Welp, the Aaron Rodgers new is bad — perhaps not worst-case-scenario bad, but it's bad.
As CBS Radio's Zach Zaidman reported on Monday night (and various others confirmed on Tuesday morning), Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone on the opening drive of his team's Week 9 loss to Chicago. We don't yet have a definitive recovery timeline for Rodgers; this could be a three-week issue, or it could be something worse.
Clearly, this injury has the potential to radically alter the landscape in the NFC. And you shouldn't need a fantasy expert's assistance to figure out that every Packers receiver just took a substantial value hit, for an as-yet-unknown period of time. Seneca Wallace won't pay the fantasy bills, in all likelihood. Brutal timing, because Green Bay's schedule is incredibly friendly in the weeks ahead: Philly, at NYG, Minnesota, at Detriot, Atlanta, at Dallas.
If you're a Rodgers investor scrambling for replacement options today, here's my advice: Use a fantasy platoon at quarterback.
It's just not reasonable to think that you can replace Rodgers' expected contributions with any single player from the wire. Managing around the absence of a top-tier talent is never easy. Sometimes it's not even possible, except via trade. We've all been impressed by small-sample heroes Case Keenum and Nick Foles, sure, but you can't possibly regard those guys as matchup-proof starters.
For planning purposes, here's a look at the rest-of-season schedules for the most appealing waiver wire QBs, all of them available in over 60 percent of Yahoo leagues:
From the group above, my preferred platoon pair is definitely Foles and Cutler. (Jay has a shot to return as soon as Week 10, according to multiple reports, and he's unowned in 69 percent of leagues.) If you roster both, you'll have at your disposal two players who lead productive passing offenses, and you'd have the opportunity to exploit the following matchups:
Week 10 — Foles at GB
Week 11 — Foles vs. WAS
Week 12 — Cutler at STL
Week 13 — Cutler at MIN
Week 14 — Cutler vs. DAL
Week 15 — Foles at MIN
Week 16 — Cutler at PHI
Not too scary, eh?
In the biggest weeks of the fantasy season (13-16), your starting QB would face defenses that currently rank among the friendliest in the league. Dallas has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Minnesota the third-most, and Philadelphia the sixth-most. And Washington (Week 11) has allowed the second-most. So it's tough to beat the combined Foles-Cutler slate , assuming both stay healthy.
If instead you're focused only on the next three weeks, hoping to tread water and qualify for the fantasy playoffs, then you'll want to consider a Locker-Keenum platoon (JAC, OAK, at OAK) or a Locker-Palmer combo (JAC, at JAC, at OAK).
My point is, you've got options. Don't make a panic trade. In leagues of standard size, look first to the wire — think of it as an extension of your bench. No, you can't adequately replace Rodgers with any one QB, but you can probably survive — and maybe thrive — with two.