Fantasy football owners are scrambling to the waiver wire before Week 8 begins after a few of the league's top stars went down with injuries on Sunday.
Jay Cutler being carted out if stadium now.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) October 20, 2013
Two Bears sources on Cutler injury: It could be bad. @nflnetwork— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 20, 2013
Houston Texans star running back Arian Foster left his game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter after carrying the ball just four times. He suffered a hamstring injury in the game, as noted by the team's Twitter account, and injuries like this tend to linger:
Arian Foster is out for the game with a hamstring injury. #TexansGameDay— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 20, 2013
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was also injured this Sunday. He hurt his shoulder during the game and was seen wearing a sling afterward, as noted by Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune:
Bucs RB Doug Martin had his left shoulder in a sling but said he doesn't think he suffered a shoulder separation. More tests due on Monday— Ira Kaufman (@IKaufmanTBO) October 20, 2013
These three injuries alone will cause plenty of consternation throughout fantasy land. All three players are key offensive weapons for their respective teams, and it will be tough to find replacements while they recover from their injuries.
Here are a few players you should consider for the job.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
Sure, most of Locker's 21 fantasy points came in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but he looked comfortable and played well throughout the contest.
Locker finished the game with 365 total yards and two touchdowns, picking up right where he left off before suffering the hip injury that kept him out of the lineup for the past three games.
For the season, Locker has thrown eight touchdowns while throwing just one interception. He's a viable starter for your fantasy team, and he's still available in over 97 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.
The Titans have Week 8 off, which means many owners won't likely want to pick up Locker this weekend. However, a wise owner will see the value in beating the crowd, as Tennessee's next two opponents—St. Louis and Jacksonville—provide Locker with some tasty matchups he'll exploit.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
For the third weekend in a row, Zac Stacy has produced at a high level for the St. Louis Rams.
Going against the always tough Carolina defense, Stacy totaled 87 yards and a touchdown in a losing cause, earning 14 points for his fantasy owners. Unbelievably, he's still available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was carted off the field on Sunday with a knee injury, and a source told Silver the team is 90 percent sure it's not good:
Two Rams sources say they are bracing for bad news on Bradford's knee. "90 percent sure it's not good" one says. Knee swollen, MRI tomorrow— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 20, 2013
With the injury, the Rams will have to rely even more on Stacy than they did before with Kellen Clemens behind center.
St. Louis returns home for Week 8, when the Seattle Seahawks come to town. Seattle features one of the league's top run defenses, but so did Carolina before Stacy's big game on Sunday.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Green Bay Packers
Many were cautious about pinning their fantasy football hopes on Jarrett Boykin before Week 7 against Cleveland. He only caught one pass on six targets last weekend and didn't look comfortable replacing Randall Cobb in the starting lineup.
Boykin is _____ for the Packers.
However, after the slot specialist led Green Bay's passing attack with eight receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Browns, it's clear he's a must-own, must-start player for your fantasy team.
Rodgers loves targeting his slot receivers. Cobb was one of the team's most heavily targeted receivers before he was injured, and Boykin was targeted three time more than any other Packers player on Sunday.
Heading into Week 7, Boykin was still available in more than 98 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. Rest assured, he won't last long on the waiver wire when it opens up in the middle of the week. Grab him while you can.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78