Week 11 Pickups: Ranking Fantasy QB Replacements for Concussed Stars

Ethan GrantAnalyst INovember 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers runs around right end for seven yards and scores a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on November 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The game ended after sudden death overtime in a 24-24 tie.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all went down with injuries in Week 10. All three had concussion-like symptoms when heading to the locker room, and none returned to the field.

In the fantasy football-craved world we all live in, who will replace these injured stars is a topic of heated debated. With the playoffs right around the corner in most leagues, it's imperative to grab the replacement if you have one of these QBs on your roster.

In Philadelphia, Nick Foles had a rough rookie debut. He had a scrambling, wide-open touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin to give the team a brief lead, but then coughed it up twice in the final quarter to help seal the victory for Dallas. Foles has been a popular name on the fantasy radar for some time now, as Vick's job was unsafe with the team's poor start.

Colin Kaepernick, the Wildcat QB used sparingly in certain packages for coach Jim Harbaugh, proved his worth by leading a late comeback before the eventual tie on Sunday. And in Chicago, Jason Campbell had a rude awakening with the wind and the rain in the second half of his team's 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans.

Which QB should you pick up? The rankings on these three guys might surprise you.


3. Jason Campbell, Chicago

Campbell had some good years in Washington and Oakland, but was never anything more than a bye-week fill in for teams in a bind. He remains in that role now in Chicago.

With Matt Forte, Michael Bush and the coaching staff determined to use the running game to get through Cutler's injury, it looks like Campbell will be nothing more than a game manager. Additionally, Cutler's injury looked like the easiest to come back from out of the three, and he hasn't been ruled out for next week just yet.

If you have Jay Cutler, your QB is on bye next week and you're desperate, take a flyer on him. If not, stay away from Campbell until we know more about the extent of how much time Cutler will really miss.


2. Nick Foles, Philadelphia

Foles did some good things on Sunday, throwing for 219 yards and a score to go along with his two turnovers. He looked comfortable at times, as comfortable as a QB can playing behind the sham of an offensive line that belongs to Philly.

Coming out of a passing offense in college at Arizona combined with the amount of weapons he has to work with would seem to make him the best option. Additionally, according to CBS Sports, the Eagles aren't sure whether to shut Vick down for the rest of the season.

The Eagles might 'rest' Michael Vick the rest of the season: cbsprt.co/VickSit

— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) November 12, 2012

If Vick is out for the remainder of the year, Foles is the obvious choice for the No. 1 slot. His role as the QB provides room for big fantasy numbers. He's also projected to have more long-term value than any of these three, since Vick has been so fragile over the years since his return to football.

But the man in front of him on the list has the best shot at being a potentially dynamic fantasy pick-up, especially if the QB situation in San Francisco gets any cloudier.


1. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

The dual-threat QB from Nevada had impressed some fantasy players enough to warrant a pick up in deeper leagues. Now, with Alex Smith facing those concussion symptoms and the offense apparently in good hands, he's the clear choice when waiver wires open up on Tuesday.

He rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown, and managed to chip in 117 yards passing in the team's comeback tie (still sounds weird) against the St. Louis Rams.

He's a clear dual-threat option to score both through the air and on the ground. With Smith out and the team willing to open up the playbook in a more Tim Tebow-like fashion, this young man could help you reap the benefits with the playoffs approaching.

Still, with Smith feeling better and Frank Gore still in the backfield, he's a bit of a wild card. The rushing touchdown ability from the QB slot always makes for a more attractive pick up, and it's no exception with Kaepernick. Add him tomorrow as soon as you can.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist and syndicated writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.