Week 5 saw its fair share of injuries occur at some key positions. When factoring in previous injuries and upcoming bye weeks a lot of fantasy football owners can be left scrambling for answers and that is where we come in.
Cedric Benson -
With the current state of the running back position, seeing a feature back like Cedric Benson go down is never good. While Cedric Benson certainly wasn’t blowing the doors off with any record breaking games, he did get plenty of work making him a fantasy football asset. The news out of Green Bay is not good as Cedric will likely miss 6-8 weeks minimum leaving Alex Green and James Starks to fight for the table scraps. Word has it Alex Green has already been named the starter which as we all know, doesn’t mean a ton these days. This situation is likely to be a time share and don’t be surprised if John Kuhn steals the goal line carries. Look no further than 2010 when Ryan Grant went down in week one. Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn formed the platoon in Grant’s stead with Kuhn getting the majority of the goal line looks. Aaron Rodgers was the big winner that season stealing several rushing touch downs and going off in the passing game. I get the feeling the Aaron Rodgers show is about to get rolling after a very slow start to 2012. There is a very realistic chance Aaron Rodger steps up and catches fire as soon as week 6. Which leaves s with the question of which Green Bay Packers running back to add? If I have only one waiver wire claim I would have to recommend adding Alex Green. We know what James Starks is capable of, I for one have not been impressed. Alex Green has shown excellent burst and the Green Bay brass is eager to see what he can do with the opportunity. Both running backs are must adds in all formats but you must temper expectations, this will become Aaron Rodgers show once again. Right now Green Bay needs to simply win football games by any means necessary. I get the feeling a 13-7-4 carry split is looming with Green Leading the way followed by Starks then Kuhn. Not exactly fantasy football gold.
Ryan Williams / Beanie Wells -
The running back situation out in Arizona is an absolute mess. Beanie Wells is out until at least thanksgiving and Ryan Williams has been shut down for the season. This leaves a triumvirate of LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and William Powell to fight over the scraps. Let that resonate for a moment. All three are worth speculative adds simply because running backs in this league are so valuable for fantasy football purposes. There is a tasty match up this Sunday against the woeful Bills 30th ranked run defense so hopefully one of these guys will emerge as a lead dog. Stephens-Howling is still recovering from a hip flexor injury and William Powell may have suffered a concussion in last Thursdays game so the lead dog could very well become Alfonso Smith. If no one emerges from this disaster or if LaRod Stephens-Howling cant get healthy I would not be surprised if the Cardinals added a free agent. Someone like Joseph Addai would be a speculative guess.
Jimmy Graham & Jermichael Finley -
Both of these players should be ok and New Orleans has a bye in week six. The fact that they sustained injury should be plenty enough reason to hit the waiver wire for a solid backup to stash. I’m sure the pickings are a bit slim at this juncture but names like Brandon Myers and Anthony Fasano should still be floating around out there in all but the deepest of leagues. Fasano has 27 targets thus far making him top 20 in that category. Brandon Myers has shown decent chemistry with Carson Palmer and has 17 targets this year (keep in mind Oakland was on a bye last week) Both tights ends are on pass happy teams that are typically down in ball games. Both are worth a speculative stash for those looking for a start-able tight end with a little upside.
Wide Receiver Help!
Many fantasy football players across the nation are reeling with the combination of lingering injuries (see Hakeem Nicks) and bye weeks (week 6 - Carolina, Chicago, New Orleans and Jacksonville are all off in week 6) This means in addition to the injuries teams will be without Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, Brandon Marshall, Lance Moore, Marques Colston, Justin Blackman and Laurent Robinson. For those of you reeling this week you might look to Devon Bess who has quietly had a decent run flying under the Brian Hartline hype machine. Bess has 38 targets on the season, if your desperate you could do a lot worse. If for any reason James Jones of Green Bay is still available he needs to be added yesterday! I doubt he will score two touchdowns each week but I think it is clear that he has the potential to do so. Lastly, I am betting Darius Heyward-Bey was dropped in a lot of leagues after being nearly executed on the field in week 4. Make whatever case you will for Denarius Moore, Heyward-Bey has the best size and speed of any Oakland wide receiver. Combine that with the 111 targets he received last season and I would say he is worth an add in all formats if you have the space. He will face a tough match up in week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons but it looks like smooth sailing after that. Week 7 he’ll face the Jaguars, week 8 is against the Chiefs leading up to a tasty match up against the Bucaneer’s 31st ranked pass defense.
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