Sports Data Hub recently investigated the usefulness [SDH no longer has this online] of Vince Young for the rest of the season, but that analysis was optimistically given before his come-from-behind fourth-quarter drive for the win against the Cardinals. Those last-second heroics capped off a fantasy day that had him throwing for almost 400 yards.
If you watched VY doin’ work against the Cardinals, you might just be a believer now.
I’ll make no claims to being unbiased about Young. I’m a Longhorn, and thus have a higher level of respect for him and his abilities than the average NFL fan. That said, I’ve done the research and looked into what he might do during the fantasy playoffs thanks to an email from a reader (just like you).
Originally, I was asked to compare the potential of Kyle Orton and Vince Young as a matchup play during the fantasy playoffs, filling in from a more promising fantasy starter during his bad weeks.
I’m not sure what to think of Orton on his way back from an ankle injury, but his schedule comparison side-by-side with Young’s puts Young’s upside in perspective.
Orton fell off the charts last season when an ankle injury struck, which makes me want to avoid him, but he has been a solid backup fantasy quarterback for many teams this year. Against the Giants, the Broncos got it done by leaning on Knowshon Moreno, and that could continue to be the way they win.
Orton’s upcoming schedule looks a little rough at first sight…and again at second sight. The number in parenthesis is the opponent’s rank in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks from FF Today. Obviously, the lower the number, the more points they give to fantasy quarterbacks.
Orton – Week 13: @KC (4), 14: @IND (25), 15: OAK (21), 16: @PHI (17), 17: KC (4).
Young’s schedule is better, but can we count on him to deliver like he did against the Cardinals even in these cupcake matchups?
Young – Week 13: @IND (25), 14: STL (12), 15: MIA (6), 16: SD (26), 17: SEA (9)
Let’s drop Week 17, assuming that you play your championship game in Week 16, and average those ranks during the fantasy playoffs, Weeks 14-16. In this case, the lower number would indicate be a more favorable schedule.
That’s enough of a difference for me to project that Young would be the better start through Week 16. You could argue that Orton is a more traditional passer and a safer pick, but I just think the upside is there for Young to succeed.
No, I wouldn’t want to be forced to rely on Young in a pinch. But if your starter has a terrible matchup in the playoffs, or if you just lost Kurt Warner or Ben Roethlisberger for an unknown amount of time, Young wouldn’t be bad playoff insurance. He may even be worth spot-starting in Week 14 against the Rams.
So there you go. Detailed analysis with the Longhorn bias held back. Hook ‘em.