With Covid-19 giving teams more reason to have flexibility behind their starters, fantasy players need to also be more in tune with those backups. It appears teams will need to put any players who test positive on IR for three weeks. If Covid is a problem for NFL players, and there is a good chance it is, we will need to be waiver wire savants while also handcuffing and hopefully expanding rosters for this season.
Today we will take a look at the backups quarterbacks. Who is worth grabbing at the end of your bench? Should you even worry about handcuffing your quarterback if his backup is awful?
Andy Dalton, Cowboys
Dalton was a serviceable starter in Cincinnati, but was never going to take his team all the way. Now in Dallas, he’s one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league and is on a team stacked with playmakers. If Dalton gets starts, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and SeeDee Lamb will push his fantasy numbers up.
Jameis Winston, Saints
Winston led the league in passing yards, was second in touchdowns and first in interceptions in 2019 with the Buccaneers. The Saints did well with Teddy Bridgewater backing up Drew Brees last season, but he moved on to Carolina. Taysom Hill is also in the mix, but Winston should win the backup job and quickly be the leader of one of the best offenses in the league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins
Fitzpatrick could get multiple starts as Tua Tagovailoa acclimates to the NFL, but the team will want to get Tua out there as soon as they can. Fitzpatrick is always hit and miss, but his hits are high upside due to his gunslinger mentality. If he’s starting, he is usually worth rostering.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts
Brissett looked capable for half of the season, but an injury slowed him down in the second half and the team ended up signing Philip Rivers. But Brissett remains one of the better backups in the league and if Rivers misses any time, Brissett should have some fantasy value and keep the offensive players fantasy value from tanking.
Case Keenum, Browns
An improved offensive line and stacked group of playmakers give Keenum a nice spot to work if Baker Mayfield misses time this season. There’s even a chance, albeit a very slim chance, that Mayfield falters enough to give Keenum a chance to start at some point. Either way, Keenum is in one of the better positions as a backup and has enough experience to be better than awful.
Jarrett Stidham, Patriots
Cam Newton should win the starting job, but his injury history is concerning. Stidham was in line to start before they signed Newton and we know Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels can get offense out of some unlikely subjects.
Robert Griffin III, Ravens
The Ravens offense is hard to stop with Lamar Jackson behind center and the Ravens staff has catered to his strengths well. If Jackson were to lose any time in 2020, RG3 would be a player worth rostering. He hasn’t been asked to do much with the Ravens, but this will be his third year with the team and he should be ready.
Matt Moore, Chiefs
Moore’s upside has everything to do with the Chiefs offense. Moore didn’t blow the doors off the competition when Mahomes missed two games last season but he was serviceable and benefitted from the overall offense.
Marcus Mariota, Raiders
Maybe Mariota just needs a new team and surroundings to get his game back on track? It’s hard to know for sure, but he has talent but looks lost on the field recently. He’s not a priority add if Derrek Carr misses time, but is worth keeping an eye on for his potential upside.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Hurts might not even get the starting job if Carson Wentz goes down, but he has the most fantasy upside of the group. His ability to run could easily shoot him up to the top of this list if given the opportunity.
Chase Daniel, Lions
The well paid career backup quarterback Daniel could be called into duty this season if Matthew Stafford misses any time after being put on the Covid-19 injury list. Stafford could be back tomorrow and this becomes moot, but his wife is recovering from a brain tumor and they have a newborn at home. There’s still a chance he could end up opting out. This is all conjecture at this point, but keep Daniel on your watch list.
Mike Glennon, Jaguars
Gardner Minshew is also on the Covid-19 injury list, so we should check out his backup. Aaaagh! It’s Mike Glennon. Glennon hasn’t done much to endear himself to fantasy players. Rookie Jake Luton is also a possibility, as the Jaguars took a later round Minshew and saw him perform well his rookie year. In the end, they would likely bring in some more competition if Minshew ends up missing any starts.