UPDATE: 2:35 p.m. Saturday
Not a lot of fantasy news this afternoon. The most noteworthy note is that Las Vegas quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will miss tomorrow’s game in Chicago, making the bye week’s depleted pool of adequate QBs even shallower.
Notable players added to the out list include Rams RB Kyren Williams, Detroit WR Marvin Jones and Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Two players will be returning to the field this week: Pittsburgh wideout Diontae Johnson and Miami running back Jeff Wilson have been cleared to play tomorrow..
Seattle WR D.K. Metcalf is said to be a game-time decision for the Seahawks’ late afternoon matchup with Arizona.
As for news of more local interest, the Vikings’ opponent Monday night, San Francisco, is mum today on the status of star RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Deebo Samuel.
ORIGINAL POST: noon Wednesday
There are few moments more painful in fantasy football than when teams employing a one-quarterback strategy watch their quarterback go down.
Such a tragedy struck The Loop last week when our solo QB, Chicago’s Justin Fields, dislocated his thumb against the Vikings.
It was the latest setback of Fields’ hot-cold season, knocking him out for this week and some time beyond. It left our roster QB-free. And if you think there are a bunch of replacement options as we head into Week 7, you’d be mistaken.
This is the biggest bye week of the year, with the Bengals, Cowboys, Titans, Jets, Panthers and Texans idle. So lots of fantasy mavens will be desperate for a quarterback, and the pickings are mighty slim. In our league, this would be the less-than-magnificent seven best options for a quick QB replacement for this week:
Geno Smith (Seahawks vs. Cardinals) – Clearly The Loop’s best option. Though the veteran has only five TD passes in five games, he is averaging about 234 yards per game. And he’s coming off a nice 323-yard effort in Cincinnati.
Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers vs. Falcons) – He’s hurt, and he admits “I sucked” last week against Detroit. But the former insurance pitchman is averaging a little over 200 yards, has thrown for seven 7 TDs and has a nice set of receivers.
Daniel Jones (Giants vs. Commanders) – Tyrod Taylor looked better than him last week in Buffalo when Jones was out with a neck injury. And Jones has many more sacks (28) than touchdown passes (3). But he is, by far, the best runner of this bunch.
Joshua Dobbs (Cardinals vs. Seahawks) – He and the Cards have been better than expected, though their 1-5 record is not. Dobbs has averaged about 200 yards and a TD per game, but he’ll be on the road against an improved Seattle defense.
Kenny Pickett (Steelers vs. Rams) – He’s off to a poor start, with barely 200 per game and only 5 TDs in six games. And he’ll be dealing with a decent Los Angeles defense while having his hands tied by Matt Canada’s putrid excuse for an offensive game plan.
Derek Carr (Saints vs. Jaguars) – The veteran is still.not 100 percent because of a shoulder injury, though he has passed for about 1,300 yards and 5 TDs. But he rarely runs, and he should be doing better with weapons such as Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas.
Desmond Ridder (Falcons vs. Buccaneers) – His numbers aren’t terrible (1,300 yards, 6 TD passes, 2 TD runs), but he WAS terrible against Washington. His three game-killing interceptions were progressively uglier against a defense not as good as Tampa Bay’s.
Miami’s run defense is nothing special, so Philly’s D’Andre Swift could thrive in their Sunday night showdown. … Cleveland RB Jerome Ford finished strong and will continue to run free against the Colts. … HIs teammate, WR Amari Cooper, is on a hot streak that will be extended through Indianapolis. … We’ve been waiting for Chiefs WR Rashee Rice to have his breakout game, and it might come against the underwhelming Chargers defense. … We expect rebound weeks from Green Bay QB Jordan Love and WR Christian Watson against the motley Denver defense. … And 49ers injuries make WR Brandon Aiyuk and QB Brock Purdy great starting options against the Vikings.
We’ve been a bit disappointed so far by Saints RB Alvin Kamara, and he might be held in check again by the Jaguars. … The Vikings’ Alexander Mattison will have trouble running for much against the 49ers’ defense. … The Browns’ impressive defense will shut down both Colts RBs, Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss. … Miami RB Raheem Mostert will slow down in Philadelphia against the best defense the Dolphins have faced. … With Justin Fields out, you might want to bench D.J. Moore vs. the Raiders. … They’ve been great so far, but it could be an off week for two rookie standouts: Rams WR Puka Nacua vs. Pittsburgh and Detroit tight end Sam LaPorta against Baltimore. … And as bad as the Patriots’ offense has been, you should start nobody except RB Rhamondre Stevenson against Buffalo.
The biggest Week 6 injury was the oblique injury suffered by this year’s fantasy MVP: San Francisco RB Christian McCaffrey. More on that later. … Niners WR Deebo Samuel also left with injury and could miss more time. … A large number of quarterbacks are nursing ailments of varying degrees (Jacksonville’ Trevor Lawrence Cleveland’s Deshaun Watson, Vegas’ Jimmy Garoppolo) … Detroit RB David Montgomery will be sidelined at least a couple weeks because of a rib injury, while Buffalo RB Damien Harris was carted off the field with a neck injury and will be out longer., … Other prominent players who are questionable include Packers RB Aaron Jones and Detroit RB Jahmyr GIbbs.
The deepest sleepers
If Christian McCaffrey is out Monday night, the two guys who will fill the void against the VIkings are Elijah Mitchell, who is likely already taken in your league, and Jordan Mason, who is not. Mason ran five times for 27 yards and a touchdown after CMC went out. The second-year free agent from Georgia Tech has mostly been a special teamer and has but 64 career carries. But he has averaged nearly six yards per attempt and already has three TDs. … If you want to take a shot on someone with even less of a resume, try Rams RB Zach Evans. He has only four carries this season, but he might be No. 1 this week if Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers are both out.
The Thursday pick
Jaguars at Saints (-3½):
Pick: Jaguars by 3
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoff. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.