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2023 Fantasy Football: Impact of Joe Burrow's Season-Ending Injury

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow discusses his season-ending injury
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks to the media about his season-ending wrist injury at Paycor Stadium Friday, November 17, 2023.

Losing an MVP-caliber quarterback is an obvious negative for all of their teammates in fantasy football. That’s why we’re going to take a look at how to replace Joe Burrow in fantasy and what to do with his offensive teammates.

Fantasy Impact for Joe Burrow

What to Do if Joe Burrow is your Fantasy QB

If you need to replace Burrow, you should try to acquire a pair of quarterbacks with complimentary matchups. First, fantasy managers are starting to drop Trevor Lawrence with greater frequency. Lawrence is more of a matchups-based streaming option than a plug-and-play quarterback, but he’s more stable than most streamers. Lawrence pairs very well with Brock Purdy; that duo is close to the best you could potentially get at a reasonable cost.

Pairing Russell Wilson with Geno Smith is another solid option in this scenario. Wilson gets the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14. They are allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Smith gets the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15, who give up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Then Smith gets the Tennessee Titans' very beatable secondary in Week 16. Finally, Wilson gets the Chargers again in Week 17 when fantasy championships are decided.

If Josh Dobbs is still available on your waiver wire, he’s a low-end fantasy QB1 with rushing upside. Matthew Stafford is another option that warrants consideration that’s available in many leagues. We prefer Dobbs over Stafford in fantasy due to Dobbs’ rushing upside. Jake Browning should only be acquired in very deep leagues or two-quarterback formats.

If you need to work out another scenario to replace Burrow, join our Free Discord and one of our contributors will help you out.

How Does this Impact Joe Mixon?

Joe Mixon will likely be the least affected by Burrow’s injury. Cincinnati will try to be more run heavy for as long as they can with Browning. Mixon already has a great role in the Bengals offense, and he could see a jump in passing game volume with a more limited quarterback.

The downsides are that Cincinnati will score less and defenses will be able to key in on Mixon more often now. Consider Mixon a RB2 going forward.

How Does this Impact Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins?

Browning is a below-average backup quarterback that will negatively impact all Bengals’ pass catchers. Treat Ja'Marr Chase as a WR2 going forward, where he’s still likely to see significant volume, with less efficiency and fewer yards. We can also expect Chase’s depth of target to drop, while the Bengals offense will score significantly fewer points.

When Tee Higgins returns from injury he should no longer be treated as a plug and play option. Higgins’ spike weeks are largely driven by downfield throws, which are not in Browning’s wheelhouse.

Does This Impact Tyler Boyd or any Other Bengals?

Tyler Boyd is now droppable with Browning under center.  Trenton Irwin was already a deep league only option, and his upside today is even less than it was. TE Tanner Hudson was starting to get some buzz entering Thursday night. If his recent usage continues, he’s a solid floor-type player with limited upside in a very limited offense. In other words, his four catches for 49 yards against the Baltimore Ravens will be a good week going forward.