With the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending knee injury and the beginning of bye weeks rendering Cam Newton idle, many fantasy players will be looking for quarterback help this week.
If you need a long-term solution at the position, try to make a trade for someone more consistent. Yet there is one possible QB with upside who has the promise to make a real significant impact from the free agency pile.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland: The rookie is only owned in 6.8 percent of leagues and could be the answer to solving the Garoppolo problem for many fantasy owners. In relief of Tyrod Taylor last week, he completed 17 of 23 attempts for 201 yards. Mayfield has crisp mechanics, puts good zip on his passes, throws well on the run and has a diverse crew of receiving targets. He can be plugged into lineups immediately against Oakland, which has allowed 8.7 passing yards per attempt, 30th in the NFL.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (28.6): He can be incredibly inconsistent and maddening, as he threw four TD passes in Week 2 and was intercepted four times in Week 3. Dalton has always been seemingly very good or very bad and can be very frustrating to own. But this week, he faces the Falcons’ 27th-ranked pass defense in what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the week. You can at least stream Dalton this week if you do not find a permanent solution in a trade, and he can be considered when the matchup is friendly if you need him for the longer term, playing matchups with another QB.
Case Keenum, Denver (17.1): He is already turning back into the journeyman QB we thought he was before last season, as Keenum has not thrown a TD pass since the season opener and has five interceptions. This week, however, he will take on the league’s worst pass defense as the Broncos host the Chiefs on Monday night. If you do not find a trade to your liking or just need to replace Newton for a week, you can ride with Keenum for a single week.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami (7.8): He has thrown eight TD passes overall with no interceptions in the past two weeks. The surprising Dolphins are riding into New England undefeated, and the Patriots pass defense ranks 23rd in the league so far and is looking vulnerable. Tannehill also faces the Bengals’ 24th-ranked pass defense in Week 5. Tannehill does not have a lot of perceived upside, but right now, it looks like you can do worse if you have a hole.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore (39.3): “Buck” Allen has scored on the ground in every game so far this season and added a receiving score in Week 3. The Ravens obviously lack the faith in Alex Collins to utilize him as a pure feature back, and Allen is their preferred receiving RB, as he caught five passes in each of the first two games. He’s a good add for depth now that the bye weeks are here.
Chris Ivory, Buffalo (5.1): He totaled 126 yards from scrimmage in the Bills’ stunning upset of the Vikings, and LeSean McCoy is dealing with cracked rib cartilage and some persistent off-the-field issues. Even if McCoy can return soon, he has a lot of mileage on his legs at this point of his career and Ivory may be needed somewhere down the line again. We mentioned him last week and the ownership did not climb much, so here’s a reminder to not miss out this time.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland (20.0): The rookie has become a forgotten man as Carlos Hyde has gotten off to a strong start with the Browns. But Hyde does have a past history of getting banged up, so if you are not rostering him as a handcuff to Hyde, you are making a mistake. Chubb can also be stashed even if you don’t own Hyde. Think ahead on this one based on Hyde’s track record of injuries.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay (37.7): The second-year wideout has scored in all of the Buccaneers’ first three games and is looking to be more dependable than boom-or-bust type DeSean Jackson, who disappeared in Week 3. Godwin is getting regular looks in the goal line area and should be recognized as Tampa Bay’s true No. 2 WR very soon.
Christian Kirk, Arizona (6.2): Rookie wide receivers can be risky, but the Cardinals are desperate to find another playmaker in their offense. Arizona is making an official QB change to another rookie, Josh Rosen, and he may need to lean on Kirk immediately. Take the flier for some depth after Kirk caught seven passes for 90 yards in Week 3.
Geronimo Allison, Green Bay (34.2): The window is closing fast on your opportunity to get this rising playmaker in a prime passing game. Allison has scored twice in three games and has also caught five passes in two outings. Allison does have a boom-or-bust look to him so far but could soon surpass Randall Cobb as Green Bay’s true No. 2 option.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh (13.0): His 75-yard catch-and-run TD on Monday night complete with the stiff arm of the century has quickly become the stuff of legend — and he finished with 112 receiving yards. McDonald has obvious appeal if he can stay healthy, but injuries have often been an issue for him, so hope he stays on the field and more quality production may be ahead.
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