Fantasy Football 2012: Implications Of Quarterback Injuries

1 of 5

Introduction

intro
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Week 10 was a very rough week on starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

We saw Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all go down with concussions, all having to exit their games early. Then, on Monday night, Ben Roethlisberger suffered a scary injury to his shoulder. Big Ben’s injury is a tad more complicated, as he also has a dislocation of his rib. This was so serious, that attempting to play through the injury could result in a punctured aorta. Anyway, it is safe to say that Roethlisberger will be sidelined for quite some time. All of these injuries are very serious and I wish all of these guys a speedy recovery.

However, the show must go on around the league, as some backup quarterbacks are forced to step in and fill the void. This will affect fantasy football both negatively and positively, depending on which way you look at it. Some of these replacements may benefit the supporting cast around them, while others will certainly hinder their production.

Between the combination of the final bye weeks of the year and these tough injuries, fantasy owners have a lot to keep their eye on this week. Now odds are, you’re not rushing to the waiver wire to grab any of the backups, unless you are incredibly desperate. However, they will definitely affect the fantasy value of those around them.

So, let’s check out the fantasy implications of these injuries, shall we?

2 of 5

It's Kaepernick Time?

smith
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

During the second quarter of Sunday’s divisional contest against the Rams, quarterback Alex Smith took a vicious hit from linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. The hit caused blurred vision which can only mean one thing;

Concussion.

Remarkably, Smith would throw a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with blurred vision, but would ultimately end up leaving the game. Athletic backup Colin Kaepernick stepped in and played well. Kaepernick threw for 117 yards and ran for a touchdown. If Smith is forced to miss time, Kaepernick will get the start. And what better test than the Chicago Bears defense.

Fantasy Implications

With Smith out, the fantasy value for Michael Crabtree may drop a bit. Crabtree has been targeted 20 times more than any other teammate this season, but if Smith can’t go, the targets may decrease. Also, if Kaepernick gets the call, you may see him bailing out a bit and taking off with his legs.

Meanwhile, I believe the loss of Alex Smith could actually benefit the fantasy value of Frank Gore. Yes, it’s a difficult matchup against the Bears, but you have to think the 49ers will look to run the ball more, limiting Kaepernick’s throws against the turnover machine that is the Bears defense.

3 of 5

Big Ben With A Big Hurt

big ben
Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Roethlisberger, in my opinion, is the toughest quarterback in the entire league. He repeatedly fights through injuries to help his team.

However, in a rare occasion, Ben will not suit up on Sunday night.

Roethlisberger’s injury was scarier than people realized, as if he tried to play through the pain, he could have risked possible death if a rib presses against his aorta. Instead, it’ll be veteran Byron Leftwich getting the start, a rather ugly situation for fantasy owners of Steelers players.

Rumblings out of Pittsburgh are that Ben could actually miss up to six weeks, forcing owners to look desperately look for another option at quarterback. But what about the weapons in the black and yellow?

Fantasy Implications

Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown both lose significant fantasy value with Ben on the sidelines. During the Monday night game, Leftwich clearly isn’t as capable of throwing the deep ball to these big play wide-outs. Wallace is still a top 20 receiver, however, Brown is hardly a top 30 option.

Heath Miller has been a top 10 fantasy tight end this year, thanks to Roethlisberger, who stated he wanted to get his tight end to the Pro Bowl. Miller has been Ben’s number one target in the red zone all year long. Now, Miller’s fantasy value goes down. With Leftwich slinging the ball, who knows who will be the go-to guy.

4 of 5

Cutler Or Campbell?

cutler
Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Other than Ben’s injury, fantasy owners may be most affected by Jay Cutler’s injury.

On Sunday night’s defensive showdown against the Texans, Cutler took an absolute monster hit from linebacker Tim Dobbins just before halftime. Safe to say, he did not return to action that night. Cutler’s status for Week 11 is iffy, especially since he isn’t practicing on Thursday. Signs are pointing to Jason Campbell getting the start on Monday night against the 49ers.

