When the 2017 NFL season began, fantasy football pundits urged you to wait on drafting quarterbacks, because the position was flush with talent. Why invest a high draft pick when quarterbacks such as Carson Wentz and Alex Smith could be had at a discounted rate?
But then the injuries piled up, several veterans struggled, and suddenly owners everywhere found themselves streaming some of the most undesirable names. It got bad. Like Blake Bortles bad. And just when you thought the nightmare was over, Week 11 arrived and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Bills coach Sean McDermott set the position from bad to worse.
In Minnesota, Case Keenum has been doing an admirable job filling in for the injured Sam Bradford. Through eight games, he has thrown for just over 1,900 yards with 11 touchdowns and has led the Vikings to a 7-2 record, including five straight wins. The numbers aren’t gaudy, but they’ve been stable for fantasy owners. Though you would think a coach would be happy with the results, Zimmer still is leaning toward a change.
Former franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, out since 2015 with a major knee injury, is on the mend and appears to be ready to return as early as this week. Zimmer and his staff have praised the recovery and continue to hint at imminent change. The talk has grown so much that rumors are now swirling that, should Keenum struggle this week against the Rams, a change could come as early as the second half.
Immediately, a reliable option to those who lost Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson is now a massive risk.
McDermott also has turned the position upside-down as he officially benched Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman this week. The Bills have been throttled over the past two weeks, and McDermott apparently feels a change at quarterback is the answer.
Forget that the defense has allowed 81 points in that span. Forget that playing from behind causes them to abandon the ground game, thus rendering their top offensive weapon, LeSean McCoy, ineffective. McDermott feels that, rather than fix his defense, switching to Peterman gives them a better chance to score points and keep pace with the opposition. He doesn’t. And now Taylor owners are scrambling for another viable option, which doesn’t exist.
With the loss of two more starters, the quarterback position has been decimated this season. Whether you invested early or opted to wait is now irrelevant. All that’s left is to either pay a steep price for one in a trade or continue to stream the garbage with which you are left. It isn’t pretty, but at this point, it’s all you’ve got.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 4-6 p.m.