Like any fantastic football as the manager can confirm, injuries at this time of year are the worst.
If you lose a player early in the season, you have weeks to recover through trades or smart waivers. If you lose a key player in Week 13, it can destroy your entire fantasy season. Just ask fantasy managers whose playoff hopes have been dashed by injuries to Lamar Jackson or Jimmy Garoppolo. If you can hear through their heavy cries, that is.
We’ve already heard that Garoppolo will miss time and possibly the season with a foot injury. As for Jackson, Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave us bad news in the form of a “not a season-ending problem” silver lining, but reading between the lines says it’s a multi-week knee injury. There couldn’t be a worse time to replace a quarterback in fantasy football.
The natural inclination is to consider immediate backups for both players. Tyler Huntley replaced Jackson and led the Ravens to a 10-9 win over Denver, but he threw for just 187 yards with one interception. He rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown, but the offense looked as stuck in the mud as ever. Brock Purdy did better, leading the 49ers to a 33-17 win over Miami. He was very effective, but can we trust the former seventh-round pick?
If you hit the release cord this week, it’ll be as bare as old Mother Hubbard’s closet. You could see Russell Wilson being dropped, but would he help? Denver looks terrible at this point.
Maybe Mike White exists. If the Jets don’t return Zach Wilson, he looks like a serviceable fantasy option. Or you could go down the Sam Darnold route. His passing ability is mediocre at best, but he likes to chase the goal line.
Then there’s Kyle Allen or John Woolford. Unfortunately, neither carries the hype or even double-digit fantasy points.
But since you can’t win without a quarterback, decisions have to be made. As sad as it is, based on his Week 14 performance, Darnold might be your best bet unless you’re playing in a league where no one drafts Deshaun Watson for personal reasons. If so, put your personal feelings aside and use it. If not, take Darnold, hope for the best against Seattle, and revisit the process next week.
Howard Bender is VP of Operations and Head of Content Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning Fantasy Alarm Radio Show on SiriusXM’s fantasy sports channel, weekdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at FantasyAlarm.com.