Fantasy Implications

Matt Forte has put together a rather disappointing season for fantasy owners this season. If Cutler is forced to miss extended time, I believe Forte’s fantasy value remains high. However, this week, temper expectations. You’d think the Bears, without Cutler, would commit to the run. Well, the 49ers will understand that, and I expect Forte to struggle on Monday night in Candlestick.

Brandon Marshall has been one of, if not the best wide receiver in fantasy football. The amount of targets he receives from Cutler (103) is staggering. Although Campbell may be under center, Marshall’s fantasy value isn’t negatively impacted at all. In his first start in forever, Campbell will look Marshall’s way every time he drops back to pass. And while the matchup may be difficult, I still expect Marshall to get his.

5 of 5

Let The Foles Era Begin

foles
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Ever since the preseason, Philadelphia Eagles fans have been calling Foles’ name after every mistake Michael Vick makes.

It appears that time has come.

On Sunday, yet another quarterback went down with a concussion. Vick has yet to practice, and the Eagles have already named Foles the starter for Sunday’s game against rival Washington. There were even some talks regarding the possibility of shutting down Vick for the rest of the season, however, let’s just take it one week at a time.

Fantasy Implications

How frustrating has it been to own LeSean McCoy in fantasy? I personally do not know, but I sure can understand. “Shady” hasn’t been getting the amount of touches he deserves, thanks to the constant passing plays called by Andy Reid and company. However, you would think McCoy should be in line for more work with a rookie quarterback under center. Again, think. Expect a ton of screens and check downs to McCoy as long as Foles is the quarterback.

When Foles replaced Vick, it was Jeremy Maclin receiving the most looks. Maclin saw 12 targets, including a 44 yard touchdown from Foles, the first of his career. It may have only been one half, but it appears Foles will be looking for Maclin. Brent Celek may also benefit from this quarterback change. Vick was never known for targeting the tight end a lot, and with Foles getting the start, Celek may act as a safety valve.

1 of 5

Introduction

intro
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Week 10 was a very rough week on starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

We saw Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler all go down with concussions, all having to exit their games early. Then, on Monday night, Ben Roethlisberger suffered a scary injury to his shoulder. Big Ben’s injury is a tad more complicated, as he also has a dislocation of his rib. This was so serious, that attempting to play through the injury could result in a punctured aorta. Anyway, it is safe to say that Roethlisberger will be sidelined for quite some time. All of these injuries are very serious and I wish all of these guys a speedy recovery.

However, the show must go on around the league, as some backup quarterbacks are forced to step in and fill the void. This will affect fantasy football both negatively and positively, depending on which way you look at it. Some of these replacements may benefit the supporting cast around them, while others will certainly hinder their production.

Between the combination of the final bye weeks of the year and these tough injuries, fantasy owners have a lot to keep their eye on this week. Now odds are, you’re not rushing to the waiver wire to grab any of the backups, unless you are incredibly desperate. However, they will definitely affect the fantasy value of those around them.

So, let’s check out the fantasy implications of these injuries, shall we?

2 of 5

It's Kaepernick Time?

smith
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

During the second quarter of Sunday’s divisional contest against the Rams, quarterback Alex Smith took a vicious hit from linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. The hit caused blurred vision which can only mean one thing;

Concussion.

Remarkably, Smith would throw a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with blurred vision, but would ultimately end up leaving the game. Athletic backup Colin Kaepernick stepped in and played well. Kaepernick threw for 117 yards and ran for a touchdown. If Smith is forced to miss time, Kaepernick will get the start. And what better test than the Chicago Bears defense.

Fantasy Implications

With Smith out, the fantasy value for Michael Crabtree may drop a bit. Crabtree has been targeted 20 times more than any other teammate this season, but if Smith can’t go, the targets may decrease. Also, if Kaepernick gets the call, you may see him bailing out a bit and taking off with his legs.

