Fantasy football owners struggle to fill out their line-up with injuries and a star-studded bye week
Just when fantasy football players thought things couldn’t get any worse, Doug Martin, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Reggie Wayne all go down with injuries. Bradford and Wayne are done for the year; Cutler is out for a month minimum, but is likely to miss closer to six weeks from what I’ve heard; the Buccaneers and Martin are holding out hope that his torn labrum isn’t the season ending injury that it sounds like.
With the injuries mounting up, added to the brutal bye week schedule in week 8, it is once again time for us to visit the waiver wire and see who should not be on it any longer. Remember, the Bears, Chargers, Colts, Ravens, Texans and Titans are all on a bye this week.
Terrelle Pryor is owned in 37.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, which means there is a chance he is available in yours right now. The Steelers haven’t been the same team on offense or defense this year, so this isn’t as terrible of a match-up as you might think. If you have Cutler, Philip Rivers, or Andrew Luck and need a bye-week filler, give Pryor a shot.
Another option at QB might be Carson Palmer considering the match-up with the Falcons. To date, they give up an average of 23.9 fantasy points to QBs, which is 5th worst in the NFL. Palmer has a tendency to play pitch-n-catch with the defense (13 INTs to just 8 TDs this season), but the match-up is good and he Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. I would only use him as a desperation play with no other options though.
Those looking to replace Martin shouldn’t look any further than his own team did. Mike James is easily the top RB that should come off the waiver wire in week 8. He should see 15-plus carries, but the Panthers defense is 12th against fantasy RBs with 15.8 PPG allowed. Roy Helu is a desperation pick-up that the big-box websites are jumping on board with. Look, he scored 3 TDs on 11 carries; it was more of a fluke than a sign of things to come. You can pick him up and stash him on the bench, but with no running back controversy going on in D.C., his value is limited to TD-or-bust.
Shane Vereen will be eligible to play in week 11, and savvy owners may to pick him up now and stash him on the bench. When he comes back he should be in line for 10-15 touches a week, which will be a nice piece off the waiver wire for those in PPR scoring formats.
There is no reason why Jarrett Boykin should be on the waiver wire after last weekend. Boykin took over for Randall Cobb’s role and hauled in 8 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers can throw the ball around the football field, and without Jermichael Finley out there, Boykin’s chances for success are just as good this week against the Vikings. With Wayne done, Darrius Heyward-Bey will take on a larger role for the Colts. The problem I have with DHB is he is a speed guy with questionable hands. While Luck will need him to step up and take on additional targets, I have a feeling that T.Y. Hilton will be the biggest beneficiary of Wayne’s loss and DHB will be a fantasy headache.
Percy Harvin is said to be making his return to the field in week 8 for the Seahawks. He’s owned in just 34.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, so go snatch him up right now. His presence brings legitimacy to the WR corps of the Seahawks, and adds playmaking ability to the entire offense.
The only real option on the waiver wire if you need TE help is Jordan Reed from the Redskins. The kid has shown the ability to produce (9 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown in week 7) and should be owned in all formats. He’s owned in 2.4 percent of NFL.com leagues; and with TE being the thinnest of all fantasy football positions, he is a must-own player right now.
Defense is a little more tricky than the typical skill positions because after the top 5-7 defenses, the next 10 or so are really just about the same. This week I really like the Panthers (owned in 19.9 percent of NFL.com leagues) defense, the Saints (14.6) defense, and the Falcons (12.7) defense as a desperation play.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.