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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Injuries Open the Door for Backups in Week 3

It is always hard for fantasy owners whose teams start the season 0-2. Still, as bad as it feels, between 10 and 13 games are remaining depending on your league, so don’t be too discouraged. There is still a good chance for the playoffs, and a good free agent pick up or trade can boost your team’s performance whether you stand at 0-2, or 2-0. There were some injuries in Week 3 which will give an opportunity for the backups to rack up some points this week.

Recommended pickups for Week 3:

  1. Brown, Andre (Running Back, NYG) – Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t practice on Tuesday and is still suffering from a neck injury. There is a chance Bradshaw can come back if the game is on Sunday or Monday, but since the Giants are facing the Panthers on Thursday, he will likely be inactive. Also, Brown’s performance in Week 2 was promising (13 carries for 71 yards with a touchdown and two receptions for 19 yards), so even if Bradshaw plays, Brown has a good chance to produce 10+ points against the weak Panthers defense.

  2. Richardson, Daryl (RB, STL) – Steven Jackson left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Richardson took the field and filled in admirably, carrying 15 times for 83 yards and grabbing two passes for 19 yards in the process. Jackson might be active for the game against the Bears on Sunday, but if not, Richardson could produce 10+ points in Week 3. Even if Jackson returns, based on his injury history, having Richardson on your bench isn’t a bad idea for the future.

  3. Mendenhall, Rashard (RB, PIT) – Mendenhall made this list last week because the Steelers’ running backs have been inefficient and proved no better in Week 2 (Dwyer and Redman carried 24 times for 53 yards with a touchdown). He won’t be back until Week 5, but based on how the backup running backs have performed, Mendenhall has a great chance to be a starting running back in near future. Luckily, many people dropped him last week, so he is available in many leagues.

  4. Leshoure, Mikel (RB, DET) – Now that his suspension is over Leshoure should play the role of backup running back for the Lions. Kevin Smith was alright in Week 2 (16 carries for 53 yards and two receptions for 17 yards), but if Leshoure steps up in Week 3 with a limited number of carries or Smith gets hurt, he could get a starting job in the future. I wouldn’t start him this week, but put him on the bench to wait for the right time.

  5. Battle, Jackie (RB, SD) – Battle carried 14 times for 69 yards with two touchdowns. If Ryan Mathews is not coming back, Battle could have been the most popular pickup, but since there is a good chance that Mathews plays for Week 3, Battle continues to fly somewhat under the radar. Battle’s value all depends upon how well Mathews performs in Week 3. When Mathews is healthy, he is definitely a fantasy star. He was originally projected to come back even later, but I am afraid that the early season debut has left some serious injury concerns. He could be healthy and can be productive, but if you are a Mathews owner, I would definitely grab Battle just in case.

  6. Amendola, Danny (WR, STL) – Finally not a running back! I mentioned Amendola last week as a potential fantasy stud in Week 2 and he didn’t disappoint. He was targeted a team-high 16 times, turning 15 of those opportunities into catches for 160 yards with a touchdown. He might not repeat the same number against a Bears defense motivated by the loss to the Packers, but he is a potential 10+ points candidate this week as well.

  7. Avery, Donnie (WR, IND) – Avery was targeted eight times in Week 1 and 10 times in Week 2. In the past two games, he has 12 catches for 148 yards with a touchdown. Andrew Luck showed Colts fans what he could do in Week 2, and I expect that the excitement will continue in Week 3. Avery can be a 10+ point fantasy candidate again and potentially be a fantasy star for the remaining of the season if he keeps getting targeted and Luck keeps living up to the hype.

  8. LaFell, Brandon (WR, CAR) – LaFell caught six times for 90 yards in Week 2 and was targeted eight times. He also rushed for 25 yards. Opponents know that Steve Smith is a big threat and Newton and the Panthers’ running backs can run. LaFell could sneak past Giants defense attention and make a big play in Week 3.

