It’s a Saturday night. You’re young and invincible. Having fun. Your fantasy team is shaping up to be the best it has in years. But then, tragedy strikes. You either drafted Andrew Luck, Lamar Miller, or worse…BOTH. You scroll Twitter as the pain and heartbreak mount. You feel sick to your stomach. You ask yourself, “Can I comeback from this? Do I want to come back from this?” You put on a fake smile for the rest of the night, wishing you could do it all over again. It just feels like one of those Southwest Airlines “Wanna Get Away” commercials.
Sometimes, life deals you a bad hand. A 2/7 offsuit. And sometimes, life eats that 2/7 offsuit, mangles it, and deals it to you to play a round of poker. That may be how you’re feeling now, Andrew Luck / Lamar Miller drafters. But don’t worry, you can turn that hand into something playable. Hope is not lost…
How to Replace Andrew Luck?
Good news: QB may be the most important position on the field, but it is fairly replaceable on the fantasy football gridiron. For instance, the difference between last year’s 4th best fantasy QB and the 20th was only 3.5 points per game. You can find some value on the waiver wire or low level trades. Take a look at some of these options.
Derek Carr: The fact that Carr is rostered only on a fourth of ESPN fantasy league teams surprises me. Only three seasons removed from his 28 TD / 6 INT performance of 2016, and in 2015 he threw 32 TDs. So the potential is there. Not to mention the second year in Gruden’s system. Plus, if you’ve heard, he got a new WR to throw to this year…
Josh Allen: Overall, Allen struggled with accuracy last year. But you can expect a slight improvement in his sophomore season. His real value lies in his legs that rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Also let’s not overlook the fact that over the final six weeks of last season, Josh Allen scored the most fantasy points out of all quarterbacks. And how is that recognized? By being drafted in only 18.4% of leagues on ESPN.
Matthew Stafford: Stafford provides value to replace Luck because of his solid floor. Over his last six seasons, Stafford has averaged 26 TD passess and I expect second-year WR Kenny Golladay to have a breakout season. And who knows how Stafford will utilize rookie TE T.J. Hockenson as an added red zone weapon. Stafford’s a very safe pick and is currently rostered in under 15% of ESPN leagues.
How to Replace Lamar Miller?
Miller is in no way a RB1, but this loss still must hurt. He is a reliable back whose fantasy value came from his guaranteed volume of touches. Running backs are tougher to replace than QB in my opinion. Not only is the waiver wire much more slim, but it is very difficult to get a guy who has the volume to put up the RB2/3 numbers you are hoping to replace. So you have to get a little creative here…
Rookies: Every year, there seems to be a surprise breakout running back who wasn’t rostered on fantasy squads at the beginning of the season. Look at Phillip Lindsay last year and Alvin Kamara the year before that! Take some fliers on some people who could be the next Lindsay or Kamara. Examples of rookies who could still be on the board: Devin Singletary (Bills / Drafted in 26.4%), Justice Hill (Ravens / Drafted in 13.9%), and Damien Harris (Patriots / Drafted in 13.1%).
Handcuffs: The fantasy football gods give and they take away. You had Lamar Miller taken from you, who knows who the FF gods could give you if someone else’s RB goes down. Handcuff options who may not be taken: rookie Alexander Mattison (Vikings / Drafted in 13.6%), Jamaal Williams (Packers / Drafted in 11.0%), and the round mound of first down C.J. Anderson (Lions / Drafted in 21.5%).
PPR Machines: The masters of the 2 carries for 9 yards / 5 catches for 41 yards game. Don’t look now, but that’s a 10 point game and a serviceable replacement for Miller. Options here include Jalen Richard (Raiders / Drafted in 36.6%), Giovani Bernard (Bengals / Drafted in 25.2% of leagues), and Chris Thompson (Redskins / Drafted in 16.9%).
Jay Ajayi: This one is a little bit of a stretch, but desperate times. I am in a 14 team league with other TFTB guys and I made this move after Saturday night and I didn’t even have Lamar Miller. As injuries pile up and some guys don’t meet expectations, Ajayi’s phone will ring. According to doctors, he is 100% healthy and we have seen what the 26 year old can do when healthy. Yeah – he isn’t rostered at the time of this post, but it is only a matter of when not if. He even could be picked up by the Texans to replace Lamar Miller!
Good luck, people who lost Luck or Miller. Know that we mourn with you…….and laugh at you in a way where you did nothing wrong and you had no control of a horribly unlucky situation. We truly wish you the best**