Another week of fantasy football in the books, and another slew of injuries, particularly at the RB position. Adrian Peterson, Ameer Abdullah, and Danny Woodhead were among the most notable names to suffer injuries that will sideline them for a few weeks at best. Let’s take a look at who you should scoop off the waiver wire, plug in from your bench, or pull from the starting lineup in our Week Three edition of Fantasy Flex.
Texans’ Fantasy Player of the Week:
Alright Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins, you’ve convinced me that you two can share the field (and the fantasy spotlight). Depending on your league structure, both of the Houston wideouts delivered last week, with Fuller at 104 yards on four receptions and Hopkins hauling in seven for 113 yards and a TD. The Texans WR duo seems like a go-ahead tandem nearly every week going forward, though I expect Braxton Miller (who is out this week) or Jaelen Strong to vulture the occasional TD. You can safely start both of these two against a Patriots’ defense that will likely force Brock Osweiler to make some big throws.
Start Em’/Sit Em’ Around the League:
Stefon Diggs (WR/MIN): The Vikings wideout had a big game last week, amassing 182 yards and a TD on nine receptions (on my bench, of course). I was initially worried that the Teddy Bridgewater injury would hurt Diggs’ fantasy relevancy, but it seems I couldn’t have been more wrong. So far, Diggs has proven himself the favorite target for whoever is at the helm of the Vikings’ offense in a given week. A potentially long-term injury to RB Adrian Peterson could vault his value even higher. While the Carolina defense is one of my least favorite matchups, Diggs will get the bulk of offensive work next week and should continue his big streak.
Melvin Gordon (RB/SD): Woodhead’s injury opens the door even further for the sophomore RB who has 159 yards and three TDs through just two games. This week, the Chargers will face off with the Colts, who offer up plenty of TD opportunities to RBs.
Tajae Sharpe (WR/TEN): I’ve been hyping Sharpe for a while, as he has emerged as the clear favorite in Tennessee. If the Titans want to keep up with Derek Carr and the Raiders this week, they will need to get the ball to Sharpe early and often. While I like the Raiders’ defense on paper, they’ve been generous to WRs this season. Sharpe’s not necessarily a must-start, but I like him as a flex option, or a plug-in if you’ve got injury woes.
Julian Edelman (WR/NE): Not only does Edelman have a nasty Texans’ defense to battle, he’ll likely be catching passes from a rookie QB making his first stat. Add in the rumor that Rob Gronkowski might be back tonight, and Edelman just isn’t trustworthy this week.
Demaryius Thomas (WR/DEN): This pains me to say with Thomas as one of my WRs I drafted to start, but a nagging him injury and mediocre QB play have meant lackluster performances from the wideout. The Bengals’ defense has been no joke this year, and this matchup doesn’t bode well for Thomas.
Waiver Wire Watches:
Tyrell Williams (WR/SD): You can almost put Williams in the “Start” category this week (in fact, I’m starting him in our BRB writers’ league, where we have two flexes). But if you need a flex option and he’s available, pick the kid up! He’s been steadily improving as a fantasy option and has a high ceiling.
(ESPN: 58% owned, Yahoo: 60% owned)
Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata (RBs/MIN): If you’re desperate for a fill-in, both of the Vikings RBs could be options with AP sidelined for at least a few weeks. McKinnon will likely get more carries, and therefore has more upside than his fellow RB.
(JM, ESPN: 61%, Yahoo: 63% / MA, ESPN: 29%, Yahoo 25%)
Jay Ajayi (RB/MIA): This is exactly why I took Ajayi late in one of my drafts. I love Arian Foster so much, but the guy can’t make it through four games anymore without getting hurt (which is a shame, because when healthy he is still fantastic). If Ajayi is available, he won’t win you any championships, but he’s an option.
(ESPN: 55%, Yahoo: 35%)