After struggling to a 2-6 record in his first eight starts with the Denver Broncos, Joe Flacco has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his neck. This injury will sideline him for at least Week 9, and it may spell the end of his season if he's placed on injured reserve as well.
Flacco hasn't been especially good this season, but the injury still downgrades the fantasy football value available for the Broncos' skill position players.
Joe Flacco Backup Quarterback
The Broncos' top three non-Flacco QBs are Brandon Allen, Drew Lock and Brett Rypien — none of whom have ever started an NFL game.
Allen has been named the starter for Week 9, and his track record doesn't exactly inspire confidence. He did have a solid 30-TD, eight-INT senior year at Arkansas, but that was back in 2015. He was drafted at the end of the sixth round in 2016, and the Broncos are already his third NFL team.
Courtland Sutton was well on his way to a breakout sophomore season, with 39 receptions for 636 yards and three TDs through eight games. He looked ready to provide even more value with Emmanuel Sanders traded, but the downgrade from Flacco to Allen will limit his upside significantly, especially if Flacco does land on IR.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman both receive downgrades with Allen at the helm as well. They've both been fantasy relevant in 2019, each averaging at least 11.5 PPR fantasy points per game, but that's going to be tough to keep up if the offense slows down, particularly because there will be even fewer opportunities to score touchdowns.
Flacco himself wasn't much of an option in fantasy football this season, and Allen isn't worth having on your roster either.
Sutton, Lindsay and Freeman are still all worth starting in Week 9, particularly with a decent matchup against the Cleveland Browns on tap. They are no longer no-brainer starting options with Allen under center though, especially if he's the quarterback following the Broncos' Week 10 bye with tough matchups against the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills lined up for Weeks 11 and 12.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.