So here’s the deal: If you’re a quarterback who can throw a forward pass then you’re all but assured 18 fantasy points against the New England Patriots.
Tyler Palko, meet the New England Patriots. Fantasy players, meet Tyler Palko, the Kansas City Chiefs’ new starting quarterback. Palko, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, gets his first career start when the Chiefs take on the Patriots Monday night in Foxboro.
The previous nine quarterbacks that have started this season against New England have all recorded at least 18-point fantasy days, and that 18-pointer only threw for 166 yards in doing so. The Patriots have allowed six 300-plus yard games, one 400-plus, a 250 and Mark Sanchez threw for 166 in Week 5 and then came back with 306 last week.
Houston, Pittsburgh and New Orleans are all on bye weeks, Michael Vick (ribs) is not looking available Sunday night and there are some other bad matchups out there in Week 11. If you’re in a two-quarterback league, Palko’s certainly a play in Week 11, and if you are looking for a deep sleeper or just wanting to jump in on the action against New England, starting Palko isn’t a bad idea in standard 12-team, one-QB leagues.
The 6-1, left-handed Palko is getting start No. 1 after Matt Cassel suffered a hand injury in Week 10 that will likely end his 2011 season. Once cut by the UFL’s California Redwoods, Palko has thrown a total of 13 NFL passes — completing nine of them for 82 yards — in four stops. He came into last week’s game in relief of Cassel, completing five of six passes for 47 yards on a drive that ended with a field goal.
And now he gets his first start against a Patriots team that, like all other NFL teams, has very little to go on about his game since he left Pitt. What we do know is the Patriots are allowing opposing QBs to complete 63.4 percent of their passes for 323.4 yards, 1.6 TDs and 1.3 interceptions a game for a league-worst 25.7 fantasy points per game.
Cassel took a while to get anything going this season, however, in four of his last five full-game starts, he threw for 253-plus yards in each game and had six TDs in those four games (four coming against Indianpolis). Palko does have Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, Jonathan Baldwin in his receiving corps and a multi-purpose back in Dexter McCluster, who can help him as a pass catcher.
Whether it’s Palko throwing to try and keep the Chiefs competitive or if it’s Palko throwing to try and catch the Chiefs up, points are there for the taking for the new K.C. QB.
I’m not here to say Palko is going to be a fantasy backup, hell, even a reality backup that is reliable. There is a reason he’s thrown 13 NFL passes since 2007 and was cut by a UFL team in between. But for one night, against one poor defense and you just need a stop gap that will give you a quick 16 points, Palko is a good start.
Plus, it will give you a reason to watch what should otherwise be a terrible game.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter