Week 7 saw several NFL stars suffer injuries, which will make the Week 8 waiver wire activity quite important in determining which people add the needed amount of depth to their teams before their league’s playoffs commence.
Jay Cutler, Reggie Wayne, Doug Martin and Arian Foster were among the fantasy stars who battled some sort of injury on Sunday, creating some substantial roster issues for fantasy owners. Luckily, there were a lot of role players who stepped up in Week 7 and proved their worth as reliable fantasy options.
Here’s a list of players who should be added from the waiver by fantasy owners looking for a bye-week replacement, a fill-in for an injured star or more depth for later in the season.
Jordan Reed, Tight End
Reed has emerged in the last two weeks as a dependable starting tight end in all types of fantasy leagues. He’s received at least six targets in five of the Redskins’ six games this season, and with quarterback Robert Griffin III starting to pass the ball with the success he enjoyed as a rookie, Reed’s production should only improve.
Reed is one of the Jimmy Graham-type of tight ends with wide receiver-like speed, in addition to the strength and blocking ability that tight ends normally bring to the field.
In Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears, the 23-year-old rookie gave his best performance of the year with nine receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He’s earned the trust of Griffin and should be started in all leagues, even as a flex option over a mediocre wide receiver or running back.
Case Keenum, Quarterback
Keenum started for the struggling and injured Matt Schaub in Week 7 and performed admirably in a narrow loss to the Chiefs.
The young Texans signal caller threw for 271 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also completed 60 percent of his passes and showed tremendous poise for a rookie playing against an undefeated team in a hostile road environment.
Houston is entering its bye and there’s a chance that Schaub could be ready to start again from a health standpoint when the Texans host the division-leading Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, but given Keenum’s strong showing on Sunday, which included no turnovers, it may be hard to bench the young quarterback.
If Keenum continues to start, he’s a good QB2 in leagues that start multiple quarterbacks, or a solid backup in a single-quarterback league. He has plenty of offensive weapons around him.
Jarrett Boykin, Wide Receiver
Fantasy owners who trusted Boykin to shine in the absence of Randall Cobb looked really smart on Sunday. He caught eight passes for 146 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, all of which set career highs.
With Cobb out of the lineup for several more weeks, and James Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley battling injuries, Boykin should continue to be an important part of the Packers passing attack. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown his way 16 times over the last two weeks, and should have a lot more trust in him after a fine performance against the Browns.
Boykin is for real and must be owned in all types of fantasy leagues. He’s a good WR2 and a strong flex option.
Harry Douglas, Wide Receiver
Douglas is making the most of his increased role in the Atlanta Falcons offense with Roddy White sidelined because of an injury and elite receiver Julio Jones on injured reserve.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan targeted Douglas seven times on Sunday, resulting in seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown for the veteran receiver. His strong route-running skills and speed also make him a deep threat for Ryan.
Douglas is a legitimate WR2 in most fantasy leagues, especially in ones that use point-per-reception (PPR) scoring. He’s playing in an elite offense with a great quarterback on a team that needs to throw often because of its lack of a stable running game.
Roy Helu Jr. , Running Back
The Redskins used a hurry-up offense with great success in Sunday’s win over the Bears, and as a better pass-catcher and blocker than starting running back Alfred Morris, Roy Helu received plenty of playing time in this type of offensive set.
Helu’s three touchdowns from Sunday won’t be a weekly occurrence, but as a power back with impressive size and strength, he should still get all or most of the goal-line carries going forward. The 24-year-old running back is a high-end RB3 and a quality replacement for star players who miss time with injuries or have an upcoming bye week. He’s also a great flex option in deep, 12-16 team fantasy leagues.