Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: QBs You Cannot Afford to Bench

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Starting quarterbacks are dropping at an alarming rate and that's either great news or terrible news for you and your fantasy team.

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is out.

BREAKING: @steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger officially out Sunday. Byron Leftwich to start vs. Ravens (last started NFL game in 2009).

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2012

So is Philadelphia's Michael Vick.

Source: Eagles' Michael Vick (concussion) out so Eagles will start Nick Foles at QB Sunday.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 16, 2012

Same goes for Chicago's Jay Cutler.

The Bears announce Jay Cutler will not play against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Jason Campbell will start at QB.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 16, 2012

What's a fantasy owner to do?

If you own one of those three, or have a QB who is on a bye week or faces a miserable matchup, worry not—there are options to choose from.

Here are a handful of quarterbacks you don't want to leave sitting on your bench in Week 11.



Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

It would be an understatement to say that Carolina's Cam Newton has been disappointing for those who took him with a high draft pick in 2012.

He has only two 300-yard passing days on the season, has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight), and has only produced three games with at least 40 yards rushing.

Not exactly the dual-threat that you thought you were drafting.

But Newton faces the worst pass defense in the league this week in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are allowing more than 300 yards passing per game.

One of Newton's two 300-yard passing games came against Tampa Bay in the season's opening game, and he also tossed a touchdown and two interceptions against the Bucs as well.

He won't find much room to run, as Tampa is the NFL's best defense at stuffing the run, but at the very least, a repeat of his opening week numbers is a distinct possibility.

Compared to some of the other options you might be considering, Newton is someone you want to have in your starting lineup this week. 


Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

Foles replaced Vick in the second quarter against Dallas and finished the game, completing 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a lost fumble.

Considering that the Cowboys have one of the best pass defenses in football, what Foles accomplished in his first taste of regular-season NFL action is pretty impressive.

In Week 11, Foles will be going up against a Washington Redskins defense that ranks 30th against the pass, allowing more than 300 passing yards per game, and a group that—without Brian Orakpo—has no semblance of a pass rush.

With a full week of practice with DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and the first unit as well as having plays that aren't geared towards Michael Vick's dual-threat ability to work with, Foles could put together one of the most impressive fantasy games we've seen from a rookie in quite some time. 


Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

We've gotten back to the point where Carson Palmer should be a no-brainer to start on a weekly basis, but he's only being started in 50 percent of leagues on CBS Sports, so that's obviously not the case.

Since Week 6, Palmer is averaging more than 320 yards passing and two touchdowns per game. No other quarterback in the NFL has numbers quite that good over the same period of time.

Going up against a New Orleans Saints defense that allows more than 300 yards passing per game, and considering that the Raiders will likely be throwing early and often without Darren McFadden in the backfield, Palmer will continue to put up big numbers for fantasy owners who are smart enough to get him into their starting lineups.