I’m in the camp of Terrelle Pryor believers. I think he showed enough – particularly early in the season – to suggest with a full complement of talent as part of his supporting staff – particularly an offensive line that has given up 29 sacks of Pryor this season (though admittedly some of those are on the QB).
Still, I’ll be the first to admit that he hasn’t exactly been a boon to Oakland’s fantasy value this season. In particular, in part due to the knee injury that appears likely to keep him out this week, he has struggled over the past four games – throwing for an average of 178.5 yards per game with just one touchdown (and eight interceptions). Denarius Moore, has thrived this season despite playing as part of the NFL’s 31st ranked passing offense. He’s ranked as the 24th highest scoring wideout and has caught four touchdowns, with Pryor only throwing five this season.
This week, it looks like Moore will take on the Houston secondary with Matt McGloin starting, not Pryor. The Texans give up the 5th fewest points in the league to opposing WRs but are averaging 23.97 FPPG allowed over the past four weeks. We’ve seen Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer make receivers very useful against them in consecutive weeks.
Still, most pundits would suggest that McGloin represents a serious downgrade for Oakland’s skill position players. While I’d agree that his starting would hamper Rashad Jennings‘ ability to rush the ball, given that the Texans’ defense won’t have to spy Pryor who is a threat to run even on a bum leg and can commit an extra player to the box to stop the run, I’m not concerned about the passing game. Frankly, it can’t get any worse from a fantasy perspective.
If McGloin – a rookie out of Penn State not known for his arm strength – can manage to throw for even one touchdown, it’s a boon to the receivers in terms of the fantasy points that will be available. I see him making use of his top receiver, He’s averaging eight targets per game over his last four with Pryor, so, it’s not as if we can guarantee more targets but I suspect he’ll get a similar number of looks. Look for McGloin to involve both Moore and Rod Streater in the intermediate passing game. The talent gap is significant, but, think Case Keenum with Andre Johnson. We’re looking at an ill prepared rookie QB. That’s bad news for Oakland’s chances to win the game, but, it may be good news for Moore’s opportunities as the backup may find himself getting the ball out quickly and letting Moore, who has the ability to make people miss, do what he can with the ball.
I have Moore ranked just outside the WR top 36 but he’s a conceivable start this week in deep leagues.