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Jerricho Cotchery's Instant Fantasy Reaction After Emmanuel Sanders' Injury

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts as he scores a thouchdown during the NFL International Series game between Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium on September 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

With one injury, Jerricho Cotchery has transformed from a touchdown thief to a legitimate fantasy option going forward.

In the first half of their Week 11 game against the Detroit Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost a key part of the offense. Burt Lauten of reported that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was out for the remainder of the game with a foot injury:

While Antonio Brown remains the go-to option in the offense, Cotchery quickly gets a boost as a secondary target for Ben Roethlisberger.    

The veteran has scored four times in the past two games for the Steelers, despite the fact that only 14 passes went his way in a three-week stretch. Meanwhile, Sanders was targeted 28 times in those same three games and was clearly the better option all over the field.

Cotchery also found the end zone in Pittsburgh's win over Detroit, with three receptions for 48 yards.

However, if Sanders is now out for a significant amount of time, Cotchery will take away a great deal of these targets. Considering he already has the trust of his quarterback, this should lead to a lot of success going forward.

Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery
Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho CotcheryJared Wickerham/Getty Images

The only possible factor to watch out for is the utilization of rookie receiver Markus Wheaton. The third-round pick out of Oregon State has a lot of talent, but he only entered the game with three catches all season, as he's been battling a broken finger.

He added three more early in the game against the Lions.

Still, Cotchery should remain the better option from a fantasy perspective until Wheaton proves more consistency. This makes him someone who should be picked up and started as a WR3 or flex by owners who are in need of a receiver. 


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