Those paying attention may have noticed that this Sunday’s games were filled with injuries. In all my years of playing Fantasy Football, I cannot remember a day in which so many big names went down to injury. “Black Sunday” started with news that Carson Palmer wouldn’t be starting for the Arizona Cardinals due to a shoulder injury while Doug Martin was being shut down due to a leg injury. This was only the beginning, as Robert Griffin III didn’t make it out of the 1st quarter as he suffered a dislocated ankle and DeSean Jackson joined him in the locker room soon after with a sprained shoulder. Another player bit by the injury bug was A.J. Green who is said to be suffering from turf toe and will only be available after the Bengals week 4 bye. Jamaal Charles was also limited with an ankle injury that caused him to miss the majority of the Chiefs game this week. To wrap up “Black Sunday,” Ryan Mathews was carted off the field with a sprained MCL.
These injuries have left fantasy managers scrambling to find replacements. There is a silver lining, with all these injuries the waiver wire will be filled with hidden gems this week. Many players on this list are included due to their counterparts going down to injuries, whereas others have far outperformed what was expected of them at the start of the season. The goal of this article is to provide you with a list of players that should be available in your league or players that if available in your league should be scooped up immediately, Happy Hunting.
10 Andre Roberts – WR, Washington Redskins (0.3% Owned)
If you happen to have DeSean Jackson on your team and are looking for a replacement you have to look no further than Jackson’s teammate Andre Roberts. After injures to DeSean Jackson and Robert Griffin III, Andre Roberts’ showed what he could do for the Redskins. Andre Roberts was one of Kirk Cousins favorite targets and accumulated 57 reception yards and 19 rush yards. If DeSean Jackson is forced to miss any time, Andre Roberts’ value increases drastically.
9 Mohamed Sanu, WR – Cincinnati Bengals (1.0% Owned)
A.J. Green will likely be out for week 3 as he is battling a case of turf toe. In his absence during Week 2 Mohamed Sanu stepped up in a big way as he scored a long TD on his way to accumulating 84 yards and his score. Sanu will play a big role for the Bengals this week as someone will have to fill in for the injured Green as they take on the Tennessee Titans. Sanu is not a long term fix but should be in line for more targets and increased production as long as A.J. Green is out. If you are hurting at the WR position and need a short-term fix Sanu is a great option for you.
8 Kirk Cousins – QB, Washington Redskins (0.4% Owned)
Robert Griffin III has sustained a dislocated ankle. This injury may be season-ending and if you are scrambling for a replacement, you should consider teammate Kirk Cousins. Kirk started 3 games last season and was underwhelming as he threw four TDs and seven INTs. That was then, this is now. Kirk Cousins looked impressive on Sunday as he threw for 250 yards and 2 TDs. Jay Gruden helped turn Andy Dalton into a top 5 fantasy QB last season and though Kirk Cousin’s won’t be a top 5 fantasy QB, he should be a serviceable fantasy QB this season.
7 Larry Donnell – TE, New York Giants (3.8% Owned)
It looks like Eli Manning found himself a new favorite target. Though no one is expecting Larry Donnell to be this year’s Julius Thomas, he should be a consistent fantasy producer and could easily finish the year ranked among the top 12 fantasy TEs. Through 2 games Donnell has accumulated 137 yards and a score having put up no less than 8.1 fantasy points. Given the Giants will likely be chasing games often this season and will be forced to air out the ball, Donnell will continue to see targets. If you’re hurting at the TE position Donnell is a great fix, go pick him up.
6 Niles Paul – TE, Washington Redskins (0.7% Owned)
Niles Paul is the third Washington player to find his way onto this list, and just like the two previous ones, it’s due to an injury sustained by a teammate. Jordan Reed is dealing with hamstring issues and Niles Paul is thriving as the top TE in the Redskins offense. Niles Paul collected 86 yards in week 1 and followed that up with a 99 yard/ 1 TD performance. It looks like Kirk Cousins already has an impressive rapport with Niles Paul and as such go pick him up if you own Reed or need help at TE.
5 Delanie Walker – TE, Tennessee Titans (26.3% Owned)
Delanie Walker finally looks to be playing up to his potential. He has become one of Jake Locker’s favorite targets and as long as he continues to play the way he is playing, he will remain one of his best receiving options. Delanie Walker improved on his week 1 total of 37 yards and a TD with 142 yards and a TD in week 2 against the Cowboys. He is already owned in 26.3% of leagues, however, if he is available in your league you should go ahead and add him to your roster.
4 Antonio Gates – TE, San Diego Chargers (52.7% Owned)
Unlike all the other players on this list, Antonio Gates is owned in more than half of the leagues. However, given his scorching start to the season if he is available in your league, he likely won’t be for long and you should definitely put in a waiver request for him. Gates looked like his vintage self so far this season. After putting up 81 yards in his week 1 match-up against the Cardinals, he downright outdid himself by racking up 96 yards and finding the end-zone a whopping 3 times against the Seahawks. Gates and Rivers look to have re-found the chemistry that has been missing over the last two seasons.
3 Bobby Rainey – RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.6% Owned)
Bobby Rainey had a huge day today against the St. Louis Rams. Rainey rushed for 144 yards and added another 30 reception yards. Rainey got the start as Doug Martin was inactive due to the leg injury sustained last week. Rainey’s play should allow him to eat into Doug Martin’s touches when he returns. Rainey can be started as a RB2 as long as Doug Martin is inactive. If you own Martin, you should try to handcuff him with Rainey as he has shown he can carry the load when Martin is unavailable.
2 Donald Brown – RB, San Diego Chargers (2.0% Owned)
As has been the theme this week, Donald Brown saw his fantasy value increase due to the fact that one of his teammates suffered an injury. Ryan Mathews was carted off the field with a knee injury. He will be missing some time and as such, Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead will now be sharing the backfield workload. Donald Brown is assumed to be in line for the heavier workload with Danny Woodhead continuing to be the change of place back. If you are hurting at the RB position, take a chance on Donald Brown as he is in line for the start until Mathews is healthy enough to return to the field.
1 Knile Davis – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1.5% Owned)
One of the most notable injuries this week was the injury sustained by Jamaal Charles early in the Chiefs and Broncos game. Luckily for the Chiefs they have a very capable backup in Davis. Knile Davis ran for 79 yards and added 26 more receiving yards and was able to find the end-zone twice. If Jamaal Charles misses any time, Knile Davis will be in line for the starting gig. Though Charles is a unique talent, Knile Davis should be able to partially fill the void left by Charles and should be owned in most leagues, especially if Charles misses any time.