Fantasy Attack: Week 3
Bitten by the QB injury bug?
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It’s Week 3! How are your fantasy teams doing?
My teams are doing pretty terribly. I wish I could find some positive way to spin things for most of my teams, but two weeks in things are looking dire. It could be worse, however. One thing I can say is that none of my starting quarterbacks are injured.
Plenty of teams are looking at this as their situation. You may have the injured/benched folks on your teams, or you might be looking towards the new guys to cure your problems. Let’s take a look at each situation and see if we can get something positive out of them.
OUT: Nick Foles
IN: Gardner Minshew
The first starting QB to go down this year? Big Dick Nick! Of course it was. The dude specializes at backing people up, so of course once he gets another shot at QB1 from the getgo he gets hurt. Some people just have that luck. You’d be forgiven for assuming that Blaine Gabbert or Blake Bortles were there to take Nick’s place, but instead we’ve got somebody that Jacksonville took in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
If you don’t watch a ton of Pac-12 football (and who does?), you may never have heard the name of Gardner Minshew before his ascendance to the Jaguar throne. He played at East Carolina for two seasons before making the transfer to Washington State & gaining the tutelage of the infamous Mike Leach. Say what you want about Leach, he is an offensive guru that has raised the profile of countless quarterbacks, Mr. Minshew being the latest example. His one season at Wazzu saw 4,776 passing yards, 38 touchdowns & 9 interceptions. Pretty good, right? The thing is, he didn’t exactly do that at East Carolina the previous two years, so you can see how he got picked in the sixth round of the draft.
He completed 88% of his passes in Week 1, and wasn’t that much worse in Week 2. Problem is, the Jaguars need more points. He led them to 12 points in Week 2, which won’t beat many teams other than the Miami Dolphins. Little note to you monkeyknifefight.com folks…I’d take the under on any Minshew propositions this week, especially since it’s a Thursday night game against a pretty solid Tennessee defense.
OUT: Ben Roethlisberger
IN: Mason Rudolph
Big Ben is out for the season, and let’s be honest, he might be out for the career considering the wear & tear on that body. Pittsburgh needs to find somebody to pass the torch to, and at least for this season it’ll be Mason Rudolph. Rudolph was a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, and I wish he was the guy that Mike Gundy was talking about during his I’M A MAN, I’M 40″ rant, but no such luck.
His fill-in work against Seattle wasn’t bad for a half. 112 yards, 2 TDs & 1 INT isn’t terrible. Let’s be honest…do we expect much more from Big Ben than that, considering who’s around him? I give Steelers management the benefit of the doubt when it comes to scouting talent, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Rudolph in fact becomes the QB1 for years to come after Ben’s departure. I’d like him to have some more weapons right now, but I think he’ll do better than people expect.
OUT: Sam Darnold, Trevor Simeian
IN: Luke Falk
Remember how we had a fella from Washington State earlier in the column? Well, we’ve got the guy that started there the three years prior starting for the Jets now. It goes without saying the situation is a dumpster fire, but it could be worse. He got drafted by the Titans & got picked up by the Dolphins prior to this stint with the Jets. I mean…I don’t know what to tell you here.
The completion percentage wasn’t an issue, 20-25 is fine. The 198 yards & no TDs could be an issue, but he didn’t throw any INTs. He holds all kinds of Pac 12 passing records, which is to be expected since he played for Mike Leach for four years. Sam Darnold expects to be back in Week 5. Until then, the Jets play the Patriots, Eagles & Cowboys. You expect them to be 0-5 when Darnold comes back, but don’t be surprised if Falk gets some halfway decent stat lines & gets some overs.
OUT: Eli Manning
IN: Daniel Jones
Everybody knew this was coming when the Giants drafted Jones sixth overall in the NFL Draft. Maybe there were some Eli truthers that honestly believed that he would play well enough to at least hold the QB1 position throughout the 2020 season, but it was far more likely that he’d play two games than sixteen. Eli wasn’t a part of anybody’s fantasy plans this year anyway due to the lack of wide receiver help and the fact that he never really was a top-notch fantasy QB even at his peak. We hang on to Brees & Roethlisberger like familiar security blankets, but Eli was tossed aside years ago.
What about Daniel Jones? The pick got a lot of flack from NFL experts & fans at the time…not so much because the Giants didn’t need a QB (they did), but Jones was behind fellow prospects Dwayne Haskins & Drew Lock on pretty much everybody’s pre-draft rankings. Both men were still on the board, but the Giants wanted them some Daniel Jones and were afraid somebody else would have taken him had they traded down.
Like most of these other guys, Jones suffers from a lack of receiving weapons around him. He also has the luxury of handing off to Saquon Barkley, which is great for Giants fans but not great for fans wanting points credited to Daniel Jones. I don’t expect a lot of stats from Jones this season, but hopefully Giants fans see something from him for the future.
OUT: Drew Brees
IN?: Teddy Bridgewater OR Taysom Hill
Brees has only missed one game since coming to New Orleans, so the idea of somebody other than him quarterbacking the Saints is borderline heresey. It almost makes sense that it would take two people to replace him, right?
OK, not really. We’ve got a bit of a mess on our hands here, maybe. That tricky Sean Payton is playing things close to the vest and not telling us who’s starting in Seattle on Sunday. Even if it is Bridgewater, you should expect to see Hill get his usual gadget plays anyway since that’s been a thing. I’ll be rooting for Teddy as a Louisville homer, but I’m not touching this situation until I see how it plays out. You’d like to think somebody could take advantage of having the likes of Alvin Kamara & Michael Thomas at their disposal, but I’m still putting on the yellow light here.
OUT?: Cam Newton
IN?: Kyle Allen or Will Grier
Cam hasn’t looked right in the first two weeks. We can all agree on this. We could probably go back a couple of seasons to find the last time Cam looked like the future of the NFL, but now it’s reached the point where he doesn’t look like a capable NFL quarterback. Carolina never bothered to invest into protecting their investment, and now they’re paying the price.
If Cam is in fact out, we’ve got a couple of options. One is Kyle Allen, who is friendly with Kyler Murray from their time at Texas A&M where they both started and both transferred afterward. I don’t know what to make of him since he was ok at A&M, then went to Houston and was thoroughly mediocre. He did have a decent start last year in Week 17 against the Saints when he was the only person involved with the game that cared about it, so…yay?
Then there’s Will Grier. He’s a West Virginia guy, which I’m predisposed to dismiss due to the fact that I’ve seen Chris Henry & Pacman Jones don Bengals colors. From my personal experience, WVU guys aren’t useful for much other than hype. Oh by the way, Grier started out and got suspended while at Florida for using PEDs. Seems like a real reliable face of the franchise to me. Gonna be a long season in Carolina no matter who’s throwing the ball. They should just hand it to Christian McCaffery & get out of the way.
OUT?: Ryan Fitzpatrick
IN?: Josh Rosen
This is the QB change everybody expects to see at some point, but I don’t see it happening. At least not soon. The Dolphins are tanking. Ryan Fitzpatrick ensures they will lose, except for the very rare week where he goes off, leading everybody to go off about FITZMAGIC. He gives them exactly what they want. Unless the dude gets hurt, Josh Rosen will be getting a good tan on the sideline.
At the end of the day, my advice is to stay away from all of this nonsense. Whether you’re playing full-season fantasy or daily fantasy or just plain ol’ betting, I wouldn’t touch any of it.