If there was one word to describe the NFL on Sunday it would be concussion. Three of the league’s starting quarterbacks, Alex Smith of the 49ers, Mike Vick of the Eagles and Jay Cutler of the Bears, all suffered game ending concussions on Sunday that could alter the gameplans of each of their respective teams this week. We don’t have much medical information yet on the statuses of these three starting QBs but it looks like both Smith and Cutler will be recovered enough to see game action but that Vick will likely not and will be replaced by Rookie Nick Foles for Week 11 and possibly beyond. That is bad news for any Vick owner in fantasy football that didn’t have a suitable QB replacement option on their bench.
For more fantasy football talk and to see which players you should be targeting this week on the waiver wire in your league keep reading…
Jake Locker. The Titans injured quarterback didn’t exactly light up the Dolphins’ secondary on the Sunday completing only 9 of 21 passes for 122 yards. But two of those passes went for touchdowns and he also added 36 yards on the ground rushing. Locker won’t help you this week, as the Titans have a bye in Week 11 but he could be plenty useful down the fantasy football playoff stretch and would make a good bench stash for now.
Ryan Tannehill. I recommended Tannehill as a Week 10 bye-week replacement to anybody who would listen to me, which hopefully didn’t turn out to be too many people, and even traded for him (giving up James Jones in a 1-for-1 trade) in a 2-QB league to cover for RG3’s bye. The thinking was that he had a very good match-up against a suspect Titans secondary that just one week ago was lit up by the Bears. Well, fast-forward to Sunday afternoon after the Titans-Dolphins showdown and the stats will tell you the whole story. Tannehill was 23 of 39 for 217 yards and three interceptions. Not the greatest day in land of fantasy football but just know that I went down with the ship as well if you want to blame me for your fantasy football troubles.
So, why am I recommending Tannehill again? It once again has to do with his match-up, which this week sees him going up against the Bills on Thursday night. The Bills’ pass defense might actually be worse than the Titans and Tannehill could have a nice rebound game. If you need a starting quarterback to replace the likes of quarterbacks on byes like Russell Wilson or Eli Manning Tannehill should do the trick this week.
Nick Foles. Andy Reid and the Eagles haven’t officially come out and ruled out starting quarterback Mike Vick for their Week 11 division clash with the Redskins but all signs are pointing to Foles making his first ever regular season NFL start this week. If you look at the game time you’ll see a rookie QB thrown into the fire without much preparation the week leading up to gameday and there were plenty of mistakes made by the rook (1 fumble lost and 1 pick-six). But he did make some nice plays and his pocket awareness didn’t seem as brutal as the man he replaced. What Foles has in his favor is a match-up against the lowly Redskins and plenty of offensive weapons around him to be considered a high upside fantasy play this week.
Daniel Thomas. There’s been a downward trend when it comes to the play of Reggie Bush and his benching Sunday against the Titans for fumbling in the first half didn’t help his cause much. Even before the game Thomas was out-snapping and out-touching Bush and if there were any week to start Thomas in the flex spot it would be against that Bills defense that can’t stop the run at all. Thomas also has to contend with Lamar Miller taking away touches but there’s no denying that Thomas has been seeing the field more and can also be considered the team’s goal line back.
Marcel Reece. The 2012 fantasy football debate between Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones is over and we have a landslide winner. All the talk was that Jones would be the starting tailback replacing an injured Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson for the Raiders but if you read the reports from various fantasy football expert sites the Raiders coaching brass had absolutely no trust in Jones whatsoever. Reece was the man they were going to feature and that’s exactly what happened.
Reece touched the football 20 times (13 rushes, 7 receptions) on Sunday versus the Ravens for a total of 104 yards compared to Jones’ three touches. If both Run DMC and Goodson are out again this week Reece is the man you want to start; especially going up against the Saints and their putrid defense.
Danario Alexander. Right before gametime on Sunday Norv Turner announced that Alexander would be starting in place of the disappointing Robert Meachem and that in-game play would decide who would see the most snaps. Well, Alexander made sure he wasn’t the one watching from the sideline, as he took a pass early in the game and turned it into an 80-yard catch and run touchdown. He ended up with a 5/134/1 line and led all Chargers in snaps. Alexander has always had the talent but has been injury prone his career but is worth picking up and riding the rest of the season, as long as he stays healthy. Rivers has always looked for those tall, speedy receivers and Alexander could become Rivers’ new Vincent Jackson.
Brandon Myers. Myers didn’t score two touchdowns again this week and he only caught five balls for 57 yards but the Raiders play the Saints this week and Myers is in the TE1 discussion this week based solely on his match-up. What you have to worry about though is that he suffered a concussion, the fourth of his career and second this season, and might not be able to suit up this week. Read the practice reports to see what his condition is like throughout the week
Dwayne Allen. Coby Fleener doesn’t appear likely to suit up this week, which makes Allen an interesting pick-up. The Colts battle the Pats this week and without Fleener in the line-up Allen is the main TE target of choice for Luck. Against the Jags Allen was only able to haul in 2 passes for 31 yards on 2 targets but the Jags have done a good job stopping tight ends this year. The Pats defense can be thrown on and they have given up either at least 50 yards and a touchdown or both to seven tight ends this year; eight if you count Scott Chandler twice.
Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals took it to the Giants this past weekend and if they can keep up their level of play they should be in the consideration as a top five fantasy defense in Week 11, as they go up against the Chiefs. Whether it’s Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn at the helm for the Chiefs in Week 11 the Bengals should be able to put up enough pressure to force a decent number of turnovers. If Adam Jones is able to play for them their special teams return unit will also make the Bengals an attractive waiver wire pick up.
St. Louis Rams. The Rams held the 49ers in check on Sunday and while they didn’t walk away with a win, neither did the 49ers, we saw that the Rams defense is legit. And that was without the play of rookie CB Janoris Jenkins who was benched for disciplinary reasons. In Week 11 the Rams play the Jets, who for some reason are still clinging onto the notion that Mark Sanchez is a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL and if that’s the case the Rams’ tenacious front four should be visiting sack city quite a few times Sunday.