Danny Amendola: Best Fantasy Replacements for Injured Rams WR
The weekly waiver-wire scramble oftentimes leaves fantasy owners bereft when looking to replace injured stars, but that won't be the case for managers of St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola in Week 12.
Per the Rams' official Twitter account, Amendola is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals due to a nagging foot injury:
Friday injury report: LB Mario Haggan (elbow) is out this week. WR Danny Amendola is doubtful with a foot injury.— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) November 23, 2012
The St. Louis receiver has already missed time earlier this year due to a collarbone injury, so this isn't exactly a new thing for Amendola owners. Fortunately, while the cupboards were mostly bare during Amendola's initial absence, there are a stable of solid options on the waiver wire for this Sunday in his stead.
With that in mind, here is a look at the best fantasy replacements for the Rams star in Week 12.
Danario Alexander (San Diego Chargers)
The fact that Alexander is owned in just 25.3 percent of ESPN leagues may be the most baffling fantasy stat of the 2012 season.
The third-year deep threat has been sensational of late, as his role in the Chargers offense has expanded each week. Now starting opposite Malcom Floyd at wide receiver, Alexander was in on 63 of San Diego's 69 offensive snaps, good for a 91 percent rate.
Alexander's prominence has also shown up in the stat sheet in a big way. Facing off against a tough Denver Broncos defense, Alexander caught seven passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. His solid performance against Denver gives Alexander 15 receptions, 291 yards and three touchdowns over the past three weeks.
Perhaps most importantly, Alexander has proven he has value outside of the deep ball, as his long reception was just 21 yards last week.
However, Alexander's ascent should not come as a surprise. Health, not talent, has always been the question with Alexander. He was a fantastic deep threat during his time with the St. Louis Rams, but missed 14 games in his first two seasons.
As long as he's in the lineup, Alexander should be owned in all formats. And with a solid matchup against the Baltimore Ravens coming on Sunday, he should be in line for another huge performance.
Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Chad Henne's brilliant performance last week in place of Blaine Gabbert led to a massive uptick in production from Jaguars receivers. Justin Blackmon had a career-best day and Shorts continued his quiet ascent into an every-week flex start for fantasy owners.
Shorts had three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Houston Texans, connecting on a 67-yard score from Henne.
That touchdown gave Shorts his third touchdown in the past five weeks and he's scored more than 10 fantasy points in four of those contests.
With Henne now taking the reins as a full-time starter, there's no reason to think Shorts' play will taper off. Henne is certainly not a future Pro Bowler or anything, but it would be pretty hard for him to be worse than Gabbert.
Jacksonville hosts the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, a team that comes into Week 12 with the No. 26 pass defense in the NFL. Considering Shorts is still available in more than half of ESPN leagues, scoop him up and put him in the lineup, as another strong day should be in store.
Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oakland Raiders)
Heyward-Bey is owned in 69.1 percent of ESPN leagues, but that figure should be around 31.9 percent higher.
Despite a nagging hamstring injury last week, the Raiders wideout still managed to put together four catches for 69 yards against the New Orleans Saints. That performance gave Heyward-Bey his fourth game in his past five with more than 65 yards through the air.
With a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals in store for Sunday, Heyward-Bey should continue to have value. The Bengals are a middling pass defense, giving up 228.3 yards through the air per game.
Still, Heyward-Bey's value mostly comes from circumstance.
Oakland has been falling behind early in games of late, leaving the team no choice but to pass the ball 40-plus times. Quarterback Carson Palmer has hit the 40 mark in four of the Raiders' past five games, vaulting himself among the NFL's leaders in passing yards.
Cincinnati is coming off two dominating wins in a row, so there's little reason to think Palmer won't be attempting a plethora of passes in Week 12. Heyward-Bey should catch a few and get into the end zone at least once.
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