While many teams are doing all they can to secure a fantasy playoff spot, some have already locked one down. If you are in the lucky minority, now is the perfect time to stash a couple players that can help you come playoff time. Here are some QBs to consider:
- Tony Romo (DAL) has still not been placed on IR, possibly a sign that he is likely to return to the field in 2010. He was seen last week without a sling and all news seems to be optimistic. Trying to make his best impression, Jason Garrett will do everything he can to get the leader back on the field. If Romo does make it back healthy, he could go bananas when it counts the most. The Cowboys have the Redskins and Cardinals in weeks 15 and 16, two of the worst pass defenses in the league. With a maturing Dez Bryant, Romo would be put in a situation to carry your team to victory if given the chance.
- Josh Freeman (TB) is blessed with matchups against bottom-five pass defenses Seattle and Washington as well as mediocre Detroit in weeks 14-16. As he continues to mature along with his young receiving corps, he may prove extremely valuable for many fantasy playoff teams.
- Troy Smith (SF) may not be the best option for your team, but it can’t hurt to take him off the market if available. He’s had two good weeks as starter and has two strong matchups to finish the year against St. Louis and Arizona.
Other Quarterbacks with favorable matchups in weeks 14-16 include: Jason Campbell (OAK), Donovan McNabb (WAS), Chad Henne / Tyler Thigpen (MIA) and Vince Young (TEN).
For the rest of you, here is who I like in Week 11:
|Matt Cassel vs. ARI
|Despite losing big, Cassel had a monstrous game last week, recording 469 yards and four scores. It was the fourth time in his last five games that Cassel has thrown two touchdowns.
This week, he gets to attempt a repeat performance against Arizona. The Cardinals are giving up the sixth most passing yards and recently surrendered nearly 800 combined yards to aging former Packers Matt Hasselbeck and Brett Favre. Cassel excelled as well in his last meeting with Arizona, throwing for 345 yards and 3 TDs. At home, where he is playing better, I like Cassel to exceed expectations. I strongly recommend starting him this week.
|Vince Young vs. WAS
|Last week, Young came in for an injured Kerry Collins and was fairly effective in limited action against a top pass defense. Thanks to his performance, he is likely to start this week, barring any setbacks to his ankle. If Young does start, he is likely to have a big game against a Redskins defense that was destroyed by Michael Vick. The ‘skins will only have a short week to rebound and Young should be able to take advantage for a solid game.
|Mark Sanchez vs. HOU
|Against the Browns, Sanchez had a solid game that was aided by nearly 15 additional minutes. Thanks to the extra time, he racked up his third straight 250 yard game. This week, he gets the weekly honor of playing the Texans, who are giving up an average of over 300 passing yards per game. Sanchez is set up to have a stellar game.
|Shaun Hill @ DAL
|Hill quickly picked up where he left off, registering a 323 yard passing performance while the team scored a measly 12 points. This week he is an interesting play going against a Dallas team that hasn’t given up a ton of yards but is second in touchdown passes allowed. I wouldn’t recommend starting Hill over established signal-callers, but he is a prime fill-in candidate.
|Colt McCoy @ JAC
|Colt McCoy has stolen Sam Bradford’s spotlight as the premiere rookie quarterback thanks to a couple of upsets and a near-upset against the Jets last week. While McCoy only has one impressive fantasy showing thus far, he is someone to consider in deep leagues this week. The Jags have given up the fourth most passing yards and third most touchdowns, meaning they are prime for McCoy’s picking.
And here is who to sit in Week 11:
|Ben Roethlisberger vs. OAK
|Last week, Roethlisberger’s numbers were padded with three 4th quarter, garbage-time scores. Prior to those late touchdowns, his numbers were similar to those of the previous two weeks in which he failed to net 200 yards. After a hot start, he has cooled considerably; don’t let some late points lead you astray.
Big Ben and the Steelers will have to bounce back fast before the surprising Raiders come to town. Oakland is giving up the second fewest passing yards and Roethlisberger hasn’t been great against them in the past. In the first week without byes, find someone else to start in place of Ben.
|Kyle Orton @ SD
|Kyle Orton has recovered lost fans and confidence with two solid games in his last two contests while simultaneously quieting some of the Tebow maniacs. However, it’s not yet time to get back on Orton’s fantasy bandwagon because, this week, he faces a much tougher opponent. San Diego has given up the third fewest passing yards and touchdowns and has been very strong at home.
|Jay Cutler @ MIA
|The maligned Bears QB had a minor resurgence last week, tossing three scores, although he also had two interceptions. While his numbers looked promising, I’d be hesitant to start him Thursday. He will have minimal rest and preparation time for a defense ranked in the top five in passing. If there is good news, it’s that the ‘Phins don’t have a lot of interceptions. Of course, Cutler could change that.
|Matt Ryan @ STL
|Matt Ryan had a stellar showing last week and will have a week and a half to prepare for his matchup against the Rams. Still, I’m sitting him this week. Here’s why: Ryan has developed a reputation for underperforming on the road. This year, his passer rating is 15 points lower when away, and it is 25 points lower for his career.
Even at home, he hasn’t had success against the Rams – he had 160 yards and two interceptions in the only prior meeting. On the road, I don’t like his chance of success against a Rams D that has given up the fifth fewest passing touchdowns. Sit Matt Ryan.
|Brett Favre vs. GB
|Including deep leagues, I don’t like Favre this week. Battered and bruised, he put up disgustingly bad numbers last week and won’t do much better this time around. He will face a former Packers team that has given up the fourth fewest touchdowns through the air while grabbing 14 interceptions, good enough for second in the NFL. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a Clay Matthews hit end Favre’s day early. Sit the old man.