Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Mike Kafka and 4 Players to Replace Injured Stars
Ugh. What an ugly week for fantasy owners.
Injuries threw a wrench into the plans of owners that drafted big names like Michael Vick and Jamaal Charles, and now they have the difficult duty of undoing that massive dent.
For the truly ambitious fantasy owners, this is an opportunity to show what they're truly made of. Options are available to replace fallen stars, and making the best decisions of who to add on the waiver wire can ultimately win leagues.
But for the owners that are left flailing around in desperation, fear not. Here are some options to keep you afloat.
Mike Kafka, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
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According to what now seems like every fantasy analyst on the planet, it was only a matter of time before Michael Vick went down.
More annoyingly for the owners who drafted him (me), he suffered a concussion, which never provides a set timetable for return. Owners can't really risk dropping one of the most dynamic players in the league, but what could be blind hope for a timely return will occupy a precious bench spot.
In the meantime, make some room and pick up Mike Kafka.
Andy Reid is high on the Northwestern product, and Vince Young's hamstring injury provides Kafka with a valuable opportunity to prove himself. He encouraged his coaching staff with a strong preseason outing, and with endless weapons on offense, Kafka could light up fantasy scoreboards.
Dexter McCluster, Running Back/Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
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Before fantasy owners rush to add Thomas Jones, Dexter McCluster deserves just as much consideration, especially in PPR (points per reception) leagues..
McCluster's small build doesn't suggest that he will receive a massive workload in Todd Haley's backfield, but he has the speed and dynamic ability to make the most of his touches.
Jones, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He is one of the least elusive backs in the league, but inexplicably takes plenty of handoffs in Kansas City. It's a situation where opportunity could supersede talent level.
But as far as upside in concerned, McCluster has plenty more to offer. In ESPN leagues, he has eligibility as a wide receiver as well as a running back and could add an interesting twist to anyone's lineup.
Ben Tate, Running Back, Houston Texans
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Every competent fantasy owner should know the upside of Ben Tate by now, but he remains available in over a third of ESPN's fantasy leagues.
Arian Foster is coming back from a hamstring injury, but Tate's strong performances give the Houston coaching staff even less of a reason to rush Foster back into action.
Case in point, the Texans removed Foster as a precaution during Week 2's matchup against the Miami Dolphins, and Tate cruised to a 103-yard performance. Hamstring injuries are difficult to shake, and until Foster is completely healthy, Tate will be the guy.
DeMarco Murray, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
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Former sleeper Felix Jones suffered a shoulder separation in Week 2 and could miss significant time.
As a result, the backfield appears to be split 50/50 between rookie DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice. After Jones' injury, both backs got seven touches with Choice having the slight edge in total yardage, 29-27.
For now though, I'm leaning toward Murray over Choice. Choice has had injury problems of his own, and overcoming a bad knee may not be enough to overtake Murray's fresh legs going forward.
Jason Garrett and company know what they have in Choice and should be eager to find out what they got in this year's draft with Murray.
Fred Davis, Tight End, Washington Redskins
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What would you say if I told you that a tight end with 11 catches, 191 yards and a touchdown over two weeks was available in 85 percent of ESPN leagues?
Hopefully, you wouldn't say much and would just add Fred Davis.
Yes, Chris Cooley is on the field, but he had zero catches in Week 2 and could still be feeling lingering effects of a knee injury. Cooley is not likely to disappear like this in the offense often, but Davis' performances force the Shanahan coaches to keep feeding him the ball.
So far, Davis has developed a rapport with quarterback Rex Grossman and could see many huge games going forward if his fellow receivers such as Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong continue to stretch the field.