Tue Sep 18 8:00 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Bernard gets chance to start
The waiver wire should be a hot place this week, especially after a few starters were injured last week. Plus, some other options are out there that could help fantasy teams going forward. Now is the time to act on players that weren't drafted in your league. Here are some options to consider for your team. . . . .
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs. His track record doesn't suggest he'll keep his current pace but you can't ignore his huge performances these first two weeks of the season. And his second big game came against the defending Super Bowl champs. Fitzpatrick has two straight 400-yard games and four touchdown passes each of those games. As long as he is starting, Fitzpatrick is about a must play for fantasy teams, especially this week against the Steelers.
Joe Flacco, Ravens. Flacco is producing with his new weapons offensively. He had a 300-yard game last week and multiple scores each of the first two games. He is looking like a player that can be used in the right matchup. The potential is there for Flacco produce, especially since the team is struggling to run the ball.
Sam Darnold, Jets. Darnold had his first 300-yard game as a pro last week, throwing for 334 yards and a score against the Dolphins. He is quickly making progress as a starter in the NFL. He isn't a guy you can play every week but a spot play in the right matchup. He can make big plays in the passing game.
Gio Bernard, Bengals. Joe Mixon hurt his knee and needed minor surgery. He is going to miss a few weeks of action, making Bernard the starter for the Bengals. He has good total yardage potential in a starting role. He can do decent between the tackles and is a very good pass catcher. He can be a good No. 2 fantasy back while in a starting role. Bernard is available in 42 percent of leagues.
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos. Lindsay is available in just 11 percent of leagues but if you are in one of those leagues, go grab him. He has been the best back for the Broncos to date and hit the 100-yard mark rushing last week, running 14 times for 107 yards. He is making plays and will continue to get chances in this offense.
Javorius Allen, Ravens. Allen has just 76 total yards in two games but touchdowns in each of those games. He also has five receptions in each game. Allen has value in PPR formats. He is the pass-catching back in this offense and also stealing goal-line work from Alex Collins. Allen's stock is rising. He is available in 43 percent of leagues.
Jordan Wilkins, Colts. Marlon Mack returned to the lineup last week but Wilkins was still the top rusher in the game. He ran 10 times for 61 yards, averaging an impressive 6.1 yards per carry. Wilkins is going to have a role in this offense even with Mack back healthy. Wilkins could even be the starter if he keeps running well. Wilkins is available in 34 percent of leagues.
Malcolm Brown, Rams. Toddy Gurley had some cramping issues last week and left the game. The Rams don't believe this is anything to worry about long term, but fantasy owners might want to grab Brown to be safe. You never know if this is anything worse. Brown is the top backup for the Rams and can produce with his chances in this offense. He ran 12 times for 46 yards in an expanded role last week.
Bilal Powell, Jets. Powell caught just a pass Week 1 but had five receptions for 74 yards and a score last week, playing his usual pass-catching back role for the Jets. He has at least 65 total yards each of the first two games. He is getting double-digit touches per week and should get plenty of work in the passing game, giving him solid value in PPR formats.
Keelan Cole, Jaguars. Cole hit the 100-yard mark last week, catching seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He made a spectacular one-handed catch in the game, showing his big-time ability. He is the top receiver to own in this offense, an offense that is making big strides throwing the ball. Cole remains available in 22 percent of leagues.
John Brown, Ravens. Brown found the end zone for a second straight game in Week 2. He had four receptions for 92 yards and a score. He was targeting a whooping 10 times in the game. He is quickly becoming a top target in this passing game. The former 1,000-yard receiver is available in 30 percent of leagues.
Quincy Enunwa, Jets. This will be the last week you can grab Enunwa most likely. He is available in just 16 percent of leagues. He caught seven passes for 92 yards last week and has at least six catches each of the first two games. He also has been targeted double-digit times each game. He is the top receiver in this offense.
Calvin Ridley, Falcons. Ridley didn't catch a pass in the first week of the season and had just two targets. He was more involved last week, having four receptions for 64 yards and a score. Mohamed Sanu seems to be fading in the offense, giving Ridley more work. This is likely a trend going forward. Ridley is worth a look in a reserve role for fantasy teams.
Antonio Callaway, Browns. Callaway moves into the starting lineup for the Browns with Josh Gordon gone. Callaway made his presence known last week, catching three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He made some big plays and should continue to get weekly chances to stretch the field. He might not be consistent for fantasy teams but certainly can produce the big game any given week.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals. Kirk was a little more involved in the offense last week, catching four passes for 27 yards. An injury to Larry Fitzgerald could open the door to even more targets for Kirk going forward, though. Fitzgerald is supposed to have a minor hamstring injury, but nothing is certain with his status right now. Kirk could lead this team in targets if Fitzgerald is out of the lineup.
Jesse James, Steelers. Vance McDonald returned to the lineup last week for the Steelers but James was still the top target at tight end for the Steelers. James had a monster game, catching five passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. He has at least 60 yards each of his first two games. James has a track record of disappearing from time to time but he is hot right now and worth a look for fantasy teams.
