By Eric Mack
November 15, 2012

Here is the silver lining of having so many starting quarterbacks on the injury report in Week 11: You probably should have avoided many of these guys anyway.

So, naturally, the same goes for their significantly less-promising backups. Ignore them en masse.

Jay Cutler (concussion), a marginal fantasy starter in standard leagues anyway, would have faced the 49ers, the fourth-best team in fantasy against quarterbacks. Michael Vick (concussion) has been, well, a has-been. Even if he was facing the Redskins, the second-worst team in fantasy versus quarterbacks, would you have started him amid his run of fantasy ineffectiveness?

The real loss -- and it could be for awhile -- is Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, rib), of course, but he was going to be facing the Ravens, who are the ninth-best team in fantasy versus quarterbacks, and he didn't look all that productive before getting hurt against the Chiefs last Monday night.

Save for rookie Nick Foles, perhaps, who faces a suspect Redskins secondary, none of the replacements rate in the top 15 of fantasy starting quarterback options for Week 11. Don't dare consider the unknown likes of Colin Kaepernick, Jason Campbell and Byron Leftwich.

The week ahead even offers a respite from the struggling Eli Manning. He and his Giants are on a bye, along with Minnesota, Seattle and Tennessee. In addition to finding fill-ins for your quarterbacks, replacements are needed for weekly starters Ahmad Bradshaw, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Lawrence Tynes, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Blair Walsh, Vikings D/ST, Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks D/ST and Chris Johnson.

We help you find those replacements in's Week 11 fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em:


Buccaneers -- Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Connor Barth, Buccaneers D/ST: The first two here are obvious in their breakthrough campaigns. Barth has become a pretty decent fantasy kicker, and the Panthers are the worst team versus kickers, giving up a league-high 25 field goals. Also, the Panthers are eighth-worst against opposing D/STs, so consider the Bucs unit a good streaming option.

Panthers -- Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen: The Bucs' defense has been gashed by the pass this season, so Newton should continue to be resurgent for his disappointed fantasy owners. The Bucs are fourth-worst against quarterbacks and third-worst against wide receivers, so consider Brandon LaFell a potential sleeper here, too. The Bucs are also 11th-worst against tight ends, so Olsen should have another standout week.


Buccaneers -- Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Dallas Clark: These guys are borderline options this week despite some promising production of late. The Panthers' defense doesn't get any credit, but it is quietly 10th-best against quarterbacks, sixth-best against wide receivers and in the top half against tight ends. This might wind up being a run-heavy game for the Bucs, but LeGarrette Blount should be far, far away from fantasy rosters by now.

Panthers -- Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Justin Medlock, Panthers D/ST: We know you're praying for the day the Panthers figure out how to run their backs, but Stewart faces a top-10 unit in fantasy against running backs here. This doesn't figure to be a week to throw these guys in there.


Browns -- Trent Richardson: The Cowboys should be ready to go, but Richardson is a good start against a defense that is in the bottom half of fantasy against running backs. Also, the Browns' D/ST has played better of late and the Cowboys are always good for some turnovers, so consider their defensive unit if desperate. The Cowboys are fifth-worst in fantasy against opposing D/STs. Kicker Phil Dawson is viable as a low-end starter, perhaps, but we could also see the Browns getting shut out here, too.

Cowboys -- Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey, Cowboys D/ST: While the Browns are playing better defense, they still rank 10th-worst against quarterbacks and running backs and sixth-worst against wide receivers. Witten has been hot, so don't worry too much about him facing a defense that is actually third-best in fantasy versus tight ends. This is a start-all game for the Cowboys, even the resurgent Jones, who remains the feature back with DeMarco Murray (foot) out.


Browns -- Brandon Weeden, Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Ben Watson: The Cowboys are one of the elite pass defenses in the NFL. Only the Bears, 49ers and Ravens have given up fewer passing touchdowns (eight) to date than the Cowboys (nine). The Cowboys are fifth-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks and tight ends and 11th-best against wide receivers. This looks like a bad game for Weeden and his shaky receivers.

Cowboys -- DeMarco Murray, Kevin Ogletree: Murray is probably going to be held out one more week and Ogletree hasn't justified being owned all season.


