One thing that has become apparent in the 2017 season is that, if a quarterback has been listed as questionable, your best option is to look somewhere else for your fantasy lineup.
Through the first four weeks of the season, only three starting quarterbacks had been listed as questionable – Cam Newton twice and Sam Bradford once and none of them turned out well for their respective owners.
Newton was listed as questionable in Week 1 with a sore shoulder and played. His numbers weren’t brutal – he completed 14 of 25 passes for 171 yards with two touchdowns and one interception – but he was going up against the 49ers team that was playing its first game since its implosion of the coaching staff, front office and several veteran players. Huge things were expected, but didn’t happen.
Newton was again listed as questionable in Week 3 and his numbers were dismal. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 167 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of just 43.8. It would be bad enough to put up those kind of numbers if he was playing against Seattle or Denver, but he posted those numbers against New Orleans – a defense that gets routinely shredded by middle-of-the-road quarterbacks, much less former league MVPs.
A quarterback who added his name to the list of players who have sliced and diced the Saints defense was Sam Bradford, who opened the 2017 season with a Monday night dismantling of the Saints. He overwhelmed New Orleans to the tune of 345 yards and three touchdowns, but his twice surgically-repaired knee suffered damage in that game. As a result, he was listed as questionable tat Pittsburgh for Week 2.
He tested his knee out before the game and was deactivated for that game and didn’t play for the next three weeks.
In Week 5, two quarterbacks were listed as questionable – Bradford once again and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, who suffered a hamstring injury in Week 4. One team (Tennessee) decided not to risk their starter aggravating the injury. One team (Minnesota) felt it necessary to take the risk.
The results were bad on all fronts. Tennessee lost to offensive-challenged Miami with Mariota on the bench. Minnesota beat Chicago, but it had nothing to do with Bradford, who got pulled prior to halftime after completing just five of 11 passes for 35 yards and was sacked four times – twice by Bears tacklers and twice crumpling Manning-style when footsteps got close. His future is clouded because there is no structural damage per se and it might be a degenerative condition that isn’t going to get better.
The thing about NFL players is that they play hurt, but so far in the 2017 season, quarterbacks listed as questionable has been nothing short of poisonous.
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Last Week's (Week 5) Questionable List
QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
Mariota tried to push his injured hamstring during the week, but was inactive in a lackluster 16-10 loss to Miami.
QB Sam Bradford, Minnesota
He made his much anticipated return from a phantom knee injury that sidelined him following Week 1 and was brutal. He completed just five of 11 passes for 36 yards and was sacked four times because he couldn’t move in the pocket to avoid defenders. He was eventually pulled and his short-term future is muddled at best
RB Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia
Small running backs find it dangerous to play where injured, so he was inactive.
WR Davante Adams, Green Bay
Adams was taken to the hospital after a vicious hit in Week 4 that got Danny Travathan suspended, many owners were skeptical about playing him. Not only was he active, he caught seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
WR John Brown, Arizona
Brown played and, while he wasn’t used much, he had a productive fantasy game by reserve fantasy WR standards, catching two passes for 26 yards and one touchdown.
WR Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco
Goodwin was in the concussion protocol, but was cleared in time for the game and had his best game of the season, catching five passes for 111 yards.
WR Marquise Lee, Jacksonville
Lee tried to play through a rib injury and had one big catch, finishing with just two receptions for 49 yards.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore
Maclin is dealing with a hand injury and was little more than a check-down receiver Sunday against the Raiders, catching six passes for just 43 yards and not scoring.
WR J.J. Nelson, Arizona
Nelson has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but it didn’t show on Sunday, as he caught four passes for 80 yards.
WR Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
He is working through a neck injury, but was very limited Sunday against the Giants, catching just one pass for 22 yards.
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England
The only good news for Gronk owners (they’re used to it) was that his game was on Thursday, so when he was deactivated, it wasn’t a crushing blow to fantasy owners, who had plenty of other available options.
TE Benjamin Watson, Baltimore
He was technically active, but almost nonexistent on the field, catching two passes for just two yards.
WEEK 5 SCORECARD
Players listed: 12
Those who didn’t play: 3
Those who played: 9
Those who played at a high fantasy level: 4
SEASON TO DATE
Players listed: 60
Those who didn’t play: 15
Those who played: 45
Those who played at a high fantasy level: 13
John Holler is a freelance contributor for SportsHub Technologies, Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by John or other SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Technologies and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.