  9. Chandler, Scott (TE, BUF) – Chandler was amazing for the first three games last year (nine catches for 89 yards with four touchdowns). And again this year, he’s off to a good start with six grabs for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He could produce double digit points this week against the weak Cleveland defense. If you are an Aaron Hernandez owner, Chandler can be a good addition for the short term. I wouldn’t go crazy to grab him, but make sure he is on your watch-list.

  10. Dallas Cowboys Defense/Special Team – The Buccaneers aren’t necessarily an easy opponent, but the Cowboys definitely have potential to slow down Josh Freeman and Doug Martin. If you don’t have a top defense option, the Cowboys can be a nice pickup. Possible 7 plus point candidate.

    Time to trade:

  1. Morris, Alfred (RB, WAS) – Morris was decent in Week 2 (carried 16 times for 89 yards), but look at the numbers that Robert Griffin III put up (11 carries for 82 yards with two touchdowns). RG3 is going to keep running when he is open. Morris’ value is still high after a decent Week 2, but now looks like the time to move him.

  2. All the Panthers’ Running Backs (Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert) – They all did fine in Week 2 (combined 27 carries for 123 yards with two touchdowns and three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown). The unfortunate fact is that you cannot predict which one will perform better. It all depends upon the matchup. Also, don’t forget Cam Newton who rushed 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. These running backs are all talented, but are likely to frustrate fantasy owners.

  3. Richardson, Trent (RB, CLE) – Richardson was productive last week (19 carries for 109 yards with a touchdown and four receptions for 36 yards with a touchdown). The rookie just hasn’t proved that he is trustworthy yet. Weeden performed surprisingly well and I am not sure how long that can last, or if Richardson can keep it up once he becomes the focus of opposing defenses.

  4. Fitzgerald, Larry (WR, ARI) – Fitzgerald is one of the best wide receivers in NFL. Even if his quarterback isn’t quite amazing, Fitzgerald produced enough last season to be considered a fantasy stud. But Kevin Kolb falls much too short of the mark, leaving Fitzgerald a rather mediocre fantasy receiver. The Cardinals beat the Patriots in Week 2, which means Kolb gets more opportunities, and Larry gets fewer good throws.

  5. Ridley, Stevan (RB, NE) – Okay, here comes mad Brady. The Patriots lost against the weak Cardinals at home and Brady wasn’t productive until the second half. I am afraid that this week can be the week that the New England passing game limits Ridley’s rushing yards and even if the Patriots do stick to the running game, the Ravens have a much better defense than the Titans or the Cardinals.

Time to Buy List:

  1. Johnson, Chris (RB, TEN) – Johnson carried 19 times for 21 yards and caught eight times for 58 yards. I can hear sighs from those who drafted him in the earlier rounds. Yes, a backup running back on some team would have produced more than this. But, when the opponents know that the Titans heavily rely on their running back, it is easy to stop Johnson. The good news is that Kenny Britt will play in Week 3 and Jake Locker seemed better in Week 2. While the Lions’ defense also needs to watch out for Britt, Johnson will find a way to bring points to fantasy owners in Week 3.

  2. Turner, Michael (RB, ATL) – Another big name running back who hasn’t performed well so far. He carried 28 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. Many fantasy owners are frustrated with him and he was recently charged for DUI, so he is like a $1 cheeseburger at McDonald’s right now. You’ll take him, but you want to find an alternative if you can. He knows that he is in trouble for his career and the only way to get free from all the troubles around him is to play better. Matt Ryan isn’t going to throw all the time against the Chargers and Turner will find his way to produce 13+ points this week.

  3. Robert Griffin III (QB, WAS) -Griffin is the number one fantasy player so far through two weeks. He has thrown for 526 yards and three touchdowns and has 124 rushing yards with two touchdowns. His remaining schedule doesn’t seem too bad at all, either, so he can be a fantasy star for the rest of the season. There are still many non-believers out there; offer them something before it is too late.

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