Titus Young: Nate Burleson's Injury Makes WR Must-Have in Fantasy

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 23, 2012

May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receivers Nate Burleson (13) and Titus Young (16) during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The time is now to run—not walk—to pick up Titus Young in your fantasy league.

The second-year wide receiver has a good chance of entering the Detroit Lions starting lineup with the news of Nate Burleson's injury (via ESPN's Scott Powers):

Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson broke his right leg during Monday's game against the Chicago Bears and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Lions coach Jim Schwartz.

Burleson will need surgery and will eight months of recovery time, the Detroit Free Press reports.

This is rough news for Lions fans, as Burleson was a leader and a captain, but fantasy owners in need of a wide receiver now have a prime opportunity to boost their squad.

Young was a popular sleeper pick coming into this season, but after four games with two catches or less and zero scores (Young did manage 75 yards and a score in Week 4), most owners lost patience. His ownership has dropped to 51.2 percent in ESPN leagues, although that takes into account non-active leagues and leagues without waivers where he's already been added this week. 

It's never right to cheer an injury (hi, Chiefs fans), but Burleson's reported absence opens up a prime opportunity for Young to save his season.

The former Boise State star, who racked up 607 yards and six scores during an impressive rookie season, was dominant after Burleson left the game on Monday night.

In just under two quarters, Young saw six targets and pulled in five of those for 72 yards. For the game, he caught six of his eight targets for 81 yards. For all you non-math majors out there, that's nine yards for Young with Burleson in the lineup and eight-times that number with him out of it.

In a pass-happy offense—no matter how much it has struggled—Young is going to see a lot of looks opposite Calvin Johnson, who tends to somehow draw 12 defenders on most plays. 

To a lesser extent, rookie Ryan Broyles, who pulled in three catches for 51 yards and a score after Burleson's departure, deserves a look in larger leagues. 

If you have room for both young wide receivers with oozing potential, grab them both and play the wait-and-see approach. For now, though, Titus Young is a good candidate to be a second-half fantasy All-Star.