Fantasy Attack: Week 4

Lose Jimmy G for the year? Fret not my friends

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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There’s nothing worse than when a quarterback is lost for the season due to injury. People wonder why the NFL goes out of their way to protect the QB…the answer’s obvious. A team that loses QB1 for the season is pretty much done for. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Some teams have viable backups. If the Baltimore Ravens lose Joe Flacco, they’ve got Robert Griffin III or Lamar Jackson to pick up the slack. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Ryan Fitzpatrick & Jameis Winston. The Cleveland Browns have Tyrod Taylor & Baker Mayfield.

Most teams are like the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo. Now that he’s done for the season, they have…C.J. Beathard? Forget about it. San Francisco fans can kiss any hope at the playoffs goodbye as long as Beathard’s at QB. The 49ers are bringing in Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens & T.J. Yates to workout, but nobody in the world can have confidence in any of those guys doing anything.

Fortunately, Garoppolo’s fantasy owners should have slightly better options. This week I’m here with answers for those of you that saw the ending to Jimmy G’s 2017 & were hoping for more of the same in 2018. If you’re in an 8-team league, there are likely plenty of choices. The guy in my league that owned Jimmy dropped him for Jared Goff, which isn’t much of a downgrade at all. Now, if you’re in a 12 or 14-team league…hopefully you drafted a good backup? If not, here’s some guys that might be on the waiver wire, and some QBs that you might be able to snag in a trade.

Five On the Waiver Wire:
Andy Dalton (34% Yahoo-owned): Believe me, as a Bengals fan I know how hard it is to have faith in the Red Rifle. Just when you think he’s going to deliver & be a consistent presence in the NFL, he’ll let you down. That’s coming. But if you take a look at his upcoming schedule heading into a Week 9 bye, there’s a lot to like. A matchup with a horrendous Falcons pass defense this week. Week 6 brings the Steelers to town, and even if they got some INTs this week they still let Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for over 400 yards. Week 7 & 8 gives Dalton games against Kansas City & Tampa Bay, neither of whom are known for their top-notch defense. Heck, Dalton gets the Saints in Week 10.

You can’t ask for a better schedule for a QB. If A.J. Green can stay on the field, Dalton should reap the benefits.

Eli Manning (18% Yahoo-owned): Manning has probably never had more viable weapons around him. He got off to a rough start but he’s been scoring more fantasy points every single week. He’ll probably peak this week against New Orleans, but you could do worse for a temporary stop-gap.

Ryan Tannehill (9% Yahoo-owned): Don’t look now, but the guy that tore & ACL and got replaced by Jay Cutler last year in Miami has put together a pretty solid first three weeks. There was a period of time where we were waiting for him to break through in fantasy. We gave up. Maybe now is the time? He doesn’t have any great receivers in Miami, but he has a bunch of decent ones.

Jameis Winston (10% Yahoo-owned): We all know that FitzMagic won’t last forever. This Monday showed some of the cracks in the foundation, even if he still got you over thirty fantasy points. Jameis will get the reins of the Bucs offense soon enough, and it’s got a lot of good pieces to play with. Jump on him while you can.

Josh Allen (3% Yahoo-owned): You’ll find the rookies available on most of your waiver wires. Out of the bunch, I like Allen to produce the most this season. He’s looked decent enough during his two starts and has the added bonus of being the Bills’ red-zone running back. Not sure why that’s a thing, but it’s what’s happening. I’m not saying he’ll be the best of the 2018 crop when it’s all said & done, but I think he’ll have the best 2018.

Four To Trade For:
Kirk Cousins: YA LIKE THAT? Eh, it’s been up and down so far for Kirk. He was incredible in Week 2, but couldn’t take advantage of what seemed like a plus matchup at home against Buffalo in Week 3. Kirk will give you a lot of ups & downs, and his fantasy owners might be willing to part ways with him after a rough week like this one. His matchup in Week 4? A Thursday night meeting with the Rams. Expect a ton of people to bench him, and a ton of people to be willing to listen to offers.

Philip Rivers: Rivers always slides under the radar as somebody that performs well in fantasy, but you never really feel that great about. I have him in an 8-team league with Ben Roethlisberger, which is a really fun experience as far as trying to pick one. He’s started in 43% of leagues, so there’s a good chance he’s a backup in your league & can be traded for.

Matthew Stafford: He was a disaster in Week 1, but rebounded in Weeks 2 & 3, including getting the Lions back on track with a win over…the Patriots? Say whaaaa? Youngsters Kenny Golladay & Kerryon Johnson are making waves in the Lions’ offense & should help Stafford’s performance stay solid through the season.

Andrew Luck: Luck’s stock has never been lower when he’s been active on a football field. The Colts not using him to execute a Hail Mary pass at the end of the Eagles game tells us something about his arm strength, as do his mediocre showings so far. Most people took him as a backup QB based on his upside, and he hasn’t shown much yet. You can probably get him for a lot less than you’d expect.

Maybe you already have one of these guys, or maybe you have something even better sitting on your bench. If you don’t, you better make the move now. Quarterback isn’t a position where you can afford to settle for less. especially this season where so many guys are putting up huge numbers every week.



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