Just when Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor was starting to show something, he received a blow that could derail his progress and open up the field for a man who can't seem to win a starting job.
Pryor completed 19 of his 28 pass attempts for 281 yards and a passing touchdown in a 37-21 loss to the Denver Broncos that was not nearly as bad as everyone expected. Unfortunately, the first-year starter cannot celebrate his performance.
According to CSN California's Scott Bair, Pryor suffered a concussion during Monday night's game, which places him in jeopardy of missing next Sunday's matchup.
Official now. Terrelle has been formally diagnosed with a concussion. Tracy porter too. #raiders— Scott Bair (@BairCSN) September 24, 2013
Matt Flynn spent the first four years of his career backing up Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, ending his tenure with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns during a Week 17 game that meant nothing to the Packers' playoff seeding.
That monster performance earned him a cushy contract with the Seattle Seahawks, but he still lost the starting job to Russell Wilson. Some thought head coach Pete Carroll was crazy making the bold move, but his understanding of sunk costs helped Seattle locate its franchise quarterback and make the playoffs.
The Raiders traded a fifth-round pick for Flynn during the offseason, and he figured to finally get his starting chance this time. Different location, same story, as the Raiders went with Pryor instead.
How good can the 28-year-old quarterback be if two teams decided he doesn't deserve the starting gig? Playing on a team void of consistent wide receivers will also hurt his cause, but an alluring opponent makes things interesting.
This Sunday, Oakland plays the Washington Redskins, who have allowed the most total yards this season. That makes either Oakland signal-caller an interesting spot start in deeper leagues or for owners looking to replace Aaron Rodgers during his bye.
Sunday's contest between the Raiders and Redskins could easily be the highest-scoring game on tap as neither defense is particularly good. Washington's has been especially bad as it has allowed 333 passing yards per game, which is second worst in the entire league.
Is Matt Flynn a fantasy-worthy starter if he starts for the Raiders in Week 4?
With that said, the 'Skins are desperate for a win after starting 0-3, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Washington jump out to a big lead. That would be an ideal situation for Flynn from a fantasy perspective if he gets the starting nod this weekend.
Most of Pryor's yardage against the Broncos in Week 3 came with Oakland battling from behind. While Pryor may have ultimately produced empty statistics, his fantasy owners certainly weren't complaining. The same could be true for Flynn.
Despite the fact that Flynn has been in the league since 2008, he has very limited starting experience. His 480-yard performance against the Detroit Lions in 2011 is well documented; however, he also started against the New England Patriots in 2010, and came away with 251 passing yards, three touchdowns in one interception.
When given the opportunity, Flynn has been a productive player. At the same time, Flynn had some big-time targets in Green Bay. If he plays on Sunday, he'll be throwing to the likes of Denarius Moore and Rod Streater. That means his potential will likely be capped.
Although Flynn won't be a bad option in deep leagues that start two quarterbacks or if you lack a quality backup behind Rodgers or Carolina Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton, who are both on the bye, he doesn't hold much value beyond Week 4.
Pryor may miss Sunday's game, but there is little doubt that he'll be re-installed as the starter as soon as he returns. Use Flynn as a one-week stopgap if you must, but don't expect much more than that.