Meet my 2009 starting fantasy QB …

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The regular season is over. The NFL playoff have begun. Time for a little regular season trivia.

In standard scoring, which quarterback ranked sixth overall in fantasy performance per game? Which QB was ranked fourth in yards per game and in the top eight overall in TDs per game?

The answer will be the starting quarterback on most of my fantasy football teams next year …

A number of years ago, I was burned by my worst trade of all-time. I dealt some stud players to capture the elitest of projected QBs that season, Kurt Warner. Still with the Rams, he was coming off a surprisingly effective season and was primed for super-mega things. A greenhorn in fantasy football circles at the time, I was enamored by having the consensus super-stud, can’t-go-wrong fantasy QB to anchor my team.

The problem, of course, was that Warner did go wrong. He fell off the end of fantasy football relevancy table. I vowed at that moment, as my team subsequently crashed and burned that year, to never buy into the ‘best QB out there’ scenario. Instead of spending a pick in the top third of a draft on a QB, I strive to identify the QBs that will fall off other people’s radars who are in good situations and primed for a big season. This year, I targeted Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler in my drafts. Last year, it was Brett Favre. The year before, it was Carson Palmer.

While a lot may happen with the Houston Texans roster this offseason, I’ll be taking a long, hard look at Matt Schaub on fantasy draft day.

People seem to forget how good Schaub was at times this past season. Missing five weeks of the season to injury, Schaub was never able to really compete with other QBs in terms of overall stats, but when comparing per game averages, Schaub, as referenced earlier, ranks right up in the upper echelon of signal callers. It helps that he has, in my opinion, the best receiver in the game to throw to. It also helps that the Texans finally developed a consistent and respectable running game this year behind rookie Steve Slaton. The steady emergence of WR Kevin Walter and TE Owen Daniels. The Texans defense finally found traction as the season wore on, too.

Next year, there are a number of QBs that will be gobbled up before Schaub on draft day (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan, perhaps Eli Manning). In fact, there is a good chance that every other team in your league will snag their starting QB and won’t even consider Schaub until they start looking for QB depth late in the draft (rounds 8-10).

Those that draft a QB early aren’t afforded the luxury in the past that their investment will definitely pay off. Just ask those who drafted Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, even Peyton Manning (who had a number of statistical nightmares before finally catching on later in the season).

I’ve always liked the progression of the Texans (although it may not seem like progress on the surface). They are on the cusp of big things. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they not only made the playoffs next year, but made a serious run at a Super Bowl berth. At the center of my optimism for next year isn’t just the emergence of Slaton, but the potential of Schaub. Not just on the field for the Texans, but in my starting fantasy football roster — especially knowing that the rest of my fantasy starters will be better because I was able to wait and draft Schaub.

7 Responses to “Meet my 2009 starting fantasy QB …”


  1. Dan

    I agree that Schaub should be a huge value next year. With all of the weapons around him, I expect him to have as much, if not more potential than guys like Rivers and Cutler, who will go well before him in drafts.

    Great essay!

  2. ep

    Great minds think alike.
    When he played this year, Schaub put up very strong numbers. He had 3,043 yards and 15 TDs despite missing five games.
    I stole him late in the draft as my starting QB on two ESPN teams and in one of my Yahoo leagues. He took me to one championship game. I made the assumption after 2007 that he was decent, but if he had a weapon like Andre Johnson for a full season (the WR missed seven weeks in 2007) he could be a Top-10 QB, so I targeted him as such. He played up to that expectation when he was healthy. (If only my other long-shot targets would have worked out so well)
    I hope he is undervalued next year, because I’d scoop him up again in a second, injury-prone or not.
    I also agree with your assumption about the Texans being contenders, their defense — with Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Amobi Okoye, etc. — is young and talented.

  3. ep

    Dan,
    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Jay-Mo

    You’re crazy!
    Schaub, really?
    His biggest games when Houston was well out of playoff race, so no one cared to defend him. Check out his performances in the first half of the season before the Texans were eliminated from the playoffs.
    Also, next year Houston plays the AFC North, so it’s a week against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Maybe he will have a nice game against the Bungles, but the others, no way. And Schaub plays Miami and Green Bay, both solid defenses, as well as a date with Chicago.
    I’d much rather hear that Tyler Thigpen be your sleeper. The dude runs like a deer, so there is more opportunity for touch downs!

  5. ep

    Jay-Mo,
    We really appreciate the comment, but this is sports, we gotta debate. I had Schaub on a couple fantasy teams and he put up some good wins along with his fantasy points early in the season:

    Week 2 (team record: 0-2): Bye
    Week 4 (L, 0-3): 307 yards passing , 3 TDs
    Week 5: (L, 0-4) Injured and DNP
    Week 6(W, 1-4): 379 passing, 1 TD passing, 1 TD rushing
    Week 7 (W, 2-4): 267, 2 TDs
    Week 8 (W, 3-4): 280, 3 TDs

    Two of those losses in the 0-4 start were by four points and three points, and the other two losses were to Pittsburgh and Tennessee. All four were to playoff teams. Then he led the team to three consecutive wins before getting hurt during the Week 9 game. He missed the next four weeks (team went 2-3 during his absence). When he came back they finished 3-1, including a win over Tennessee…
    Week 14, W: 414, 2 TDs
    Week 15, W: 284, TD
    Week 17, W: 328, 2 TDs

    He led the Texans to wins against Miami’s and Green Bay’s solid defenses this year and was 6-4 in games that he started and finished. And 3,043 yards, 17 total TDs despite missing five and a half games? Those are some outstanding numbers to go with a solid record.

    I do like Thigpen though, he was impressive on a really awful team at the end of the year. He helped me make the finals in one league.

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