Case Keenum still has a lot to prove if he wants to earn the title of Houston’s prodigal son. If the college ranks account for anything, Keenum should consider himself halfway there. During his senior season at the University of Houston, Keenum threw for a gawdy 5,631 yards along with 48 TDs and only 5 picks. After signing with the Texans as an undrafted free agent, the erratic play of Matt Schaub has landed Keenum in the driver’s seat of the Texans offense. Keenum has impressed in his first three starts, passing to the tune of 822 yards and 7 TDs. But what is even more impressive is that he has yet to throw an interception, a maneuver that plagued the Texans offense with Matt Schaub at the helm.
Despite being undrafted, Keenum has already proven the NFL isn’t too big of a stage. There’s absolutely no reason I would expect the Texans to pull the plug on Keenum moving forward. As long as he continues to minimize the mistakes, he’s a solid source of production in 12+ team leagues. Even those of you at the top your leagues can afford some insurance heading into the fantasy playoffs, and while Keenum looks more the part of an insurance salesman, he is the insurance going forward at the QB position.
When the Browns sent Trent Richardson to the Colts for a future 1st round pick, many thought the Colts committed highway robbery. However, it’s been anything but smooth sailing in Indianapolis for the former 3rd overall pick of the 2012 draft. The production in the Colts backfield has instead come from the former 29th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Donald Brown.
Brown has been both fantasy and real life irrelevant during his 5 year NFL career, but this year he’s chipped in as a steady contributor in an offense that has lacked any sort of consistency on the ground. With T-Rich continuing to post absolutely anemic numbers, Brown has stepped up to outproduce Richardson, a consensus 1st round pick in fantasy drafts earlier this year.
While Brown has only totaled 243 yards on the ground this year, Richardson’s horrendous display has solidified Brown’s role moving forward. Brown is averaging a stout 5.9 yards a carry vs. Richardson’s meager 3.0. While Head Coach Chuck Pagano may wind up being stubborn with balancing the workloads between the two, the Colts ultimately recognize that Brown deserves 12 + touches in their offense.
Coming into fantasy drafts this year, Texans RB Arian Foster was one of the most controversial 1st round picks. Combine his heavy workload over the last few years with his injury situation in training camp and Foster’s status as a first-round pick was far from a guarantee. Now Foster’s season has come to an end, just 10 weeks in, after he sustained a back injury in last week’s game that will require season-ending injury.
It’ll be hard to imagine Foster regaining his elite fantasy status moving forward as his tires continue to accumulate wear and tear. There was some speculation that the Texans would let Ben Tate walk next off-season, but that notion is surely to be second-guessed with Foster’s health in question. With the uncertainty at the QB and RB positions heading into the future, the Texans will be hard-pressed to duplicate their dominance from recent years.
Throughout his career, Reggie Wayne has solidified himself as an iron-man at the Wide Receiver position. Sunday night’s win over the Broncos marked the 189th consecutive game Wayne has played in, trailing Tim Brown’s top mark of 199. Now the 13 year veteran’s streak will come to a halt as an MRI has confirmed an ACL tear in his left knee.
On a play late in the 4th quarter, Andrew Luck was under pressure in the pocket and rushed a throw that ended up low and behind Wayne. While Wayne attempted to reach back to make the grab, he tweaked his left knee. He needed medical assistance to get off the field and was visibly emotional on the sidelines before eventually heading the locker room. The Colts were weary of a torn ACL and a Monday MRI has confirmed their worst fears. The Colts will need more consistent production from the stone-handed Darrius Heyward-Bey and vertical receiver, T.Y. Hilton. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Colts pursuing a WR in advance of the October 29th trade deadline. Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon, and Kenny Britt are among the biggest names that could potentially be available via trade.
Cordarrelle Patterson – For a junior college transfer who played only his senior season at the University of Tennessee, many thought that the Vikings reached on selecting Cordarrelle Patterson with the 29th overall pick in last year’s NFL draft. After Patterson took Sunday’s opening kickoff 105 yards to the house, it’s easy to see the kid’s raw talents. With 4.4 wheels and a big frame, Patterson projects to be a nice target this season. While Patterson has only seen 11 snaps on offense, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has vowed to find ways to get Patterson more involved. Naturally, no one expected Patterson to immediately join the lineup as Minnesota’s WR2, but it’s more than realistic to expect Patterson to be a part of the Vikings offense by week 6, coming off the bye in week 5. Jerome Simpson’s track-record is enough to assume Patterson will be the Vikings #2 receiver sooner, rather than later.
The Bottom Heist: While Patterson may wear #84, he’s not Randy Moss. But, he’s a bench stash with incredibly high upside in 12+ team leagues.
Justin Blackmon – I can’t stress enough that the functionality of the waiver wire is to acquire players with big potential. The fifth pick in the 2012 NFL draft struggled out the gate with the Jaguars last year, compiling a mere 26 catches for 250 yards across his first eight games. However, Blackmon turned it up the second half of the season, catching five or more passes in six of the final seven games and recorded four TDs over that span. While Blackmon will have to sit out weeks 3 and 4 to complete his suspension, his pre-season performance was highly productive, as he was frequently locked in as the #1 target in the passing game.
The Bottom Heist: There’s no telling just how good Blackmon can be, regardless if it’s Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne throwing him the rock. Blackmon posted a monster Week 11 last year vs. the Texans, tallying a 13/236/1 line.
Kenny Britt is no stranger to fines. One of his most comical incidents was when he took to his Instagram to complain about a fine he received for missing a rehab session.
In Britt’s latest charade, he took to twitter to let people know how he felt about his benching in Sunday’s game vs. the Texans, a decision the coaching staff chalked up to his lazy route-running and blocking.
See the tweet below:
The twenty-four-year-old Wide Receiver has been nothing but headaches since the Titans selected him 30th overall in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL draft. Britt has undergone knee surgeries on both knees and has been disciplined by the Titans a whopping eight times in just five years of service.
So where does that leave the Titans troubled wideout?
Britt is in the final year of his contract, leaving no doubt that the Titans will let him walk in free agency. But, the team might not even wait that long to pursue avenues to get rid of him. On the heels of his twitter stunt, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Titans discipline him for next week’s game vs. the Chargers at home. Perhaps they bench him for some combination of the first series through the entire game.
Either way, the Rutgers product could be on the outs sooner, rather than later…
We’ve seen the struggles from the young, inexperienced receivers of the New England Patriots – and we’ve also seen the obsession with Rutgers University from Bill Belichick, as further exemplified by this year’s NFL draft.
Just as Britt is no stranger to fines, Belichick and the Patriots are no strangers to acquiring talented, but troubled players. Over the past decade, the Patriots have reached out to big-name players deemed to have “character issues.” While acquisitions like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss couldn’t have worked out any better, Albert Haynesworth and Chad Johnson couldn’t have gone any worse. Only providing late round draft picks for these “troubled” experiments, the Patriots consider it a low-risk, high-reward situation.
Obviously, I recognize the first refutation to the thought of a Britt-Patriots marriage is the off-season incident(s) regarding Aaron Hernandez. While this is a completely sensible defense, it is possible that the Patriots could at least kick the tires on a potential trade for Britt.
Lacking a Wide Receiver with Britt’s 6 foot 3 inch – 215 pound frame, the Patriots penchant for a successful passing game is dependent on inexperienced rookies in the likes of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, who have yet to grasp the playbook.
If Belichick’s patience runs out on his rookie wideouts, the solution could be another dip into the Rutgers pool of talent.