NFL Fantasy Football Bluffer’s Guide: Making the best of Jimmy G’s injury

The NFL regular season milled a few more big names this week, none bigger that Jimmy Garoppolo. Here’s how to make the best of a bad situation…


The Niners saw their season hopes crumble with the twist of Jimmy Garoppolo’s knee, but your fantasy team doesn’t have to collapse with it. Here are the best options for replacing him, or other underperforming QBs – not looking at you Andrew Luck, but….

Veteran experience

As everyone’s favourite “strawberry blonde” quarterback, Andy Dalton has a reputation for being just good enough to make the Bengals think they’re competitive without convincing anyone else of it.

Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) is congratulated by quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after Green scored a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

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That tag follows him in FF too, where he’s an adequate bye-week replacement without inspiring enough confidence to start every week.

Change could be in the Cincinnati air this year though, as the Bengals have sorted out their offensive line issues, and Dalton has plenty of weapons around him. This is all subject to AJ Green’s health going forward, but if he can continue to play at his recent level, the Cincy passer can be a solid option for you if you’re hurt by JG’s injury, fed up of your starter, or have Cam Newton on a bye.

Joe Flacco is similar to Dalton, but with a Super Bowl ring to his name. He offers enough upside to look like a viable starter as injuries accumulate at the QB spot, and the Ravens have added threats to help him.

The Dolphins are 3-0 off an easy start, and their QB Ryan Tannehill has a rushing dimension to his game that gives him extra value in FF. He has a range of interesting receivers around him to make him a borderline streaming quarteback in many leagues.

Rookie risk/reward?

I can’t say I thought I’d be writing this about Josh Allen so soon, but you have to respect what he did against a Vikings defence that is among the best in the league. The rookie can run for scores and has a powerful arm, making him an intriguing pickup if you’ve room on your bench and doubts at the starting spot.

I’d be hard pressed to start him right now despite last week – it felt like Minnesota melted down – but he’s one to watch for fantasy purposes, which is not something anyone was saying four weeks ago.

Ditto for first overall pick in 2018 Baker Mayfield, except he has more talent around him to catch passes. Again, I’m not sure I’d want to start him yet, but if I had Deshaun Watson, Big Ben or Andrew Luck pencilled in as my starter, there are worse reserve options to snap up.

Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are also floating around out there, but neither of them have the appeal of these two, so I keep an eye on them rather than pick them up yet.

Sep 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) talk after the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Two

Now it gets real messy in Tampa. Ryan FitzPatrick nearly made it easy for Dirk Koetter to slide Jameis Winston back into the starter gig with his interception bonanza against the Steelers, but then rallied the team to take them within a score of another unlikely victory.

Winston will likely have to wait for another FitzMagic malfunction before getting on the field, but this is a situation to watch as the talent the Bucs have could make Famous Jameis an FF league winner if he gets back in this offence.

Wide boys to watch

Marquise Goodwin was already trying our patience (well mine anyway) with the bruise he collected in Week 1. With his star QB gone, he has to be benched until we see where SF’s offence heads, so it’s worth looking elsewhere to for receiving talent.

I hope you followed last week’s advice and snapped up Tyler Boyd because his 2 TD performance will make him a hotter property now.

Sep 23, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) lays on the field after an injury in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

As with Dalton, AJ Green’s health is a factor here, but Boyd will be a part of this offence whatever happens the #1 wideout – he should see a bump in targets if Green misses time, but he’ll also likely face tougher coverage –  so get him signed now if you’re thin at the spot. Fellow Bengal John Ross is not a bad option to have in reserve as well if Green is out.

Another worth looking to is Mike Williams of the LA Chargers, who enjoyed a two touchdown performance at the Rams last week. There are so many talented players on the Bolts offence that it’s hard to count on Williams yet, but he’s opened the season well and is worth adding if you’ve a spot.

Chris Godwin and Antonio Callaway are likely rostered by now, but if they’re free in your league I’d pick them up. The volume of passing in Tampa means Godwin has value even with Mike Evans and Desean Jackson competing for targets.

Callaway looks the obvious beneficiary of Josh Gordon’s trade from Cleveland. Simple.

Other names worth a glance are Geronimo Allison of the Packers – Aaron Rodgers like him, basically – and rookie Christian Kirk from the Cardinals. He collected 90 yards against the Bears  and the change in Arizona’s quarterback can only point upwards for their offence this season.

These guys should all be on your radar as injuries grow and bye-weeks start to bite.

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What do you think?