Just when it seems like the waiver wire in your fantasy football league is totally dried up, injuries strike and unexpected players step up. That has certainly been the case over the past week, and it should make for a very interesting couple of days as owners vie for fantasy free agents that could quickly become fantasy stars.
Even though it may not be possible to find an elite contributor at this point in the season, you never know. There are some big-time opportunities available for players who were formerly blocked on the depth chart, and they will obviously do everything in their power to take advantage of the situation.
Here is a complete breakdown of three players who are likely available in your fantasy football league right now but shouldn't be by the time play begins in Week 6.
WR Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons slot receiver Harry Douglas has very much been a supporting player in the Atlanta offense since entering the league in 2008, as he has yet to break 498 receiving yards in a season. Douglas also has just four career receiving touchdowns to his credit, and he has never had more than one in a season.
Those statistics may make owners skeptical with regard to his fantasy value, but there is plenty to like about him right now.
The Falcons are having an awful season with a record of 1-4, and things got worse on Monday night. Not only did Atlanta lose to the New York Jets at home, but top receiver Julio Jones injured his foot. While the Falcons have yet to make it official, NFL Network's Jeff Darlington is reporting that it is quite possible Jones will miss the rest of the season:
Julio Jones scheduled to get the 2nd opinion on foot tomorrow -- but that's clinging to hope. "Legitimate concern" he's done, source says.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) October 8, 2013
That would be a major blow to the Falcons, but life goes on in the NFL and in fantasy football.
Every Jones owner should jump immediately on Douglas as his workload will increase significantly, especially with Roddy White already struggling through a high-ankle sprain and a hamstring injury.
Even though the Falcons are on a bye in Week 6, it would be wise to add Douglas immediately, as others are likely taking a long look at him. He's currently owned in just 2.8 percent of ESPN.com leagues, but that number promises to increase significantly.
TE Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
Which waiver-wire option will have the biggest impact moving forward?
The tight end position has been an enigma wrapped in a riddle this season, as owners have essentially had to pick their poison on a weekly basis with the exception of a few dominant players.
Pretty much any tight end can have a great game or a horrible game from one week to the next, so there has been plenty of waiver-wire activity in regards to this position.
One tight end who is likely still available in your league is Garrett Graham of the Houston Texans, but he may not be for much longer.
Graham's output this season has been modest, and he hasn't had more than five catches or 69 yards in a single game. However, he has been a favorite target of quarterback Matt Schaub's near the end zone, as Graham has three touchdown receptions through five games, and he should be even more productive with more playing time.
That is now inevitable, as Texans starting tight end Owen Daniels is expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks with an injury, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com:
Owen Daniels' injury is a non-displaced fibula fracture. That is likely to keep him out 4-6 weeks. Tough blow for #Texans.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 8, 2013
While Graham may not be an explosive player who is going to break 100 yards in a game like the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham, he is a sure-handed guy who Schaub clearly trusts.
The Texans also have a pretty good matchup against the St. Louis Rams in Week 6, but it doesn't really matter who they play, because Schaub likes to use his tight ends as much as any quarterback in the league.
WR Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
Despite the Dallas Cowboys' struggles as a team over the past few seasons, the team's offense has never been the problem.
From a fantasy standpoint, quarterback Tony Romo is one of the best in the game, and he utilizes all of his weapons quite effectively.
A new toy that he has discovered over the past couple weeks is rookie wideout Terrance Williams. Williams made his first major impact two weeks ago with seven catches against the San Diego Chargers, but he truly broke out in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos.
Romo threw for more than 500 yards in that game, and Williams was a big reason for that. He made the most of his four catches, as he racked up 151 yards and a score. The Baylor product emerged as a great complement to Dez Bryant, and he could very well supplant Miles Austin as the No. 2 receiver, even when Austin returns from the hamstring injury that is currently plaguing him.
According to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Pro Football Focus has found that Williams is the NFL's most-efficient pass catcher this season:
According to @PFF, Terrance Williams leads all NFL WRs in "percentage caught." He's caught 84.2% of the passes thrown in his direction.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 9, 2013
That stat suggests that Williams is doing a lot with a little, but his targets should increase significantly moving forward. Not only does he now appear to be comfortable in the offense, but Romo seems to trust him as well.
Over the next four weeks, the Cowboys face three miserable pass defenses in the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, so Williams should be added without hesitation.
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