(Image Credit: Gary Phillips/USA Today Sports)
By: Austin Geller
Last Thursday night’s Rams vs Seahawks matchup went a little differently than expected. Fans got to see it all: a quarterback with a pirate finger, double punts, a hawk landing on a fan’s head, and even the revival of Geno Smith. The high-powered NFC West showdown was thrilling, despite a more low-scoring affair, as each team’s offense struggled to move the ball downfield. The big news, however, is that superstar quarterback Russell Wilson will be on Injured Reserve for the next month due to a highly broken finger; the former Super Bowl champion will be missing at least the next four weeks. Since Russ is going to miss some time, that will snap his incredible streak of 149 consecutive starts. For those Russell Wilson owners out there, do not hit the panic button and do not look to trade. Just remain calm. There are a few excellent quarterbacks out there that are not only great replacements but are guys that can be relied upon, weekly, no matter the matchup.
Sam Darnold (Carolina Panthers): The 2021 season has been a complete turnaround for the 4th year man out of USC. The New York Jets drafted Darnold with the 3rd overall pick in 2018, and with that, wasted his first three years in the NFL. Now having relocated, Sam Darnold’s first five weeks with Carolina have been electric.
Heading into Week 6, Sam Darnold comes in as the overall QB10, and for good reason. He has played better and better each week, which has boded very well for Darnold owners. Week 4 in Dallas, Darnold wracked up a whopping 31.5 FPTS. He threw for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns, and even ran for 2 touchdowns. Not only has Darnold showed the world that he can be an excellent passer, but he has shown his ability to create and extend plays with his legs. As of right now, Darnold, out of all quarterbacks, leads the league in rushing touchdowns with five. It is amazing what happens when a quarterback actually has weapons at his disposal.
There was no doubt that Darnold struggled against the Eagles last week. However, with Christian McCaffrey expected to return, look for Darnold to bounce back in Week 6 against the Vikings. Sam Darnold is a Top 10 quarterback when Christian McCaffrey is on the field.
Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals): After a gruesome and unfortunate ending to his rookie campaign, the former LSU National Champion rehabbed his way back for the 2021 season. While the first five weeks have not been superb for Burrow, there is a lot of room for optimism.
In Week 4’s stint against the Jaguars, Joe Burrow shined bright on Thursday Night Football. On his way to his first 20+ FPT outing of the season, Burrow carved up the Jacksonville defense for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns. Burrow also had a solid 18 FPT outing in last week’s roller coaster of a game against the Packers.
While Burrow comes into Week 6 as the overall QB19, he has an excellent opportunity to rise through the ranks against the Detroit Lions. Joe Burrow is a viable replacement for Russell Wilson owners.
Taylor Heinicke (Washington Football Team): The Washington quarterback has been thriving since taking over for NFL vet Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He put together his best game of the season in a thriller against Atlanta in Week 4. In dramatic fashion, Heinicke made an outstanding play with 33 seconds left to win it for his squad. Having scrambled in the pocket and having dodged multiple defenders, Heinicke fired the ball to the other side of the field to his elusive back J.D. Mckissic, who found the end zone with a Superman-like dive. That game-winning score gave Heinicke his fourth touchdown and capped off a 27.9 day for the 2nd year quarterback.
Washington took on the Saints in Week 5. Taylor Heinicke had his struggles, having thrown two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Despite the down week, there is a lot of room for optimism.
Washington seems locked into letting Heinicke cook. The Washington Football Team takes on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, who just got absolutely ripped apart by Josh Allen on Sunday Night Football. Look for Heinicke to dismantle that nonexistent defense on Sunday. He is an excellent replacement for Russell Wilson owners.
Daniel Jones (New York Giants): As a die-hard New York Giants fan, I have been waiting two very long years to be able to talk about Daniel Jones. The time has finally arrived. Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones has ascended to Top 10 status in fantasy football.
Daniel Jones heads into Week 6 as the overall QB11. That number is skewed, however, due to Jones getting knocked out of last week’s game in the 2nd quarter. Regardless, he has been scorching opposing defenses all season. Week 4’s dramatic comeback win against the Saints was one of Daniel Jones’ best games of his career. He ripped apart the New Orleans defense with a career-high 402 yards, as well as adding two touchdowns. His heroic efforts led him to finish the week with 26.78 FPTS.
Heading into Week 5, Daniel Jones found himself in the Top 10 for passing yards among all quarterbacks. Unfortunately, Jones took a tough hit to the head that resulted in him getting carted off the field towards the end of the first half.
The Giants are most likely not going to have Saquon Barkley back this week, but it seems they will have the return of Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton for this week’s matchup against the Rams. Because Barkley is out, the game is going to be won or lost in Daniel Jones’ hands and legs. Assuming Jones passes concussion protocol, he is an excellent pickup for Russell Wilson owners due to sheer volume alone.