We’ve seen a rash of injuries at the quarterback position this season. Jay Cutler, Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, E.J. Manuel, Brian Hoyer and Jake Locker have all missed significant time or are out for the season. Aaron Rodgers unfortunately joined that list on Monday night.
The good news for us waiver-grinding fantasy owners is that we always have depth at the quarterback spot. It’s a position impossible to replace in real life, but in fantasy there’s always guys floating around we can use. We’re talking about guys like Nick Foles, Chad Henne, Terrelle Pryor, Case Keenum, Josh McCown etc. Trading away our QB1 for a stud RB or WR and riding with one of these waiver adds is a strong play in most formats – especially PPR leagues in which quarterbacks inherently have depleted value. Make your move and attack the Rodgers owner today.
On to this week’s assets. Here is how I would rank the top players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues at each position. Notes and recommendations on each player will follow below.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 10. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
1. Jay Cutler
2. Nick Foles
3. Case Keenum
4. Jake Locker
5. Carson Palmer
1. Shane Vereen
2. Andre Brown
3. Rashad Jennings
4. Shonn Greene
5. Montee Ball
6. James Starks
7. Dennis Johnson
* Chris Ivory is owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 2 add at running back
1. Aaron Dobson
2. Doug Baldwin
3. Mike Brown
4. Lance Moore
5. Riley Cooper
6. Cole Beasley
7. Mario Manningham
1. Tim Wright
2. Joel Dreessen
3. Garrett Graham
4. John Carlson
5. Dennis Pitta
* Coby Fleener is owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 1 add at tight end
1. David Akers
2. Nick Novak
3. Shaun Suisham
1. Jay Cutler, Bears – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
When Jay Cutler first went down with his torn groin muscle in Week 7, the Bears said he’d be out at least four weeks. Since then, the team has grown more positive on the injury. Beat reporters are getting an increased sense of optimism on Cutler and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he returns for Week 10. If that doesn’t happen, Week 11 seems extremely realistic. This is a chance for us to steal a back-end QB1 on the cheap. Note Cutler’s schedule in Weeks 12 through 16: at STL, at MIN, vs. DAL, at CLE and at PHL in fantasy Super Bowl week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues
2. Nick Foles, Eagles – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Over Nick Foles’ last nine games, he’s thrown 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. There’s a very good chance Michael Vick (hamstring, week to week) will never start another game for the Eagles. The franchise needs to find out if Foles is their quarterback of the future – they know that man is not Vick, an increasingly injury-prone 33-year-old working on a one-year contract. So even when the natural regression catches up to Foles, as it did in a hideous Week 7 performance, Chip Kelly is likely to ride it out. That leaves the second-year man at the controls of an explosive offense with potential shootouts against the Packers and Redskins on deck. In Weeks 14-16, Foles faces the leaky defenses of the Lions, Vikings and Bears. Don’t go chasing seven-touchdown days, but top 12-14 value at the quarterback position the rest of the way is realistic.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues
3. Case Keenum, Texans – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
Case Keenum has injected life into a dormant Texans passing game by throwing caution to the wind. Instead of conservatively checking down and being afraid to throw picks a la Matt Schaub and Alex Smith, he pushes the ball downfield and gives his receivers a chance to make plays. As Lance Zierlein pointed out Sunday night, Keenum has 11 plays of 25+ yards in his two career starts. Matt Schaub had six such plays in his last five games. There are a lot of Tony Romo comparisons being thrown around here, and I can see that – except Keenum lacks the arm strength. Regardless, aggressive quarterbacks make big plays and big plays win fantasy weeks. Between Weeks 11 and 14, the Texans will face the Raiders, Patriots and Jaguars twice. That’s soft.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues
4. Jake Locker, Titans – Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
It was a disappointing Week 9 showing for Locker as the Titans couldn’t protect him against the Rams’ lone weapon – their pass rush. The underrated athlete still salvaged his fantasy day with a rushing touchdown and now stumbles into the ideal get-well spot: Home against the Jaguars. If I needed a quarterback just for this week, I would roll with Locker over Case Keenum. Locker will also get the Raiders in Week 12.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a plug-n-play
5. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
Larry Fitzgerald’s hamstring is nearing 100 percent, Andre Ellington is a beast in the passing game and the Cardinals will face the following schedule over the next five weeks: vs. HOU, at JAX, vs. IND, at PHL, vs. STL. That’s enough to mask Carson Palmer’s declining arm and his woeful offensive line.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues
Watch List: Seneca Wallace, Ryan Tannehill, Jason Campbell, E.J. Manuel – Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) is tentatively expected to miss three weeks. The Packers are likely to stick with Wallace, who was thrown into a tough situation without truly knowing the scheme Monday night. He’ll be far better against the Eagles in Week 10. … Coming off a zero-touchdown night, Tannehill gets Darrelle Revis and the Bucs. He’s a desperation play. … Campbell is piping hot, but only deep leaguers can afford to stash through the bye. … Manuel (knee) is back to continue his raw QB2 ways.
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