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Fantasy football

Calling quarterback options

Injuries may lead you to scramble

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / November 18, 2011

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How about the fantasy footballers who had Matt Schaub starting at quarterback and Matt Cassel as their backup?

We need to help these people.

Reports indicate that both Schaub (“it doesn’t look good’’) and Cassel (“significant injury’’) are done for the season, or at least for a while. Schaub may need foot surgery while Cassel is shelved with a mangled right hand.

In addition, Michael Vick has issues with his ribs, and Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger are on byes.

Here are a few quarterbacks to consider as replacements and a few to avoid.

Three up:

John Skelton, QB, Arizona: I realize Skelton is facing San Francisco on the road, and I realize last year he started against the 49ers and threw for only 92 yards. But Skelton was a rookie from Fordham then, and matchups aside, he has thrown for 537 yards and four touchdowns during the last two weeks. If Skelton leads the Cardinals to a win, Arizona will have won three straight and he’ll probably keep the starting job.

Matt Leinart, QB, Houston: If you owned Schaub, what do you have to lose? This may be Leinart’s final chance to prove he can capably perform as a starter, and he is surrounded by a solid team. Because Houston has a bye, Leinart has two weeks to prepare, and his start against Jacksonville next week may coincide with the return of All-Everything wide receiver Andre Johnson. Another consideration: Houston’s schedule during the fantasy playoffs is favorable to quarterbacks.

Tyler Palko, QB, Kansas City: Palko is an NFL mystery. He threw for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns at Pitt, but he has barely played since leaving the Big East in 2006. After bouncing around, Palko has been backing up Cassel for two seasons, and he has some weapons at his disposal. If you’re going to take a chance, he’s your guy.

Three down:

Matt Moore, QB, Miami: If you want about 13 fantasy points from your quarterback, allow me to introduce you to Matt Moore.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco: If quarterbacks received fantasy points for wins, Smith would be desirable. In reality, the above description of Matt Moore also applies to Smith.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota: In three starts, Ponder is barely completing 50 percent of his passes, and he has three touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s not ready to be on the field, never mind in your lineup.

Ed Ryan can be reached at

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