What is it about Week 2 that seems to decimate so many of our rosters? If the first week is known for crazy numbers and one hit wonders then Week 2 is definitely the week of shocking scores and injuries galore. If the injury bug bit your line-up or you have starters who are underachieving then let’s take a deep breath and settle down while we discuss what needs to be done (or not done) to get your line-up back in order for Week 3.
The first thing I want to do is assess the damage. After the Sunday Night Game I felt a little like Lord Kril here. Obvious names that suffered injuries last week were Tony Romo, Eddie Lacy, Drew Brees, Devante Adams, Carlos Hyde, Tevin Coleman and Jay Cutler just to name a few. Add those to the list of already injured players this season and many of us would appear to already be in serious trouble. While looking over my line-up and trying to be optimistic I must sound like Zed (Bobcat) McGlunk from Police Academy, I’m just lying to myself pretending it doesn’t hurt.
All 80’s movie references aside, (not really, I’m sure there will be more), it’s time to stop licking our wounds and get back to the business of my favorite subject; not panicking during crisis.
This column was made for weeks like this. If you are like the most of us, you had one or more players lost to you over the course of the first few weeks and you now have two choices, give up completely, or utilize the assistance of the waiver wire to get your team back on track.
So suck it up Buttercup, and let’s choose the latter, but do so with caution, the wrong move now could put you in a hole you can’t dig out of. It’s often better to stick it out with a great player who is going to be out for a month, then drop him and grab an unproven player. Often the unproven player does not pan out and you end up losing the great player to a different owner with an open bench spot. This is no bueno and needs to be avoided.
So let’s start with quarterbacks. If you are an owner of Romo, Cutler or Brees you are very possibly scrambling right now. Things could be worse as there are still serviceable QBs on the waiver wire that can give you numbers very similar to those three.
One QB that everybody is going to be talking about is Buffalo Bills’ phenom Tyrod Taylor. If you are in need at this position this guy is probably where you want to set your sites. He is available in more than 82% of leagues and has a really nice schedule in the near future going up against Miami, the Giants and the Titans. He gives you rushing points to go along with his team that is playing very well right now.
I wanted to find something wrong with picking him up but I honestly could not and THAT is what the problem is with Taylor. With three big name QB’s getting hurt this week, Taylor will be one of the most added players so unless you have a top waiver wire spot you probably won’t get him. If you can get him, then do not hesitate but let’s give you a couple of other QB names to think about in the very realistic situation that you are not able to land Taylor.
Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston are great places to start. I wanted to suggest Andy Dalton due to how well he has been doing and the health of his offense, but if you look at his schedule, both upcoming and for the entire season, I really don’t think they can sustain the play we have seen up to this point. So instead, I choose one of his divisional rivals, Johnny Football.
Go ahead and insert whatever joke or eye roll you want at this point. But know this, he is facing Oakland, San Diego and Baltimore in the next three weeks, so far all three of these teams have been very nice to opposing QBs and Johnny can get you ground points to supplement the air points he will deliver from his partner in bromance, Travis Benjamin. Benjamin and Manziel have hooked up for 204 yards on 6 receptions with 3 TDs in two games. Those are numbers that can help you get by the next few weeks until your starter gets back.
With WRs/TEs topping out at 6’5″ 231, 6’5″ 230, 6’2″ 200, and 6’6″ 260, Jameis Winston just might have the nicest overall receiving corps to throw a ball to in all of the NFL. If that isn’t enough, he gets to throw to that forest of receivers against one of the most receiver-friendly schedules in all of the NFL.
So much was made out of Marcus Mariota out-playing him in Week 1 that he has been left to languish on more than 74% of waiver wires out there. Pick him up now, while you can, and feel free to plug him in any week that you need help.
On the running back side of things, Matt Jones is going to be the darling of the waiver wire this week. After blowing up for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns this last week against a strong St. Louis Ram defense he has a cupcake of a matchup against the New York Giants this week but on second thought I think you are chasing points by grabbing this guy.
Don’t get me wrong, did you watch the tape? This guy is explosive, but he is also in a backfield with a very good, very healthy veteran in Alfred Morris. Just because he was the hot hand on Sunday and took advantage of the situation does not mean that the coaching staff is willing to just abandon everything they have worked towards in the preseason to hand the reigns over to a rookie with one good game under his belt. This is the biggest mistake of lesser experienced fantasy football owners. A person has a great week and they run to jump on him assuming he will now be a huge part of his offense going forward and more often than not, this is not the case.
If you need an injury replacement, I do not think Jones is your man. If you are in a dynasty league then yes, he is a good choice, but in normal leagues, I would instead consider James Starks or Dion Lewis.