Fantasy Football: The Answer to Your Aaron Rodgers Problem

By kylesoppe

He plays for the most pass-happy offense in the league, has a quarterback rating north of 105 and has completed over 63 percent of his passes for five touchdowns (and no turnovers) against two top 10 pass defenses in the last two weeks. “He” is not Aaron Rodgers, “he” is the key to filling the short-term void left by Rodgers in your fantasy football lineup.

He, my friends, is Jason Campbell.

With a second-consecutive 35-attempt, 280-total-yard, multiple-touchdown and no-turnover game, Campbell has been rock solid since taking over the starting QB gig.

You read the first sentence of this piece correctly, not a single team in the NFL has thrown the ball more this season than the Cleveland Browns (23 more attempts than any other team), giving Campbell fantasy value by volume even if you’re not buying him as a talented quarterback. Those numbers, remember, were accumulated with Brandon Weeden (whose season QB Rating is less than or equal to five quarterbacks completion percentage) under center, Josh Gordon suspended for two games, Trent Richardson demanding a heavy workload and against a handful of respected pass defenses. In other words, they aren’t going to stop throwing the ball now.

It may not be a sexy thing to say, but the Browns have a reasonable set of weapons. Jordan Cameron (50 catches on 71 targets for 600 yards and six touchdowns) is a full grown man at tight end in his third season, Josh Gordon can stretch the field (third highest percentage of catches of at least 20 yards for those receivers with a minimum of 25 receptions), Davone Bess is the check down man (averaging over 70 catches per 16 games since 2009) and Greg Little (had the second best PPR game of his career last week) has proven capable of the occasional strong performance. That passing attack becomes more appealing when you consider that the Browns have been unable to do much of anything on the ground — Cleveland running backs are averaging a shade over three yards per carry this season.

Campbell is on bye this week, but I’m guessing you already had a backup QB on your roster. If that’s not the case, nab Christan Ponder (vs. Washington Redskins on Thursday night) to hold you over. After you get past this weekend, Campbell is a good play for the next three weeks, which theoretically covers you for the entirety of the Rodgers’ injury. The Browns next three opponents have allowed 36 passing touchdowns and only 14 interceptions, a trend that should encourage an already pass dependent offensive unit.

Their next two opponents have allowed a quarterback to pass for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns within the last three weeks. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a tempting resume if I’m looking to replace Rodgers and qualify for the playoffs.

Looking for further fantasy advice? Reach out to me @unSOPable23 or check out my recent work.

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