2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Preseason Week 1

Prior to TwoQBs.com becoming a fully fledged site dedicated to all things 2QB I ran a personal blog during the 2015 fantasy football season. … The site was 2QBFFB.com. I know, real original naming a blog after my Twitter handle, right? The reason I bring this up is because one of the weekly columns at my old haunting grounds — 2QB Things We Learned — will migrate to this site. Here’s an example of what to expect with the series.

Every week I’ll recap the week that was in the NFL and highlight a few takeaways centered around the quarterback position we can learn from to better our 2QB squads in the short or long term. The 2016 NFL regular season is just around the corner with the preseason here so I thought I’d get a heard start and go over a few things from the first week of the preseason that can help us prepare for upcoming 2QB drafts, the 2016 regular season and beyond.

2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Preseason Week 1

1. Dak Prescott Might be the Ultimate QB Handcuff

After losing Kellen Moore for an extended period of time due to a broken ankle the Cowboys stood pat at the backup quarterback position. They were rumored to have some interest in Nick Foles, but he ultimately reunited with Andy Reid in Kansas City. That left rookie Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers as the only active quarterbacks on the roster behind Tony Romo.

The veteran Romo is clearly the QB1 in Dallas, but he’s coming off of collarbone surgery and is 36-years-old. He’s going to start the season under center for the Cowboys and prior to missing 12 games in 2015, Romo had started at least 15 games in each of his previous four seasons. Joe Siniscalchi argues why Tony Romo is a draft day steal and how recency bias is playing a part in his low draft day cost.

It’s understandable to be wary though. Romo tends to get a lot of blame put on his shoulders and we’re always looking for the next big thing in fantasy. Enter Dak Prescott. The fourth-round rookie pick stole the show from number one overall pick Jared Goff this weekend, throwing two touchdowns and 139 yards in his preseason debut. With Romo not playing, it was Dat Dak Show and the rookie did not disappoint.

If Prescott continues to play at a high level all preseason long it’s doubtful the team brings in a veteran to backup Romo, meaning Prescott shoots to the top of the QB handcuff list. While you might not have to use a pick on Prescott during your 2QB draft he should be on your waiver wire speed dial list and be picked up immediately if Romo is sidelined.

Prescott has the advantage of playing behind what is possibly the best offensive line in the NFL and with one of the league’s pre-eminent talents at wide receiver in Dez Bryant. You’d be hard-pressed to find a backup quarterback in a better spot than Prescott. He also has the confidence of Bryant:

“I think the best thing about Dak is that he is extremely calm. It’s like he’s been here before. He’s not playing like a rookie. He is going to be very good; he’s special.”

You can learn more about Prescott by reading his Armchair Scouting Report by Anthony Amico. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what else Prescott has in store this preseason and 2QBers should pay close attention as well.

2. Abandon the Ryan Nassib Ship

Eli Manning currently holds the Iron Man record at quarterback, having started 183 straight regular season games. Giants fans and Eli fantasy owners should hope nothing happens where the team is forced to start Ryan Nassib.

The former 2013 fourth-round pick of the Giants, Nassib started the team’s first preseason game and was abysmal. Nassib was 7-of-15 for 75 yards and two interceptions. He fumbled three times, losing one. Nassib also took four sacks, and according to Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus he didn’t fare so well under pressure…

It was a preseason debut to forget. If you play in a 2QB dynasty league where you own Nassib you should hope Eli’s owner doesn’t watch preseason football as now might be a good time to unload Nassib. The 35-year-old Eli isn’t the most attractive 2QB dynasty asset but he’s entrenched in the QB1 role and his replacement might not be on the Giants’ roster. There could be some who believe Nassib is the future and if you can get anything in return for Nassib via trade you should consider it.

A perennial slow preseason starter, Nassib has shown glimpses of putting it together but his Week 1 showing this year didn’t exude any confidence. You might not be able to get much for him now so hopefully his next preseason game is better than the first and you can capitalize by trading him.

3. Case’s Got It

The Los Angeles traded up for the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to select their future franchise quarterback in Jared Goff. After saying goodbye to Nick Foles, over the phone, that left Case Keenum and Goff to battle it out for the QB1 job in sunny California.

If the first week of the preseason is any indication, it seems like it might be Keenum’s job in the early part of the season. Not only did good ole’ Case get the start, but he also outplayed the rookie quarterback. Keenum completed 6-of-7 passes for 58 yards and led the team to their only scoring drive of the first half. Goff went 4-of-9 for 38 yards and was forced out of the game early thanks to a tweak in his non-throwing shoulder. It was not the debut Goff or the Rams hoped for.

It’s only one preseason game, but Keenum has the edge over the youngster and could be the team’s Opening Day starter. Not many imagined that possibility after the team drafted Goff. Even if he doesn’t start Week 1 he’ll most likely start at some point in the season. When evaluating the Rams’ QB battle, Ethan Harwood discovered that of the 21 signal callers drafted first overall since 1967, only Carson Palmer didn’t start a game his rookie season.

So how do we handle the Rams’ QB situation as of now? According to current 2QB ADP, Goff is the 30th quarterback off the board with an ADP of 143.3; Keenum doesn’t have an ADP. A team built around Todd Gurley and the run game doesn’t leave a whole lot of upside at quarterback and 2QBers have mainly avoided drafting Rams quarterbacks.

If Keenum starts, the trend of ignoring Rams QBs will continue. But starting quarterbacks, let alone undrafted starting quarterbacks, are still attractive commodities in 2QB leagues.

The Rams’ schedule to start the season is hit or miss, but Keenum would have four easy matchups in the first seven weeks of the season. The team has a bye in Week 8, which could make for an easy transition to hand the keys over to Goff in Week 9.

As a spot starter, Keenum does have five career performances of 15+ fantasy points scored in a game, and in the right matchup he could put up similar numbers. With an undrafted ADP you could snag him as your QB3/QB4 or pick him up off waivers and start him in a pinch if you’re in need of a replacement. At the low, low cost of free, Keenum could turn out to be a valuable 2QB fantasy asset early in the season.

Of course it might not matter a whole lot in a Jeff Fisher offense…

*Stats used in this article courtesy of ESPN, Pro Football Focus, and FantasyData.

Salvatore Stefanile
Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and has been playing fantasy football since his high school days. He is a proponent of 2QB fantasy football leagues, and his work has been featured on XN Sports, RotoViz, and Rotoworld. His writing on 2QB fantasy football leagues earned him the FSWA award for 'Best Fantasy Football On-Going Series' in 2013. He earned a second FSWA nomination in 2015 for 'Humor Article of the Year'. You can follow him on Twitter @2QBFFB

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