Fantasy football options to replace injured, ineffective players

Josh Rouse / Washburn Review

After the fiasco that was Week 1 for many fantasy owners, I’d first like to offer my apologies for suggesting last week to pick up Sam Bradford to replace Peyton Manning. I had no way of knowing he’d get injured. However, for those of you who took my advice and picked up Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler or Chad Henne, you’re welcome.

The first week of football brought a lot of injuries to big name players, including Bradford, Steven Jackson, Eric Berry and Nate Kaeding.

For Week 2, there are a few players I would focus my efforts on acquiring.

TE Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills–For those who picked up Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook, I still think he will have a good year despite bad numbers early on. However, Chandler has quickly become a favorite target of Ryan Fitzpatrick this season and has shown early that he has great hands in the redzone, an area where Buffalo has looked to improve since last season. Not only is he a great target in the endzone, he also packs on the yardage and was the most targeted receiver in Week 1 for the Bills. If you have the space, bench Cook for now. If not, drop Cook and grab this guy. You’ll be glad you did.

RB Carnell Williams, St. Louis Rams–Word out of St. Louis is that Steven Jackson will not be playing Monday night, so the best replacement would naturally be his backup. Williams ran for 91 yards in Jackson’s absence and had six receptions for 49 yards, showing he can put up a lot of fantasy points. Even if you don’t have Jackson and need a quality running back next week, expect him to put up at least 20 points this week.

RB Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers–He had three touchdowns against a Minnesota Vikings defense that is built to stop the running back. I understand that Ryan Matthews is the “starting” running back, but the fact is they share the carries 50-50 and Tolbert is a huge player in the passing game, he had nine receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. He is the goal line back and so the majority of the rushing touchdowns will go to him. If he’s still available, get him.

WR Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions–Matthew Stafford has shown that he is a good quarterback when he is healthy. Receiver Calvin Johnson is his No. 1 guy, but Stafford likes to move the ball around and the second best option on this squad is Burleson. He was targeted often (five receptions, 60 yards) and will get some touchdowns this season. Worth picking up if you are in desperate need of a receiver.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills–I’ve been preaching about this guy since last year, and I won’t stop now. Fitzpatrick had a huge game Sunday against the Chiefs and should do just as good this week against the Raiders. He is consistent, is very intelligent (he is a Harvard grad) and most importantly, he makes his teammates better. Stevie Johnson was unknown last year, and Chandler was unknown until the Chiefs game. Both will continue to have success in this dynamic passing game and receive help from a great core of running backs. Fitzpatrick is also a better option this week than Cam Newton, who after a big game against an iffy Cardinals secondary, will now have to face a defense that led Green Bay to a Super Bowl victory last year. He’s not likely to have a repeat performance this week, though he might be impressive later on.