News & Analysis

Broncos offer Keenum strong 1-2 punch at receiver

Dec 3, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) reacts after a first down in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos appear to have bowed out of the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, after news broke that the team intends to sign QB Case Keenum. Denver also holds the No. 5 pick in next month’s draft. In our most recent mock draft, Steve Palazzolo has the Broncos selecting UCLA’s Josh Rosen with the pick.

While selecting a quarterback with the pick is certainly still on the table, Keenum is in the driver’s seat to be under center for Denver in Week 1. The journeyman signal-caller is coming off a surprise breakout season where he was thrown into the fire as a starter in Week 2 and proceeded to rack up over 3,500 yards and 22 scores through the air. Perhaps most impressively, his 67.6 percent completion rate ranked second among quarterbacks behind only Drew Brees.

In Minnesota, Keenum had the luxury of throwing to one of the league’s best wide receiver duos in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. He’ll again have a strong tandem in Denver with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. Of course, Keenum will get a downgrade at tight end, but there is some appeal in second-year WR Carlos Henderson out of the slot.

Keenum was one of the biggest fantasy surprises of 2017, finishing 15th among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring. If we look from Week 5 on, he was actually 10th, which means he was a QB1 for a large part of the season.

The big question here is whether last season was an anomaly or if he’ll be able to carry this fantasy success over to Denver. While Keenum has the weapons to be productive, it’s going to be tough to trust him as anything more than a mid-range QB2. Even there, your options are likely going to be much better considering current ADP has the likes of Dak Prescott, Marcus Mariota, and Jameis Winston going in that range. All three of those quarterbacks offer much higher fantasy ceilings. That means Keenum is best viewed as a 2QB option or as a late-round pick in best-ball leagues.

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