Week 7 Fantasy Pickups: Best Adds to Replace Injured NFL Stars
Injuries are a regular part of the fantasy football season. Every year, players go down with injuries and fantasy owners first go through the pain of losing said player that they've grown attached to, then flounder to find their replacement.
Fortunately, there are players still available in many leagues that are either stepping up or returning to their former fantasy stud numbers.
This isn't the list where you're going to find players like Percy Harvin, who you might be able to stash away, but rather players who will get you more immediate points.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Has Sam Bradford lit the NFL on fire this season? No, but he has been a decent fantasy quarterback for much of the season. In standard leagues, Bradford has gone for 20 or more points in four of six games thus far and passed for two or more touchdowns in all of his team's contests.
Bradford also faces a Carolina Panthers defense that is No. 4 in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, so expect to see Bradford air it out.
Lastly, as ESPN points out, Bradford ranks in the top five in passing touchdowns this season:
NFL QB leaders: (TD passes) 1 Peyton Manning 22 2 Tony Romo 14 3 Drew Brees 14 4 Philip Rivers 14 5 Sam Bradford 13— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 16, 2013
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
This might not be a permanent fix for some quarterback injuries, but for owners who are awaiting the return of Michael Vick, Foles looks like a great option and might be taking over his job.
Foles passed for 296 yards and registered four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While those numbers will not likely continue, the Eagles do face the Dallas Cowboys, who have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
Who predicted Brandon Jacobs breaking out against the Chicago Bears? That's right, nobody.
The man who was signed off the street after sitting out the entire season is now a running back that has to be given consideration—regardless of whether or not you have David Wilson or Steven Jackson still on your bench.
Against the Bears, Jacobs had the best performance of the season for a Giants running back and will likely have another big week against the Minnesota Vikings, who have been trounced by fantasy backs to the tune of 23 points per week.
That's the most in the league.
Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
Unlike quarterbacks, running backs are a lot tougher to predict. Tolbert has been steadily improving all season and finally had his breakout performance last week against the aforementioned Vikings.
While that may not seem like a beacon of hope for fantasy owners, this week he faces the lowly Rams, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to RBs behind the Vikes.
Tolbert's inconsistency might steer some owners away, but with a good matchup, he might be one to watch.
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
Breaking news: Miles Austin is not the fantasy stud he used to be. Just kidding, most fantasy owners already knew this by now.
With Austin on the shelf, Williams has stepped up to the tune of two straight weeks with touchdowns and a 23-point fantasy performance against the Denver Broncos.
Austin is now listed as probable, but ESPN's Adam Caplan suggested that Williams' performances in Austin's absence may have won him the job for weeks to come:
#Cowboys rookie WR Terrance Williams continues to improve each week. Beginning to make veteran WR Miles Austin obsolete.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) October 14, 2013
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Those owners suffering from the loss of Julio Jones probably already know about Douglas, but those who haven't heard about the Falcons' new starting wide receiver might want to snatch him up before someone else does.
With Jones out, Douglas will be asked to take on a much bigger role for the rest of the season. It'll be even bigger this weekend, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Wednesday that Roddy White did not practice and is unlikely to play.
After taking a bye week, the Falcons play the Buccaneers, who—despite being the 18th-ranked team in wide receiver points allowed—just allowed Foles to post his best start of the season.
Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins
Who would you likely pick up to replace a star?
Getting sick of waiting for Rob Gronkowski? How about trying out one of the most consistent tight ends in the league? Dolphins TE Charles Clay has put up double-digit points in four out of five games this year and has touchdowns in his last two contests.
While Joseph Fauria looks enticing after catching three touchdown passes—not to mention those sweet dance moves—Clay is a steady tight end who is much more than just a goal-line threat for the Dolphins.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph finally enjoyed a return to glory after a rough start to the season and now might just have a quarterback in Josh Freeman who has something to prove as a signal-caller.
Rudolph caught nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers and has favorable matchups over the next three weeks against the New York Giants (sixth-most points allowed to tight ends), Green Bay Packers (fifth-most) and Dallas Cowboys (third-most).
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