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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fantasy football: QB replacement options

Two of the top eight quarterbacks -- Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub -- are on a bye this week, and Michael Vick (rib injury), David Garrard (concussion) and Vince Young (knee) are out or likely to be out.

Garrard and Young are emergency options anyway, but you might consider this week exactly that if you're 2-4 or 1-5 and have Manning on a bye, with the prospect of him returning to an offense that must do without Dallas Clark and Austin Collie.

As we did with a column for the running backs, wide receivers and tight ends for Friday's print and online editions, we'll break down the top quarterbacks who are available in more than half of the leagues on This will be blog style instead, but it won't be any less memorable.

1. Matthew Stafford, Lions (owned in 23 percent of the ESPN leagues): You'll have to wait a week, since Detroit is off Sunday, but it should be worthwhile. Stafford will return from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since the opener to face the Redskins (No. 31 vs. the pass) in Week 8. The Jets (No. 22 vs. the pass) and Bills (11 touchdown passes allowed, the third-most in the league) follow. Then there's this: In Stafford's absence, Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton combined to throw for 1,542 yards and 10 touchdowns in 5 1/2 games.

2. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (24.7 percent): Granted he's had one or zero touchdown passes in three of his five games, but he's thrown for three scores in two of his last three. Even better: Kansas City's next three games are against the Jaguars (No. 28 vs. the pass, a league-high 14 TD passes allowed), Bills (11 TD passes allowed) and Raiders (12 TD passes allowed, the third-most in the league).

3. Alex Smith, 49ers (16.4 percent): In his first four games, the embattled top overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft had three TD passes and seven interceptions. In Smith's last two contests, he has five TDs and two picks. The 49ers' schedule is also favorable, beginning with a road game at Carolina and a home date vs. Denver (No. 26 vs. the pass) the next two weeks. Following a Week 9 bye, the 49ers will play host to the Rams (No. 20 vs. the pass) and Buccaneers (No. 16), followed by a game at Arizona (No. 26).

4. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers (14.4 percent): This is where it gets much more dicey. Freeman has a respectable passer rating (83.4) and has thrown only three picks in five games, but he has just 1,043 yards and six TDs. The schedule, however, is favorable -- a home game Sunday against the Rams (No. 26) and a Week 8 date at Arizona (No. 26).

5. Sam Bradford, Rams (29.7 percent): He's thrown one TD pass or fewer in four of six games, and his passer rating is 69.3. Translation: About what you would expect for a rookie. His growing pains should ease Sunday at Tampa Bay and in Week 8 at home against Carolina.

6. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks (19.5 percent):
How the mighty have fallen. Hasselbeck has three touchdowns and five interceptions in his last four games. The only positives for Hasselbeck from a fantasy perspective are the next two games on the schedule -- Sunday against the visiting Cardinals (No. 26) and next week at the Raiders (12 TD passes allowed).

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