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Rash of QB injuries leaves cupboard bare

As any fantasy football manager can attest, injuries at this time of year are the absolute worst.

If you lose a player early in the season, you have weeks to recover through trades or savvy waiver-wire moves. If you lose a key player in Week 13, it can doom your entire fantasy season. Just ask the fantasy managers whose playoff hopes have been damaged by an injuries to Lamar Jackson or Jimmy Garoppolo. If you can hear through their heavy sobs, that is.

We have already received word Garoppolo will miss time, and possibly the season, with an injured foot. As for Jackson, Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave us the bad news in the form of a “not a season-ending issue” silver lining, but reading between the lines tells us it is a multi-week knee injury. There really couldn’t be a worse time to replace your quarterback in fantasy football.

Jonathon Cooper of the Broncos (53) sacks Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Dec. 4, 2022.
Jonathon Cooper of the Broncos (53) sacks Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Dec. 4, 2022.
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The natural inclination is to look at the immediate backups for both players. Tyler Huntley took over for Jackson and led the Ravens to a 10-9 victory over Denver, but he threw for just 187 yards with one interception. He did rush for 41 yards and a touchdown, but the offense looked as stuck-in-the-mud as ever. Brock Purdy fared better, leading the 49ers to a 33-17 victory over Miami. He was reasonably efficient, but can we put our trust in the former seventh-round pick?

When you hit your waiver wire this week, it’s going to be as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. You could see if Russell Wilson was dropped, but is he going to help? Denver looks beyond atrocious at this point.

Maybe Mike White is available. He seems to be a serviceable fantasy option, unless the Jets go back to Zach Wilson. Or you could go down the Sam Darnold route. His passing ability is mediocre, at best, but he does like to poach goal-line carries.

Sam Darnold
Getty Images

Then there’s Kyle Allen or John Wolford. Unfortunately, neither drums up a lick of excitement or the prospect of even double-digit fantasy points.

But since you can’t win without a quarterback, decisions need to be made. As sad as it sounds, Darnold, based on the Week 14 matchups, is probably your best bet unless you play in a league in which no one picked up Deshaun Watson for personal reasons. If so, put personal feelings aside and use him. If not, grab Darnold, hope for the best against Seattle, and revisit this process next week.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.

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