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Stafford could be useful for fantasy owners who lost Romo

What do I do with Tony Romo out of action for the next several weeks? The best quarterbacks available on the waiver wire are Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford. I could also grab Jon Kitna. Help! -- W. Esposito, Staten Island, N.Y.

Michael Fabiano: I wouldn't be comfortable using any of those quarterbacks as a regular fantasy starter, but you can choose one each week based on the matchups. This week, I would add Stafford. He'll be back from a shoulder injury and has a great matchup against the Redskins -- their defense has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers this season. I also think Stafford has the best chance to develop into a reliable option down the stretch. His schedule includes attractive matchups against the Redskins, Bills, Cowboys, Patriots, Bears and Buccaneers. Also remember that Shaun Hill was a top-10 fantasy quarterback in the offense while Stafford was out.

I never in a million years thought I would ever be asking this question, but should I start Ryan Fitzpatrick ahead of Aaron Rodgers this week? Fitzpatrick is on fire, and Rodgers has a tough matchup against the Jets. -- P. Shields, Canada

M.F.: This question does seem a little bizarre, right? But it's not insane. Believe it or not, but Fitzpatrick has scored more fantasy points than Rodgers in some leagues since Week 4. What makes that stat even more impressive is that Fitzpatrick had a bye in Week 6! With that said, I still can't start him over Rodgers. He likely cost you a first-round pick, and it's not like Rodgers isn't putting up nice totals. In fact, he leads all quarterbacks in fantasy points on Also, the Jets defense has not been solid against the pass this season. In fact, it has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers in 2010.

Which two wide receivers should I start this week from Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Britt, Brandon Lloyd, Hines Ward and Steve Smith (CAR)? -- D. Freytag, Detroit, Mich.

M.F.: I don't know how you can bench Britt right now, especially after he went off last week against the Eagles. He's now the fourth-most productive wide receiver on, behind Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks and Lloyd. Speaking of Lloyd, he's cooled off after a ridiculous start to the season. In his last two games, he's scored a combined 12 fantasy points. As a result, I would sit him in favor of Bowe. The Chiefs wideout has scored four touchdowns in his last two games and has a great matchup coming up against the Bills. Their defense has allowed more than 20 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, so Bowe's recent string of statistical success should continue.

I've been offered Brandon Marshall for Ryan Torain. I have Rashard Mendenhall, Peyton Hillis and Marshawn Lynch at running back. My wide receivers are Smith (CAR), Jabar Gaffney, Mike Wallace, Dez Bryant and Deion Branch. Thanks! -- J. Sauve, Canada

M.F.: You're doing exactly what you should -- trading from a position of strength (running back) to improve a position of weakness (wide receiver). I also think it's a good time to trade for Marshall, who hasn't put up great numbers and is clearly a buy-low candidate. Furthermore, it's a great time to deal Torain. He's had two huge games in a row, and I'm not sure he can keep it up the rest of the season. The Arizona State product has never been durable, and at some point Clinton Portis will be back.

I'm in a 10-team league, and someone has dropped Michael Vick. I have Ben Roethlisberger as my No. 1 quarterback, and my backup is Matt Ryan. Should I add Vick and drop Ryan? Is Vick going to get back his starting job in Week 9? -- B. Sebastian, Syracuse, N.Y.

M.F.: I'd stop reading this column and pick up Vick now! The Eagles quarterback should be 100 percent after the bye week, and all signs point to him being back under center against the Colts. Sure, Kevin Kolb was solid at the helm of the offense. But Vick was superhuman -- in the games where he played the majority of his team's snaps, he put up an average of close to 26 fantasy points per game. I know that Ryan has been a good option, but Vick has the tools to put your team in the championship hunt.

Larry Fitzgerald is my No. 1 wide receiver, but he's producing very poor numbers. Should I look to trade him now before his value drops any more? -- N. Boudreau, N.H.

