Another week, another injured quarterback that fantasy owners must deal with. It's been tough on quarterbacks this season: Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, and now Ben Roethlisberger has been added to the injured list. While it first seemed that Big Ben would be done for the season with a knee injury, the news following his MRI was good. He has a bone bruise and a MCL sprain. The timeline for his return is four-to-six weeks, although early reports are saying that it will likely be closer to the six-week mark than the four-week one.
What does that mean? Fantasy owners need to scramble, again, trying to find a replacement quarterback. Here are some options:
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (40 percent owned)
Taylor's ownership percentage keeps rising, and for good reason. He has seven touchdowns and three interceptions on the season. He has 96 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. He's looked more than capable headlining an offense on what was supposed to be a run-first team. Taylor has been able to move the ball and use his receivers even with injuries to Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy. He is a QB1 in Week 4 vs. the New York Giants and is the best bet to add as an injury replacement.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (27 percent owned)
With five touchdowns and one interception so far on the season, Carr is slowly making his way into fantasy relevance. He has leaned on rookie Amari Cooper and has posted back-to-back 300-plus yard games. Carr faces the not-even-a-little-bit-formidable Chicago Bears this week, and is a QB1 for that matchup. If he is available in your league, he's worth adding.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (25 percent owned)
While Smith isn't exactly lighting the fantasy world on fire, he does manage the game and he doesn't throw a ton of interceptions. He has four touchdowns and three interceptions on the year and he hasn't looked great since Week 1. He can get the ball to his receivers... as long as they aren't too far down the field. This offense belongs to Jamaal Charles, but if you are in desperate need of a quarterback, you could do worse.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets (12 percent owned)
Similar to Smith, Fitzpatrick is managing the offense. He has weapons — Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker — but he isn't always able to get them the ball. He's thrown two touchdowns in each of the first three games, but he also has five interceptions (three of which came in Week 3). He's been completing over 60 percent of his passes, and his schedule is favorable (vs. Miami in London in Week 4, followed by a bye, then games against Washington, New England, Oakland and Jacksonville).
Michael Vick, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (3 percent owned)
Roethlisberger owners looking for a replacement can look to his backup, Vick, who will be the Steelers' starter as long as he can stay healthy. Vick looked awful filling in for Roethlisberger in Week 3, but he was just coming off the bench and likely hadn't put in a lot of time with the first-string offense. After a week (albeit a short week) of practice, Vick should be better. He is capable of getting the ball to Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, and that's what the Steelers will have him do. The benefit of owning Vick as well is as soon as Roethlisberger comes back, you can easily drop him (although you still might need a backup quarterback as the Steelers' bye isn't until Week 11, and Roethlisberger should be back before then).
Running Back Injuries
Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy and more are banged up… For fantasy owners looking for running back options, look for Karlos Williams (23 percent owned), Lance Dunbar (16 percent owned), Thomas Rawls (4 percent owned) and Antonio Andrews (1 percent owned) as some early waiver-wire adds.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.