If your fantasy team is 2-3 (or maybe even 1-4), you might have caught some bad breaks this season. But chances are, if it’s 1-4 or 0-5, some drastic changes need to be made. It’s time to stop blindly starting Chris Johnson every week.
He’s got one 100-yard game. He’s got one 25-yard game.
It’s time to ditch Jacquizz Rodgers if you’re not a Michael Turner owner. Turner continues to get it done and keep Rodgers at bay.
It’s time to ditch plenty of other preseason sleepers who haven’t lived up to expectations in the early parts of this season in favor of guys that have shown more promise going forward.
It’s time to look hard at adding some of the following guys to your bench—and if you’re a dire situation, perhaps even your starting lineup in the near future.
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
This is not a joke. Weeden’s negative-two fantasy points in Week 1 set him up to be a punch line in the early part of the season, even leading some to speculate that the Browns might go after another quarterback in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.
But the Browns have been in some games this year.
Weeden has thrown for at least 291 yards in three of the Browns’ five games this season, making him an interesting bye-week replacement. He just needs his receivers to stop dropping the football.
His next month of games are against two teams that he’s already thrown for over 300 yards against (Baltimore and Cincinnati) and two defenses that don’t scare a whole lot of people (Indianapolis and San Diego).
If you’re truly desperate, also consider: Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs
William Powell, Arizona Cardinals
Powell might be the NFL’s newest starting running back with the news out of Arizona. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports that Ryan Williams will miss the rest of this season.
The Cardinals will line up against the Buffalo Bills, who have been shredded in the ground game, in Week 6.
Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
Green was the guy whose number was called when Cedric Benson went down with a foot injury against the Colts. Benson remains positive about his prospects but he can’t go in Week 6, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Green should get the start for the Packers.
He had 55 yards on nine carries and one catch for eight yards on one target.
David Wilson, New York Giants
Just a couple of short weeks after his breakout performance against the Carolina Panthers, Andre Brown was unfortunately concussed in Week 5.
The Giants drafted Wilson in the first round and gave him the first shot at backing up Ahmad Bradshaw, but he fumbled it away. With a second opportunity in last week’s game, Wilson took a carry 40 yards to the house.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Why isn’t he owned more?
Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
Kenny Britt continues to work his way back from injuries and while he does, Wright is the receiver in Tennessee that is getting the targets. He had nine grabs for 66 yards on 11 looks in Week 5.
Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati Bengals
Hawkins saw as many targets (13) as A.J. Green did against the Dolphins. He only caught five for 47 yards, confirming that he is in fact not A.J. Green, but the amount of opportunities he’s getting should put him on your fantasy radar.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
The box score will tell you Gordon might be a fluke performer after he caught two balls for two touchdowns (and 82 yards) while other Browns receivers missed the game.
He probably won’t reach 20 fantasy points again this season, but he’s still worth an addition because he had eight targets in Week 5. If that keeps up, then maybe he will hit another 20-point game at some point this year.
You just won’t know when it will be.
Devery Henderson, New Orleans Saints
As long as Lance Moore is out, Henderson is going to get more looks. With Jimmy Graham also out of most of the game (or, at least, the game plan) in Week 5 after getting hurt himself, Henderson saw 10 targets from Drew Brees.
He caught eight for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Saints will be on a bye in Week 6, so it’s best not to use your waiver priority on Henderson. He’ll be worth a free agent pickup if the Saints offense is short-handed in Week 7.
Jordan Norwood, Cleveland Browns
Norwood had nine targets from Brandon Weeden on Sunday and, unlike a certain other Browns receiver that I won’t name, he caught all of them.
He turned those grabs into 81 yards. He also gained one yard on one carry.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
If Andrew Luck is going to chuck the football as much and as well as he did against the Packers, Hilton’s going to have a few nice games before his rookie year is over.
Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
In deeper leagues, Housler is worth a fantasy addition as long as Todd Heap remains out of the lineup. He’s topped 40 yards in each of the last two games and showed an ability to make plays in the open field, trucking DBs in his Thursday night appearance against the St. Louis Rams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST
The Bucs will come off a bye to face the Kansas City Chiefs at home in Week 6. The run is what the Chiefs do well, and stopping the run is the Bucs’ more redeeming defensive quality.
Kansas City’s offense has also turned the ball over at least three times a game and given up two defensive touchdowns this season.
Miami Dolphins D/ST
The Dolphins have had success on the road, forcing multiple turnovers in two straight weeks away from home. They’ll be back at home in Week 6 against a St. Louis Rams offense whose best weapon thus far has been its kicker.
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