Austin Hooper, Falcons. Hooper had a good showing last week, catching five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. He has eight receptions in two games and been getting pretty consistent work as the starting tight end for the Falcons. If you need a tight end, give Hooper a look. He is available in 65 percent of leagues.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
New England Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 against the Bears. Quarterback Tom Brady's protection won't be as good as usual against a strong Chicago pass rush, although All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack (ankle) is questionable and was slowed by his injury last week. Still, it's something to keep an eye on for this Sunday. If New England's offensive line is struggling, expect the Patriots to get the ball out quickly, which would favor receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler (groin) practiced in full all week and is no longer on the Week 7 injury report against the Redskins after sitting out in Week 6. While Butler could see a role against Washington, he has yet to catch a pass in 2018 and would be behind Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, rookie Michael Gallup and Deonte Thompson in one of the worst passing offenses in football, so you can continue ignoring him.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) will play again this season, but his long-term future is in doubt. Tannehill continues to battle injuries and has not lived up to expectations in the first seven weeks of the season. Before the knee injury that kept him out for all of 2017 he had a quarterback rating of 93.5 and completed 67.1 percent of his passes in 2016. His QB rating through five games this year is at 92.9 with a completion percentage of 65.9. Tannehill is scheduled to cost $26.6 million against the salary cap next year, while releasing him after the year take $13.2 million off the cap. It all likely depends on whether Tannehill can improve in the second half of the season when he returns from his right shoulder injury. Until then, Brock Osweiler will fill in under center. Tannehill will probably be dropped in shallow leagues with him likely to miss at least the next two games.
Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah could see some action in passing situations with RB Theo Riddick (knee) ruled out against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.
New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith is expected to see a larger role after WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and Smith said he is 'ready for the opportunity.'
Fantasy Spin: Smith was able to show that he can be a threat down the field when he caught three passes for 111 and two touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in Week 5. He will be a boom-or-bust flex option against the Ravens in Week 7.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) has a 'realistic' chance to return when he is eligible to come off the Reserve/Injured list in eight weeks, according to head coach Sean Payton.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde won't overtake RB T.J. Yeldon for the lead back role against the Houston Texans in Week 7, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars backfield could become quite crowded if Leonard Fournette is ever healthy, but until Hyde's role becomes clear, you should hang on to him in all formats. That being said, you won't want to start him in Week 7.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon will remain the 'main back' for the Week 7 game against the Houston Texans, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars just acquired Carlos Hyde, but until he has a full week of practice with the team under his belt, it makes sense that Yeldon would shoulder most of the load. Yeldon can be a RB2 in most leagues.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is always a start given his elite status but he will have a tough matchup this weekend against rookie cornerback Denzel Ward. Evans massive height gives him a natural advantage over the undersized Ward but he will have a difficult time getting separation. Back-to-back duds by Evans shouldn't discourage his owners from starting him this weekend since he's still Mike Evans. Just don't expect much more than low-end WR1 numbers against Cleveland.
Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen (toe) is dealing with a sprained left toe but should be available for the Week 8 game, according to head coach Steve Wilks.
Fantasy Spin: Rosen has struggled since taking over as the starting quarterback but will be working with a new offensive coordinator next week. Rosen should not be a starting option in any fantasy leagues, but owners may want to keep an eye on him to see if he improves over the next few weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea will start at defensive tackle in the Week 7 game with DT Gerald McCoy (calf) sidelined, according to head coach Dirk Koetter.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to play in the Week 7 game but will be on a snap count, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.
Dallas Cowboys WR Tavon Austin (groin) will not undergo groin surgery at this time but is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
Denver Broncos CB Adam Jones (thigh) likely will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Denver Broncos OT Jared Veldheer (knee) and LB Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) may have a chance to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Los Angeles Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Zuerlein is one of the top kickers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all leagues when he is healthy.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 7. DT Michael Brockers (shoulder), LB Matt Longacre (back), WR Josh Reynolds (hand), OG Rodger Saffold (knee), C John Sullivan (non-injury) and OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.
Free-agent WR Auden Tate was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad Friday, Oct. 19.
Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (quadriceps) said he will be available for the Week 7 game but is not sure how much playing time he will be able to handle because of the injury.
Fantasy Spin: Parker has been limited to only two games because of injuries and has posted only 40 yards in those games. Owners probably should avoid him even if he is active for the game.
Oakland Raiders RB Jalen Richard is expected to see a bump in workload with RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) sidelined. Richard has just three touches when the team is leading, and 39 touches when tied or trailing, but that is expected to change with just RB Doug Martin standing in the way.
Fantasy Spin: Richard will likely see plenty of targets out of the backfield, as he has shown good hands in the past. Doug Martin is currently projected to be the lead back heading out of the bye in Week 8, but many expect Richard to be the biggest winner in terms of fantasy value in the Oakland backfield.