The Texans are finally making the much anticipated change at quarterback as they traded Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders for a sixth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders were obviously concerned the Cleveland Browns or other teams were going to pluck Schaub away from them if he was released by Houston, so they brokered the deal and are absorbing the $11 million owed to Schaub next year, thus ensuring he’ll be their starter at the beginning of the season. Schaub now joins the laundry list of veteran quarterbacks the Raiders have attempted to revive, including Carson Palmer and Matt Flynn.
The move creates a ripple effect in dynasty leagues, so let’s take a look at the players involved.
Matt Schaub, QB OAK
Over his ten year career, which includes the last seven seasons as the starter in Houston, Schaub has compiled a 64% completion rate, 24,254 passing yards, 130 touchdowns and 84 interceptions. He was also 46-44 overall as a starter, giving everyone a sample size large enough to show he’s a good, but not great starter in both reality and fantasy.
Schaub was a mess last season as the wheels finally fell off the cart. On the year, he threw for just ten touchdowns and 14 interceptions and also had an interception returned for a touchdown in four consecutive games, which was a new NFL record. With former Coach Gary Kubiak knowing his job was in jeopardy, Schaub was benched for Case Keenum and everyone knew that was the beginning of the end for Schaub’s tenure as a Texan.
With Oakland, Schaub gets a much needed second chance. He’ll be 33 at the beginning of the season, so this is going to be a short run, no matter what. However, with the Oakland coaching staff needing to see results quickly and the contract numbers being what they are, Schaub will be given every opportunity to be successful.
The Raiders aren’t stocked with talent at the moment as they feature the oft-injured Darren McFadden at running back and a receiving corps consisting of James Jones, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore, among others. On the plus side, this team looks to be down in games often and forced to throw the ball a lot – perfect for fantasy owners.
With all this being said, expecting more than around 3,300 yards and 18 touchdowns or so for Schaub would be getting overly optimistic as he should hold the value of a low-end QB2, but nothing more. He should be on rosters as a bye-week possibility or third quarterback on your team, but we’ve seen enough to know he’s not going to carry anyone to a dynasty league title any time soon.
Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK
It seems pretty apparent the Raiders are already done with the Terrelle Pryor experiment. Last year’s fantasy waiver wire darling is likely heading to the waiver wire in reality. Pryor just doesn’t have an accurate enough arm to be successful at the NFL level and likely needs to make the move to tight end to have a shot at a long term career in the league. His chance to play quarterback with the Raiders is surely over.
Matt McGloin, QB OAK
McGloin was actually pretty good for Oakland last year, throwing for 1,547 yards, with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. The problem is he’s just an average talent and likely even overachieved a little with those numbers. McGloin would make for a nice backup quarterback on a team, but he’s not a player to build a franchise around. He’ll probably stick in Oakland, but it will depend on who they bring in via the draft. McGloin could safely be dropped into the waiver pool in dynasty leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB HOU
With Schaub now jettisoned to Oakland, Ryan Fitzpatrick looks poised to be at the helm of the Texans at the moment. Much like Schaub, we know what to expect from “Fitzmagic” as he’ll inevitably go on extreme hot and cold streaks throughout his tenure as quarterback for the Texans, regardless of how long that may equate to. The most likely scenario is him starting the season and giving way to a rookie at the bye week.
Incoming Rookie Quarterbacks
The Texans are now most likely going to target a quarterback with the first pick in the draft with Blake Bortles as the most likely candidate. They could (and will) also take a closer look at Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel. It would be a surprise if they didn’t end up with one of those three on day one and a complete shock if they didn’t end up with someone else like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garappolo in a later round (or via a trade to move up into the back half of the first round) if they choose to take Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick.
Meanwhile, the Raiders may not have the same sense of urgency in taking a signal caller this year. With the coaching staff and GM on notice, they may attempt to take an impact player like Sammy Watkins instead in an effort to salvage the season. With the Raiders, you just never know.
The addition of Schaub should help legitimize the group. The thought of them going into the season with McGloin or a rookie quarterback didn’t do anything to squash the notion this was going to be the least productive set of receivers in the league. Schaub should help out, but the expectation from fantasy land for James Jones, Rod Streater, Denarius Moore and the others just isn’t great. They each have a certain amount of talent, but that amount isn’t elite by any stretch of the imagination. Schaub isn’t exactly going to unleash Pandora’s Box on the rest of the league.
It’s hard to downgrade the Houston receivers since the quarterback play in Houston was so atrocious. Any temporary downgrade would likely come after they draft a rookie quarterback and throw him to the wolves. Even then, it really can’t be much worse for the likes of Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins.
What are your thoughts on the move of Schaub to Oakland?
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK