Week 11 of the NFL season has suddenly become an elephant graveyard for quarterbacks. It's gotten pretty scary for fantasy owners.
Eli Manning, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker and Russell Wilson are all on bye (though honestly, if you've ever entertained the idea of starting Wilson in a fantasy league, you should be kicked out).
With a quarter of the league's passers potentially out this week, you might find yourself without a quarterback. If you're digging deep on the waiver wire, here are the top three options for you that are likely available in your league.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
I'm worried about the rookie jumping into action with limited experience, but the Washington Redskins are giving up 301.7 passing yards (30th in NFL) and 19.8 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in standard-scoring leagues (30th in NFL) per week.
In other words, if there was a secondary you would want a rookie to face, this is it.
Besides, if you are in a keeper league you should absolutely be adding Foles this week. He very well could be the future of the Eagles franchise. Trusting a rookie in his first start isn't ideal, but if you're in a pinch in deeper leagues, Foles is your best bet.
Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Steelers
Yes, I know there are games of chess that end faster than Leftwich's release, but if Roethlisberger can't play I do like his matchup against the Baltimore Ravens this week.
That's right, you read that correctly.
The Ravens don't give up a lot of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (12.5 per week, sixth in the NFL), but they do allow 258.2 passing yards per game (26th in NFL).
Plus, the Ravens have been terrible against the run this year, meaning if Pittsburgh can establish the ground game, Leftwich may be able to wind up and take some shots off of play action. And as we know, he may have the world's slowest release but he can sure fling it downfield when he gets time.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
I don't like it anymore than you do, but hear me out—the Buffalo Bills give up 246.3 passing yards (21st in NFL) and 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (31st in NFL) each week.
I would guess the Dolphins will look to establish the run against Buffalo's miserable run defense, but don't be surprised if Tannehill is good for about 15 fantasy points this week.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Imagine Tim Tebow with the Denver Broncos last year, but with a stronger run game, better defense and, oh yeah, improved mechanics and more athleticism.
Congratulations, you just conjured up the image of Kaepernick.
Now, he's really risky this week given the fact that the 49ers have a tough matchup against the Chicago Bears and Alex Smith might still play, according to Adam Schefter (via Rotoworld):
Although no final decisions have been made on Alex Smith's (concussion) Week 11 status, ESPN's Adam Schefter indicated on Monday Night Countdown that the 49ers are optimistic about his availability.
"Unlike Jay Cutler and Michael Vick, Alex Smith does not have a documented history of concussions," Schefter noted. "Therefore, the 49ers have not given up hope that he could play next Monday night against Chicago. He slept well last night, felt good today. He was scheduled to visit a neurologist this afternoon."
Obviously, Kaepernick should be your fourth option if you absolutely need to pick up a quarterback, but he's worth risking a waiver wire addition before you throw away all hope and pick up a player like, Mark Sanchez, Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Cassel, John Skelton or Jason Campbell.
If Kaepernick's too risky for your tastes and you failed to get the top-three guys I already listed, go with Sam Bradford. He doesn't have a great matchup against the New York Jets and he'll probably get you 12 fantasy points at the most, but he's better than the guys in the paragraph above.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets can handle as many Hall of Fame egos as you like.