If you are anything like myself, your entire fantasy football season may seem like it fell off of a cliff. Two weeks ago, I was the number one team in my league with the best record, most points and the scary backfield of Matt Forte and Arian Foster. Now, I am currently heading into this Sunday with Giovani Bernard and Charles Sims as my current backfield. If you didn’t laugh out loud after reading that sentence the first time, go ahead and do it now.
It may look bleak as fantasy starters like Forte, Foster, Steve Smith, Keenan Allen and Le’Veon Bell have hit the IR. But there are pieces out there that can save your season. I’ll spare you the obvious pick up DeAngelo Williams “advice”, and get to some guys that may be on the waiver wire or easily obtainable through trade.
WR Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers
One of the reasons I drafted Johnson was because our own Teddy Ballgame said he was his sleeper pick of the 2015 season. Well, now he has his chance to shine.
Before Johnson went down with an injury, he was a pretty reliable receiver in PPR leagues for a flex play. He was averaging 13 points a game, but found the end zone in consecutive outings. He then got hurt and missed two games, and has had modest outputs since then.
That put him on the waiver wire in some leagues, and buried him on other teams’ benches in others. Johnson does have 24 receptions this season, which was the second most by a receiver behind the now injured Allen. Malcolm Floyd will steal some targets, but Rivers likes to throw. Johnson could become a solid double-digit WR for the rest of the way.
RB Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears
How much do you invest in Langford? The original diagnosis for Forte was that he would only miss a few weeks, but now he is still under evaluation. If Forte misses a mere two weeks, do you break the bank and trade for him or snag him of waivers?
If you need immediate help, the Chargers have the 27th ranked defense and have allowed eight touchdowns to RBs this season. We know that Langford — a fourth round pick — is going to be handed the wheels. We also know he has a nose for the end zone, vulturing two TDs from Forte already this season.
The problem is that he is averaging a mere 3.0 yards a carry on his limited chances thus far and has been invisible to the far superior Forte in the passing game. If you can get Langford on the cheap, you need to roll with him this week and see what happens, but be cautious on over spending for him based on Forte’s absence.
WR Dwayne Harris, New York Giants
This is a real flier. Rueben Randle is playing on a bum hammy. This past weekend in New Orleans, when the Saints and Giants combined for a million yards and 13 passing touchdowns, Randle was invisible. Harris, however, was not.
Harris has quietly put together three double-digit outputs over the past five weeks. We have learned that the Giants defense is not good at all, and that neither is their running game. Eli is going to have to throw. If Larry Donnell and Randle can’t go, that makes Harris an option.
Proceed with caution on Harris, and I am not saying to start him just yet. But with the run of injuries around the NFL, now is a good time to grab him –especially if you have Randle — and stash him on your bench. One more 15-18 point week, and Harris won’t be on the waiver wire much longer.
RB Shane Vereen, New York Giants
Vereen is certainly not on the waiver wire in any league, but he is likely available in the trade market. The problem with Vereen hasn’t been so much him, but the Giants inconsistencies on offense.
The Giants run game is atrocious at 27th overall in football. That is not Giants football. Orleans Darkwa? I mean seriously, folks, do you fear this guy? Rashard Jennings doesn’t look like a lead back, and neither does Andre Williams. Vereen needs to be on the field more.
This weekend especially, in a favorable matchup against the Bucs, Vereen could have a nice game. With Donnell not likely and Randle hobbled, the Giants should be going two back sets. When Vereen is part of the game plan, he drops 20 points in PPR leagues. When Tom Coughlin takes a nap and forgets his roster, Vereen is sitting on the sideline wondering why.
Again, do you 100% trust Vereen as a starter just yet? No, but should Donnell and Randle be out, Vereen could be a great go to especially with Foster, Forte and Bell hurt and Justin Forsett, Chris Johnson, and Marshawn Lynch on a bye.
WR Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots
Man, what a stinker he put up in his first game back off the IR. Six drops. While it put him in many fantasy doghouses — and back on the waiver wire in a lot of leagues — Brady gave his guy a secnd chance last week.
He responded by snagging four receptions for 47 yards last week. Baby steps, boys and girls, baby steps.
LaFell was a desired weapon for Brady last season and now that he showed that he shook the cobwebs off and can actually catch a ball still, Brady will feed him. The beauty of Patriot receivers is that you never have to worry about the game getting out of hand. The Patriots will through the ball up by three, and they will keep throwing up by 30.
LaFell carried a lot of teams to the playoffs in fantasy last year. The more back to game mode he gets — he could easily slip in and fill the void of someone like Steve Smith — he could do it again.