Brandon Gibson: Why Danny Amendola's Injury Makes Rams WR a Must-Own

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16:  Wide receiver Brandon Gibson #11 of the St. Louis Rams scores a touchdown as strong safety DeJon Gomes #24 of the Washington Redskins defends during the game at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

While breakout star Danny Amendola's shoulder injury is an unfortunate happenstance that may crush the St. Louis Rams' playoff chances, it will likely be a godsend for those desperately scouring the fantasy waiver wire looking for a wide receiver.

The man who could (and should) become a savior to those receiver-needy teams is fellow Rams starter Brandon Gibson, who looks destined to take over top billing with Amendola indisposed.

Though initially expected to be worse, Amendola simply dislocated his collarbone (which is far better than an actual broken bone) and is expected to miss six or seven weeks, according to Adam Caplan.

For the Rams, that is a bit of nice news in a bad situation. Amendola won't be out for the rest of the season, meaning he could come back if St. Louis makes an unforeseen playoff push.

However, for Amendola's fantasy owners, the length of his absence essentially nullifies his use for ownership.

Luckily for those exasperated by the loss of St. Louis' breakout star, Gibson should suffice and have almost the exact same value as Amendola did going forward. 

While Gibson's three catches for 33 yards are certainly nothing to write home about, those numbers look far better when considering Sam Bradford completed just seven passes on Thursday.

What also makes Gibson stick out as a possible breakout star for the Rams is his similarities to Amendola. Both are great route-runners with middling top-end speed who are best served by using their shiftiness to create openings underneath. 

Even their body types are relatively similar. Gibson is more filled out at 205 pounds, but neither is a particularly marvelous physical specimen. 

Granted, simply because someone has a similar build and plays a similar style does not make them automatic equals. After all, Julian Edelman never exactly turned into Wes Welker in New England.

Nevertheless, Gibson has a track record of relative success that should excite fantasy owners. In 2010, the Rams wideout grabbed 53 passes for 630 yards and served as a solid second-tier option for Bradford.

Last season saw Gibson fade into the background with Brandon Lloyd in the picture, but there is quite literally no one in place to steal his spotlight in 2012.

Chris Givens has caught two deep balls in as many weeks, but his value seems strictly limited to using his fantastic bursts of speed to get open downfield. Austin Pettis seems like the most likely option to start in Amendola's place and is great in zone coverage, but he has an extremely limited track record.

Ostensibly, that leaves Gibson to take over Amendola's role and serve as Bradford's safety valve.

If your expectations are for a solid flex player or No. 2 receiver in deep PPR leagues, there is no better option available than Gibson. 

Grab him and feel free to deploy him in any league in Week 6 when the Rams face off against a paltry Miami Dolphins secondary.