Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Marshawn Lynch, Arian Foster, Jonathan Stewart and Adrian Peterson are all game-time decisions for their Sunday games. Owners of these players are already being reminded that fantasy football can be brutal.
If Stewart misses the season opener against a dream matchup in Tampa Bay, DeAngelo Williams becomes an absolute must-start. Stewart owners likely had him penciled in their flex, so finding a suitable WR or RB option to fill in off of your own bench is surely the way to go here.
Peterson owners knew, when drafting AP at a major discount, that he was only nine months off an ACL tear. These owners should have already formulated some sort of backup plan, preferably that of rostering his handcuff in Toby Gerhart.
I would start Gerhart over Peterson this week even if both players go. Out of the four players mentioned above, Peterson is the least likely to suit up on Sunday.
Lynch is struggling with the same back spasms that plagued him last season, and he has been sidelined with the condition since Week 2 of the 2012 preseason. Savvy owners of Lynch should have either drafted or picked up off waivers his rookie backup, Robert Turbin.
If you did not, this leaves you in a bit of a pickle because you will have to wait until the afternoon games to know for sure if Lynch will be playing. I believe he will play, but if he does not, starting Turbin against the Cardinals is your best plan.
If you do not own Turbin, I would target the following players from the afternoon and Sunday/Monday night games on my waiver wire as insurance.
Note: I am assuming that Lynch is your RB1 or RB2, which would allow most to move their RB3 from the flex position into one of the starting RB positions vacated by Lynch, leaving open a flex spot that could be filled with either a WR or an RB. If you already have a receiver in the flex, you will have to go with a shaky RB option to fill in for Lynch, obviously.
1) Ronnie Brown, RB Chargers (owned in 27% of Yahoo! leagues)
2) Jonathan Dwyer, RB Steelers (owned in 16% of Yahoo! leagues)
3) Rod Streater, WR Raiders (owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues)
4) Brandon LaFell, WR Panthers (owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues)
5) Mike Tolbert, RB Panthers (owned in 18% of Yahoo! leagues)
Arian Foster is now a vegan, and he told RosterWatch at Texans camp that the diet switch has most helped his recovery.
Maybe he should go back to steaks and burgers. All of the sudden, fantasy's crown jewel is looking shaky. Some Foster owners are now glad that they reached for his handcuff in Ben Tate, while others are cursing themselves for having not.
I have the following bits of advice for Foster owners:
1) I believe Foster will play.
2) If you own Ben Tate and can start two RBs and a flex, I would seriously consider starting both Tate and Foster this week if Foster does play.
Tate racked up 135 total yards against the Dolphins early last season, and we could be looking at an increased workload to keep the bulk of the punishment off of Foster's nagging knee-area soreness, especially once the Texans go up big and need to run out the clock.
3) DO NOT accept any bad deals out of desperation to acquire Ben Tate at the last minute. The Tate owner in your league drafted him to price-gouge you in this exact situation.
He knows that Tate means more to you than he does to him. That puts him the position of strength, and you should never deal from a position of weakness when making fantasy football trades.