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On The Road Again: Keenum Traded To D.C.

Of all the trades that went down this past week the move by the Washington Redskins to acquire Case Keenum was greeted with the least excitement. Many fans in the dynasty community have written off Keenum as a flash in the pan who has cashed in off a fluke season two years ago in Minnesota. Now while I am not here today to suggest that Keenum will be an All-Pro QB in D.C. I do believe that the move was a quality personnel decision by the Washington front office. For the low-low price of moving back from the 6th to the 7th round Washington has acquired a fringe starter who at a minimum will be a quality backup for the upcoming season. Denver has been forced to pay the bulk of his salary leaving Washington on the hook for just over 3 million dollars. While the signing does not illicit excitement in the dynasty and fantasy community as a whole, it could lead to an under the radar superflex play if Keenum locks down the starting job. Let us examine the situation.

Many casual fans may not be aware of just how prolific Case Keenum was during his college career at the University of Houston. The former Cougar left Houston as the NCAA all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. As you can see from his numbers below Keenum directed a high powered offense that regularly put up video game type stats.

Despite his historic college career Keenum would go undrafted in the 2012 draft and has bounced around the league ever since. He has made stops in Houston, St. Louis, L.A., Minnesota, Denver and now Washington. Throughout his professional career Keenum has played at a slightly above average level. He has been just good enough to start for NFL teams but never good enough to build your franchise around. Depending on what Washington does with the rest of the offseason the 2019 campaign may be Keenum’s last chance to stake his claim to one of the 32 starting QB jobs in the NFL. Despite his limitations his career numbers suggest that Keenum will be the best in-house option available to Jay Gruden during the coming season.

The Denver Broncos have already secured Joe Flacco to fill their starting QB role and will not be effected by the departure of Keenum. Let us take a look at his new team and the possible implications for the Washington skill positions.

QB: The trade for Case Keenum cannot mean good things for either Alex Smith or Colt McCoy. Following last year’s gruesome injury it is entirely possible that Alex Smith may never take another NFL snap. Colt McCoy was supposed to fill the mantle of starter last season but immediately suffered his own broken leg ending up in the very same hospital room as Alex Smith. Despite his limitations I do expect Case Keenum to have a marked level of fantasy success in the Jay Gruden system. The system worked for Cousins and I expect Case to fill those shoes admirably.

RB: The Redskins will be welcoming back last year’s rookie pick Derrius Guice who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. They will also bring back talented 3rd down specialist Chris Thompson. Keenum showed in his best season in Minnesota that he could effectively involve his RBs in the pass game and I expect there to be no significant drop off in production for either of these players.

WR: For the last several seasons Washington has been searching for a true WR1. They attempted to draft the positon with Josh Doctson. They attempted to sign the position with Paul Richardson. I would expect Daniel Snyder and company to again dip their collective toes into the rookie WR pool this offseason. Neither Doctson nor Richardson make for appealing dynasty targets. Of all the WRs on the team Trey Quinn offers the most upside especially when paired with a QB like Keenum who targets the slot early and often. In Minnesota Keenum locked in on Adam Thielen. During his stint with the Broncos Emmanuel Sanders was the focus of his attentions. Whether it is Quinn or another receiver whomever mans the slot with Keenum at the helm will soak up a fair amount of targets.

TE: Jordan Reed is an enigma. From a physical standpoint Reed was once one of the most talented TEs in the entire league. It is fair to wonder if the accumulation of injuries over the course of his NFL career have sapped the once special talent. If Reed is forced to again miss time the ageless Vernon Davis will man the TE positon in our nation’s capital. Keenum is not averse to involving the TE as he frequently looks to check the ball underneath when facing pressure. I do not expect a big shift one way or the other for the Redskins TEs.

Conclusion: From this point forward Case Keenum will be linked with Kirk Cousins. It was after all Cousins who replaced Keenum as the starter in Minnesota last season. Despite putting up career best numbers Cousin’s first season in Minnesota was seen as a failure with the Vikings missing the playoffs. Case Keenum will now attempt to replicate the success Cousins had in D.C. It is entirely possible that Washington will look to further address the QB positon either through a trade or the upcoming draft. Keenum may once again be asked to play the bridge role as he did with Jared Goff. The only real dynasty value in this move is in superflex leagues where Keenum will once again be a back end QB2.

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