Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Determining Week 8 lineups could be a tough one for fantasy owners, particularly at quarterback, where a sudden glut of injuries and a six-team bye week could cause major problems.
Starting with the loss of five "bye week quarterbacks" (Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler and the tag-team of Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick) and then adding the injury bug suffered in Minnesota, Tennessee, Oakland, Arizona and of course Dallas you end up with quite a dilemma.
We can start our quest for a Week 8 replacement quarterback in "Big D" where fantasy owners must try to figure out whether backup signal-caller Jon Kitna can perform at Tony Romo's level. Despite the Cowboys (1-5) early-season struggles, Romo was ranked sixth among fantasy quarterbacks, which was impressive considering he'd already had his bye week. But with a broken clavicle, Kitna (10% owned) will be the starting quarterback in Dallas for the next two months. The biggest question of the week is how will he perform?
Although until last Sunday, he hadn't played since Week 5 of 2008, Kitna should be able to quickly round into form with a week of practicing with the first string. He's a solid veteran quarterback who will be playing in a talented offense. With Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, he has three reliable receivers and should be able to perform at a "fantasy-worthy" level.
Dallas faces a porous Jacksonville Jaguars pass defense which ranks 27th of 32 teams and yields 253.1 ypg through the air. Picking up Kitna from the waiver wire would be my first choice for Week 8 if I didn't have any viable options on my roster.
Quandary No.2 is in Minnesota where Brett Favre is dealing with ankle problems. Though the headlines around the country yelled about his two ankle fractures, according to one doctor, its similar to a sprain and he can play on it. The real fantasy question, assuming that Favre keeps his streak alive, is can he play an entire game and can he play well?
And the Final Jeopardy answer is...he hasn't played well all year, so why would you expect him to start now with his mobility limited? He's currently ranked 30th among fantasy quarterbacks, surely you can find a better option than an injured Favre against the New England Patriots.
Matthew Stafford should finally get back on the field this week and he's owned in less than 40% of all leagues. He would be an excellent option in Week 8 as his Detroit Lions are facing the 31st-ranked Washington Redskins who are giving up 292.1 ypg.
Another option could be whichever Oakland Raiders quarterback starts against the Seattle Seahawks 29th-ranked pass defense. Jason Campbell was solid last week in the Raiders' 59-14 romp over the Denver Broncos (12-for-20 for 204 yards and two touchdowns), however head coach Tom Cable remains committed to Bruce Gradkowski if healthy.
Or you could go "riskier" by selecting Carolina quarterback Matt Moore off waivers (6% owned) who returned to the starting role last week and threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. Moore earned another start and could give you respectable numbers this week against the St. Louis Rams.
David Garrard should return to the starting lineup for Jacksonville, but in six games he's yet to crack 180 yards, therefore he is not a good choice this week. He's facing a tough Cowboys pass defense that despite getting "toasted" by the Giants on Monday night is still ranked seventh.
Neither Derek Anderson or Max Hall of Arizona, if he is over his concussion, is a viable option against the Tampa bay Buccaneers who own the No.6 pass defense. Nor is Vince Young or Kerry Collins of Tennessee who face the No.1 pass defense in the NFL, the San Diego Chargers (158.6 ypg).
So the bottom line, if you are facing Week 8 without a starting quarterback on your roster, my best advice is to pick up Kitna or Stafford. Beyond those two, every quarterback option is too much of a gamble.
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