There have been a brutal string of injuries to high-end marquee players with Dalvin Cook, Odell Beckham Jr. and now Aaron Rodgers all sidelined. It’s sad for Packers’ and football fans alike to see a great quarterback’s season end so suddenly.
For fantasy owners, Rodgers’ production is likely impossible to replace but the show must go on. If you didn’t have a viable backup, your options are to trade for a replacement or hit the waiver wire.
Fortunately, due to supply and demand, quarterback is perhaps the easiest position to replace via trade. One option might be to target the owner with DeShaun Watson (Houston) or Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), as these teams may have a quarterback they don’t really need.
After that, it’s time to go to the waiver wire. The most obvious option would be Brett Hundley (Green Bay). It’s clearly a huge drop-off from Rodgers to Hundley but the Packers’ have great offensive weapons around Hundley and he’s had two-plus years as an understudy. Hundley also brings athleticism and may add above-average fantasy production with his legs.
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Digging deeper, Mitchell Trubisky (Chicago) could be an option – Trubisky has shown good mobility (54 rushing yards in two games), poise and arm strength in his first two NFL starts. While Trubisky has averaged just 120.5 passing yards per game, he’s faced two tough defenses (Vikings, Ravens) and he should improve from here.
▪ It’s been a disappointing year for Matt Ryan (Atlanta) owners as he’s down 30.3 percent in fantasy scoring per game versus last year. However, this is an attractive matchup against a Patriots defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
▪ What a debut for Adrian Peterson (Arizona) last week with 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Peterson is a strong start again this week against a Rams defense allowing the most rushing touchdowns this season and the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ C.J. Anderson’s (Denver) fantasy totals have been volatile, but this is a good week for a rebound game. The Chargers defense is allowing the most rushing yards and the Broncos may lean more on the run game with Emmanuel Sanders out.
▪ Dez Bryant (Dallas) has scored in three of his past four games and he’s due for a bigger, breakout game. This is the match-up to do that – the 49ers are 27th against the pass and they have allowed at least 292 yards passing in four straight games.
▪ Though he’s still looking for his first touchdown of the season, Adam Thielen (Minnesota) is one of just three players to have at least five receptions in every game this season. Stick with Thielen, who has a high floor and is overdue for a score.
▪ Josh Doctson (Washington) has scored two touchdowns in his past three games. He could be a sneaky strong start against Philadelphia, which allows the third-most passing yards while Washington has said they plan to get Doctson more involved in the offense.
▪ Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) is a strong bench candidate against a Pittsburgh defense allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. In 12 career games against the Steelers, Dalton has just 13 touchdowns.
▪ DeMarco Murray (Tennessee) had just 12 carries last week to 19 for Derrick Henry. Murray likely will see about the same or fewer carries this week with his hamstring issues and the Titans perhaps not needing him against a winless Browns team.
▪ Jonathan Stewart (Carolina) is averaging just 41 yards rushing per game, only 2.9 yards per carry and has yet to score a touchdown. The Panthers may try to establish the run but Stewart is offering little fantasy potential.
▪ Keenan Allen (LA Chargers) scored in Week 1 against Denver but, in general, the Broncos have shut down receivers all season with their elite defensive backs. He’s scored a somewhat fluky four touchdowns in five career games against Denver but Allen averages under 40 yards per game against Denver.
Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.