Roundtable Week 10

The Footballguys Roundtable panel discusses emergency starters and stretch-run candidates at quarterback, running backs returning from injury, and the unlikeliest fantasy scenarios that have played out thus far in 2020 and how long they will continue. 

Welcome to Week 10 of the 2020 Footballguys' Roundtable. Our intrepid and oddball panel of fantasy pundits discuss and debate emergency starters and stretch-run candidates at quarterback, running backs returning from injury, and the unlikeliest fantasy scenarios that have played out thus far in 2020 and how long they will continue.

Let's roll...

Emergency Quarterbacks

Matt Waldman: From the list below, A) Tell us which QB is the best bet this week for the desperate fantasy GM. B) Tell us which QB you'd pick up as a multiple-week option. C) Which quarterback you'd least like to have.

Only the finest selections at Che' NFL...

Jeff Pasquino: This week, Dallas and the Giants are off, so we are down to three picks - Mullens (SF vs. NO), Luton (JAX at GB), or Alex Smith (WASH at DET). Green Bay has only given up three passing TDs and 300 yards once each this year, so scratch Luton. The Saints did give up 15 passing scores in their first five contests, but after their Week 6 bye they have really stepped it up, allowing only four in three games and no 300-yard performances all year. Given that I don't like how San Fran's offense looks right now, I started leaning towards Washington. Alex Smith has the most experience here and Detroit's defense gave up three touchdowns each to Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins the past two weeks. Of all three options, give me Alex Smith.

I also lean towards Alex Smith here as the multi-week option. The schedule is favorable (at Detroit, Cincinnati, at Dallas on Thanksgiving) and he has a strong WR1 in Terry McLaurin. Luton would be my second choice but the schedule (at Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Cleveland) looks horrific for the next three weeks.

As for the least attractive option, chasing Joe Flacco's big games has proven to a Fool's Errand throughout his career. He has thrown for three or more touchdowns in 19 starts in his 13-year career, but never two in a row. Couple that with him being a Jet and that they will get Sam Darnold is likely back in the saddle after New York's Week 10 bye and I want no part of Flacco. Garrett Gilbert would be next for me as I expect Andy Dalton to take over sooner rather than later, as Gilbert looked completely overmatched against Pittsburgh.

Jason Wood: The best bet for a must-win Week 10 is Alex Smith, almost by default since Flacco and Gilbert are on byes. Mullens has already been benched for C.J. Beathard this year, and I have no confidence in him against a reinvigorated Saints unit. Jake Luton is viable but the Packers are heavy favorites and the game script could get away from what Jacksonville does best -- run the ball with James Robinson. Smith threw three interceptions last week against the Giants, which is a harrowing precursor to this week's game against Detroit. But Smith is a proven veteran and will have the week to fully prepare as the starter, both mentally and physically.

It's a motley bunch to be sure, the only one guaranteed multiple starts: Alex Smith. Flacco has been subbing for Sam Darnold, who is due back this week or Week 11 at the latest. Nick Mullens, as I already mentioned, is no more likely to play a lot than Beathard. Garrett Gilbert is the Cowboys fourth-stringer and will sit when either Andy Dalton or Ben DiNucci is ready to roll. That leaves rookie Jake Luton or grizzled veteran Smith. Smith gets Detroit, Cincinnati, Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Seattle in the next six weeks; only the Steelers are problematic. Luton gets Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Baltimore. That's only three enticing matchups.

Garrett Gilbert is a fourth-stringer and needs both Ben DiNucci and Andy Dalton to stay in the trainer's room. With Dallas' offensive line in shambles and Gilbert being the ultimate definition of a street free agent, he's the easy choice.

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