Fantasy Island: Quarterback-free Edition

The Brandon Aiyuk resurgence is underway. (Photo by All-Pro Reels Photography/Wikimedia Commons)


This apparently isn’t our year with quarterbacks.

The track record on promoting startable quarterbacks in this space has been woefully bad this year, capped by a vouching of Cam Newton last week that led to a whopping 8 fantasy points. Count ‘em, eight.

So instead of throwing another dart this week, or going the obvious route and telling you to start Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, I’ll tell you again to sit the weaponless Ryan Tannehill and start whoever you want instead. Your guess is apparently as good as mine.

With the playoffs nearing, it might be a good idea to start rostering handcuffs for your running backs, if you haven’t already. Last week saw Dalvin Cook hurt his shoulder, Christian McCaffrey lost for the year, and Miles Sanders and Darrell Henderson left questionable with various ailments. If you’re in contention, don’t leave yourself exposed. It’s rough out there on the wire if you’re looking for running backs.

This week’s guilt-free, QB-less start/sit suggestions:



Alexander Mattison, Vikings: Hope he was available on your wires this week and hope you had high enough priority to grab him. In the two games this year where he’s gotten a full workload in relief of Dalvin Cook, he’s rushed for over 100 yards in both. Cook’s out with a shoulder injury and Minnesota faces the Lions this week. Fire him up.

Elijah Mitchell, 49ers: What broken finger? Mitchell slotted right back in to a full workload for San Francisco last week, handling 27 carries for a cool 133 yards and a score. Seattle’s defense doesn’t appear to present a significant problem, even on the road.  


Najee Harris, Steelers: You’re not really sitting him, of course – few managers have the depth to bench that kind of volume – but expect another rough day for the Steelers’ bell-cow back. The entire offense seems stuck in neutral and now the Steelers run into a Baltimore defense that held Nick Chubb – NICK CHUBB – to 16 yards last week. Yuck.

James Robinson, Jaguars: He totaled 115 yards last week, but he lost a fumble and failed to score, leaving his final line more modest than it should’ve been. This week, he’s facing a Rams defense that should not be in a very good mood after getting bulldozed by the Packers. I’m sitting him where I can, which unfortunately isn’t very much. So I’ll just hope I’m wrong here.



Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers: The resurgence is apparently here. After disappearing the first half of the season, he’s now had 85 yards or more in three of his last four games, with touchdowns in two of his last four. With WR1 Deebo Samuel expected to miss the next week or two with an injury, this should be Aiyuk’s time to shine.

Van Jefferson, Rams: Matthew Stafford’s vertical threat is usually boom or bust – they’ll connect on a deep shot or the won’t. Last week, they did and Jefferson notched 93 yards and a score. He’s had six targets or more in five straight games and now Odell Beckham, Jr., is dealing with a hip pointer. OBJ’s expected to play, but if his play is compromised Jefferson might even get a few more looks against a beatable Jacksonville secondary.


D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks: We picked the wrong Seattle receiver to sit last week. While Tyler Lockett turned in a decent line, Metcalf was nowhere to be found in Monday’s loss to Washington, failing to catch a pass until late in the fourth quarter. He could erupt at any time, of course, but he’d have to do it on my bench at this point.

Kenny Golladay, Giants: There seemed to be some optimism last week, with his coach promising more targets and Kendarius Toney and Sterling Shepard out with injuries. But he finished with a measly 50 scoreless yards in the win over Philly. This week, Daniel Jones is expected to miss the game, leaving Mike Glennon to one-hop passes in Golladay’s direction. Woof.



Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team: He returned from IR last week and turned in a modest 31 yards against Seattle, but he had a touchdown overturned that would have made that line look much sweeter. This week he gets a Raiders defense that has been vulnerable to tight ends.


Kyle Pitts, Falcons: Bear with me, I’m trying a little reverse psychology here. Pitts has disappointed so often lately, regardless of the matchup, that it’s tempting to just keep him on your bench the rest of the season – even in what should be a good matchup with Tampa Bay’s pass-funnel defense. Let’s see if this wakes him up.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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