Fantasy football owners across the nation scrambled to the waiver wire on Tuesday with the news that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones would be out the rest of the season with a foot injury, as reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer:
Jones was one of the top fantasy receivers last year, and he'd been putting together a phenomenal run the past four games before getting injured against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
Replacing a player of his caliber won't be easy, but there are a few playmakers starting to look like legitimate fantasy stars.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
Keenan Allen struggled to adapt to the pro game early in the season and was relegated to bench-warming duties on most plays.
Since being thrust into the Chargers starting lineup two weeks ago after Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd went down with injuries, however, the rookie out of Cal has emerged as a go-to receiver for Philip Rivers on the perimeter.
Allen has caught 11 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown the past two weeks, and he was targeted 15 times in those contests.
Given the sad state of affairs for San Diego's defense this year (No. 29-ranked defense in the league), you can be sure Philip Rivers will be playing catch-up all year long, which will inflate his and his receivers' fantasy numbers.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin has watched the past couple of games from the sidelines while he dealt with a hamstring injury, and Terrance Williams has risen to the challenge of replacing him in the starting lineup.
Breaking out with seven catches against the Chargers in Week 5, Williams announced his viability as a potential fantasy starter. After he totaled 151 yards and a touchdown in Week 5, Williams made his case as a potential WR2 in deep leagues.
Austin could potentially return to the lineup in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, but Williams has earned more playing time, regardless.
Speaking of the Redskins, Washington's secondary is horrible, allowing 298.8 yards per game this year, meaning Tony Romo is going to have a monster game in Week 6, with Williams as one of his top weapons.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
Obviously, you're not going to get an apples-to-apples exchange if you pick up a running back, but owners who rely on a third receiver as their flex will be happy throwing Stacy into that spot and moving their flex receiver into Jones' spot in the lineup.
Stacy started in favor of Daryl Richardson last weekend and performed well. He rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game after he had the wind knocked out of him.
After the game, head coach Jeff Fisher confirmed that Stacy will likely continue to start for the Rams, as noted by the team on Twitter:
Though not a terribly fast running back, he has excellent vision and a quick burst through the hole. He looks like the long-term answer for the Rams at the running back position, and he has the potential to turn into a must-start running back after Week 6's game against the Houston Texans.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78