It's been a tough year for quarterbacks in fantasy football. With six weeks of the season in the books, Aaron Rodgers’ fantasy owners are coming to grips with reality and turning to the waiver wire for help to replace their injured MVP.
In other injured quarterback news, owners of Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr also may be looking at other options until their No. 1 can get healthy. Those who own Ben Roethlisberger and possibly Matt Ryan may be getting a little nervous, while those who have Deshaun Watson or Matthew Stafford know they will need another starter with the Texans and Lions on bye in Week 7.
So whether you fall into the “help wanted” QB camp or another position, here are some names that may be available on the waiver wire in your league that can help this week or perhaps beyond.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (47 percent owned)
While many starting quarterbacks may be available, Dalton is the best option that is less than 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. After a rough first two weeks of the season, Dalton has seven touchdowns and two interceptions in the past three games (he was on bye in Week 6). The Bengals are at Pittsburgh in Week 7, and Dalton is a QB2 with upside.
Brett Hundley, Green Bay Packers (2 percent owned)
The Green Bay Packers are sticking with Hundley as Aaron Rogers' replacement, at least for now. Hundley didn't exactly shine in relief of Rodgers, but he wasn't terrible. He threw for 157 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions against a tough Minnesota defense in a difficult situation. The Packers' pass catchers all have to be downgraded, but for a replacement quarterback that is widely available, Hundley isn't the worst option.
Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (31 percent owned)
With double-digit carries in the past two games, Collins hasn't done a lot with the opportunity. He had 55 and 74 rushing yards respectively and no touchdowns. He isn't a factor in the passing game, and his fantasy value is limited. In standard leagues, he has RB3 value, but it is hard to trust a player on a team with an offense that is struggling so much.
Matt Forte, New York Jets (22 percent owned)
When healthy, Forte does still have some fantasy value — as long as Bilal Powell is out. Forte is clearly behind him on the depth chart, but while Powell is missing time, Elijah McGuire isn't the guy to take over, Forte is. In Week 6, he had 22 rushing yards but added eight receptions for 59 yards. In PPR formats, he's a RB2 with Powell out.
Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (10 percent owned)
Against what was supposed to be the league's best run defense, Darkwa took his 21 carries for 117 yards (compared to Wayne Gallman's nine carries for 27 yards). He missed time with a calf injury but seems to be healthy now. If Darkwa keeps playing like he did in Week 6, it won't matter when Paul Perkins is healthy again. The Giants seem to want to find a better answer than Perkins; it may just be Darkwa. He's a RB3 moving forward.
Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (10 percent owned)
The problem with Lewis is that he plays for the Patriots, where it is impossible to know which running back to trust each week. In Week 6, he had 52 yards and a touchdown. It was only his second touchdown of the season, but he did have 53 rushing yards in Week 5 as well. For desperate fantasy owners, he will provide minimal value each week, but probably isn't worth a waiver wire claim.
Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (4 percent owned)
Ivory doesn't need to be owned in all leagues, but he should be owned by the Leonard Fournette owner. When Fournette suffered an ankle injury at the end of the game in Week 6, fantasy owners got a little nervous. It appears that Fournette will be fine, but this should serve as a reminder on how important it is to handcuff the stud running backs. If something were to happen to Fournette, Ivory would be a solid fill-in.
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (44 percent owned)
Owning a Cardinals receiver (besides Larry Fitzgerald) is tough. One week it's J.J. Nelson with the big game. Then it's Jaron Brown. Next it's John Brown. However, all three have value; it's just a matter of picking which one for the week. In Week 6, Brown caught three receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. He had the second-most targets on the team (behind Fitzgerald) but that may change in Week 7. He's worth owning but is only a WR3 at best.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (16 percent owned)
The Lions are on a bye in Week 7, so there's no rush to pick up Golladay. However, with Golden Tate injured, Golladay will have a bigger role when he does return. He's been inactive with a hamstring injury for the past three games. However, if he can get healthy, he'll likely step in as the No. 2 WR for Detroit. After a solid Week 1 performance, the potential is there. For those in deeper leagues, he's worth picking up to see what happens after the bye. If Marvin Jones, Jr. is available in your league (55 percent owned), he should be picked up as well.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (14 percent owned)
With two touchdowns on the year, Smith-Schuster isn't a must-own, but he's worth keeping an eye on, especially considering what is going on with Martavis Bryant (who has said he didn't request a trade). If Bryant's role is reduced, Smith-Schuster is the next man up. Even though Ben Roethlisberger is struggling, someone will need to catch the ball besides Antonio Brown.
Bennie Fowler, Denver Broncos (2 percent owned)
Tied for the second-most targets with Emmanuel Sanders (behind Demaryius Thomas), Fowler will be the wide receiver to pick up with Sanders injured. While the injury to Sanders doesn't appear at this point to be season-ending, he will likely end up missing time. Fowler should step up in his absence, even with the uncertainty at quarterback. He had three receptions for 21 yards in Week 6, but those numbers should increase in Week 7.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (8 percent owned)
Over the past two weeks, Kittle has entered into fantasy relevance. He has 11 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown in those two weeks. Even with the change at quarterback (C.J. Beathard will be the starter moving forward), Kittle should benefit. He did well amidst a quarterback change in Week 6 and could emerge as a favorite target for Beathard. Kittle is a TE2.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Buffalo Bills (25 percent owned)
The Bills are coming off a bye and face Tampa Bay in Week 7. Jameis Winston isn't going to be 100 percent healthy, if he does play, and without Winston, the offense suffers. In standard scoring, the Bills have had double-digit fantasy points in each game so far this year. They've recorded at least one sack in each game, with six in Week 2. They've had two interceptions in four of their past five games as well. For those who stream DSTs, think Bills for this week.
Tennessee Titans (31 percent owned)
The Titans head to Cleveland in Week 7. It's not clear whether it will be DeShone Kizer or Kevin Hogan as the starting quarterback for the Browns, but either offers the opportunity for turnovers and not a lot of points. Often times these matchups backfire for fantasy owners as the "good" matchups don't translate to fantasy points, but it may be worth a gamble this week.
— 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.