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Patrick Mahomes Injury Fantasy Football Impact

Oct 18, 2019

Fantasy football fans collectively held their breath Thursday night when the great Patrick Mahomes went down with what appeared to be a significant injury. Some hope was provided when he was able to walk off the field himself, calling off the cart, but it was soon announced that he was likely dealing with a multi-week absence, at minimum.

More good news arrived this afternoon in the form of a clean MRI which means Mahomes will avoid surgery. Still, the Chiefs and fantasy football owners will be without their star quarterback for the next three to five weeks.

We’ve asked our writers to provide their take on the injury and what it means for Mahomes’ teammates in KC. We also asked for their top waiver wire quarterback targets for owners preparing for Mahomes’ absence.

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What is the fantasy football impact of Patrick Mahomes’ injury?

We’ve seen the top Chiefs’ skill-position players succeed in the past with Alex Smith under center, so while most will panic, you shouldn’t be one of them. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t remove some upside from them, but Tyreek Hill should still be considered a low-end WR1, while Travis Kelce should remain a top-five tight end. We also can’t forget the NFL trade deadline has yet to pass, so it’s possible they make a move for a quarterback if Mahomes is slated to miss extended time.
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

So this is bad. As we saw Thursday night, Tyreek Hill can still do it on just one play. You can still trust him weekly, but the likelihood of him flooring out is higher without Patrick Mahomes. The ancillary Chiefs’ receivers are all drops. Travis Kelce was already just a mid-tier tight end this season, nothing special for fantasy. He doesn’t really change much. Relative to his early second-round ADP, he was trending towards bust with or without Mahomes. You’re still starting Kelce. If Sammy Watkins ever returns, it doesn’t matter. Watkins has spent the better part of five years proving he is terrible at football and even worse at actually playing football. He can be dropped in all but the deepest of formats.
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)

In the wake of this injury, I think the two Chiefs’ running backs get a slight bump, especially in PPR formats. Their pass-catchers will see a decrease in value, at least in terms of their ceilings, but the top playmakers like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce should remain startable. I think Andy Reid will lean on his West Coast offense roots with Mahomes, which should mean lots of high-percentage passes in the short and intermediate areas for Matt Moore. The big plays might not be there as much until Mahomes gets back, but I expect Hill, Kelce, and the running backs to catch a lot of screens and short passes over the next month.
– Mike Maher (@MikeMaher)

The sky has fallen, but the season isn’t done for Kanas City fantasy owners. Over the next three weeks, the Chiefs are set to face the Packers, Vikings, and Titans without their MVP. Matt Moore will focus a lot on the running game, which is good news, and increases the value for LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill will still produce for fantasy owners, but they get a small downgrade with Moore under center. The rest of the season schedule is very difficult for Moore and will negatively affect the remaining skill players which shouldn’t be started.
– Andrew Liang (@whenpigskinfly)

This is a significant downgrade to all Chiefs’ skill position players. The latest report has Mahomes out for at least three weeks. Matt Moore should be able to keep the offense afloat while Mahomes is sidelined. The Chiefs’ offensive numbers will be down as a whole. Tyreek Hill and LeSean McCoy will be least impacted, while Travis Kelce and others should see a downgrade.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)

Which waiver wire quarterbacks should Patrick Mahomes’ fantasy football owners target in his absence?

You will have to stream to replace Mahomes. For Week 8, the best option readily available is Teddy Bridgewater at home against the Cardinals’ swiss cheese pass defense. Mason Rudolph is also a consideration at home against the Dolphins. If you really must, Ryan Tannehill is at home against the Bucs. In Week 9, the only viable option is Sam Darnold at Miami. If you have the roster space, it might behoove you to grab him next week or perhaps even this week. Darnold at Jacksonville is not the worst option and then he has one of the easiest stretches of opponents you will ever see. Darnold gets the aforementioned Dolphins, followed by the Giants in Week 10, Redskins in Week 11, Raiders in Week 12, Bengals in Week 13, and Dolphins again in Week 14. Hopefully, Mahomes will be back sometime during that stretch.
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)

Given what Andy Reid is usually able to do for his quarterbacks, I think Matt Moore should be one of the first guys that Mahomes’ owners target on the waiver wire, especially in deeper formats. In the coming weeks, some streaming options include Ryan Tannehill vs. the Buccaneers or Mason Rudolph vs. the Dolphins in Week 8, Mitch Trubisky vs. the Eagles in Week 9, Jacoby Brissett vs. the Dolphins in Week 10, and Derek Carr vs. the Bengals in Week 11.
– Mike Maher (@MikeMaher)

Say it with me, “J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!” I am not a JETS fan, but I will be using Sam Darnold to bridge the Patrick Mahomes’ injury gap and get me to the fantasy playoffs. Darnold is widely available in most fantasy leagues, and his schedule is ridiculous starting in Week 8 through Week 15. Darnold will face the Dolphins twice and the Giants, Bengals, and Washington Redskins all once during that span. Get Sam Darnold now while he is still available. Honorable Mentions: Matt Moore and Gardner Minshew.
– Andrew Liang (@whenpigskinfly)

If Sam Darnold is available, add him right away. Outside of facing the Patriots this week, he has a very fantasy-friendly schedule coming up. He would be my priority add and should be a free agent in the majority of leagues. Matt Moore is another option as he should post solid numbers while filling in for Mahomes. Don’t make a panic trade yet, check out the FantasyPros playbook for viable streaming options until Mahomes returns.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)

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