Houston Texans rookie quarterback Case Keenum has emerged as a viable fantasy pickup on the Week 10 waiver wire, but owners should also consider his long-term outlook and his worth as a backup taking up a roster spot down the fantasy stretch.
After racking up 350 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions in a 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night, there is a chance Keenum could earn the starting job on many fantasy teams starting in Week 10.
Houston squares off against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, but should have the space needed to make plays happen. Even though Arizona only allows 15.1 points per game to opposing quarterbacks in ESPN standard-scoring leagues, Keenum has a chance to be productive. The Cardinals' secondary features talented players in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, but the unit is ranked 24th overall, allowing 254.3 yards passing per game.
Keenum has the talent and strength to capitalize, and with playmakers around him there's a chance he hits the 300-yard mark and posts two touchdowns.
And his real value extends beyond Week 10.
With only 11 percent of teams owning him in Yahoo! leagues and 1.8 percent in ESPN leagues, Keenum is likely available in your league, too.
The injury to a bona fide star like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (who went down with an injured shoulder on Monday Night Football, per Adam Schefter of ESPN) has created a rush to claim Keenum off waivers.
As much as the rookie’s inexperience should be a concern, the Texans’ easy schedule will have fantasy owners doing whatever it takes to get Keenum on their rosters. Not only does Houston have two games against the abysmal Jacksonville Jaguars over the next five weeks, but the team also won’t square off against a top-10 pass defense until the final week of the season against the Tennessee Titans.
By that time, most fantasy leagues are already over.
With the Texans’ hope of a postseason berth gone, Keenum is leading a team that will play for pride throughout the rest of the year. This could be the rookie’s only chance to shine during his NFL career, and he will not go down without a fight.
Add in the stellar array of weapons he has at his disposable—veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson and rookie DeAndre Hopkins have the talent to make the deep game a success—and Keenum will have ample opportunities to make big plays.
With a rushing attack that will only get better as both Arian Foster and Ben Tate continue to get healthy, Keenum will perform well enough to earn the chance to finish the season as the starter.
Houston's coaching staff showed confidence in the rookie in Week 9, and fantasy owners should expect big numbers from the gunslinger moving forward.
Keenum is worth a pickup in any formatted fantasy league.