I work in the chain saw industry and it is sad that our busiest production times are after major natural disasters. Tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes are what put food on my table. Not that I wish for those things to happen whatsoever it is just a twisted world that we live in.
Fantasy football works the same way once the season gets going. A torn MCL, a sprained MCL and a torn Achilles is the recipe for waiver gold. None of us hope that players are injured but at that same time it is those season ending injuries that often time propels teams over the top. I accidently drafted Davanta Feeman and needed rookie Coleman to hurt his ribs in order for me to have the second best RB this season. The waiver wire is chalk full of players who didn’t get drafted because they have not gotten a chance to shine and injuries are the most common way for those opportunities to happen.
What will come of this week’s injuries? I am predicting a couple of stars will shine and we will finally see some running backs that could be slipped into starting line-ups.
David Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders- 35.3% Owned
Carr is quietly flying under the radar as are the Raiders who are far better than most of us probably suspect. Coming off of a win against the Jets, a team that just three weeks ago was 4-1 and looking to knock off the Patriots. Right now the Raiders are 4th in the AFC and would be a playoff team. This is not a fluke and neither is Carr. He is top 10 in TD’s and completion percentage. Only Brady and Rodgers have thrown fewer interceptions. The schedule looks promising with 3 of the next 4 against sub .500 teams. There are six teams on a bye this week. I don’t think you can go wrong with Carr.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears- 20% Owned
I am going to continue to put this guy on the list because I think that it is literally crazy that he isn’t owned in more leagues. I am not advocating for Cutler to go to the Pro Bowl but as long as he is starting he is a viable fantasy QB and he always has been. He was putting up double digits before Jeffery was back from injury. Over the last 4 weeks he is averaging over 17 fantasy pts. This week the Bears go to 2-6 San Diego with an opportunity to put big points on the board. They will be trying out a new RB, who you will hear about later but this game will be won through the air. Cutler is as safe as it gets.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 17.4% Owned
Winston is an interesting option, as I have been critical of his mistakes so far this season. Sure the NFL game takes time to develop but in fantasy we don’t have that kind of time. So while I figure he will turn into a fine QB, I am still not sure if he will be a rookie fantasy starter. However, he has been improving week after week and has a schedule that will give him an opportunity to put up big points. Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, and Colts. How could you not want to roll the dice with Winston moving forward? He has not thrown an interception is three weeks and he isn’t afraid to tuck and run when the time comes, he does have a pair of rushing TD’s this season. The running game is strong so that takes the pressure of this young QB, I like where this is heading.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers- 27.2% Owned
Without a shadow of a doubt this is a must own. If you are first in waivers this is the guy you get. We got to see Williams at the beginning of the season while Bell served his suspension. He averaged 117 yards from scrimmage and totaled 3 TD’s. On Sunday he ended up with 71 yards on 9 carries. That is an average of 7.8 ypc, not too shabby right? He will be 100% owned next week. Big Ben is back so the passing game is going to pick up and teams are going to have to pick their poison. Williams is a must grab and a must start in all formats.
Jeremy Langford, QB, Chicago Bears- 2.8% Owned
Still not sure how long Forte is going to be out but Langford is going to get the carries moving forward for the foreseeable future. Langford looked good on Sunday grabbing 46 yards on 12 carries. Going against the Chargers next week he will get plenty of practice before hitting a tough stretch. The potential trade of Forte also makes this an interesting dynasty option moving forward. We have not seen enough to label him a must start but the chance is definitely there. We are getting to crunch time in the fantasy season, Langford is a pretty good bet moving forward.
Antonio Andrews, RB, Tennessee Titans- 53.3%
Andrews is the lead back for the Titans and he is getting over 10 touches a game. The Titans are not a good team and with the absence of rookie QB Mariota they are even worse. However games against the Saints and Jacksonville are on the horizon and those teams leak points. The argument for Andrews is that he is the lead back and it’s his job to lose. When Mariota returns we could see his production pick up. Andrews shouldn’t be starting unless he is all you have. Not a glowing review but he is good for 4 or 5 pts each week.
Stevie Johnson, WR, San Diego Chargers- 40.1% Owned
Keenan Allen was on pace to break the receiver record and the Chargers offense is looking to shatter the record for passing yards. The ball has to go to someone. Johnson has always been a good receiver, able to produce TD’s on only a few targets. Once a fantasy beast in Buffalo he has been used often as the 3rd or 4th option here on the west coast. Look for his targets to rise. He is a good receiver and this is his opportunity to get back elite status. No one else is really ready to step up. It’s Stevie, he is the man.
Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers- 52% Owned
Go ahead and read about Stevie Johnson, it’s pretty much the same thing. A couple of years ago, Floyd was the man in SD before going down with injury after injury after injury. If he stays healthy he might be a better option than Johnson, picking up 2 TD’s last week and almost 100 yards receiving. The red flag here is the injuries, it is going to happen.
Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens- 26% Owned
Aiken has been a decent receiver playing alongside Steve Smith, but now it looks like Aiken is the #1 option in Baltimore. This is a good chance to grab him since he is on a bye this week, which means he won’t be on everyone radar. He has not found the end zone much that should change. He is a decent WR2 option or a strong flex. I like his chances, just with the added volume we should see some good things.
Nate Washington, WR, Houston Texans – 39.1% Owned
Another bye week steal. Most likely you are looking for a week #9 fix and this obviously won’t help. However, Washington has looked good over the two games coming back from injuries and with the running game in shambles there are going to be a lot of balls flying on Houston. In the last 2 games he has 13 catches, 201 yards, 3 touchdowns and totaled over 30 fantasy points. Still #2 behind Hopkins, but could be a #1 in 12 team fantasy leagues.
Vernon Davis, TE, Denver Broncos- 40.1% Owned
How do you not love this pick? Davis has been non-existent in fantasy for a couple of years. Age always wins in the end, but has he been so bad because of age and injuries or is the QB situation in San Francisco that bad? Well it’s time to find out. He is only a couple of years removed from the 13 TD season, so we know he can play. In the Bronco’s system he is not the first option but he will be an option and Peyton knows how to use TE’s. I think that this move will put Davis back in the top 5 TE conversation. Once he gets a game under his belt, look for Davis to be a redzone nightmare.
Hard to like anyone on the Lions this season, but Ebron being owned in so few leagues is troubling. Well maybe it’s a good thing for you. He fell off a little last week, but that is going to happen when you in not Gronk, Gates, or Graham right? The shuffle with the offense this week should help, we will get a different look. They are off this week so they are going to get extra practice with the new offensive coordinator. Look to Ebron to bounce back in week 10.
Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons -12.7% Owned
In the wake of Atlanta’s inconsistent offense, Tamme is starting to emerge as a legit TE option. After only having 8 catches for just over 100 yards in the first 4 games, Tamme has more than doubled those numbers in the last 4 games. 24 catches, 265 yards, and a TD. The offense is built around Ryan, Jones and Freeman but look to Tamme when the offense isn’t moving. A game against the 49ers this week will be a chance for Tamme to get some easy yards on a defense that should give up a lot of points.