In what is probably a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners, it was revealed on Tuesday that Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will miss the rest of the season.
The news came from ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Eagles WR DeSean Jackson has been placed on IR with fractured ribs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 27, 2012
Jackson had been the epitome of fantasy purgatory this year.
He was too good to drop or, in most leagues, bench, but was way too inconsistent—63.6 yards per game, but just two games over 100 and only two touchdowns—to rely on.
You never want to root for an injury, but you are now free to part ways with the mediocre—especially with Michael Vick out of the lineup—fantasy play. Let's take a look at who you can replace him with if your bench isn't suited to do the job.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
I'll be brief here, for as long as you aren't playing with kittens (although that would be really cute), Shorts is probably already taken in your league.
But I felt like he needed mentioning, as his 61 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues should be closer to being all about the Benjamins (ahem, 100).
Over Shorts' last six games, he's tallied 100 yards in three of them and a touchdown in four of them. He's produced double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues five out of those six games and hasn't missed a beat with Chad Henne and Coke under center.
It's time to Salute Your Shorts.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Don't look now, but the big-play rookie has put together three ginormous performances in the last four weeks.
Against Miami in Week 9, he pulled in 102 yards and a score. Against New England in Week 11, he tallied another 100 yards and another two touchdowns. Last week, he only went for 33 yards, but scored twice, including once via punt return.
The Colts are going to continue to let Andrew Luck bomb away (449 pass attempts already), and it's becoming clear that Hilton is turning into one of his favorite weapons. Not only is the youngster a threat to reach the end zone every time he touches the ball, but he's going to continue to get plenty of targets.
As of now, the talented rookie is owned in just 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Now should be your last chance to check in to the Hilton.
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins
Has there ever been a more productive wide receiver go further under the radar?
Who will rank highest over the final weeks of the season?
After his seven-catch, 129-yard performance against the Adderall-infused secondary of the Seattle Seahawks, Bess now has 55 catches on 91 targets for 715 yards and one touchdown.
Yes, more touchdown dances would be nice, but the fifth-year receiver is on pace for 132 targets, 80 catches and 1,037 yards, not to mention those numbers should probably be higher considering two of his three biggest fantasy games have come in the past two weeks.
Rookie Ryan Tannehill, who continues to get better by the week, is clearly most comfortable with the Lock Bess Monster, as Brian Hartline has disappeared over the past two Sundays.
In PPR leagues, the dynamic slot receiver, who is owned in just 28 percent of Yahoo! leagues, is going to be an elite play for the rest of the year.