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Austin Davis – The Forgotten Streaming Hero

austin-davis9_21_14 (1)

I missed out on picking up Eli Manning as my streaming QB in a league when waivers ran on Wednesday. I would have liked to start Eli versus the Falcons this weekend, but I’m also not too worried because that means I can start Austin Davis against the Eagles. I mentioned Davis as a streaming option on Twitter yesterday, but just in case some of our readers aren’t on Twitter I wanted to get a post up to lay out the case.

Here are the completion percent and yards/attempt for Davis’ first three games as a pro:

Opp Att Cmp% Y/A
MIN 23 69.57% 8.35
TAM 29 75.86% 8.1
DAL 42 71.43% 7.79

Davis is 25 years old, but he’s effectively a rookie since he hasn’t appeared in any games before this year. I think it’s pretty crazy for a player to step on an NFL field and immediately begin completing passes at a 70 percent rate for eight yards per attempt. He also has as many INTs as he does TDs, so it hasn’t all been roses.

Jonathan Bales pointed out on Twitter that Davis has very large hands, which Bales has previously found to positively impact completion percentage. Here’s Davis’ chart from Mockdraftable:

Davis’ 10 3/8 inch hands are in the top 94th percentile for draft eligible QBs.

Davis had a very solid college career, although it wasn’t amazing on any level. He started a lot of games, completed over 60 percent of his passes, and had a good but not great yards/attempt number.

Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2008 Southern Mississippi CUSA FR QB 13 261 454 57.5 3128 6.9 7.1 23 8 128.6
*2009 Southern Mississippi CUSA SO QB 6 108 156 69.2 1165 7.5 8.2 10 2 150.6
*2010 Southern Mississippi CUSA JR QB 13 278 442 62.9 3103 7 7.3 20 6 134.1
*2011 Southern Mississippi CUSA SR QB 14 286 475 60.2 3496 7.4 7.6 30 11 138.2
Career Southern Mississippi 933 1527 61.1 10892 7.1 7.4 83 27 135.4

It’s also the case that Davis has a group of receivers that I generally like. I’m fully on board with Brian Quick’s breakout. Kenny Britt is still an interesting bounce back candidate. I like Jared Cook perhaps against my better judgment. Then the Rams have a bunch of complementary pieces that couldn’t support an offense on their own, but that are probably great in support roles. Stedman Bailey could probably be what Kendall Wright is, and Austin Pettis is a proven red zone producer.

The thing that typically stands between Rams QBs and fantasy numbers is scheme. The Rams run their offense like they’re trying not to lose. They seem not to care at all about trying to win games with their offense. Most weeks that’s going to lead to pretty middling fantasy scores for the QB. But when the Rams are facing the Eagles they’ll have no choice but to keep up. The Eagles defense has already given up a huge game to another backup, Kirk Cousins.

If you pick up Davis to go against the Eagles this week you could even potentially roll him out against SF next week. The Niners gave up 244 yards and two touchdowns to Drew Stanton, which may be a promising sign for Austin Davis’ prospects.

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