Injuries. Every year there is a week that stands out as the “injury week.” Week 4 laid claim to that title this past weekend and now many of us are scrambling to the waiver wires.
If your lineup already looks like the Toon line-up from SpaceJam, and now you have to add to that the fact that bye weeks start this week, it would make sense that most of you are finding yourselves in need of some help.
Let’s get right to it this week and dive into the help. Help that still may be out there, that can get you through a tough injury-laden patch such as this, and as always let’s start with quarterbacks.
Both Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota went down to injuries this week. Though Mariota is week-to-week, it looks like Carr could miss anywhere from 2-6 weeks, so what should you do if you have either of those guys?
The obvious answer would be to grab their backups, either Matt Cassel or E.J. Manuel, both are available in 100 percent of leagues. On second thought, however, I am going to have to say no, that would be a bad idea. Both are downgrades from the starter and both will be back on the bench as soon as the starter is healthy. Look around your waiver wires, as there are starting options out there that will give you better numbers.
Most notably Deshaun Watson. Yes, I am late to this party, I’ll be the first to admit it. I just didn’t see a rookie pulling off what he has pulled off with that offense, but he does have weapons and he is dynamic and in Houston and it is totally working.
The good news is, I am not the only person who had reservations about him as proven by the fact that Watson is still available in 73 percent of leagues. His fantasy numbers have increased every single week reaching this week’s crescendo of 33.7 points against Tennessee when he threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
He is at home for his next two games before going into his bye week. Jump on this one while he’s still hot.
If you are not able to land Watson don’t worry because Jared Goff is still available in 87 percent of leagues and he, too, has put up monster numbers this season culminating in his 255-yard, two-touchdown win against Dallas this Sunday.
There seems to be concern out there about his sustainability at this level because he is about to head into a rough six-week stretch of tough defenses but Goff’s biggest asset may not be his cool head or his arm, it may well be the resurgence of Todd Gurley.
Gurley is running like the breakout rookie he was two years ago and this is making other teams have to load the box, and we know when teams have to load the box how well that works out for the quarterbacks. This is what we are talking about with Goff, I believe he is almost “good defense proof.” As long as Gurley keeps running like one of the Top-3 running backs in the NFL, Goff will give you good fantasy numbers.
You can pick him up and feel confident that he’ll give you serviceable, if not great, numbers most weeks.
There are two other running backs who were putting together rookie type seasons like the one Gurley had – Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson. Unfortunately, both of their seasons appear to have come to an end when one tore his ACL (Cook) and the other fractured his leg (Carson).
This will undoubtedly send many of us to the waiver wires to pick up the obvious choice J.D. McKissic, right?
McKissic did look great in Seattle’s win over Indianapolis on Sunday when he ran for 38 yards and a touchdown and also caught a 27-yard touchdown pass as well. He finished the game with 18.5 fantasy points and was the man on Sunday, but he is a demure scat back who will not be able to shoulder the load in Seattle behind one of the worst offensive lines in all of football. Because of this, picking him up would not be in your best interest.
Instead of chasing touchdowns with McKissic you can grab Cook’s backup Latavius Murray. Murray has already proven himself in this league the past few seasons and will be running behind a much better offensive line in Minnesota.
Jerick McKinnon is banged up as well which really clears the path for Murray to take the lead role. He is only one year removed from a 1,000-yard season and plays very well into the Minnesota offensive scheme. He also happens to be available in 80 percent of leagues.
If you can’t get your hands on Murray, never fear as Alvin Kamara is available in 79 percent of leagues. Kamara has been fairly hot all season but due to the fact that he is in New Orleans I think most of us have stayed cool on him because of the crazy timeshare going on there. In four games New Orleans has shown that it is not that interested in using Adrian Peterson, and Mark Ingram has been serviceable this season but not great.
This has opened the door for Kamara to showcase his skills and so far he has done a great job doing just that. This past week against Miami, Kamara ran for 25 yards on five carries and caught 10 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. In points per reception leagues he scored you 25.6 points. He has gotten better each game this season and there is no reason to think that this is a fluke. Let’s put it this way, he is the release valve back in an offensive unit that features one of the best quarterbacks of all time. That’s easy math if you ask me.