Let’s start with a stat that should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about what America thinks about Chad Henne as a fantasy option this week.
Henne has been added in 0.3 percent of ESPN leagues this week, taking his ownership up to a whopping 0.6 percent over at ESPN. America clearly does not believe in Henne this week.
But is America wrong?
Let’s start by trying to make a case for why you could feasibly start Henne this week against the Denver Broncos. For starters, on paper the matchup is quite favorable, as the Broncos have allowed 20.8 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks in standard-scoring leagues, 27th in the NFL.
Of course, if you take away Tony Romo’s huge performance in Week 5, the Broncos are allowing just 16 points to opposing quarterbacks per week. What’s more, in the first four weeks, the Broncos tallied six interceptions, and now they might be getting Champ Bailey back.
Jeff Legwold of ESPN has a Bailey update:
Woodyard, Harris and Ayers did not practice for #Broncos, Champ participated fully for first time since his injury.
— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) October 9, 2013
Still, this game could potentially be over by the end of the first quarter, meaning a whole lot of garbage time for Henne and the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. And the lowest total of passing yards the Broncos have allowed was 297 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4, so it’s hard to imagine Henne not at least tossing for 250 yards.
If we’re grading the matchup, I’d give this one a solid “B” for Henne.
And while the Jaguars have holes all over the roster—including, yes, at quarterback—the one position where they have actual talent is at wide receiver, with Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon.
So the matchup is pretty solid and Henne has weapons in the passing game. Plus, the Jaguars can’t run the ball at all (58.4 rushing yards per game, 30th in the NFL), so it’s not as though Henne will see his pass attempts limited.
I don’t know, America, I’m starting to think this Henne character might be a good play this week.
I’m sorry, what’s that? In his last 11 starts, he’s averaging 230.6 yards, 1.1 touchdowns and 1.2 interceptions, for a whopping total of 11 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues?
Oh. Touche, America.
Wait, you aren’t done? The Jaguars have given up 20 sacks this year, third worst in the NFL? And the team’s top pick in the 2013 NFL draft, left tackle Luke Joeckel, is out for the season, while the team traded experienced tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens?
This is getting uglier.
Look, in two-quarterback leagues, I could see rolling the dice on Henne. I even could envision a scenario where your starter is on a bye (Matt Ryan) and your backup has a terrible matchup (Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor come to mind) and you are eying up Henne curiously.
If you fall in those camps, keep your expectations realistic. I think Henne projects to about 15 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues this week, which isn’t shabby but also isn’t enough of an upside to gamble on him if you have safer options.
You nailed it, America.
Hit me up on Twitter—I’ll answer your fantasy lineup questions and offer up general NFL musings. It’s all the fun of the tailgate without any of the clean-up.