Fantasy two-quarterback leagues
One bye week to go - say goodbye to the Giants, Seahawks, Titans and Vikings - but at the quarterback position, injuries have thinned the field even more than your typical bye week. The only significant loss figures to be Ben Roethlisberger to his injured throwing shoulder. Eli Manning has been garbage of late and would be a scary start to say the least if he were active, while Alex Smith and Jay Cutler were about to face off against each other's top-end defenses. Amazingly, with seven scores in the last three weeks Russell Wilson is the second-best option that's missing this week. But those holes can be filled with relative ease. I purposely left Michael Vick out of that discussion because Nick Foles is a better passer and about to prove it against a weak Redskins defense. Others who are typically overlooked - like a couple of NFC West quarterbacks - round out the depth at the position and are worth a gamble in two-QB leagues.
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Miami - After an awful two-game stretch at the start of October, Fitzpatrick has been efficiently productive with more than 800 yards and five scores in his last three games. Getting a Miami defense that's 28th against the pass and just allowed Tennessee to roll up 30 points should help him continue his nice stretch.
2. Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay - It's come to this. Newton has performed so poorly for most of this season, that not only is he just a QB2, but he's not even the best one this week. Nevertheless, he draws a Tampa defense this week that's allowed more yards than anybody through the air. Newton went for 303 yards on them in Week 1-one of his two 300-yard games this season-and should repeat that feat at home, especially when the Bucs stop Carolina's run game dead and force Newton to pitch it upwards of 40 times.
3. Philip Rivers at Denver - Why gamble with Rivers - who threw four picks the last time he faced the Broncos - you might ask? Simple. Because you know the Chargers are going to be down in Mile High and playing catch up. What's more, Danario Alexander finally presents a capable deep threat opposite Malcom Floyd and should continue to open up the passing game and slowly exhume the Rivers of old.
4. Nick Foles at Washington - He may be a rookie, he may be making his first career start and he may be on the road, but the moment will not be too big for Foles. And fortunately for him, the matchup is very forgiving. After seeing the 6-foot-6 rookie pocket passer step in for a concussed Michael Vick and complete nearly 70 percent of his passes for more yards in two and a half quarters than the stingy Dallas pass defense normally allows per game, it seems safe to say Foles will fare well against the Redskins' horrible pass defense. Expect a new era for the Eagles to begin this Sunday.
5. Sam Bradford vs. New York Jets - In his last four outings, Bradford has totaled 1,050 yards, thrown four touchdowns and added another on the ground. And he just welcomed the return of Danny Amendola, who totaled 11 catches for 102 yards against the 49ers. If Bradford can throw for 275 yards and two scores without a single pick in San Francisco against an elite defense that had allowed just 187 passing yards per game and had given up a league-low six touchdowns through the air, it's safe to say he can put up similar numbers at home facing a Jets team that let Russell Wilson and Golden Tate combine for three touchdown passes.
6. John Skelton at Atlanta - After starting the year strong versus the pass, the Falcons have struggled some in recent weeks, allowing 290 yards a game over their last four contests. Coincidentally, Skelton has hit at least 290 in each of his last two. Playing from behind, Skelton was forced to throw often and totaled nearly 100 attempts in those two weeks. A road trip across country to Atlanta doesn't figure to change that. Expect high attempt numbers to equal a big day yardage-wise for this gunslinger.
No. 2 QUARTERBACK RANKINGS
* Check injury status.
13. Cam Newton CAR vs. TB
14. Josh Freeman TB at Car
15. Philip Rivers SD at Den
16 *Nick Foles PHI at Was
17. Ryan Tannehill MIA at Buf
18. Joe Flacco BAL at Pit
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF vs. Mia
20. Brandon Weeden CLE at Dal
21. Sam Bradford STL vs. NYJ
22. *Matt Cassel KC vs. Cin
23. *Mark Sanchez NYJ at StL
24. *John Skelton ARZ at Atl
25. *Byron Leftwich PIT vs. Bal
26. *Colin Kaepernick SF vs. Chi
27. Blaine Gabbert JAC at Hou
28. *Jason Campbell CHI at SF
29. *Jay Cutler CHI at SF
30. *Alex Smith SF vs. Chi
31. *Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. Bal
32. *Michael Vick PHI at Was
33. *Kevin Kolb ARZ at Atl
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