There have been some big injuries to fantasy studs, as well as underperformers like Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles. More than normal. At least it seems that way. With players slowed by nagging injuries, the dreaded game-time decisions, even those we know will miss time, fantasy rosters are loaded with guys that won’t help much for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case for you, grabbing one of these guys might help you avoid disaster.
Daryl Richardson, St. Louis at Chicago. Richardson filled in for Steven Jackson after Jackson tweaked his groin last week. He filled in to the tune of 15 rushes for 83 yards. He looked good and quick out of the backfield. Despite the fact that Chicago’s run defense is tough, he and Jackson will still need to be a part of the gameplan. As of now, Jackson is questionable to play. If he misses time, Richardson is a nice fallback option. Plus, Jackson tends to get nicked up, and head coach Jeff Fisher likes to run the ball, so Richardson represents value beyond this week.
Brian Hartline – Miami vs. New York Jets. Hartline followed up a three-catch, 50-yard day in Week 1 with 9 catches for 111 yards on Sunday. He seems to be a go-to guy for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The matchup leaves something to be desired, as the Jets have one of the more imposing cornerback tandems, but Darrelle Revis may miss the game with lingering symptoms from a concussion sustained in Week 1. If he does, the Dolphins’ pass game may have a better shot, meaning opportunity for Hartline. If Revis plays, however, it’ll be difficult to start Hartline.
Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati at Washington. Question: Who is Cincinnati’s leader in receiving yards? Not A.J. Green. It’s Andrew Hawkins, one of my favorite players in this young season. Hawkins posted eight catches for 86 yards in Week 1. While he only managed two catches in Week 2, he still went for 56 yards, including one long play that he broke for a touchdown. I don’t know how else to put it, but he runs slippery, like he’s being controlled by some kid with a joystick. He’ll continue to get looks, and may end up shredding Washington’s weak pass defense.
Andre Roberts – Arizona vs. Philadelphia. Roberts has touchdowns in each of the first two weeks, and Kevin Kolb appears to look for him in the red zone. Roberts has the receiver job opposite Larry Fitzgerald locked down for now, and with the Cardinals offense unable to get things started on the ground, they may end up looking to Kolb to move the ball more through the air. With the Philadelphia Eagles coming to town, points will be scored, and with Fitzgerald getting extra attention, Roberts is as good a bet as anyone on that team to score.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore vs. New England. Pitta was officially moved up on the Baltimore depth chart, a clear sign that he’s a bigger part of the offense than now backup tight end, Ed Dickson. Pitta has 13 catches for 138 yards and a score through two weeks. On third downs, when Joe Flacco needs to make a play, he seems to look for Pitta often. New England is going to try to take away the opposition’s best player, and that’s Ray Rice, so I expect Pitta to get some targets.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh at Oakland. Like Pitta, Miller is a security blanket for his quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger looks his way on key plays and in the red zone. I’d expect Miller will get plenty of opportunity against an Oakland team that just looks lost right now. He’s scored in each game thus far, and I think he’ll make it three in a row on Sunday.
Good luck in Week 3.
Drew Magyar is a fantasysharks.com staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Rock and a Hard Place” will be posted on Friday mornings throughout the regular season.