How do you replace Aaron Rodgers? If you drafted the Packers star quarterback, you likely have not invested much else in the position in either the draft or free agency. If you are lucky, you picked up a quality starter who happened to be available on the waiver wire early in the year.
Let’s assess the options, not know if he will be out for 3 weeks, the rest of the year, or somewhere in between. Here is what I would do:
1. Sign Jay Cutler (if available) and trade for Robert Griffin III. This is a two part deal. If you want to try to piece together top end performance based on matchups, this is the combo to exploit. Cutler (61% owned in CBS leagues) might be available because of the injury. If he is not back this week, he will be soon.
Robert Griffin III, meanwhile, has plenty of great matchups coming up, even if he cannot play his own defense. In the next two weeks, it is Minnesota and Philadelphia, two of the bottom three in points allowed to quarterbacks in fantasy football scoring. That should get you through to Cutler shaking the rest off, and ready to start for your team against the Rams, the only time you would have to play one of the two against a defense not in the bottom against the pass.
After that, you can go Cutler against Minnesota and Dallas, Griffin against Atlanta, and then your choice of either in week 16 if you get that far, since they play the bottom two teams in points allowed (Dallas and Philadelphia). Griffin will cost you something, but his struggles to date means he is not prohibitive.
2. Nick Foles (44% owned) should be the top target, but also the most expensive one. If you have waiver priority he is the choice. He also has trade value now, which means he could be part of another deal.
3. Sign E.J. Manuel (13%) on the cheap, and re-assess. Manuel might be back. If you have to have a start for just this week, at least Seneca Wallace (1%) has a week of practice and a favorable matchup.
Andre Brown (66%) might be back this week. The Giants need him. He would be an immediate starting option in a flex role.
Chris Ivory (68%) ran hard against his old team. Now, we need to see the consistency that neither he nor the Jets have provided to date.
Shonn Greene (21%) is your matchup play in a pinch based on the “who is playing Jacksonville?” option. They are allowing the most points to running backs, and 2nd backs have been viable options against the Jags all year.
Rashad Jennings (16%) might get the start. Don’t overspend, but if you can add him on the cheap, it never hurts to get a guy with a chance at touches.
Aaron Dobson (46%) is the clear choice in New England at the outside receiver spot now. With Amendola and Gronkowski back, he will find life easier, and took advantage against Pittsburgh.
Riley Cooper (27%) had a big day. He’s not going for 3 touchdowns again. He could continue to be a WR3/WR4 type with Foles going forward.
Lance Moore (49%) is back and playing the role of Lance Moore, and took advantage of Colston’s absence.
Mike Brown (23%) will get an opportunity now that Blackmon is again suspended. Hey, the Jaguars will be trailing a lot.
The ship on the quality tight ends has largely sailed. That said, Timothy Wright of Tampa Bay has emerged and is averaging almost 5 catches a game since Glennon became the quarterback, and has now scored in consecutive games. He’s the one option if you have a Gronkowski on a bye. Absent him, you might have to fall to Andrew Quarless in Green Bay, who caught 5 passes after Seneca Wallace came in.
The choices in this one among the waiver wire are in the Houston vs. Arizona matchup, as you can get the Cardinals at home against Case Keenum, who has played well so far but looks like a guy capable of throwing some picks if the Cardinals can force him to read and not leave guys running free, with the Texans and J.J. Watt desperate and facing Carson Palmer.
The other option is the Eagles against the Packers without Rodgers.
1. Nick Foles
2. Jay Cutler
3. Andre Brown
4. Timothy Wright
5. Aaron Dobson
6. Chris ivory
7. Riley Cooper
8. E.J. Manuel
9. Mike Brown
10. Lance Moore