Packers -- Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Mason Crosby, Packers D/ST: The Lions' defense is better than it has shown and its numbers aren't bad, but the Packers are a bad matchup for anyone, particularly with Nelson (hamstring, ankle) back practicing and expecting to play. Cobb, more than Jones, should be downgraded some by Nelson's return, but all three are top-25 fantasy starts this week with Rodgers scorching. As for the kicker and defense, the Lions are third-worst in fantasy versus both positions.

Lions -- Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hanson: The Packers' defense is hardly as forgiving as it was a year ago, and the Lions have shown more offensive spunk after their poor start. Consider all of your primary Lions options solid plays in a game that figures to feature a pretty fast pace. The last time these teams got together, they set a record for passing yards in a single game -- and that was with Matt Flynn under center for the Packers. That is enough to consider Titus Young and even Ryan Broyles sleepers as needed.


Packers -- James Starks, Alex Green, Jermichael Finley: The Packers' running game was bad when it featured one back. With Starks and Green fully in a timeshare and facing the Lions (sixth-best in fantasy versus running backs), it's not safe to trust either in starting lineups this week. Finley is a potential sleeper against the 10th-worst team in fantasy against tight ends, but he has been mostly asleep the entire season. His shoulder got more rest, but it's best to stash Finley until he proves healthy and productive. He might be available on waivers, so pick him up and start him if your other tight end is marginal anyway.

Lions -- Joique Bell, Kevin Smith, Tony Scheffler, Lions D/ST: Green Bay's run defense is better than its numbers, and Bell and Smith don't get enough carries to be viable anyway. The defense should be avoided because when the Packers are going as well as they have been, they don't allow sacks or turnovers and the put up mind-numbing yards and points.


Jaguars -- None: Bueller? Bueller? Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) has been ruled out for Week 11 and the Jags look like they should be ruled out of the NFL right now. The only possible consideration is Cecil Shorts because he has been going well and there might be some garbage time for him. That would require starting him with a shaky quarterback and against a defense that is seventh versus wide receivers, though.

Texans -- Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham, Texans D/ST: Against the Jaguars' defense, all of these guys are great options. Even Daniels is healthy enough to practice, and therefore, play, this week. If you need sleepers, look here. Matt Schaub and Kevin Walter are decent ones. Heck, if Ben Tate (hamstring) is active, you might consider him, too, against the fourth-worst team in fantasy against running backs. If Tate isn't active, even seldom-used Justin Forsett might get some garbage-time points for a desperate fantasy owner.


Jaguars -- Blaine Gabbert, Rashad Jennings, Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars D/ST: The running game is all this team had going for it and it blew it against the suspect Colts over a week ago. Don't dare start Jennings against the No. 1 team in fantasy versus running backs. The passing game is just as suspect with Gabbert and the fact that the Texans are seventh-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers.

Texans -- None: If you own a Texans player, start him. The Jags are second-best in fantasy against tight ends, but Daniels gets too many targets to sit.


Cardinals -- LaRod Stephens-Howling, Larry Fitzgerald: The Falcons are in the bottom half of fantasy against running backs and LSH has earned feature-back duties. This figures to be a game where the Cardinals throw from behind, so expect LSH to get some receptions out of the backfield, too, when coverage has Fitzgerald blanketed.

Falcons -- Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant, Falcons D/ST: The only question mark among these is Jones, who missed some of last week's game and practices this week because of a leg issue. Jones should play and should be active if he does. The rest of young primary Falcons are all good to go, even if the Cardinals are eight-best in fantasy versus quarterbacks, ninth-best versus wide receivers and fourth-best versus tight ends. Defensively, the Falcons are a great streaming option against John Skelton and a team that has been sixth-worst in fantasy versus D/STs.


Cardinals -- John Skelton, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, Todd Heap, Jay Feely, Cardinals D/ST: The Falcons are a bad matchup for wide receivers (ninth-best), kickers (second-best) and D/STs (sixth). And despite the hope for garbage time, Skelton and Heap just plain stink for fantasy production.

Falcons -- Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas: The Falcons need to fix their running game after being grossly ineffective against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last week (New Orleans). Expecting them to be able to produce running back points against the ninth-best team in fantasy versus running backs is a bad move. And after Turner's poor Week 10, some owner will have to find a new weekly starter for him.


