Week 4 Fantasy Football: 7 Free Agents to Target in Place of Injured Players

Joe Goldman@@bossgoldmanCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2012

Week 4 Fantasy Football: 7 Free Agents to Target in Place of Injured Players

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    Week 3 was definitely rough for tons of fantasy football owners out there, as several big-time performers went down with injuries and could miss significant time on the field. 

    Fortunately, there are plenty of replacement options available. The free-agent pool is chock-full of players who can step in and perform for your team on the spot.  

    If you need a replacement for Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Reggie Bush, Pierre Garcon or Austin Collie, here's whom you should target this week.  

Tashard Choice

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    If you lost fantasy monster C.J. Spiller this week, look no further than Spiller's backup in Buffalo.

    Tashard Choice deserves an add.

    With Spiller out for a while, Choice will likely split carries with Fred Jackson. With the Bills' weak passing attack, there should be enough carries to go around even if Jackson plays this week. 

    More importantly, if Fred Jackson decides he's not ready to go, you've pretty much won the lottery with Choice.

    He would likely post at least 80 yards rushing, possibly more, considering how fresh and explosive he could be having so much rest under his belt.

    Choice is a nice add for anyone in search of some guaranteed rushing production.

Daniel Thomas

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    Reggie Bush went down with a knee injury on Sunday against the Jets, and, luckily for Bush, recent reports claim that the injury is not serious.

    However, the Dolphins will either sit Bush on Sunday or drastically limit his carries. The major beneficiary will be backup RB Daniel Thomas.  

    Thomas posted 69 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Jets this week. These aren't mind-blowing fantasy numbers, but Thomas should be able to post even more points this week against the Cardinals.

    Arizona gives up more than 100 rushing yards per game, so expect a big performance out of Thomas. 

Mikel Leshoure

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    To replace either Spiller or Bush, Mikel Leshoure is the catch of the week.

    After missing all of last season and serving a two-game suspension this year, Leshoure exploded in his return to action with 100 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Titans.

    Most importantly, he racked up 26 carriers—a sign of things to come. With Matt Stafford possibly out this week, expect another heavy dose of Leshoure.

    For those of you who are lucky enough to play in leagues where he cleared waivers, grab Leshoure even before you finish this article.

Ryan Williams

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    The talk out of Arizona this week has been all about Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals' miracle 3-0 start.

    Flying under the radar is Ryan Williams, who is slowly emerging as Arizona's unquestioned No. 1 back.

    Williams carried the ball 13 times for 83 yards, and with Beanie Wells reportedly out until November, he should rack up 15-20 carries per game for the next 5-6 weeks.

    With a dramatically increased workload, Williams is a must-add if you lost one of your RBs to injury this past week. 

Shaun Hill

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    Of all the Week 3 injuries, Matthew Stafford is unquestionably the biggest loss for fantasy owners.

    The 5,000-yard passer went down with a leg injury, and his status for Sunday remains a huge mystery.

    If Stafford misses this week's game against the Vikings, backup QB Shaun Hill could be in line for a big game. In less than a half against the Titans, Hill put up 172 yards and 2 TDs.

    Granted, a big chunk of his yardage came from a Hail Mary, but Hill nonetheless looked efficient under center against the Titans.

    While Hill should have a good game, keep in mind that he is a backup and, therefore, is only a good start in deep or multi-quarterback leagues.

    Don't start him over anyone proven.

Damaris Johnson

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    With both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson battling injuries, Philadelphia's Damaris Johnson stands the most to gain.

    Maclin missed Sunday's game, which led Michael Vick to target Johnson 11 times. Johnson had five catches for 84 yards.

    As long as Maclin is hurt and Jackson is banged up, Johnson has tremendous value. If you're hurting at WR, don't hesitate to pick him up or even start him in Week 4.

T.Y. Hilton

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    Andrew Luck is compiling huge passing yardage for the Colts, and T.Y. Hilton is quickly emerging as one of his favorite deep threats.

    Hilton was targeted eight times and grabbed four balls for 113 yards and a score.

    If that's not enough to warrant an add, Austin Collie is now lost for the season with a knee injury.

    If you owned Collie or are just looking for some WR depth, Hilton stands to reap the benefits of Luck's passing skills and Collie's injury.