Fantasy Football: Don’t Give Up On Matt Schaub Yet
Fantasy football can be a very strange game sometimes. Often, the players that perform best on fantasy leader-boards are not the guys leading teams to victory on the field — and vice versa. There has been no better example of this situation in 2013 than the season Matt Schaub is having in Houston.
The Texans quarterback is one of the least popular people in all of Texas at the moment. That tends to happen in the "state of football" when the quarterback of the local team throws three interceptions a week after throwing a pick-six while leading by a touchdown with two minutes left in an eventual overtime loss. That is, of course, exactly what Schaub has done in the last two weeks, tossing an extraordinarily ill-advised pass into the waiting arms of Richard Sherman in Week 4 and then playing poorly (maybe that’s an understatement) against the 49ers in Week 5.
Schaub has now thrown an interception that has been returned for a TD in four straight games — three of them Houston losses — and Texan fans are beginning to show their frustration with the 10-year veteran.
I understand that it can be hard for Houston fans to stomach a quarterback who has come up small in big moments in recent years (the Texans have been bounced from the playoffs in the divisional round in consecutive seasons). However, that doesn’t mean that fantasy owners should stay away from him, as they have this season.
Fantasy is all about numbers. Matt Schaub has the numbers to help a fantasy team win, plain and simple. So far this season, the former Virginia star has tossed eight touchdowns and thrown for 1366 yards. Those figures are good enough to rank him eighth and ninth in the league, respectively. He has also completed nearly 64 percent of his passes, putting him 11th in the NFL. Numbers like those are the hallmark of a solid, borderline elite, fantasy quarterback.
If we take a closer look at Houston’s loss to the Seahawks in Week 4, we see Schaub in a much better light than if we only consider his pass to Sherman. The 32-year old QB threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns against what had previously been the league’s top-ranked passing defense.
Just two weeks earlier, the Richard Sherman Dance Squad had limited consensus fantasy stud Colin Kaepernick (he’s owned in 100 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues) to just 127 yards through the air without a single touchdown. Granted, their game against Kaepernick was at Seattle’s raucous CenturyLink Field while the matchup against the Texans was in Houston. It’s still safe to say that Schaub gashed what was supposedly a vaunted defense for three quarters before struggling in the fourth.
So, to recap, Schaub is in the top 12 in three of the most important statistical categories for a passer and has proven he can play up to that standard against top competition. Yet, he’s only owned in 35 percent of fantasy leagues
It might seem more than a little crazy to advocate for Schaub in any way now, after the debacle against San Francisco. We all saw what happened; simply put, Schaub stunk. I understand that. But this is a quarterback who’s thrown for over 4000 yards in three of the last four years and has posted a passer rating above 90 five times in his career. He has a career’s worth of accomplishments that should be enough to earn him the benefit of the doubt. He is a good quarterback in the middle of a rough stretch.
For those worried about whether Schaub might be benched, don’t be. Houston head coach Gary Kubiak says Schaub is still the man at quarterback and the passer is a good bet to bounce back against the struggling Rams in Week 6. Schaub’s value will never be lower than it is right now, so pick him up off the waiver wire or trade for him if you’re struggling at quarterback. Just don’t expect him to win any popularity contests in Houston.
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