As any fantasy football executive can attest, injuries are the absolute worst this time of year.
If you lose a player early in the season, you have weeks to recover through trades or clever waiver wire moves. Losing a key player in week 13 could ruin your entire fantasy season. Just ask the fantasy executives whose playoff hopes have been dashed by injuries to Lamar Jackson or Jimmy Garoppolo. If you can hear through her heavy sobs, that is.
We’ve already received word that Garoppolo will miss time and possibly the season with an injured foot. As for Jackson, Ravens coach John Harbaugh brought us the bad news in the form of a silver lining of “no end of season,” but reading between the lines tells us it’s a multi-week knee injury. There really couldn’t be a worse time to replace your quarterback in fantasy football.
The natural inclination is to look at the immediate backups for both players. Tyler Huntley took over for Jackson and led the Ravens to a 10-9 win over Denver, but he only threw for 187 yards with an interception. He rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown, but the offense looked as deadlocked as ever. Brock Purdy fared better and led the 49ers to a 33-17 win over Miami. He was reasonably efficient, but can we trust the former seventh-round pick?
When you come across your waiver this week, it will be as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s closet. You could see if Russell Wilson was dropped, but will he help? Denver is looking beyond dreadful at this point.
Maybe Mike White is available. Unless the Jets go back to Zach Wilson, he looks like a viable fantasy option. Or you could go down the Sam Darnold route. His passing ability is mediocre at best, but he likes to poach goalline carries.
Then there’s Kyle Allen or John Wolford. Unfortunately, neither of these causes any excitement or the prospect of even double-digit fantasy points.
But since you can’t win without a quarterback, decisions have to be made. Sad as it may sound, Darnold is probably the best pick based on the Week 14 matchups unless you’re playing in a league where no one has picked Deshaun Watson for personal reasons. If so, put personal feelings aside and use it. If not, grab Darnold, hope for the best against Seattle, and repeat that process next week.
Howard Bender is Vice President of Operations and Head of Content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on fantasy sports channel SiriusXM, weekdays from 6pm to 8pm