Fantasy Football: Dealing with Injured Quarterbacks

It wasn’t a good week to be an NFL quarterback.  Now fantasy football managers are scrambling for signal-callers on the waiver wire.  Who are the best options?

For those who may have missed it, Jay Cutler was concussed.  So was Alex Smith.  So was Michael Vick.  Ben Roethlisberger separated his shoulder.

To compound the problem at the quarterback position, Eli Manning is on a bye in Week 11, as are Christian Ponder, Russell Wilson, and whoever draws the weekly short straw for the Tennessee Titans.

That’s five legitimate fantasy football starting quarterbacks on the shelf, another two fantasy backups taking the week off, plus the Titans.

Let’s see what we can do about that.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

Palmer, who is owned in just 58 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues, should be flying off the waiver wire this week.  He has thrown for 414 and 368 yards in his last two games and thrown multiple touchdown passes in his last three.  The Raiders defense is horrendous, so Palmer has to pass a lot in desperation mode.

As an added bonus, Palmer and the Raiders face the New Orleans Saints in Week 11.  The Saints allow the most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Can’t get your hands on Palmer?  Try Fitzpatrick.  He’s not as enticing as Palmer, since Buffalo employs a run-first offense, but he just threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns against New England.  Buffalo running back Fred Jackson suffered a concussion, but C.J. Spiller is plenty capable of filling in, so there will still be offensive balance to take some pressure off the passing game.

Up next for the Bills are the Miami Dolphins, who allow the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Owned in just 48 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues, Fitzpatrick could be your solution.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

The other Ryan who will be under center in the Buffalo-Miami game is a rookie, and as with most rookie quarterbacks not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, Tannehill’s production is erratic.

It’s hard to ignore, however, that the Bills cough up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Tannehill is only owned in 13 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues, making it worth your time to kick the tires.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

As long as we’re on the topic of rookie quarterbacks, Foles may be in for his first NFL start on Sunday if Vick can’t clear the cobwebs.  He looked like a rookie coming in for Vick against the Dallas Cowboys, but with a week of first-team preparation time, expect him to look better against the Washington Redskins.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Redskins are tied with the Bills in allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Foles is owned in just 5 percent of Yahoo leagues.

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals

There’s a reason that Skelton is only owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues:  he’s not very good.  But he’ll likely start in place of Kevin Kolb this week on the road against the Atlanta Falcons, who are No. 21 in fantasy points allowed to QBs.

Not a great situation, but it’ll (hopefully) beat taking a zero at the quarterback position.

We’re Not Excited About…

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers:  Faces a stout Chicago Bears defense that is second-toughest in fantasy football against quarterbacks.  We’re expecting a lot of Frank Gore in this game.

Jason Campbell, Chicago Bears:  Road game against San Francisco, which is No. 29 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.  We’re expecting a lot of Matt Forte in this game.

Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Steelers:  Pittsburgh went ultra-conservative against the Kansas City Chiefs when Roethlisberger went down.  We expect the same in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens, who are No. 28 against QBs.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs:  Bad team, bad quarterback, run-first offense, and facing the Cincinnati Bengals, who are No. 21 against QBs.  We’ll pass.

Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars:  Have you seen the Jags’ offense?!  Plus, they’re on the road against the Houston Texans (No. 27 against QBs).

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns:  Have you seen the Browns’ offense?!  Plus, they’re on the road against the Dallas Cowboys (No. 30 against QBs).

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets:  Have you…?  Oh, never mind.  You already know.