We saw Aaron Rodgers go down with a broken collarbone week 6 and this week we lost Carson Palmer to a broken arm. We have lost 2 more than playable fantasy quarterbacks in as many weeks and some owners may be grasping for life in their 2017 seasons. I don’t normally advocate rostering two quarterbacks, but I am starting to think you might want to with the way some of these guys have been going down. In addition to injuries, there are 6 teams on bye this week so talent will be spread thin. Here are the fantasy relevant players we will be missing this week:
Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer (injured), Adrian Peterson, Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery, Jordy Nelson, Devantae Adams, Randall Cobb, Martellus Bennett
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns
LA Rams – Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
NY Giants – Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram
Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Eric Decker, Rishard Matthews, Delanie Walker (injured)
Derek Carr – QB Oakland Raiders – Carr is owned in 80% of Yahoo leagues. I fully understand that Carr is likely to be owned in most of your leagues because savvy owners won’t drop him just because he missed one week and struggled in his first week back, but if you are in a league with limited bench spots, somebody may have been pressed into a difficult decision and cut him. It’s worth a look, and if he’s there, grab him.
Josh McCown – QB NY Jets – McCown has been getting it done in favorable matchups but in week 7, he got it done against a Miami defense that has been pretty decent this year, throwing for 209 yards, 3 touchdowns and running for another touchdown. McCown plays the Falcons next week who are very beatable through the air. Additionally, the Jets aren’t good enough to ever be in a situation where they are killing the clock, so game script should always be favoring the Jets to pass. He is owned in only 12% of Yahoo leagues as the #11 QB in fantasy.
Tyrod Taylor – QB Buffalo Bills – Taylor doesn’t have great options to throw to but he continues to get it done. On Sunday against the Buccaneers, Taylor threw for 268 yards and 1 touchdown. Although Taylor didn’t exactly light it up through the air, he did run for 53 yards which is the equivalent of a little more than a passing touchdown in standard scoring leagues. His ability to run makes him extremely viable regardless of the supporting cast. Taylor has a favorable matchup against the Raiders next week and is owned in 58% of Yahoo leagues. He may be able to help you out if you were a Rodgers or Palmer owner, or if you thought Brett Hundley would be your savior. The Brett Hundley experiment was a miserable failure this week, as he threw for 87 yards, 0 TD’s, 1 INT, but he did run for 44 yards and a score.
Jared Goff – QB LA Rams – Goff is owned in 52% of Yahoo leagues and that ownership number may drop even lower this week because the Rams are on bye and many people still may not view him as a viable fantasy option and cut him. Goff got it done against the Cardinals this week throwing for 235 and a score and running in another and he should be alright moving forward. Sean McVay does a really good job putting Goff in a position to succeed and as long as he’s able to continue setting him up to be a distributor of the football, Goff will be ok. Disclaimer – because of the Rams’ commitment to the run, it’s highly unlikely that Goff will never be a top 5 fantasy QB on a week to week basis, but he is consistent and has a fairly stable floor.
Matt Moore – QB Miami Dolphins – Matt Moore came off the bench against the Jets and threw for 188, 2 touchdowns and 1 INT. Cutler will miss the next 2-3 weeks with broken ribs so Moore really has a chance to run away with this job, especially if the Dolphins keep winning. The Dolphins have a solid cast of play makers, and if desperate, Moore could be a competent player for you. Moore is owed in 0% of Yahoo leagues. The Dolphins face Baltimore on Thursday night which isn’t the greatest matchup, but it’s not an impossible matchup either.
Andy Dalton – QB Cincinnati Bengals – Dalton is owned in 55% of Yahoo leagues and coming off a very shaky performance against the Steelers, throwing for 140 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 INT’s. AJ Green was not involved in the Steelers game beyond the first quarter which was very odd. Although his week 7 performance wasn’t inspiring, he gets the Colts in week 8. If your quarterback is hurt or on a bye, get Dalton and start him with confidence, because even Blake Bortles can throw for 300+ on the Colts.
