Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Quarterback Carnage

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Starting with Andy Reid's bombshell in a noon presser, the quarterback hits kept coming Monday afternoon. Michael Vick's Week 11 status is in doubt after breaking two ribs on the second play of the Cardinals game. Matt Schaub's season is in peril with what is believed to be a Lisfranc fracture. Matt Cassel's throwing hand injury will require surgery, leaving his season in question as well.

 
The quarterback carnage is the kick in the pants that fantasy owners often need as a reminder to break out the handcuffs with the bye-week blues coming to a close. Vince Young, Matt Flynn and Shaun Hill are must-owns for owners of Vick, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. Drop low-upside QB2s such as Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jay Cutler if necessary.
 
 
On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 11. Full writeups of each player are below.

Editor’s Note: Join subscriber only chats, get weekly rankings before anyone else, plus exclusive weekly projections, stat tools, dynasty ranks, columns, and much more including the Rotoworld Oracle in our Season Pass.

Kevin Smith
Donald Brown
Joe McKnight
Kregg Lumpkin
Bernard Scott
Dion Lewis

Wide Receivers
Denarius Moore
Vincent Brown
Earl Bennett
Harry Douglas
Steve Smith (PHI)
Jerricho Cotchery
Nate Burleson
Mark Clayton
Damian Williams

Tight Ends
Ed Dickson
Brent Celek
Jacob Tamme

Defense/Special Teams
Cowboys
Patriots
Jaguars

Quarterbacks

Vince Young, Eagles - Eagles beat writers are skeptical that Michael Vick will start against the Giants after suffering two broken ribs in Week 10. As Adam Levitan points out in Tuesday’s Daily Dose, Young’s rushing ability gives him a high fantasy floor in this offense. In 47 career starts, he’s averaged 27.9 rushing yards per game and scored 12 rushing touchdowns while averaging between 14 and 17 fantasy points per season. His upside is higher in Andy Reid’s pass-happy offense, leaving him as a high-end QB2 option against the Giants.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Matt Leinart, Texans - Coach Gary Kubiak’s system is quarterback-friendly enough to survive as a playoff contender even with Leinart’s limited skill-set. The Texans have run the football 67 more times than any other team in the league, which means Leinart isn’t going to be asked to do more a series of play-action passes to Andre Johnson and dumpoffs to Arian Foster or Owen Daniels. There’s limited fantasy upside even in the NFL’s fifth-ranked scoring offense.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

John Skelton, Cardinals - In addition to the two consecutive wins, Skelton has one marked advantage over Kevin Kolb: He knows how to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. Skelton isn’t going to repeat last week’s 315-yard, three-touchdown performance. He’s probably not going to complete more than 50 percent of his passes, either. But the Cardinals are going to take their sweet time ensuring that Kolb has absolutely no traces of injury before even thinking about turning back to their $60 million mistake.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Matt Moore, Dolphins - Signs of life. After going an embarrassing 1-8 in his previous nine NFL games, Moore has won two straight while completing an impressive 71.1 percent of his passes against the Chiefs and Redskins. He’s averaging 15 fantasy points per start, just good enough for solid QB2 value in two-quarterback leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Rex Grossman, Redskins - Mike Shanahan has made a mockery of a distinguished career, starting with a preseason declaration that he would stake his reputation on Grossman and John Beck. After calling five-yard dumpoffs to keep Beck from embarrassing himself against the Niners in Week 9, Shanny turned back to Grossman at last minute heading into Week 10. The results were predictable enough. Grossman tossed his 10th and 11th interceptions in his last five starts, leading to the first five-game losing streak of Shanahan’s career. This offense has managed just 20 total points the past three weeks, so keep expectations as low as possible.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Dan Orlovsky, Colts - Coach Jim Caldwell declined to commit to a starter heading into the Week 11 bye. Curtis Painter was pulled late in the Jaguars game after a fourth consecutive brutal start that has seen him toss six picks versus zero touchdowns while averaging just 127 yards per game. Orlovsky’s history suggests he’s not a major upgrade, but the Colts’ passing-game talent is just frisky enough to provide the opportunity for QB2 value.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Tyler Palko, Chiefs - A fringe NFL talent at best, this weak-armed scrambler went undrafted out of Pitt in 2007. In five NFL preseasons, Palko has completed 133-of-243 passes (54.7 percent) for 1,423 yards (5.86 YPA), five touchdowns, and 12 interceptions while fumbling 10 times. While Palko is certainly comfortable in Todd Haley’s offense, this entire offense gets a massive downgrade with the talent dropoff under center. Palko is more likely to implode than surprise.

Recommendation: Only add if desperate.

Watch List: Matt Flynn, Shaun Hill

This week’s injuries to Vick, Schaub, Cassel are handy reminders for Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford owners to add Matt Flynn and Shaun Hill. Both are better options than carrying a Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman type as a No. 2 QB.

Cut Bait: Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, Curtis Painter, John Beck


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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