Fantasy Draft Strategy: Quarterbacks by Platoon—Part II, Matt Schaub

Jason BraineContributor IJune 9, 2009

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 14:  Quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans on December 14, 2008 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Don’t like spending early-round picks on a quarterback? Here’s one option that could give your fantasy a much-needed boost.

Last season Matt Schaub passed for 3,043 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He also added 68 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.

Schaub does, however, have injury concerns heading into this season. Last year he missed five games—four due to a knee injury, and one as a result of the flu.

In the last four games Schaub passed for 1,281 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. If he can pick up where he left off in 2008, Schaub could end the season as a high-end No. 1 fantasy QB.

Outside of Schaub's potential to break out this year, another attraction he has for fantasy owners is his potential playoff schedule.

In Week 14, Schaub plays against the Seattle Seahawks who ranked 32nd against the pass last year.  In Week 15, the St. Louis Rams, while Week 16 brings the Miami Dolphins. Last season, the two teams ranked 19th and 27th against the pass, respectively.

This season the Texans will face only two teams who were ranked in the top 10 against the pass last year, the Indianapolis Colts (fourth) and the Oakland Raiders (10th).

Even though the Colts and Texans are in the AFC South, Schaub has only played in one game against the Colts. In Week Three of the 2007 season he passed for 236 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Since they are division rivals the games between the Colts and Texans are usually very high scoring. If Schaub is hot it could make it hard to sit him when they play the Colts in Weeks Nine and 12.

If Schaub can stay healthy, he will more than likely be your starter, except for his bye in Week 10.

Schaub's 10 missed games in his last two years makes him a high-risk, high-reward player. When deciding who to take as your back-up/platoon QB, make sure that you have someone that you are confident can give you decent numbers on any given week.

My ideal target for a platoon with Schaub is Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Big Ben made Steelers fans very happy by winning the Super Bowl last season, however, he was a bit of a disappointment for fantasy owners.  Roethlisberger finished the regular season with 3,301 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.

Roethlisberger’s 2008 expectations were much higher after finishing the 2007 season with 3,158 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions.

This season I would look for the Steelers QB to bounce back from his stats last year. He has a schedule that favors the pass this season even though the Steelers are a run-first team.

The Steelers play six teams that were ranked 25th or worse against the pass last season, and only face three teams that were in the top 10.

The only team they play in the top 10 that is not in the AFC North is the Green Bay Packers in Week 15.

Though Roethlisberger has been known to be hurt, he shouldn't miss much time, if any, due to his excellent size and strength.

With Ben’s toughness and easy schedule I think he is the perfect QB to pair up with Schaub for the 2009 season.

With Schaub's potential, Roethlisberger is not the only QB with whom you could pair him for success. However, my advice would be to avoid Eli Manning since they have the same bye week. Also stay away from Matt Hasselbeck. Having two injury prone QBs on your roster could end up being very frustrating.