Bengals -- Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent, Bengals D/ST: The Chiefs are coming off a surprisingly spunky game Monday night against the Steelers, but the Bengals are coming off an even more impressive blowout of the defending champions. Even if the Chiefs play well at home here, that might be even better news for the Bengals to post fantasy points. Dalton and BGE are the only questionable fantasy-quality starters of these here, but they are the ones facing a defense in the bottom half against quarterbacks and running backs.

Chiefs -- Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe: There still isn't much reason to trust that the Chiefs will get the ball in the hands of these two playmakers, because the Bengals are seventh-worst in fantasy versus running backs. Matt Cassel at least has been effective in doing one thing -- throwing to Bowe enough to make him a steady fantasy starter. Keep these two, and only these two, active.


Bengals -- Cedric Peerman, Andrew Hawkins, Mohamed Sanu: These guys have shown flashes, but they aren't yet consistent enough to trust, especially with the Chiefs defense having already shut down a better Steelers offense on the road.

Chiefs -- Matt Cassel, Jonathan Baldwin, Tony Moeaki, Ryan Succop, Chiefs D/ST: We can't imagine anyone owns these guys, much less starting them, but the Bengals actually rank around the top-10 in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers. They are actually suspect against tight ends (seventh-worst), but Cassel and Moeaki have shown little consistency thus far this season.


Eagles -- LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin: Foles showed enough to feel all right with keeping McCoy and the receivers active, especially against the second-worst team in fantasy versus receivers. Foles, Brent Celek (facing the second-worst team in fantasy versus tight ends), Alex Henery and the Eagles' D/ST are options, too, albeit a bit less intriguing that most starters in standard leagues. There is a chance Andy Reid's West Coast offense functions a bit more impressively with a quicker decision-maker and blitz-recognizer. We will see if Foles is indeed that in place of Vick.

Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris: The Eagles' defense is mostly middle of the pack, but these are the only two Redskins anyoney missed during their bye a week ago. The Redskins' D/ST might be a sleeper play for the desperate, facing a rookie quarterback and already sitting as the worst in fantasy against D/STs. Only one team has allowed more sacks, only two teams have lost more fumbles, only seven teams have thrown more interceptions and no team has allowed more defensive scores than the Eagles (five).


Eagles -- None: While we wouldn't necessarily trust Foles and any of the inconsistent Eagles, it is tough to find fault with any of them in this matchup either.

Redskins -- Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Logan Paulsen, Kai Forbath: Someone needs to step forward as a trustworthy target for RGIII. That could be Garcon if he plays. If he does, consider him a sleeper. The uncertainty should force you to avoid all the other targets, especially since only the Jets and Chiefs (surprisingly) have given up fewer receptions to wide receivers this season than the Eagles secondary.


Jets -- Shonn Greene: The Rams rank in the middle of the pack against everything from quarterbacks to D/ST, but the only Jet worth considering in fantasy lineups in any week is Greene, who is a decent bet to have one of his better weeks here. The Jets remain committed to the run, and the only weeks they didn't face an elite run defense, Greene rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns (against the Colts in Week 6) and 94 yards and a score (against the Bills in Week 1). In the other weeks, Greene and the Jets have faced defenses ranking the following against running backs in fantasy: First (Texans), second (Niners), fourth (Seahawks), fifth (Steelers), seventh (Dolphins twice) and 13th (Pats and he scored a touchdown against them, which is the only reason they are not in the top 10). Greene is a must-start in all matchups less than elite, seriously.

Rams -- Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola: Jackson showed well against a better run defense last week in the 49ers, so keep him active against a decent Jets run defense that is actually sixth-worst in fantasy against running backs because of how teams play against them. Teams stick to the running game without fear of falling behind because the Jets' offense is so bad. Amendola also proved healthy and a must-start last week, even if the Jets are third best in fantasy against receivers. Kicker Greg Zuerlein and the Rams D/ST are options to score some fantasy-relevancy here, but the gut tells this writer the Jets could play one of their best games of the season.


