How Case Keenum as Starting QB Would Affect Texans' Top Fantasy Stars

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 20:  Quarterback Case Keenum #7 of the Houston Texans throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on October 20, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Case Keenum made his first career NFL start for the Houston Texans in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Although his team lost, he played an impressive game, throwing for 271 yards and a touchdown despite having almost zero running game to fall back on.

Given his solid outing and the injury to Matt Schaub's leg, Keenum could possibly be named the Texans' starter again when they take the field next in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.

The potential move would have undeniable fantasy football implications. Here, we'll break them down.

Keenum's starter status would likely have little effect on running back Arian Foster. The star playmaker will have a week off to recover from a hamstring injury suffered against Kansas City in Week 7. And assuming he can return to playing shape after two weeks of rest, his fantasy owners can anticipate more productive outings down the road, regardless of who is under center.

However, Houston's wide receivers would obviously be directly affected by the Texans' decision to go with Keenum as the starter.

The Texans' top fantasy producer on the outside, Andre Johnson, was targeted six times by Keenum in Week 7's loss to the Chiefs. The half a dozen targets tied Johnson's lowest count in 2013 and marked the first time since Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens that he was targeted fewer than eight times.

But owners shouldn't read too much into those numbers. It's only one game, and Keenum and Johnson clearly developed decent chemistry in practice last week; it showed on Sunday, especially on Johnson's 42-yard reception in the third quarter.

Johnson's 89-yard performance was certainly nothing to sneeze at, and his four receptions aren't disconcerting when you consider that Keenum only looked his way on six occasions and attempted just 25 passes for the game. 

Oct 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson (80) is pursued by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Based on what we saw in Keenum's first appearance as the starter, Johnson owners can feel good about their star's situation. 

The same goes for DeAndre Hopkins owners, who saw Keenum find their fantasy wideout three times for 76 yards and a touchdown. The scorea 29-yard pass early in the second quarter—was Hopkins' second of the season. 

Considering Keenum was able to assist Hopkins in turning out his best fantasy performance since Week 2, it's safe to say that the rookie's fantasy owners can be hopeful if Keenum remains the starter.

While it remains to be seen whether Keenum can get Johnson, Hopkins and Houston's other playmakers involved on a consistent basis, his first showing as the starter has to inject confidence into fantasy owners who are relying on him to perform at a high level.


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