FANTASY PLAYS: The ripple effects of Aaron Rodgers' injury
The prime topic of conversation around fantasy football this week is clear: How does the broken collarbone injury for Aaron Rodgers affect the Packers and fantasy football for the rest of this season?
Rodgers' injury not only affects those who have him on their fantasy team, but also those who have Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Ty Montgomery on their rosters. The Packers have one of the best offenses in football but will now be relegated to hoping that a little-known backup, Brett Hundley, can hold down the fort. That seems unlikely.
Here are some possible replacement quarterbacks and other players that may be available in your league and are realistic targets:
JOSH MCCOWN, QB, New York Jets (14 percent)
This pick may be more for deeper leagues but McCown has been surprisingly effective this season and the Jets have been shockingly competitive. Could this come crashing down at any moment? Absolutely, but as you will see from this list, there just isn't much fruit on the tree. If you lose a waiver claim or two, he might have to be your choice.
TYROD TAYLOR, QB, Buffalo Bills (44 percent)
Taylor has usually been a safe QB in fantasy but a lack of offensive weapons around him has seen him post only two games with more than 200 yards passing this season and only 28 yards rushing over his last three games. If he's not going to run, then his fantasy value is extremely limited. It's not all his fault, as his number one WR, Jordan Matthews, is still considered week to week with a thumb injury. His top target, tight end Charles Clay, is out multiple weeks after knee surgery. It's pretty much LeSean McCoy or bust right now for Buffalo.
JARED GOFF, QB, Los Angeles Rams (50 percent)
Yeah, the pickings are slim as it seems quite a few fantasy owners are rostering two quarterbacks this season. Hopefully, if you own Rodgers or Jameis Winston (shoulder injury), you have a capable backup. But if not, Goff could make a suitable replacement. He's played much better under a QB-friendly system and has solid weapons in Todd Gurley, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp.
TREVOR SIEMIAN, QB, Denver Broncos (51 percent)
Siemian plays for the best team of this quartet. The Broncos have what might be the NFL's best defense, which should put him in good field position during games. He has a solid offensive line, two very good WRs in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), and a rejuvenated RB in C.J. Anderson. When you throw in that outside of Week 8 in Kansas City, they don't face another top pass defense during the fantasy season, you can see why Siemian could be extremely enticing for fantasy owners that just lost Rodgers.
JALEN RICHARD, RB, Oakland Raiders (22 percent)
Marshawn Lynch has only had two games this season with more than 45 yards rushing. He was a gamble coming into the season as he was retired for a year and hurt the last time he did play in the NFL. Sooner or later the Raiders may have to realize that they need younger legs that don't have the mileage on them. Richard is not spectacular, but if he were to take over the starting role or just have a bigger role in the offense, his value would go up. The Raiders still have one of the best offensive lines in the league - even though they aren't playing like it.
ROGER LEWIS, WR, New York Giants (44 percent)
Someone has to catch the ball for the Giants. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall are out for the season due to ankle injuries. Sterling Shepard is out with an ankle injury of his own. This leaves the passing offense in the hands of Evan Engram and Lewis, who won't be a star but could be a flex starter at least during bye weeks.
ZACH MILLER, TE, Chicago Bears (24 percent)
Who does a young rookie QB like to throw to? His big bulky target that is close to the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field. Miller is that target and has also become a top red zone guy for Mitchell Trubisky as he has caught TD passes in both games that the rookie QB has played.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com