Corey Coleman – WR Cleveland Browns – The Browns receiving corp has been an absolute mess this year and there are rumors circulating that Kenny Britt may be cut from the roster in the near future. Coleman was doing alright prior to his injury, and he’s owned in only 11% of Yahoo leagues. The Browns have to throw the ball to somebody, and Coleman is clearly their most talented receiver on the roster if he can stay healthy. Coleman should be close to returning, so if you need help at the position, go out and get him now, before his return is imminent. If you wait another week or two to claim him, it will only get more difficult.
Corey Davis – WR Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis is a large, fast man, and he’s good at playing football. The Titans have been struggling through the air at times and when Davis was healthy, he seemed to dominate targets. The Titans are on bye next week, so people aren’t likely to be terribly aggressive going after Davis this week. Davis is only owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues and could be a league winner for you down the stretch if he’s able to get and stay healthy. Bet on his talent.
Cooper Kupp – WR LA Rams – Cooper Kupp hauled in 4 of 10 targets for 51 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals this week. The narrative for teams going up against the Cardinals this year has been receivers not covered by Patrick Peterson will produce and Kupp delivered on that narrative. To date, the Rams receiving corp has been a little frustrating to predict, but sticking with the theme that Sean McVay calls plays to have Jared Goff distribute the ball, it appears you can only trust Kupp if the matchup is slapping you in the face like it did this week against the Cardinals. Kupp is only owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues and Goff likes looking his way in the redzone, which isn’t typical for a slot receiver, making him viable in all formats.
DeVante Parker – WR Miami Dolphins – I understand Parker is likely owned in your league, but according to ownership percentages on Yahoo, he is owned in 83% of leagues, meaning some owners who invested a high pick on him may have cut him out of straight anger, aka rage dropped. This is a public service announcement – take 5 seconds and check your waiver wire to see if you are in the 17% of leagues where Parker was cut.
Demarcus Robinson – WR Kansas City Chiefs – Heading into week 6 I advocated to add Demarcus Robinson to your roster. Robinson didn’t do much week 6, but against the Raiders in week 7 he was targeted 8 times and hauled in 5 of them for 69 yards. Robinson looked really good out there and is a serious athlete with decent size. Robinson is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues so if you missed the boat over the last 2 weeks, go get him.
Detroit Lions Wide Receivers – Marvin Jones is owned in 61% of Yahoo leagues, Kenny Golladay is owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues and TJ Jones is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues. I would pick up Detroit Lions receivers in the order they were listed as Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are slated to start while Golden Tate misses time with his shoulder injury. This week, Jones and Golladay are likely to be matched up on Joe Haden and Artie Burns, so TJ Jones may be the play this week, facing off against Mike Hilton in the slot. The Steelers have a solid secondary, so playing these receivers may not be the best move in week 8.
Robby Anderson – WR NY Jets – Anderson continues to see targets from Josh McCown and is a home run waiting to happen. Anderson finally found the endzone this week against the Dolphins and the Jets should need to throw early and often to keep pace with the Falcons this week. Anderson is only owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues and is a very viable option, especially if your league gives bonus points for big plays and excessive touchdown celebrations involving the player jumping into the stands.
Marquise Goodwin – WR SF 49ers – Goodwin is only owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues. In CJ Beathard’s first NFL start, he targeted Goodwin 8 times and Goodwin was able to haul in 4 of them for 80 yards. The Cowboys don’t have the greatest secondary, so it’s too early to tell if Beathard is going to look Goodwin’s way early and often or if this was simply a product of the matchup, but if you’re in a deeper league, Goodwin is worth a roster spot.
Greg Olsen – TE Carolina Panthers – Olsen broke his foot in week 2 and he should be eligible to come back soon. The Panthers have a week 11 bye, so week 12 is a realistic return date. Olsen is owned in 40% of leagues so if you have an IR spot, or a bad player on your bench, consider being proactive with Olsen and add him now, as he may be a true difference maker for you down the stretch. If you are a 7-0 or a 5-2 team, you can afford to be more aggressive adding a player like Olsen.
