Oof, the hits and NFL injury news just keep on coming. Earlier on Friday, we found out that Baltimore Ravens star tight end Mark Andrews is likely out for the season after suffering a cracked fibula and a torn ligament in his ankle. Now, we have more bad news. Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow is out for the season after suffering a torn ligament in his wrist in the first half of their Week 11 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. This obviously has major impacts all across fantasy football, not only for Burrow managers, but for Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon. Let’s break down the implications of a backup quarterback in Cincinnati as well as potential lineup replacements and fantasy football waiver wire pickups following this NFL breaking news.
Joe Burrow Injury & Fantasy Football Impact
Impact on Bengals Pass-Catchers
We can’t judge just by one game (or better yet, one half), but the usage was not great for any of the Bengals wide receivers. Instead, backup quarterback Jake Browning gravitated more towards the tight ends, with Drew Sample and Tanner Hudson combining for 68 yards on six receptions. Meanwhile, the leading receiver was backup receiver Trenton Irwin, with Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase only combining for five receptions and thirty four yards. While Chase did salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown, it’s not looking good for the Bengals receiving options. We don’t know a lot about Browning, despite him taking the reps during training camp after Burrow injured his calf, but only throwing for 68 total yards in a half isn’t a good indication. There’s currently no one else listed on the Bengals depth chart at quarterback behind Browning, so they may opt to call one of the veteran free agents on the market like Colt McCoy or Matt Ryan. Even then, it craters the fantasy value of everyone in the receiving room.
Potential Fantasy Football Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups
The waiver wire is pretty barren at this point in the season, but let’s take a look at some of the options who are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues and rate them as a replacement.
FAAB Bid of 25-30%
While it may feel a little gross considering his performance last season, Mayfield is actually higher ranked in both season-long and on a points per game basis than Burrow is through the end of Week 10. He has a 64.6% completion percentage, and he ranks 11th among all quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt. The schedule is fairly favorable for the rest of the regular season, with matchups against the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons to close out the regular season of fantasy.
FAAB Bid of 20-25%
Love has gone through a small lull in production through the midway point of the season, but he’s still been consistent enough to be sitting as the QB13 on the season. He has a decent schedule to round out the season, with the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Giants, and while the Lions and Chiefs have been stingy to opposing quarterbacks, the volume and deep ball attempts should put him in the low-end QB1 range. If Christian Watson gets healthy, it helps him even more.
FAAB Bid of 15-20%
Even with Cooper Kupp back in the lineup, Stafford has been a little disappointing, only averaging 14.8 fantasy points per game, but maybe we can chalk that up to injury. What worries me about Stafford, however, is the end of season schedule. In Weeks 13 and 14, the Rams face the Cleveland Browns and then the Baltimore Ravens. If you’re on the cusp of the fantasy playoffs, Stafford may do more harm than good in your lineup.