Fitting how some downright bizarre football took place during a weekend that kicked off with a Friday the 13th.
But amidst the craziness of the New York Giants, an 11.5-point underdog, upsetting the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field, and the Miami Dolphins mounting a 17-point comeback on the road to beat the Atlanta Falcons, there were some injuries to key players like Leonard Fournette, Jameis Winston, and Emmanuel Sanders.
However, the injury that will dominate the headlines is the broken collarbone suffered by Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, 23-10.
Without Rodgers, the Packers seem to be moving forward with their backup quarterback as their new starter, the homegrown and groomed Brett Hundley.
For those of you who had Rodgers as the quarterback of your fantasy football team, it’s not quite as simple as plugging in Hundley for the injured Rodgers and waiting for the success and good fortune to roll on in.
Here are the top options available at quarterback:
Jared Goff - QB, Los Angeles Rams
Once known as the goober of all goober’s, Goff has looked like a completely different quarterback from his rookie season a year ago. Mostly all of it is him getting away from Jeff Fisher, but some of it has to do with head coach Sean McVay, and the changes made to the offense.
Goff is completing over 60 percent of his passes and has done a relatively good job of protecting the football in comparison to last year—just three turnovers and three fumbles so far in 2017. His 1,484 passing yards and eight touchdowns have helped propel him to the among the top-15 fantasy quarterbacks depending on your scoring system.
Available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues, Goff is one of the more attractive fantasy options on the waiver wire.
Carson Palmer - QB, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer’s best days seemed to be behind him after a tough 2016 and an ugly start to this season, but over the past few weeks, it’s been a completely different story—three straight top-16 finishes. Since turning things around after Week 2, Palmer has thrown seven touchdowns to just two interceptions and has turned into a reliable bye week/injury fill-in.
Here’s the deal when it comes to replacing, or trying to replace the production of Rodgers: You have to get creative. At the very least, Palmer could be used in conjunction with a couple of other players on this list as you try to take advantage of the matchups. Week 9 against the Houston Texans—22.9 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs—and Week 11 versus the San Francisco 49ers—21.1 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs—are examples of prime opportunities for Palmer to help get you and your team along down the stretch.
Palmer is available in over 40 percent of ESPN leagues.
Tyrod Taylor - QB, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are off to a better start than anyone expected at 3-2 and second place in the AFC East. It’s mostly due to their dominant defense, but Tyrod Taylor has also been a steadily good presence, and his numbers have made him a viable fantasy starter in deeper leagues. Taylor has six touchdowns to just two interceptions, is completing passes at a 62.5 percent clip and not even scratching the surface of his potential to affect the game with his feet in the ground game—he’s averaging just 3.8 yards per carry after averaging 6.1 YPC and 5.5 YPC in his past two seasons respectively.
Currently the 16th-ranked quarterback, Taylor is an intriguing option in the short-term with games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Jets over the next three weeks. With Taylor’s bye already in the rearview, he’s someone to pick up, stash, and play when the matchup presents itself.
Taylor is available in 60 percent of leagues and should be a rather hot commodity among Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson owners in Week 7.