Another week, and unfortunately another huge injury. On Sunday, Arian Foster tore his Achilles’ tendon and is out for the season after coming back only a few weeks prior from preseason groin surgery. A tough blow for owners who had seemed to have gotten a steal when drafting him back in August and September. The situation in Houston tough and to try and replace their star running back is not going to be a pretty one. Alfred Blue is expected to receive the first shot at replacing Arian Foster, but it’ll be hard to trust someone that outside of a 31 carry/139 yard/1 touchdown in Week 3 versus Tampa Bay (it’s Tampa Bay for Godsake), has gone for 95 yards rushing on 29 rushing attempts (3.28 yards per carry). He should still be picked up in most leagues but stashed on benches as he can’t be trusted as more than a low end RB3/FLEX option for the time being. Neither Chris Polk nor Jonathan Grimes are worth rostering for the time being, however.
After missing the past two weeks with a concussion, Jordan Reed came back in a big way with 11 receptions, 72 yards, and two touchdowns on 13 targets. He has clearly been a top eight tight end in fantasy when healthy and will continue to be going forward and just needs to be owned in all leagues, maybe even started for those who haven’t had a solid option at tight end so far. In his four full games this season (was taken out of week four game early with the concussion originally), he has never finished with less than six receptions or 63 yards receiving. He is being utilized as the #2 passing option on the team at the very least and it will continue that way even when DeSean Jackson does eventually return. He is still available in 42% of Yahoo! Leagues as of this past Monday and it should be 100% after waiver wire period this Wednesday.
Someone who I have written about a few times for his inherited passing-down back role is in this particular post because of his breakout rushing performance and subsequent new role (unofficial) as the number one running back in Dallas. Darren McFadden had a 29 carry/152 yard/1 touchdown performance on Sunday against the Giants and looked almost like the Run-DMC of old in Oakland. He also commanded the workload of carries as Christine Michael only got five carries (for an uninspiring 18 yards) and Joseph Randle received two carries as he went down with a nagging back injury that took him out early. McFadden has looked like the most dynamic overall running back this season for the Cowboys (besides Lance Dunbar, RIP) and needs to be owned in all leagues as he is somehow only owned in 1/3 of all Yahoo! Leagues as of Monday. Anyone running behind that all-world Dallas Cowboys offensive line with as much explosiveness as McFadden has shown deserves to be owned and treated as a low-end RB2 going forward.
If he somehow isn’t owned in 100% of leagues by now, you need to grab Stefon Diggs and not only have him on your team, but maybe even surpass the bench and just start him. He has three straight weeks of at least nine targets, six receptions, and at least 87 yards receiving. He has surpassed Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright, and possibly even Mike Wallace as the #1 wide receiver for Minnesota. He has been heavily featured as over the past three games, as he has received 28 targets, which is the most of any Vikings skill player including wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. There is no reason to think that now he is starting every week, that he can be worth starting as a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 in fantasy. Grab him if you somehow still can.
After a rather hyped week six following the season-ending injury of Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West bounced back in a big way with a 22 carry/110 yard/1 touchdown performance against a tough Steelers defense. West was heavily sought after because of glowing remarks by Andy Reid and his position on the depth chart over Knile Davis following the Charles injury. He has received 31 carries in the two games that he has been the starter and clearly with this performance today. He won’t always have these type of weeks but still warrants being owned in all formats as the lead back as a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 option on a weekly basis. With Jeremy Maclin expected back next week and Chris Conley emerging as their #2 wide receiver, the Chiefs will certainly be passing the ball more than 32 times (3rd lowest number of attempts for KC this season). But West will continue to be their lead back and only helped his case with his performance on Sunday. Grab him if he is unowned in your leagues (like the 38% of Yahoo! leagues he is available in).
Tyrod Taylor has been out the past two weeks with a sprained MCL in his knee and is now going to a bye week where he is expected to play after that. Before going down with his knee injury, Tyrod Taylor was putting up top eight numbers for quarterbacks in fantasy and is now only owned in 42% of Yahoo! leagues. For those who have been dealing with Peyton Manning or Drew Brees’ struggles so far, Taylor could be a nice pick up to keep on benches or even play depending on the matchup due to Taylor’s dual ability as a passer & runner. He has 187 yards rushing for two touchdowns and also 1097 yards with another nine touchdowns in four and ½ games this season. And with LeSean McCoy starting to find his groove and Sammy Watkins hopefully being healthy following the bye with Robert Woods playing nicely as a starter, Taylor could be poised to pick up right where he left off. Grab him and stash him for after the bye where he could be a low-end QB1.
Finally, a wide receiver in Carolina may actually be worth rostering going forward (and it’s not Devin Funchess, nice job football twitter). Outside of Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn Jr. has the most targets and receiving yards on the team and has emerged as the #1 wide receiver target for Cam Newton. Ginn also showed off his play-making ability on a trick play which resulted in a 43 yard gain as well. He had eight targets his way on Sunday and will continue to operate as the #1 wide receiver for the Panthers going forward as they try to find more ways to incorporate his open field running ability. He is worthy of a stash in most leagues that have the bench room as he could get even more looks in the offense as the season progresses.
That will do it here for Week 8. So in case you weren’t sure before, the best way to win your leagues is to read this and tell all your friends to read it too. You’re welcome.
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