How Patrick Mahomes' Injury Impacts Fantasy Rosters

Publish date:
Oct 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) walks off the field after a play in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, we wait until Tuesday after a full week of NFL action to give you a breakdown of the previous week’s list of injuries. But when the reigning MVP goes down on Thursday, we make an exception.

Patrick Mahomes exited the Chiefs game against the Broncos in the second quarter with what appeared to be a right knee injury. He went down after picking up a first down on a quarterback sneak inside the 5-yard line. After the play, Kansas City’s passer remained on the ground, took off his helmet and his facial expression said it all—it wasn’t minor.

The TV broadcast quickly cut to commercial but thanks to reports from the stadium, we know the training staff brought out the medical cart which Mahomes waved off. The fantasy football stud walked off into the locker room with some assistance from trainers, but not before they had to pop his kneecap back into place.

Until Mahomes undergoes further testing there won’t be any indication of when he’ll be able to return. Still, it's always a good idea for fantasy players to plan ahead just in case a top-tier player is going to miss a significant amount of time. And if you have Mahomes, it's probably a good idea to find a replacement right away. 

My colleague Adam Ronis does a great job making suggestions in his Waiver Wire article. For Week 7, Ronis highlighted Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones as two quarterbacks to grab off the Waiver Wire. Looking ahead to Week 8, some passers with good match-ups that may be available in your league include Kirk Cousins who plays the Redskins, Jameis Winston, who is coming off a Week 7 bye and may have been dropped, takes on the Titans, and Bills quarterback Josh Allen plays a weak Eagles secondary.

The Chiefs' backup passer is 11-year veteran Matt Moore, who before Week 7’s Thursday night match-up hadn’t thrown a pass since 2017. Moore’s best season came in 2011 when he played with the Dolphins. In 13 games that year, he threw for 2,497 yards and 16 touchdowns, which is about half as many yards as Mahomes threw in 2018 and three times less than Mahomes’ touchdowns from a year ago.

It’s just not realistic to expect Moore to have the same success as Mahomes. After all, Mahomes became just the third player in league history to throw for 50 touchdowns in a single season and just the second to throw for 5,000 yards to go along with those 50 scores. He could be a replacement option for fantasy rosters, but it's probably best to target other quarterbacks on the waiver wire instead.

Of course, none of this will have a lasting impact if Mahomes turns out to be fine, and right now the Chiefs won’t know the official prognosis until further testing. But in fantasy, it’s better to be prepared for the worst.