Meanwhile, I believe the loss of Alex Smith could actually benefit the fantasy value of Frank Gore. Yes, it’s a difficult matchup against the Bears, but you have to think the 49ers will look to run the ball more, limiting Kaepernick’s throws against the turnover machine that is the Bears defense.

3 of 5

Big Ben With A Big Hurt

big ben
Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

Ben Roethlisberger, in my opinion, is the toughest quarterback in the entire league. He repeatedly fights through injuries to help his team.

However, in a rare occasion, Ben will not suit up on Sunday night.

Roethlisberger’s injury was scarier than people realized, as if he tried to play through the pain, he could have risked possible death if a rib presses against his aorta. Instead, it’ll be veteran Byron Leftwich getting the start, a rather ugly situation for fantasy owners of Steelers players.

Rumblings out of Pittsburgh are that Ben could actually miss up to six weeks, forcing owners to look desperately look for another option at quarterback. But what about the weapons in the black and yellow?

Fantasy Implications

Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown both lose significant fantasy value with Ben on the sidelines. During the Monday night game, Leftwich clearly isn’t as capable of throwing the deep ball to these big play wide-outs. Wallace is still a top 20 receiver, however, Brown is hardly a top 30 option.

Heath Miller has been a top 10 fantasy tight end this year, thanks to Roethlisberger, who stated he wanted to get his tight end to the Pro Bowl. Miller has been Ben’s number one target in the red zone all year long. Now, Miller’s fantasy value goes down. With Leftwich slinging the ball, who knows who will be the go-to guy.

4 of 5

Cutler Or Campbell?

cutler
Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Other than Ben’s injury, fantasy owners may be most affected by Jay Cutler’s injury.

On Sunday night’s defensive showdown against the Texans, Cutler took an absolute monster hit from linebacker Tim Dobbins just before halftime. Safe to say, he did not return to action that night. Cutler’s status for Week 11 is iffy, especially since he isn’t practicing on Thursday. Signs are pointing to Jason Campbell getting the start on Monday night against the 49ers.

Fantasy Implications

Matt Forte has put together a rather disappointing season for fantasy owners this season. If Cutler is forced to miss extended time, I believe Forte’s fantasy value remains high. However, this week, temper expectations. You’d think the Bears, without Cutler, would commit to the run. Well, the 49ers will understand that, and I expect Forte to struggle on Monday night in Candlestick.

Brandon Marshall has been one of, if not the best wide receiver in fantasy football. The amount of targets he receives from Cutler (103) is staggering. Although Campbell may be under center, Marshall’s fantasy value isn’t negatively impacted at all. In his first start in forever, Campbell will look Marshall’s way every time he drops back to pass. And while the matchup may be difficult, I still expect Marshall to get his.

5 of 5

Let The Foles Era Begin

foles
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Ever since the preseason, Philadelphia Eagles fans have been calling Foles’ name after every mistake Michael Vick makes.

It appears that time has come.

On Sunday, yet another quarterback went down with a concussion. Vick has yet to practice, and the Eagles have already named Foles the starter for Sunday’s game against rival Washington. There were even some talks regarding the possibility of shutting down Vick for the rest of the season, however, let’s just take it one week at a time.

Fantasy Implications

How frustrating has it been to own LeSean McCoy in fantasy? I personally do not know, but I sure can understand. “Shady” hasn’t been getting the amount of touches he deserves, thanks to the constant passing plays called by Andy Reid and company. However, you would think McCoy should be in line for more work with a rookie quarterback under center. Again, think. Expect a ton of screens and check downs to McCoy as long as Foles is the quarterback.

When Foles replaced Vick, it was Jeremy Maclin receiving the most looks. Maclin saw 12 targets, including a 44 yard touchdown from Foles, the first of his career. It may have only been one half, but it appears Foles will be looking for Maclin. Brent Celek may also benefit from this quarterback change. Vick was never known for targeting the tight end a lot, and with Foles getting the start, Celek may act as a safety valve.


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