I was avoiding, even more so than the others going before or shortly after him.
Using a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick on Roethlisberger didn’t seem wise to me, especially with Martavis Bryant missing the whole season and Le’Veon Bell out for the first three games. Roethlisberger averaged ~five points/less per game without Bryant in the lineup, per Anthony Amico, and we’ve seen the impact Bell has on the offense when he plays.
Even without Bell in the lineup, Roethlisberger was a top-12 fantasy QB in his first two weeks (and in the third he faced an Eagles defense that was tough against opposing quarterbacks). In three games without Bell, Roethlisberger averaged 272 passing yards and had a 6:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He averaged 16.18 fantasy points/game.
In the two games since Bell returned, Roethlisberger has averaged 340 passing yards and thrown 9 touchdowns (to zero interceptions). He’s averaged 31.55 fantasy points/game.
So, yeah, my bad. I’m more than willing to take the L on my pre-season Roethlisberger call. With the return of Bell and the emergence of Sammy GOATES (TM @CDCARTER13) the Steelers offense is clicking on all cylinders. If Roethlisberger keeps up his current pace he will easily beat his QB6 draft day cost and could finish the season as the overall fantasy QB1 (which he currently is heading into Sunday Night Football).
2. Brian Hoyer: Your Superflex Streaming Superhero
Since named the starter in replacement of an injured Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer has three straight top-12 fantasy QB performances. During that span, Hoyer thrown for 300+ yards and 2 touchdowns in every game, and has averaged 20.8 fantasy points. Cutler has two 300+ yard/2 TD games in his last 17.
Dating back to last season, the current Bears signal caller has scored 17+ fantasy points in 9-of-14 games. If you’ve been streaming Hoyer the last three games you are in no hurry to see Cutler return. Neither is John Fox.
#Bears coach John Fox at his presser on Brian Hoyer: “Anybody's that performing well, I don't think we're going to be likely to change." 🤔
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2016
Fox didn’t outright say Hoyer is his QB going forward, regardless of Cutler’s health, but it doesn’t look good for Smoking’ Jay. I would think anyone who owns Hoyer has no interest in trading him, but I also think a Hoyer owner would listen to trade offers, with the mindset Hoyer’s not a longterm option. If you can find an owner who thinks like that you might be able to snag a rest-of-season low-end QB1 in Hoyer.
Looking at his schedule, the Vikings are the only tough matchup on Hoyer’s schedule, and luckily for fantasy owners, one of the two games Chicago plays Minnesota takes place during a meaningless Week 17. Hoyer could be a 2QB league winner if allowed to hold on to the starting QB job in Chicago. Act now before his price continues to rise.
3. Thank You, Blaine Gabbert
If Week 5 was the end of the road for Blaine Gabbert being the starting quarterback in San Francisco he left 2QBers with a parting gift: 19.48 fantasy points.
During the offseason Gabbert was targeted as a late-round quarterback because he was going to play in an offense coached by Chip Kelly. Since entering the NFL, quarterbacks in Kelly’ system has been fantasy productive and Gabbert was no different. He scored 19+ fantasy points in two-of-five games and ran for 172 yards (most by a QB) and two scores. Of his 71.20 fantasy points, 29.20 (or 41 percent have come on the ground).
Gabbert’s 58 percent completion rate and 5.9 yards/attempt left a lot to be desired though. Whether Colin Kaepernick will be an improvement over Gabbert remains to be seen, but the bar was set pretty low. However, Kaepernick should be able to score fantasy points via the ground, at the very least. The former 49ers starting-quarterback-turned-clipholder-soon-to-be-starter-again ran for 256 yards (eighth-most) in only nine games last season.
From 2012 to 2014, Kaepernick averaged 527 rushing yards per season and scored 10 total rushing touchdowns. He started a full 16-game season twice out of those three seasons. As a bar to meet, Gabbert averaged 5.84 fantasy points/game on the ground this year.
If Kaepernick is given the keys to the 49ers’ offense we’ll have one more QB2 streaming candidate, and based on his history and playing in Chip’s offense, we could see Kap play at a low-end QB1 level.
*Stats used in this article courtesy of FantasyData