M.F.: I have Fitzgerald in two of my leagues, and I don't think I could get a bag of Halloween candy for him right now. It doesn't hurt to put him on the trade block and see what offers are made -- who knows, you might have someone in your league that loves Fitzgerald and thinks he's the perfect buy-low candidate. But I'm skeptical, even more so after he caught a meager three passes for 30 yards and failed to find the end zone against a weak Seahawks pass defense. Based on his current numbers, Fitzgerald isn't even on pace for 900 yards or six scores. Clearly, the loss of Kurt Warner has turned him into a mere mortal in the world of fantasy football. Or maybe it's just the utterly rotten play of his current quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Max Hall. Whatever the case, it's going to be hard to move Fitzgerald and get anything significant in return.

Tom Brady's numbers have been mediocre since the Patriots traded Randy Moss to the Patriots. Luckily, I also have Philip Rivers. Should I look to add Fitzpatrick and trade Brady? Or should I drop Brady altogether? Fitzpatrick has far more fantasy points since he took over as the starter in Buffalo. -- N. Caldwell, Dallas, Texas

M.F.: This situation is similar to the one surrounding Fitzgerald, but it's not nearly as dire. In Brady's case, the loss of an elite wide receiver seems to have turned him into far less than a star quarterback. In two games without Moss, Brady has averaged fewer than 12 fantasy points per game on With that said, I don't think he's at the point where his trade value is null and void. Put him on the block and see if there are any interested owners. I would almost guarantee that the team that just lost Romo for several weeks would be willing to talk trade. Whatever you do, don't drop Brady altogether. Some else is guaranteed to grab him as fast as you dump him.

I'm in a PPR keeper league and had the misfortune of landing Dallas Clark in the draft. I'm really torn now about whether to drop him or keep him around for next season. Retaining him likely means not keeping Knowshon Moreno, Shonn Greene, Hakeem Nicks, Malcom Floyd or Vincent Jackson. It also means I'll be starting Brent Celek the rest of the season. So, what would you do? -- K. Roney, Vienna, Va.

M.F.: It's hard to answer this question not knowing how many players you're allowed the retain, but I'll give it a whirl. If you can keep two or fewer players, it would be a good move to drop Clark. After all, Moreno and Nicks have more keeper value. If you can retain more than two players and have the roster room (or an injured spot) to stash Clark until next season, then that's your best move. As for Celek, remember that he has a bye in Week 8. If you need a tight end in the interim, check your league's waiver wire and see if one Aaron Hernandez, Owen Daniels, Visanthe Shiancoe, Tony Moeaki, Heath Miller or Brandon Pettigrew (in order) are still free agents.

I have been offered Maurice Jones-Drew for Miles Austin. I need a running back, and my wide receivers are Austin, Roddy White, Anquan Boldin, Bowe, Britt and Steve Johnson. We start two running backs and two wideouts. Should I make this move, especially now that Romo is out? -- W. Blair, Charlotte, N.C.

M.F.: Much like one of the previous questions, you're doing exactly the right thing in trading from a position of strength (wide receiver) to improve a position of weakness (running back). I know that Jones-Drew hasn't been as good as in season's past from a statistical perspective, but he's still averaging more fantasy points (11.6) than Austin (10.8) after seven weeks. Also, the fact that the Cowboys wideout will now be catching passes from Kitna and not Romo does hurt his value a bit.

I'm worried about Jahvid Best. He's been terrible the past few weeks. Is it time to bench him in favor of someone like Thomas Jones, who has been on fire? Also, would you start Kyle Orton or Carson Palmer in Week 8? -- T. Stonum, Corona, Calif.

M.F.: You're right, Best has been anything but productive in recent games. After putting up an average of close to 30 fantasy points in his first two games, Best has averaged a miniscule 6.3 points in his last four starts. I think that drop in production has much to do with his injured toe, which has clearly been a hindrance. On a positive note, Lions coach Jim Schwartz did tell the *Detroit Free-Press* that Best's ailment is close to being in "his rear view mirror." With that said, I'd stick with him this week in what could be a shootout against the Redskins. Jones is a very attractive option against the Bills, though, so I'd try to use him in a flex spot if possible.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to ****!

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