Jets -- Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens, Dustin Keller, Nick Folk, Jets D/ST: Sanchez and the weaponless passing game have been so bad, even viable fantasy options like Keller, Folk and the Jets defense have been rendered worthless. Watch them for a rebound here, but the first 10 weeks of the season have offered little reason to trust them.

Rams -- Sam Bradford, Daryl Richardson, Brandon Gibson, Chris Givens, Lance Kendricks, Rams D/ST: As bad as the Jets have looked without Darrelle Revis, they are still sixth-best in fantasy against quarterbacks and third-best against receivers. Despite the stigma of a train-wreck of a season, this is still a defense you don't want to load up against in fantasy.


Saints -- Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley: If the Raiders gave up 42 points to the Bucs and 55 to the Ravens, how many points will the Saints (fourth-best offense overall and second-best passing) put up? It should be exciting to see. Heck, even Darren Sproles might play with a cast on his broken hand, so he and Chris Ivory or Mark Ingram can be viable options against a Raiders defense that has been fifth-worst in fantasy against running backs. Start as many Saints as your fantasy lineup will allow here.

Raiders -- Carson Palmer, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers, Sebastian Janikowski: If anything good has come out of this season, it is that Palmer has at least proven to be viable starting quarterback in this league again. Start him and all of his primary weapons against a Saints defense that is the worst in fantasy versus quarterbacks and receivers and second-worst versus running backs. Reece figures to get plenty of touches, especially as a receiver (for PPR formats), in place of Darren McFadden (ankle). Also, Myers practiced and probably will play. He should be kept active as one of the top-12 fantasy tight ends now.


Saints -- Pierre Thomas, Devery Henderson, Saints D/ST: Thomas appears to have lost a step and his hold on the starting job, while Henderson has disappeared for weeks on end. As for the Saints' defense, it is improving, particularly against the run with the return of suspended interim head coach Joe Vitt, but it still remains too suspect to consider in fantasy.

Raiders -- Taiwan Jones, Raiders D/ST: Jones might be a game-breaker for his speed, but he just doesn't get a big enough piece of the game plan to own in fantasy. Nothing needs to be said about the Raiders defense at this point.


Chargers -- Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, Nick Novak: The Broncos' defense is mostly middle of the pack and the fact that their offense figures to run at a good pace at home should mean a solid day for the Chargers' primary offensive options while playing catch-up.

Broncos -- Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater, Broncos D/ST: Like the Broncos, the Chargers' defense is mostly middle of the pack. Manning and the Broncos are hot, particularly on defense, which draws the eighth-worst team in fantasy versus D/STs. Keep these guys active in all leagues with confidence.


Chargers -- Ronnie Brown, Danario Alexander, Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem, Chargers D/T: Alexander might seem like he's a good play now that he's found some success with Rivers, but the Broncos are the fifth-best team in fantasy versus receivers. Save for Floyd and Gates, don't trust Rivers' other targets because of their inconsistent production. And forget about the defense against one of the fantasy's 10-best teams against D/STs.

Broncos -- Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball, Knowshon Moreno, Brandon Stokley, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme: The Chargers are the seventh-best team in fantasy against tight ends, so avoid the Broncos' options there, especially because they share targets so often. As for the backup running backs amid McGahee's fumbling ways, the rookie Hillman cannot run with the same power, Ball can't run with the same speed and Moreno has been a healthy inactive for seven consecutive weeks.


Colts -- Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery: The Colts and Luck are a much better team at home, but the Pats are third-worst in fantasy versus quarterbacks and eighth-worst versus receivers. Luck and Wayne are must-starts, while Avery is a viable sleeper. T.Y. Hilton might be, too, along with tight end Dwayne Allen, who draws the third-worst team in fantasy against the position.

Patriots -- Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots D/ST: The Colts are eighth-worst against running backs and fifth-worst against receivers, so backups Danny Woodhead and Brandon Lloyd might be threats to score, in addition to must-starts Ridley and Welker. Don't be overly concerned with Gronk against the No. 1 team in fantasy versus tight ends, but it might make you think twice about a still gimpy Aaron Hernandez (ankle), if he even or plays after being limited again in practices.


