If you are an unfortunate Ben Roethlisberger or Michael Vick owner, or you actually had to lean on the likes of Alex Smith or Jay Cutler, you feel like your team is suddenly in trouble at the quarterback position. That also goes for owners of Eli Manning, who is on a bye week, and is suddenly very destructive to your outlook when he is active.
There are not many quality options out there on the free agent list, but we take a closer look at what may be available in your league. If you play in a two-QB league, you may have to roll with one of these guys whether you like it or not. Here’s your guide to the emergency solutions.
Nick Foles: He will get the start against the Redskins this week, but he faces much of the same adversity Michael Vick did, and can’t give you bonus rushing totals like Vick could. Foles has to play with the same shaky offensive line and on the same team as a defense that constantly puts a quarterback in position where he has to carry a heavy load to keep up with the opposition. Foles is in over his head as a rookie starter because of challenging surroundings. The performances will be erratic and he’s strictly desperation Fantasy material.
Colin Kaepernick: Even with a matchup against the Bears on the slate, Kaepernick would be the best possible choice because of his scrambling and rushing abilities. But there seems to be a legitimate chance Alex Smith could be available to play, so Kaepernick’s role for Week 11 is unclear. Still, you should certainly add him in case he does get the call. He’ll give you at least decent overall statistical production if he starts. He is well prepared if needed, as Kaepernick has worked in a situational role until now and has not been idle on the sidelines all season long.
Tim Tebow: You can never fully believe what a coach says publicly. In case the Jets do actually make a change at starting quarterback in the near future, it’s better to already have him stashed if you can, as Tebow obviously would be a terrific solution to your issues. Grab Tebow now, even if the change is not made this week. If the Jets lose yet again, he could be starting in Week 12. And if Roethlisberger or Vick are indeed out for extended periods, Tebow could ultimately be the answer to your longer-term worries.
Russell Wilson: He remains a free agent in many leagues, and despite a bye in Week 11, he is a must-add for any Fantasy team with QB woes. Wilson has thrown seven TD passes and one interception in his past three games, and while he clearly plays better at home than on the road, he likely won’t be terrible in any given week. Wilson is rapidly improving, limits his mistakes and can be a decent starter for you.
Jake Locker: He has a bye as well in Week 11. But he returned to the starting lineup looking more confident and steady than he did earlier in the season. Locker does have an upside and a very strong arm, he just needs to play under control, and if Chris Johnson continues to excel, it can only ease pressure on him.
Brandon Weeden: He’s available in a lot of leagues and has already thrown two TD passes in four games this season. Dallas’ defense does look like a challenging matchup, but when you’re begging for help, and there’s not much to choose from, you can consider a guy who has already delivered some adequate outings this year. Weeden is also under some organizational pressure to prove he can be a QB the team can trust in the long term, and he may respond in a positive manner.
Byron Leftwich/Charlie Batch: Leftwich is the first man up, but does not offer any real reasons to roster him, as the Steelers may just hope he can manage the game and keep them in it. Leftwich is rusty and erratic, and Charlie Batch may actually be a better option for Pittsburgh. Batch is a better decision maker and his mechanics are not a detriment like Leftwich. But he’s a pedestrian statistical QB when needed to play.
Jason Campbell: Some chuckle at the sheer mention of his name, but he did have two 300-yard games as a Raider last season before suffering a collarbone injury that ended his starting run after six games. Campbell does know that he must get the ball to Brandon Marshall, and he can flip to Matt Forte out of the backfield. Campbell isn’t an ideal option, but none of these guys are, and he does have experience and a major receiving weapon. His protection will certainly be an issue, though.
Sam Bradford: Usually the Fantasy numbers are mediocre. But he did throw for 275 yards and two TDs at San Francisco, which is nothing to turn your nose up at, and Danny Amendola is healthy again. With Amendola and Chris Givens in the lineup together, Bradford finally has two real playmakers to turn to and may be worth a look.
Summary/Approach: Roethlisberger and Vick could be out for extended periods. Eli Manning could bounce back after a week of rest. If you are using Cutler or Smith, you could always use a better option with some promise. If you can make a trade, that could obviously ease all your concerns. But if that’s not possible, focus on getting through Week 11. Kaepernick is your top option if he starts, otherwise it may come down to a decision between Foles and Weeden. Foles has the better matchup, but Weeden has already played respectably at times and may have used a week off to right himself. So use Weeden over Foles. Then you should grab Wilson first for the longer term fix, or get Locker if you can’t nab Wilson. Meanwhile, make sure you stash Tebow, too. Bradford should only be the option if all else fails, and beyond that, Campbell is the best of the rest of the worst.