This week’s Monday night game is starting to feel a bit like the season premiere of The Walking Dead. Several of the Giants’ defensive starters fell by the wayside before Week 1 even began. The Rams saw their starting quarterback, running back and top receiver (as well as other players) go down during their game against the Eagles. If things weren’t already looking bleak for this game, the Giants also saw their top receiver suffer an injury. Is it time to get Amani Toomer and Isaac Bruce on the phone?
Let’s start with the injured quarterback. Sam Bradford ($7,300) suffered a finger injury that had coach Steve Spagnuolo up all night like a Will Arnett vehicle. Fortunately, it looks like the concern was much ado about nothing, as Bradford was able to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s locked into a great fantasy matchup, and an injury to the Rams’ top back could force him to throw a bit more than normal. I’m starting him confidently in my league.
Steven Jackson ($7,100) has a much bleaker outlook for Week 2, though don’t tell him that. He seems to think he can overcome his quadriceps injury and play Monday night, though the team has promised to be careful with him. I’d only give him about a 20 percent chance of playing, making Cadillac Williams ($6,100) a nice bargain for your FanDuel contests. Williams proved last week in relief that he still possesses fantasy upside, so throw him out there as a RB2 or flex in your league.
We move from the mostly clear situations to a question mark. Hakeem Nicks ($8,300) suffered what was classified as a hyper-extension and bone bruise of the left knee, putting his status in serious doubt. However, he’s promised to suit up and play, and if there’s one thing life has taught me to this point, it’s that Hakeem Nicks is a man of his word. He’s an avoidable commodity in FanDuel, but you’ll want to save a spot for him in standard leagues unless you have a monster group of receivers. I’ve picked up Domenik Hixon ($4,500) on my Nicks team (16-team league) and will plug him in should Nicks be ruled inactive. You could also grab Brandon Gibson ($5,300) or Greg Salas ($4,500) to serve the same purpose if available.
Wouldn’t you know it, there are 15 other games on the schedule for Week 2! Let’s hit them quickly and run away before anyone catches us.
The Broncos are dealing with RB/WR injuries as well, and it’s likely neither Brandon Lloyd ($7,500) or Knowshon Moreno ($7,300) will play. The Eric Decker ($4,500) Sleeper Train is leaving the station. Cincinnati believes Andy Dalton ($5,100) will be ready to play, but unless your league awards a red-headed bonus, it matters not in fantasy.
We led with the Texan running game last week, and if not for General Hospital airing on Monday night we could have very well done it again this week. Ben Tate ($5,500) was Beastly in Week 1, minus the ugly face, while Derrick Ward ($4,900) limped off into irrelevance. Some guy named Arian Foster ($9,700) is coming back to the starting lineup, and my researchers tell me he has a chance to be quite good. In other Houston news, Jacoby Jones ($5,700) is by far your best “J.Jones” play of the week, over Joneses James, Julius and January. January, of course, is the No. 2 play there.
In other running back news, Darren McFadden ($9,100) and Mike Tolbert ($6,500) are a little dinged but expected to start for the Raiders, Chargers and your opponent’s fantasy team. McFadden could be the Stud of the Week against the Buffalo defense, unless Todd Haley somehow gets hired to coach the Raiders before Sunday. Marion Barber ($4,700) is far from 100 percent and may miss another one, making Matt Forte ($8,100) a top play once again.
Steve Johnson ($7,100) is dealing with a nagging groin injury, so y’all probably need to get off his jock. (What was that?) He’s expected to play against the Raiders, but the situation bears watching. Elite ball catchers Calvin Johnson ($8,100), Miles Austin ($7,100), Dez Bryant ($6,900) and Santonio Holmes ($6,500) are “injured” but plan to drink tiger blood on Saturday night, so all will play and play well. FanDuel specifically is begging you to take Bryant at that price. I don’t like begging, so I’m putting Holmes on my team instead.
Lance Moore ($5,500), Sidney Rice ($6,300), Lee Evans ($5,300), Jacoby Ford ($5,900), Darrius Heyward-Bey ($4,500) and Roy Williams ($5,700) are all questionable, and the only one you should even be considering playing if active is Moore. If he can’t go, Devery Henderson ($5,300) is a very nice play. I’d throw a Michael Crabtree ($5,500) joke at you, but he’s his own punchline.
The only tight end causing consternation is Marcedes Lewis ($5,900), but there’s plenty to love at the TE position on FanDuel and waiver wires anyway. Don’t wait for him.
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