Colts -- Donald Brown, Vick Ballard, Adam Vinatieri, Colts D/ST: Indy's running backs are in a full timeshare right now, and the Pats are ninth in the NFL against the run, so avoid Brown and Ballard both, if possible. Also the Pats are the toughest team in fantasy against D/STs and eighth-best against kickers. Only the Falcons and Chargers have allowed fewer field goals and only the Chargers have allowed fewer FG attempts.

Patriots -- Shane Vereen: This is a start-all game for the Pats, but Vereen lost some steam in fantasy lineups because of the usage of Woodhead last week in the red zone. Starting Vereen is a risk not worth taking.


Ravens -- Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Justin Tucker, Ravens D/ST: This figures to be a classic defensive struggle, especially with the Steelers expected to play ultra-conservative with Byron Leftwich at quarterback at home. Smith is the only real risk among these options because the Steelers are No. 1 in fantasy versus receivers, but he remains a top-25 fantasy wide receiver to start in all matchups. Only the Bengals' Green and Packers' Jones have more than Smith's seven receiving touchdowns among wide receivers.

Steelers -- Heath Miller, Steelers D/ST: Big Ben's injury and Rashard Mendenhall's (Achilles') expected return makes a complete mess of the Steelers in fantasy. Miller should be all right, while the D/ST should still rate as a top-12 option at home even if the Ravens are seventh best in fantasy versus D/STs.


Ravens -- Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson: The Steelers' defense was already No. 1 in fantasy versus quarterbacks and wide receivers, fifth against running backs and top 10 against tight ends without Big Ben pushing the offensive pace and the scoring. Without him, and playing at home, expect the defense to tighten the screws, even if Troy Polamalu (calf) is still out. Avoid these marginal fantasy starters in this difficult division matchup on the road.

Steelers -- Byron Leftwich, Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Shaun Suisham: We would suggest you start one of the Steelers backs if we could be in the team's meeting rooms this week. There is no way to gauge which back will carry the load. Sure, the Steelers said it would be Mendenhall when he is healthy, but healthy enough to suit up is not healthy enough to start and star. Look at Redman last week: He started, fumbled and was left on the pine for the bruising Dwyer. We would say start Dwyer, but that Ravens' run defense will surely be geared to stack the box against the Steelers with a backup quarterback under center. That makes Wallace and Sanders definitely risky plays as well.


Bears -- Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Bears D/ST: This was going to be a bad week for the Bears even with Cutler. Without him, it will heighten the stress. Forte and Marshall will be counted on heavily against the still-rugged 49ers defense, while the Bears defense is clearly good to go against an offense potentially led by a backup as well.

49ers -- Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, 49ers D/ST: These guys aren't performing up to expectations, but they still rate among the fantasy-worthy starters at their positions even in this most unfavorable of matchups. The Bears are third best versus running backs and 10th-best versus tight ends, so bench them if you have viable alternatives. The defense should post one of its best weeks against a quarterback that has struggled to get the ball down field his entire career.


Bears -- Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Michael Bush, Alshon Jeffrey, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Kellen Davis, Robbie Gould: Starting Campbell is just as much bad news as facing a 49ers defense that is second against running backs, fourth against quarterbacks and wide receivers and sixth against tight ends. Bush might be a slight consideration if you're trying to overthink things, because the 49ers have given up some 100-yard rushers, but Bush is only good for touchdowns, and the 49ers have allowed just two on the ground.

49ers -- Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Kendall Hunter, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, David Akers: Even if Smith (concussion) is cleared to play, the Bears' defense is much like the 49ers': third versus quarterbacks and running backs, eighth versus receivers, 10th versus tight ends and fourth versus kickers. This is a good week to jump off of Akers are your starting kicker. He has been a disappointment this season and might get shutout here.

If you play in those weekly salary-cap leagues, here are some of the players who a decent values relative to their prices this week:

QB -- Drew Brees and Carson PalmerRB -- C.J. Spiller and Arian FosterRB -- Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Shonn GreeneWR -- Reggie Wayne and Marquis ColstonWR -- Danny Amendola and Denarius MooreTE -- Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Jermichael FinleyFLEX -- Any of the above RBs or WRsK -- Connor Barth and Mason CrosbyD/ST -- Texans, Bears, Cowboys and 49ers

Have a better idea? Challenge me with it. I'm on Twitter @EricMackFantasy.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his last-minute Cheat Sheet on Sunday mornings and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

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