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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, September 8, 2011

Fantasy football: Peyton Manning replacement options

Before we address the latest in the Peyton Manning saga, a quick disclaimer.

I was wrong. Manning's streak of 227 consecutive starts, including the playoffs, will end Sunday because of a third neck surgery in the last 19 months. So much for a third-round value pick.

ESPN reported the typical recovery for such a procedure is 8 to 10 weeks, and the Colts said in a news release Thursday they won't place Manning on injured reserve.

If you have Manning, you should keep him on your roster for the time being unless you absolutely can't afford to reserve a spot for a player who won't help you until, at best, mid-November.

If you drafted Manning and are scrambling for a starter this week, here are five possible replacements. All are available in more than 75 percent of the leagues on

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (owned in 24.1 percent of the ESPN leagues): Fitzpatrick threw for 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in 13 games last season. Sunday, Buffalo will play at Kansas City, which ranked 17th defending the pass last season (220 yards allowed per game, 23 TD passes by the opposition).

2. Kerry Collins, Colts (3.7 percent): The 38-year-old won't be able to fill Manning's sizable shoes, but he certainly can be adequate. In 10 games last year for the Titans, Collins threw for 1,823 yards, 14 TDs and eight interceptions. In Tennessee's 31-17 win Dec. 19 over the Texans, Sunday's opponent, he was 14 of 24 for 233 yards, two TDs and one pick. The Texans should be improved against the pass this season -- they couldn't get any worse -- but they should still be generous to opposing QBs. In 2010, Houston allowed a league-worst 4,280 yards passing, gave up 8.2 yards per attempt (the second-worst in the league) and 33 TD tosses (tied with the Cowboys for the most).

3. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (10.1 percent): Hasselbeck hasn't been good the last three seasons (a combined 34 TDs and 44 picks in 35 games), but he gets to face a Jaguars defense that ranked 28th vs. the pass in 2010 (4,004 yards). The Jags tied for 26th in the league by yielding 28 scoring passes last season.

4. Rex Grossman, Redskins (2.7 percent): In three games after replacing Donovan McNabb in 2010, Grossman threw for 840 yards, seven TDs and four picks. The Giants, however, aren't a very good matchup. New York was the NFL's No. 9 pass defense (3,352 yards), but the G-Men did allow 24 TD tosses.

5. Jason Campbell, Raiders (22.9 percent): Campbell's passing numbers were nothing to brag about last season (2,387 yards, 13 TDs and eight picks), but the same goes for Denver's defense. The Broncos, who will play host to the Raiders on Monday night, ranked 25th against the pass, allowing 3,780 yards and 26 TD passes. The latter number tied for 24th in the league in 2010.

If you're thinking more long term, I would rank the five QBs in this order for the rest of the season: 1. Fitzpatrick, 2. Collins, 3. Grossman, 4. Hasselbeck, 5. Campbell.

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