Peterman has big shoes to fill for fantasy owners

November 15, 2017

Joe DiBiase reporting

In Buffalo, there's been tons of reaction since Sean McDermott announced that Nathan Peterman would start over Tyrod Taylor against the Chargers. Bills fans have been through many many many quarterback changes during the playoff drought, but never had one when the Bills were in a playoff spot.

Taylor was heavily criticized throughout his time as the Bills starting quarterback, and has had a better reputation nationally, then he has locally. His actual performance as a quarterback is usually lower than what people think nationally of him, however in fantasy football, he lives up to the hype. Taylor for 2 and a half year now, has been a better fantasy football quarterback, then real quarterback. That's not intended to be a slight to Taylor's performance as the Bills starter. Personally, I think he shouldn't have been benched and gets a raw deal. No one would doubt his value in fantasy football.

As ESPN's Matthew Berry outlined in his preview of the 2017 season, Taylor was the only player in the NFL to have both 3,000 yards passing and 550 yards rushing in the last two years. The only other quarterbacks to do that once were Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. Taylor was on pace to come close to that again, his rushing has been lower than past years with just 237 yards through 9 games. 

The Player

Nathan Peterman is not going to replace that. Peterman showed an ability to scramble in the preseason, but does not have near the athletic ability that Taylor has. What Peterman should provide the Bills, is more timely throws, and Bills fans would hope is less dump offs to the likes of Mike Tolbert and Pat DiMarco on 3rd and long. In reality, Peterman may be a very comparable passer to Taylor. Efficient. Not a gun slinger. Efficient. 

At the University of Pittsburgh, Peterman was exactly that. He didn't throw the ball all over the field. In both his junior and senior season, Peterman had a combined 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 60% completion percentage. He wasn't DeShaun Watson who had 41 touchdowns in just his senior season. 

On his only drive against the Saints, Peterman was 7 of 10 for 79 yards and his first career touchdown to Nick O'Leary. The Saints were playing prevent defense at the time, but Peterman was poised and made quick throws. If he's anything like that, it could be a great day for him in LA. 

The Fantasy Player

Tyrod Taylor was the 12th ranked quarterback on the season for fantasy points. A low end QB1, or high end QB2 in every league. Taylor is owned in over 3/4 of leagues in both ESPN and Yahoo, and is started in roughly half of all leagues. Nathan Peterman will not be that. Unless you are incredibly desperate, or are in a two-QB league, you cannot start Nathan Peterman. Especially this week against the Chargers.

LA has one of the best pass rushes, and overall pass defenses in the NFL. They are 11th on the year in fantasy points given up to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. Very good, but not tremendous. Taylor was being ranked between 6th and 10th this week for quarterbacks. Early rankings that include Peterman have him in the mid 20s. That's where he should be. First NFL start, on the road (kind of), against a tough pass defense, he's not startable. 

That doesn't mean Peterman can't become a usable player at some point this year. In two-QB leagues, he's worth a stash. In all other leagues, keep an eye on him, but until/if he shows he's an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor, don't use a roster spot on him. Whether he does that or not, remains to be seen. 

Potential Tyrod Taylor replacements:

Josh McCown, NYJ, 46% owned

McCown is having a steady season. He's 12th in points, which puts him right at low end QB1 territory. Just about the same as Taylor, however McCown is available in 30% leagues. The Jets schedule the rest of the way is moderately difficult, so McCown could be a guy you roster, but start a streamer with better matchups once and a while. 

Jacoby Brissett, IND, 18% owned

Brissett and the Colts have a bye week this week, and if you were counting on Tyrod to start this week, he's not your man. However, owners could take advantage of others dropping Brissett because of the bye. He's been consistent since taking over for Scott Tolzien, and with Andrew Luck done for the year, Brissett could be a sneaky good play for the stretch run. In 9 starts, he has just 3 games under 15 fantasy points. With just one monster game against Cleveland, he won't win you games, but won't lose them for you either. 

Jay Cutler, MIA, 11% owned

Cutler has a pretty solid matchup this week against a Tampa Bay defense that has been poor against the quarterback all season. Now Cutler has not been great. He's 27th on the year for fantasy points, but in his last two weeks, he's in the top 10. Cutler would be more of a short term option to replace Taylor, but his remaining schedule sees a lot of weak secondaries. There is the potential he could be a multi-week filler. 

Teddy Bridgewater, MIN, 6% owned

Bridgewater is not yet starting for the Vikings. If you need to win right away, Case Keenum isn't the worst option in the world. If your a team that's pretty secure with a playoff spot, Bridewater could provide value for the playoffs. Fox's Jay Glazer reported this week that Mike Zimmer was "tempted" to make the switch to Bridewater this week. That means, in the least, that he should be starting very soon. Bridewater hasn't played in two years, but was a low floor, low ceiling fantasy quarterback the last time we saw him. 

For more reaction to Nathan Peterman replacing Tyrod Taylor, you can find reaction in our on-demand audio. For more fantasy reaction, tune into Breakfast with the Bills Fantasy Style, Sunday morning at 9am!