QB Case Keenum | Denver Broncos
2017 Stats: 3,547 pass yds, 22 TD, 7 INT; 160 rush yds, 1 TD
After defining the term career backup Case Keenum got an opportunity last year with the Minnesota Vikings, after Sam Bradford came out of Week 1 with another knee issue, and he made the most of it.
Keenum went 11-3 as the starter, with a 12th win easy to credit to him after Bradford made an ill-conceived return to action and did not finish the game. He set clear career-highs across the board (3,547 passing yards, 67.6 percent completion rate, 98.3 passer rating). A marriage with offensive coordinator (Pat Shurmur), and one of the best wide receiver duos in the league (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen), yielded one of the most out-of-nowhere productive fantasy seasons in memory for Keenum (QB14 in ESPN leagues).
But the Vikings signed Kirk Cousins, and Keenum signed a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos. After a few years of below-par quarterback play, the Broncos are simply hoping for competence from Keenum in 2018.
In Denver, like in Minnesota, Keenum there’s a good 1-2 wide receiver punch in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Thielen (WR9) and Diggs (WR19) were weekly fantasy starters last year, while Thomas and Sanders were WR16 and WR60 in ESPN leagues last year (default PPR scoring). Sanders missing four games hurt his standing, and projecting his per-game average over a full 16 games would have put him at WR38 in ESPN leagues last season.
Keenum is entering a similar situation to what he had with the Vikings. Playing most of last season, he supported two starting fantasy wide receivers and the Vikings had two starting-caliber running backs (Jerick McKinnon-RB17 and Latavius Murray-RB25). The Broncos’ running back situation is not that cut-and-dry right now, with Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker perhaps headed for a workload split, but after Dalvin Cook‘s injury last year Minnesota had similar questions.
Last year will be as good as it gets for Keenum, and his current ADP in 12-team leagues (QB22; Fantasy Football Calculator) reflects the easy skepticism. But he’s got some upside potential this year, and he should be on the streaming radar during bye weeks fairly regularly.