Last week we discussed how fantasy football owners could possibly replace All-Pro TE Dallas Clark after he saw his season end with a wrist injury. That same week also saw Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo get knock out for around 6-8 weeks with a broken left clavicle. So many owners contacted me in a panic wondering how on earth Romo could be replaced this late in the season and still be able to keep their fantasy football teams afloat. With an extra week to study this mess, I think I can help. Lets break it down.
The first knee-jerk reaction for many Romo owners was to go out and add backup Jon Kitna. With all of the weapons Dallas has on offense, the thinking went that Kitna would be able to do a poor man’s performance version of Romo. Ummm yeah that didn’t work out so well last week huh? Kitna was pretty bad last week in throwing 4 picks and only 1 TD in an inexcusable blowout loss at home to Jacksonville Jaguars. Sure two of those picks were deflections but the overall line was terrible. As far as my opinion on Kitna is concerned, I am mixed. The guy throws way too many interceptions but he also has shown the ability to pile up some big passing days on his various stops. The weapons are impressive there is no doubt but I want owners to do better than this. Lets move on.
The next course of action is to examine your leagues free agent wire. Perusing the fantasy football passing assets that are sitting on a decent amount of leagues, there are a few names that stick out that I think can do a good enough job in place of Romo. Lets see who they are:
Carson Palmer: Palmer has been hot the last two weeks with 5 TD’s with 1 pick. The guy was pretty ordinary last season as he dealt with injuries and he struggled again through the early part of this season but he has steadied in a nice way lately. People forget that this guy was one of the best throwers of the football for the first few years of his career and he has a ridiculously good set of receivers in Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley, and Jermaine Gresham. Palmer has proven himself in fantasy football and he looks like he is getting into a good groove. Again the weapons aren’t going anywhere and so Palmer could be a very good passer the rest of the way.
Matthew Stafford: Stafford came back with a bang last week in throwing for 4 TD’s and only 1 pick and he certainly has the natural pedigree as a former number 1 draft pick. Stafford also has a nice set of weapons at his disposal in WR Calvin Johnson, TE Brandon Pettigrew, and RB Jahvid Best. The guy certainly could be tapping into that cast potential in his second year in the league and he has a good test this week against the Jets. If he does well there than he really has answered all the questions about his effectiveness against tough defenses.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Talk about a guy coming out of nowhere. Fitzpatrick actually has a better QB rating than Tom Brady and he has earned it with 12 TD’s and 5 INT’s after he replaced Trent Edwards. He also can contribute on the ground in the Aaron Rodgers mode and so Fitzpatrick has that over Stafford and Palmer. The one concern I have is the weather getting brutal as we head into November and the passing game could have a tough time getting going with the winds picking up. Still Fitzpatrick has proven he can play in the league and at a high level to boot.
I believe all three of these guys can get the job done for those fantasy football owners who lost Romo. They wont light up the scoreboard every week like a Peyton Manning or a Drew Brees but they will help keep you in contention and that’s all your really looking for right now. If I had to pick only one guy, I would go with Palmer followed by Stafford, Fitzpatrick, and than Kitna. Hope this helps and good luck.