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Stop Whining and Keep Winning: Replacements for Wentz, McCown

Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS
Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles – Drew Hallowell

Wentzylvania is on full tilt after its namesake, Carson Wentz, tore his ACL in Sunday’s 43-35 win against the Rams and is out for the season. Not-so-perfect timing for a team with championship aspirations, and also heartbreaking news for your fantasy team with the playoffs on the line. Meanwhile, lowly Gang Green is down Josh McCown after the journeyman QB, in the midst of a resurgent season, broke his non-throwing hand Sunday as Denver lambasted the Jets 23-0. He will miss the remainder of the season.

Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one because I know you have: this season has seen an egregious amount of top talent lost to injury. These two injuries are especially painful as the Eagles’ Wentz was clearly a top candidate for MVP and is second overall in fantasy points behind Seattle’s Russell Wilson. McCown is currently QB8 on the season.

Fantasy football owners are left pondering their existence without these players in their lineups. So, now what?

If Aaron Rodgers, by some miracle of God, is still available in your league you have to roster him right freaking now. If not, add these guys in this order to help save your fantasy season.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars – Don’t look now but Bortles has pieced together a pretty darn decent second half of the season, having scored at least 16 fantasy points in six of his last seven starts. During that stretch he has eclipsed 20 fantasy points twice, has thrown eight TDs to three interceptions and now gets two juicy matchups against the Texans and 49ers. The Texans give up the second most points to opposing QBs, an average of 19.3 points per game, and the 49ers are right behind them. Wake up, fantasy owners: this is not Bad Blake, it’s Good Blake. Ownership: Yahoo!, 35%. ESPN, 20%.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers – Garoppolo is finding his groove with his new team, winning both games he has started since taking over for C.J. Beathard. Jimmy G has thrown for 627 yards with one TD and one interception in wins over Chicago and Houston. His fantasy scores haven’t been great (10.52 vs. Bears, 15.06 vs. Titans) but they should keep improving as he gets more in sync with his receivers and more comfortable with the offense in general. Roll him out with confidence against the Titans in Week 15, but beware the Jaguars in Week 16. Ownership: Yahoo!, 20%. ESPN, N/A.

DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns – Kizer has plenty of weapons at his disposal now that Josh Gordon has returned in force and Corey Coleman is healthy. Kizer is also a dual-threat QB and has 315 rushing yards and five TDs on the season, giving him weekly upside. Post-Week 9 bye, Kizer is QB14, having thrown for six TDs and rushed for two more. His tendency to throw interceptions makes Kizer nerve-wracking to watch, but he has topped 20 fantasy points twice in that span and only put up one stinker, albeit against Jacksonville. His schedule doesn’t do him any favors, however, as the Browns face Baltimore and then Chicago. Ownership: Yahoo!, 4%. ESPN, 5%.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – Foles deserves some consideration here by default. I mean, he did inherit an offensive juggernaut with one of the league’s best o-lines to boot. How did you feel about Case Keenun after Sam Bradford went down in Week 1? How do you feel about him now? Exactly. We are not too far removed from Foles’ 2013 campaign with the Eagles, in which he threw for 2,891 yards, 27 TDs and 2 INTs. He has proven he can be a competent NFL quarterback and he’s in the right spot to succeed now. Ownership: Yahoo!, 2%. ESPN, 1%.

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