OJ Howard – TE TB Buccaneers – OJ Howard made some huge plays against the Bills on Sunday, hauling in 6 of 6 targets for 98 yards and 2 TD’s. Although his stat line was big, he was still out targeted by Cameron Brate on Sunday 9 – 6. Brate hauled in 6 of 9 targets for 60 yards and did not score. If you need help at the position Howard offers tremendous upside, but if you add him don’t think this is going to happen every week as long as Brate remains on the team. Howard is owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues. Please be advised that Howard was left completely uncovered on one of his touchdowns, and that doesn’t happen every week.
Tyler Kroft – TE Cincinnati Bengals – Kroft is only owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues and Dalton continues to look his way in the redzone. Kroft offers little upside between the 20’s, but inside the 20’s, he’s a viable threat to score a TD each and every time the Bengals are down there.
This week, Leonard Fournette missed the game for the Jaguars and TJ Yeldon exploded. Although Yeldon exploded, he did so because he broke off a 58 yard run for a score. Yeldon saw 11 total touches while Ivory saw 17 total touches in a game that the Jaguars absolutely ran away with. The takeaway is that Ivory is Fournette’s handcuff, so don’t drop Ivory for Yeldon if you are a Fournette owner. This week we also saw Orleans Darkwa, who rumbled for over 100 yards against Denver, come crashing back to earth. Darkwa only had 9 carries in the game for 35 yards and was targeted 3 times in the passing game. I left Darkwa out of my waiver article last week because I thought his game against Denver was a product of game flow and he couldn’t be relied upon on a consistent basis. That being said, if you are really desperate at running back, he might be worth a shot, but only if you’re really, really desperate, as game flow can render him a landmine.
Latavius Murray – RB Minnesota Vikings – Murray is owned in 40% of leagues and for the first time since Dalvin Cook went down, he out touched Jerrick McKinnon 18-17, running for 113 yards and a touchdown. I feel bad because I told my dad to bench Latavius Murray this week, but oh well, he would have lost anyways. Murray is a viable add because although McKinnon is the more explosive player, he’s injury prone, and Murray is built more like an every down back. My week 5 waiver article advocating for Latavius Murray over Jerrick McKinnon may have been a little premature, but it looks like things are starting to swing Murray’s way.
Oakland Raiders Running Backs – Beast Mode is going to miss the Raiders next game, leaving the Raiders with a likely committee until he returns. DeAndre Washington is only owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues while Jalen Richard is owned in 11%. After Marshawn Lynch was ejected this week, both Richard and Washington both saw 9 carries and were both targeted 4 times, Washington hauled in 3 while Richard hauled in all 4 of them. Who should you add? Here is my take on the situation. The Raiders used Washington around the goal line on Thursday night against the Chiefs and he scored, while Richard is clearly the better pass catching back. If you are in a standard league, target Washington on waivers, and if you are in a PPR, target Richard on waivers.
Malcolm Brown – RB LA Rams – Brown had 11 carries for 48 yards against the Cardinals this week. The Rams are on bye week 8 but if we learned anything from the Leonard Fournette situation, it’s that the top running backs need to be hand cuffed if there is a hand cuff situation. It’s clear that Brown is Todd Gurley’s handcuff and if you are a Gurley owner, just suck it up and get him on your team. Brown is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues, but if Gurley goes down that number will go to 97% in a hurry.
“Big Rigg’s” Buy Low – This week, Doug Martin, Kareem Hunt, Jordan Howard and Melvin Gordon all saw a solid work load for their respective teams but they came up a little small. Attempt to make a few trades with the owners of the aforementioned running backs. You never know, some people may be reactionary and panic prematurely. You may be able to take advantage of somebody who doesn’t have foresight and/or patience to realize these guys aren’t going to get it done each and every week. I understand you may read this and think that nobody in your leagues would part with these guys, but you never know. Last week, I traded Adrian Peterson and Golden Tate to somebody who apparently had enough of Julio Jones…ya simply never know.
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