I’m going to do something unprecedented in this article: I am going to recommend staying away from all of these guys, if you can help it. Things are a mess right now, what with COVID-19 protocols and injuries abound (Taysom Hill went on COVID-19 IR literally as I was writing this!). The options are terrible this week, and yes, two of them are on COVID-19 IR. That’s the situation we face right now. It sucks, but sometimes there’s nothing we can do but cackle wildly and ride it out. Should you need some replacements, here are some guys rostered in fewer than 50% of leagues who are potential pivots.
Baker Mayfield (25% rostered—Currently in COVID-19 protocols) or Nick Mullens—yes, that Nick Mullens (1%) versus Green Bay
So, I’m not 100% certain which of these guys will start this weekend, but I do know one thing: the Packers have gotten run over by their last four quarterback opponents, with Tyler Huntley throwing the hammer down on them last week to the tune of 35.9 fantasy points. That marked the fourth-straight game with a QB notching at least 20 points against them, and that includes guys who haven’t been that great this year, like Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins. While Baker Mayfield and Nick Mullens certainly sit a tier below that, I can’t question this matchup, especially in a bad week with a lot of desperate plays out there.
I am going to be honest: I don’t feel good about this one, either. But, with everything swirling this week, it is the best that we can do.
Tyler Huntley at Cincinnati (16% rostered—if Lamar Jackson remains out)
Lamar Jackson has missed two games minus ten snaps with his sprained ankle, and he hasn’t practiced in the meantime. Also, Tyler Huntley scored four total touchdowns last week. This is a pretty straightforward, “if no Lamar then Tyler” flow chart, to me. The Bengals aren’t the best matchup, but Baby Lamar could approximate what Real Lamar did against them in week seven (12/88 on the ground), which will get you some good production. After all, before playing the spiraling pass offense of the Broncos, they gave up 20 points to Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jared Goff at Atlanta (7% rostered—Currently in COVID-19 protocols)
Jared Goff will be one of the tests of the new COVID-19 regulations after popping a positive test on Monday and going on the COVID-19 IR. If he can make his way back to game action this weekend, he has a good chance of returning top-twelve quarterback numbers, or at least a decent facsimile of them. He powered up Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams’ absences, and now Swift and Williams will be back in action to go alongside Sun God and Josh Reynolds. Goff has turned it around lately, throwing for multiple touchdowns in three of his last four games, and surrendering just two picks in that timeframe. Because of this, he has 20+ fantasy points in two of his last three games.
This week, he gets the Falcons, who are a truly dreadful outfit, especially in pass defense. They’ve given up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and that includes giving up just 13.8 points to Jimmy Garoppolo last week because they just ran the ball down the Falcons’ throat. For reference, they are the only team to give up more than 16 fantasy points to Trevor Lawrence since week six. Week six, that’s nine games! The run game isn’t the Falcons’ strength, and Goff will be able to throw on them for victory.