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Week 11: Quarterback Dilemma

It’s week 11 and the final week with teams on a bye. It was a tough week for quarterbacks as we saw Ben Roethlisberger go down with a shoulder and rib injury. Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all suffered concussions. Then there are the guys that are still banged up such as Robert Griffin’s ribs, Jake Locker‘s shoulder and Eli Mannings’ “tired arm.” I have owners in my leagues that lost both their starter and back-up in the same week. Smith and Cutler may have a chance to start this week so keep an eye on their status leading up to Sunday.

If you’re in this situation, where you are dealing with an injury at the quarterback position, you have to assess what your options are. I’m sure that you will get bombarded with trade offers from every owner that has a backup they can drop. You’ll see crazy offers such as Christian Ponder for Arian Foster or Russell Wilson for A.J. Green. Don’t take those deals. You’re better off picking up the backup to the injured starter such as Nick Foles or Jason Campbell. Depending on your league size, there may be other starters still on the waiver wire such as Sam Bradford or John Skelton.

When the waiver wire is your only option, keep in mind who has priority over you and which owners are in your position. Chances are there are two or three owners in the same situation or still have a bye week need to fill. If all four quarterbacks missed this week’s game and your backup has a bye, then that will be eight quarterbacks that will be unavailable. The situation is even worse when you play in a 14 or 16 team league or in leagues that start two quarterbacks.

So once you’ve made a decision on what your best option is, you need to think about what you are going to do with your quarterbacks. The playoffs are coming soon and some leagues have waiver deadlines. The question becomes, do you hold on to three quarterbacks or do you drop Roethlisberger or Vick? It’s a tough question as we don’t know how much time they will miss. You could keep all the quarterbacks but then that leaves you short at another position where you can add depth for the playoffs. You can also drop the injured quarterback but then what if they came back and play? No easy answer and you will need to decide based on what players you have.

Teams off week 11:  Vikings, Giants, Seahawks, Titans

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.

Calvin Johnson– 12 receptions for 207 yards and 1 touchdown. Johnson owners rejoiced this week as Megatron dominated. To think he was considered questionable all week. I hope that no one panicked and benched him. Johnson is 5th overall among wide receivers even though he has just two touchdowns on the season.

Tony Gonzalez– 11 receptions for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gonzales is having his best season in years. He’s on pace to catch over 100 passes this season which will be his most since grabbing 102 back in 2004. He can also eclipse the 1,000 yard mark with 10 touchdowns like he did in 2008.

Adrian Peterson– 27 carries for 171 yards and 1 touchdown. Peterson now has four games in a row with 120+ yards, averaging 157 yards with five touchdowns over that span. Peterson leads all fantasy players with 231 points on the season.

The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Michael Turner– 13 carries for 15 yards. Turner has scored just three touchdowns on 17 carries inside the goal line. Turner is averaging just 59.1 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns this season. He’s still holding off Jacquizz Rodgers, for now.

Eric Decker– 2 receptions for 15 yards. Decker has consistently gotten you 20.5 fantasy points on average since Week 3. This week he came up short against the Panthers.


Good quarterback matchups this week:

Carson Palmer against the Saints. If you have been paying attention, Palmer has been a pretty productive starting quarterback and is the No. 1 fantasy QB over the past four weeks, averaging 23.2 fantasy points per game. He may carry some owners to a championship as his schedule is pretty favorable the rest of the season. He’ll face a Saints team that has been fantasy gold for opposing quarterbacks. They are allowing 26.9 fantasy points per game and is 31st in the NFL in pass defense giving up 307.3 passing yards per game and 19 touchdowns.

Josh Freeman at the Panthers. You have to ride the hot hand and Freeman has been hot as of late. He has multiple touchdowns in his last three games and has been the 3rd best fantasy quarterback over the past four weeks. He faces a Panthers team that limited him in Week 1. The Panthers are giving up 231.4 passing yards per game (16th in the NFL) and have allowed 18.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Nick Foles against the Redskins. Rookies have played well this season as Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have been great. Even Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill have played well in spots. Foles will start this week and maybe even finish the season. He’ll face the Redskins who are 30th in the NFL in pass defense allowing 301.7 passing yards a game with 20 touchdowns. They are giving up 24.3 fantasy points per game.

Good running back matchups this week:

Steven Jackson against the Jets. Jackson put up 101 yards last week against a tough 49ers defense and has an opportunity to put up good numbers this week against the Jets 30th rank rushing defense. The Jets give up 145 rushing yards per game and have allowed 10 touchdowns. Last week Marshawn Lynch racked up 22 fantasy points against the Jets.

Jamaal Charles against the Bengals. Charles topped 100 yards last week for the first time since Week 5. If only the Chiefs could commit to the run more, Charles would be putting up monster numbers. He’ll face a Bengals team that is allowing 118.3 yards per game (20th in the NFL) with 10 touchdowns. Last week the Bengals allowed 30 fantasy points combined to Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown. Charles can get that on his own.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Chris Ivory at the Raiders. Ivory lead the Saints last week with 72 yards and a score. The matchup this week makes Ivory a great play as the Raiders are allowing 119.0 rushing yards per game (21st in the NFL) with 13 touchdowns given up. This game will be a very high scoring affair and will be good for fantasy players on each side. Remember, Doug Martin ran for 251 yards against the Raiders two weeks ago.

Bad quarterback matchups this week:

Jay Cutler/ Jason Campbell at the 49ers. Cutler may still play since the game isn’t until Monday. Regardless of who starts, it isn’t a good matchup as the 49ers are tied with the Bears and Ravens for the lowest amount of touchdowns given up with eight. The 49ers are 5th in the NFL with just 196.8 passing yards per game. The 49ers are holding fantasy quarterbacks to 14.6 fantasy points per game.

Philip Rivers at the Broncos. The last time Rivers faced the Broncos he threw four interceptions. Rivers has been up and down all season and owners will have trouble trusting him week to week. The Broncos can extend their lead in the division with a sweep of the Chargers. Broncos are 11th in the NFL allowing 218.4 passing yards per game and have 10 interceptions on the season.

Joe Flacco against the Steelers. Flacco will face the Steelers twice in the next three weeks. Flacco is coming off his best game of the season but he hasn’t been consistent from week to week. The Steelers have been tough on quarterbacks this season as they are the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL allowing just 171.1 passing yards per game. They have not allowed a passing touchdown in the past two weeks and are keeping quarterbacks to 13.8 fantasy points per game. They have held fantasy quarterbacks to eight points or less in three of the last four weeks.

Bad running back matchups this week:

Rashad Jennings at the Texans. Jennings was out for the first meeting against the Texans. The past two weeks have not been good for Jennings as he rushed for just 17 yards against the Colts and 45 against the Lions. Those are two defenses he should have racked up big numbers against. The Texans are 3rd in the NFL in run defense and allow just 85.6 yards per game and have yet to give up a rushing touchdown in nine games.

Alfred Morris against the Eagles. Morris has been quiet over the past two weeks averaging 67 yards and scoring just one touchdown in the last five games. The Eagles have been stingy when it comes to scoring on the ground as they have given up just three all season. This could be another subpar week for Morris.

Willis McGahee against the Chargers. This week could make or break the season for the Chargers. The one area that has been the team strength is the run defense where they are 2nd in the league with 82.9 yards per game with only four touchdowns surrendered. McGahee was held to just 57 yards when these teams played in Week 6.

Week 11: It’s been rough on quarterbacks lately. That is the reason it is important to draft a quality backup before the season.

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