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The New Quarterback Conundrums

In this week’s edition of Digging Deeper, we’re going to analyze four new starting NFL QBs filling in either for injury or demotion, and what the immediate fantasy implications will be on their respective offenses.

Sage Rosenfels

On Sunday, Matt Schaub went down with an MCL injury, and could miss up to four weeks of action. Luckily for the Texans, Rosenfels is more than a viable fill-in. In nearly a game and a half this season, Sage is 42 of 62 for 470 yards, with three TDs and two INTs. That’s excellent production, and although he won’t continue at that pace, he should still post decent numbers filling in the next four weeks with a +8.6% strength of schedule, according to the latest Fantasy Football Today Strength of Schedule for QBs.

What does the new QB mean for the prospects of the rest of the offense? Andre Johnson should continue his recent success, although again, they are facing some tough defenses against the pass the next four weeks, including Baltimore, Indy and Cleveland. Remember, it was Rosenfels who salvaged Jonson’s fantasy day on Sunday, as Schaub couldn’t get A.J. the ball in the first half against

Minnesota. Steve Slaton and Kevin Walter shouldn’t be affected much, however, it should be noted that Owen Daniels had a much lower yards and receptions per game average under Rosenfels last season versus Schaub.

Brady Quinn

On Monday, the Cleveland Browns announced Derek Anderson will be benched in favor of Quinn, starting this Thursday night versus an extremely porous

Denver defense. Quinn is no doubt the future of

Cleveland, but should the future be now?

Cleveland fans love the move, but many experts are questioning it. The fact of the matter is that

Cleveland ranks near the bottom in most NFL offensive categories, so they can’t get much lower. There’s a lot of firepower on the offense in Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and Jamal Lewis, so I think the youngster will have success, especially early in games against

Denver and

Houston. However, be aware that

Cleveland’s overall SoS versus QBs for the rest of the season is quite dismal at -54.6%.

Winslow should benefit the most from the move as the check-down safety valve for the young QB. With so many drops, Edwards’ production has no where else to go but up. Lewis should continue to get a lot of touches, and I don’t see much change there.

Rex Grossman

Kyle Orton suffered an ugly ankle injury on Sunday, but an MRI on Monday revealed no ligament damage. Still, Orton is expected to miss three to four weeks. Kyle was on a tear this year, easily having a career year and lighting it up like no Bear QB has done in a while. In his first seven games, Orton was 143 of 230 for 1669 yards, 10 TDs and only four INTs.

Grossman filled in admirably during the game, even leading the Bears to a victory. However, let’s not forget it was against lowly

Detroit. And with plenty of time to think about being the starter, Grossman will look like the inconsistent Grossman of old for the time he fills in. The Bears’ SoS versus QBs the next four weeks doesn’t look bad at -2.9%, but the overall defenses are tough. Three of the Bears’ next four opponents include


Green Bay and


Grossman is bad news for the fantasy prospects of the rest of the offense for the time he’ll be in. Overall, WR production should dip, but Matt Forte and Greg Olsen’s numbers should drop significantly. Defenses will key in on Forte with eight in the box, forcing Grossman to beat them. As well, Grossman was never any good at getting TEs involved in

Chicago. This is unfortunate for Olsen and Forte owners.

Daunte Culpepper

On Monday, the Lions announced that Dan Orlovsky sprained his thumb against

Chicago and could miss the next few weeks or longer. Orlovsky was playing very well fantasy-wise the last three weeks, throwing for 780 yards, four TDs and two INTs. The recently signed Culpepper, who hasn’t played since Week 7 of last season, is projected to be the starter in Orlovsky’s absence. Culpepper played with three different teams the last three years, and was a turnover machine with 20 INTs and six lost fumbles in 18 games. He’s also another injury waiting to happen at his age and lack of mobility, and I’m afraid to see who would step in after ‘Pep.


’s offense should go back to being a disaster as long as Culpepper is under center. Amazingly, Calvin Johnson has posted excellent numbers weathering the storm of QB problems this season, but that won’t continue the next four weeks with Detroit’s SoS versus QBs at -24%. Three of the next four matchups will be brutal versus



Bay and

Tennessee. Johnson’s raw talent alone should be enough for him to post decent numbers, but don’t expect the TDs to continue. The rest of the

Detroit offense isn’t even worth mentioning.

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