By Adam Harris-
(CBS) My blog is a safe place for fantasy owners to come vent, cry, scream and just let their frustrations out, and after this past week in fantasy football, I expect a lot of all that.
I sat down Sunday, anxious to turn my brain off for seven hours from one of the most devastating off-the-field weeks in NFL history with some Red Zone and big games from big stars. Instead the NFL treated me to injuries, pathetic performances and poor point totals across many leagues. Along with the NFL's image, fantasy football took a big hit. This week I will go through the major injuries and scandals across the league while expensing advice on how to handle your waiver wire tonight as we enter Week 3.
I usually endorse saving your waiver early on in the fantasy season, but this year is a different type of fantasy season. The injuries are crippling rosters left and right, and you don't want to fall too far behind in the standings, saving a waiver for another Zac Stacy of 2013 or DeMarco Murray of 2011. You need to win now, and that means saving your waiver is out the window.
Here are the latest storylines, with the bolded items addressing in order who you should make your waiver priorities.
Injury in KC -- OMG!!
The biggest injury of the week was suffered by Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who suffered a high left ankle sprain Sunday, causing him to leave the game and, by my estimation, likely sit for a minimum of a couple weeks. This makes Chiefs backup running back Knile Davis the top target on waivers, pending the Charles owner in your league didn't take everyone's advice and draft the handcuff back.
Davis is actually a good fill-in for Charles owners. He will be similar fantasy production-wise, just not in the same way. Davis will get more goal-line carries than Charles but won't necessarily be a target to break a big play. Davis keeps Alex Smith upright, allowing no sacks in 41 pass protecting snaps this year, which means he will be trusted on all downs. You will lose a little in the PPR leagues, as Charles caught 70 balls out of the backfield last year, good for fourth among all running backs behind Pierre Thomas (77), Danny Woodhead (76) and Darren Sproles (71). However, Davis good after contact as he averaged 1.91 yards after contact last year on limited carries. Expect some decent production out of Davis when Charles is out.
Rainey out-muscling the Muscle Hamster
The Bucs are losing faith in running back Doug Martin week by week. He didn't play Sunday due to a knee injury he suffered in Week 1, but it didn't matter. Backup Bobby Rainey took the reins and dominated with 156 yards on 26 carries, which was good for an even six yards per carry. Rainey also scored a touchdown through the air in Week 1, outshining a pathetic nine-carry, nine-yard performance by Martin (that's one yard per carry for you math majors out there). Rainey is surprisingly available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues. He is a waiver must for all leagues of all kinds.
San Diego Suuuuper Panic?
San Diego running back Ryan Mathews is going to be out for about five weeks with a sprained MCL, which means backup Danny Woodhead will be on the field a lot more, and he's surprisingly available in 51 percent of Yahoo leagues. Woodhead was among running backs with 76 catches last year, but he only carried the ball 106 times, averaging 4.0 yards per rush. Woodhead is talented but will need help carrying the load, and that will come from Donald Brown, whom the Chargers signed to a three-year, $10.4-million contract this past offseason just for this situation. Brown will be involved in the running game when Matthews is out. Remember that last year, Brown earned a starting job in Week 13 with the Colts due to a lack of production from Trent Richardson, and he never let go. Brown averaged 5.3 yards a carry on limited work. Brown is worth a waiver in 12-team leagues.
Buzzin' on Cousins
For those who haven't seen the injury to Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III and can stomach it, click here and scroll to the 45-second mark in the first video. Gross, right? RGIII dislocated his left ankle Sunday, and while Washington doesn't plan to place him on injured reserve, the team is moving forward with Barrington native and Michigan State product Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Cousins had a good day after entering in the first quarter Sunday, scoring 18 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, tied for seventh-best among all Week 2 quarterbacks. Minutes after Cousins entered, his vertical threat was swiped because receiver DeSean Jackson left the game with a shoulder injury. Jackson is day-to-day and might suit up this Sunday as his current team takes on his former team, the Eagles, in Philadelphia. Cousins is worth a waiver in deeper leagues, especially two-quarterback leagues of 10 or more teams. All needs equal, Cousins should be your second waiver to Davis.
PT Bruiser Party
New Orleans running back Mark Ingram is expected to miss a month with a broken hand, so Pierre Thomas will experience a big jump in his workload. Still, the waiver target here is Khiry Robinson, who had nine fantasy points last week on 14 attempts for 59 yards and a score. The Saints are not judgmental as far as who they give the ball to on the ground, so Robinson is worth a waiver in 12-team leagues.
Little Piggy went ouch
Bengals receiver A.J. Green is out because his toe hurts. OK, he has a strained ligament in his toe, which I'm sure sucks and makes it incredibly difficult to play professional football at a position that depends so much on speed, but either way, THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. Fantasy football must go on, however, and Cincinnati receiver Mohamed Sanu is the player who will benefit with Green out. Green's injury isn't labeled as serious by Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, and reports have Green returning after the team's Week 4 bye. That leaves this week as a great opportunity for Sanu owners. The Bengals host the Titans, who were dominated by Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last week. Sanu is worth a waiver as a fill-in this week for Green or DeSean Jackson owners. Sanu is available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
No more Knowshon
How does one dislocate his elbow? Football seems to be a great place to do that research, as we have seen two graphic elbow injuries this year. First it was Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert against the Ravens in Week 1, and now it looks to be value workhorse Knowshon Moreno in Miami. Moreno left the game Sunday with bumps and jagged edges on his elbow. Reports have him out a month, which finally means ... MILLER TIME???
Not so fast. The Dolphins re-signed long-time fantasy thorn Daniel Thomas to continue the complication that is their backfield. Thomas is worth a waiver in deeper, 14-team leagues but is barely playable this week. Thomas is more of a stash play. In the past, Miller and Thomas have gone back and forth on being the main guys. It'll be boring -- I mean "interesting" -- to see what happens with this not-so-dynamic duo back again while Moreno is out.
AP Is Back
Forget about Matt Asiata, as the Vikings have made it clear that giving the ball to one of the most talented backs in history in Adrian Peterson outweighs the scrutiny they face for even letting him on the field after he was charged with child abuse. Be that as it may, Peterson is a must-start in all fantasy leagues, leaving Asiata virtually un-ownable. This Peterson situation, however, is fluid and fickle. It could change week to week, which means if you have the roster room, keep Asiata. I like fellow Minnesota reserve back Jerick McKinnon more as a high-upside guy if Peterson were to be dismissed for a long period of time down the road. Asiata hasn't been impressive, and McKinnon will at least wow the crowd with his freak athleticism.
Happy waiver hunting, and good luck this week! Hopefully Red Zone doesn't let us down and we can see scoring rise in Week 3.
Adam Harris is a producer for 670 The Score. He co-hosts the Fantasy Nerd Herd every Friday night with Joe Ostrowski. Follow him on Twitter @aharris670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.
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