Week 2 was one of the worst in recent memory for injuries. There are a lot of owners out there thinking their season is over right now. That’s a silly thought.
The good news is that a lot of the injuries were at quarterback, which is the most replaceable position in all of fantasy. It’s the one position where we can pinpoint how many times a player will touch the ball and it’s also arguably the most matchup-dependent position in fantasy. Some strategies surrounding the injuries:
SWIM WITH THE STREAM
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In Week 1, Carson Palmer, Marcus Mariota, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles were all top-10 quarterbacks. In Week 2, that top-10 list included Colin Kaepernick, Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor, Palmer and Joe Flacco. The point is that we can add quarterbacks off the wire each week in plus situations and gain a top-10 expectation. That almost never happens at any other position. So if you’ve lost Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler etc., take a long look at your wire and think about matchups. The Michael Vick-esque Taylor gets the Dolphins, Giants and Titans the next three weeks.
MY TWO FOR YOUR ONE
When it comes time for the fantasy playoffs, elite players are going to make the difference. So it’s never too early to take advantage of a desperate owner on the trade market. The best way to do this is to identify where our enemy is weak thanks to injury and offer him/her two of our mediocre players for one of his studs. He feels better about his depth (even though his newly acquired mediocrity won’t help him win a title) and we get the difference-maker we covet.
DON’T PANIC AT RB
Luckily, most of the running back injuries do not sound overly serious. Eddie Lacy (ankle), Tevin Coleman (ribs), Carlos Hyde (head), Lamar Miller (ankle) should all be back soon. There are plenty of short-term options available at the position, including Dion Lewis, James Starks, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, Matt Jones, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Theo Riddick and Lance Dunbar. We’re looking for stopgaps that catch passes and/or have a role in the red-zone. A path to 20 carries isn’t always possible or necessary.
PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
1. James Starks, RB, Packers – The offense won’t slow down at all if Eddie Lacy (ankle) misses time.
2. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Falcons – Roddy White is done and Hankerson is Kyle Shanahan’s hand-picked heir.
3. Matt Jones, RB, Redskins – The talent gap between Jones and Alfred Morris is apparent to anyone watching.
Fire up these borderline wideouts in Week 3
1. Quincy Enunwa at PHL – Eric Decker (knee) are Chris Owusu (leg) are both doubtful, giving Enunwa a big chance against Philly’s Swiss cheese secondary.
2. Donte Moncrief at TEN – Moncrief, playing on 75.8 percent of the snaps so far, is arguably the Colts’ best wideout.
3. Marvin Jones at BAL – Jones has passed up Mohamed Sanu and now gets a nice spot against a thin Ravens secondary that will be focused on A.J. Green.
The window to buy low on Jeremy Hill will be open for about a month. He has played poorly through two weeks, was benched Sunday for a pair of fumbles and has a difficult upcoming schedule. But ultimately, he’s going to be the feature back ahead of Gio Bernard because he’s a chain-mover and Gio fits better as a change-of-pace option. We’ve seen Cincy try to use Bernard in a long-term featured role before and it was not pretty.