Fantasy depth is becoming more crucial than ever with the amount of injuries that are piling up in the NFL, and an overwhelming bye week on the platter. Our rosters are bare and replacement options limited. In fake football though, there is always hope! Here are some key takeaways from the last week and more in the NFL.
1. The Kansas City Chiefs defense is damn good. Who drafted them!? Make sure you don’t drop this D when they’re on their bye week coming up! Year-long defenses may be rare but this is one to hold on to!
2. How about Terrance Williams! Miles Austin, who? I’ve been a big supporter of Terrance Williams but didn’t see his emergence coming this quickly! Terrance has undoubtedly taken over the #2 receiver spot in Dallas – our Jon Collins breaks down the snaps and some other relevant data in this week’s touches and targets piece. In Dallas, where they throw a ton, being #2 is better than being some team’s #1. In his last three weeks, Willams has posted 12 catches for 249 yards and three Touchdowns. That’s more fantasy points than Dez Bryant over that span. Mainly because of the TD scores, but Williams is for real. Especially with talks of shutting down Miles Austin for quite awhile, Williams should be owned in even 8 team leagues.
3. Sticking with the Cowboys. I was going to mention how Joseph Randle filled in quite admirably but as soon as I started to write it, DeMarco Murray was spotted back at practice and might play this upcoming week. Randle rushed 19 times, and totaled 93 yards with a couple catches. He is a safe start this week if Murray is out facing a Lion’s team that’s not too strong against the run. The Cowboys present opportunities and Randle will continue to get better. He’s still worth an add because you just can’t trust Murray to stay healthy.
4. More injury fill-ins from last week. The Packers lost Randall Cobb and James Jones, and then adding insult to injury, Jermichael Finley went down. Tough times in Cheese-land… but in came in 2nd year wide-out Jarrett Boykin, and he looked good! All it takes is a little skill to become a stud with Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback, because he’ll get you the ball. Boykin led the team in targets, receptions and yards while also leading receivers in snaps! With James Jones’ return on the horizon, Boykin will likely move to slot, a position occupied by Randall Cobb who was the most targeted player before he was injured. So the short term horizon looks pretty sweet for Boykin. He’s a decent flex option for the time being.
5. Oh, Fred Davis… you will always continue to haunt me. I thought you had it in you to turn things around this year! Maybe I shouldn’t give Fred too hard a time, though… because, not many guys could hold off Jordan Reed for playing time! This dude is a BEAST! Reed’s moves are reminding us of Aaron Hernandez the GOOD. It’s all coming together now for Reed who just posted a 9/134/1 line last week. With Robert Griffin III getting healthier by the week. Reed has become the de facto #2 guy in Washington behind Pierre Garcon. Look for Reed to become even the #1 in fantasy land, with his 6’2, 243lbs frame making him a prime candidate for red-zone targets. The time is now for Reed. Pick him up, and/or try to trade for him ASAP and hope your owner hasn’t caught on to who Jordan Reed is. With the QB troubles going on in Cleveland, I’d even consider trading Jordan Cameron for this man.
6. Chris Ivory has finally made it! Many people’s sleeper coming into this fantasy season was slow to start. Ivory came into New York in the off-season, got injured, was slow to recover and didn’t produce early. Then, a season ending injury to Mike Goodson (who is a pretty good player) opened up the door for Ivory. Bilal Powell was supposed to see the majority of carries this week but that didn’t happen. Maybe it was Rex Ryan playing mind games with Bill Belichick, and hey, it worked…the Jets won! But Ivory is as fresh as the soap and the more talented than Powell. Ivory received a whopping 34 rush attempts compared to Powell’s three… things may not be so lopsided this week, but Ivory should be the favorite from here on out. He’s a ground and pound runner which is what the Jets are all about. He’s got a tough task against the great front-seven against the Bengals, but Ivory is a decent running back to lean on from here on out. Trent Richardson for Ivory anyone!?
7. Lastly before I bore you, I’ll end off with the Indianapolis Colts. What a win against the Denver Broncos last week - Andrew Luck is a star! But then, the devastating news hit with Reggie Wayne being lost for the season. It’s tragic news for the franchise that has taken leaps and bounds towards the right direction. You definitely can’t replace a player like Reggie Wayne, and I’m curious to see how they fare in two weeks time against Houston. The bye week helps them immensely as it’ll give them plenty of time to practice in their new roles. T.Y. Hilton is the main beneficiary in my mind. He’ll be given every opportunity to shine, and I think a lot of the game-plan will be revolved around him. LaVon Brazill will be the new man in the three receiver sets. He’ll come up with some big plays but will be like the previous T.Y. Hilton this year and be too hit or miss to rely on. Darrius Heyward–Bey has taken a serious step in the right direction of late. He still drops a ton and lacks focus but he has a great chance here to shine. DHB should definitely be owned, and is worth a start against Houston, just don’t expect Reggie Wayne type production. I’d be surprised of the Colts don’t make some type of trade which could impact his value.
Thoughts/Opinions? Feel free to comment below