Scrolling down your fantasy roster and seeing that “O” next to a key player’s name is sickening, repulsive, frustrating.
Simply put, it sucks, and there’s no way to control it.
Injuries continue to pile up in the NFL, and while many players are returning to lineups, the majority of them are being sidelined, causing fantasy owners to search their waiver wires for viable replacement options. It’s already Week 7 of the season, and you need a win. Here are my sneaky starts for the week.
Chris Ogbonnaya @ Green Bay Packers: I touched on Ogbonnaya’s Week 7 prospects earlier on in the week, and my position hasn’t changed. He has some very sneaky top-30 potential this week, and while Green Bay is only allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing rushers, the matchup doesn’t scare me at all. Even with injuries, Green Bay is still the favorite in this game, and should be leading for the majority of the game. That bodes well for Ogbonnaya, because Cleveland will have to pass, and seeing as he is the team’s passing down back, he’ll get some enticing volume. The Browns are currently averaging 42.5 passing attempts per game, which is the third-most in football. Ogbonnaya, meanwhile, is being targeted on slightly over 10 percent of passing plays in this offense. And in the four games since Trent Richardson was traded, Ogbonnaya has hauled in a strong 17 passes for two scores. I have him ranked inside the top-30 this week. He’ll get plenty of opportunity.
Brian Hartline vs Buffalo Bills: While Hartline hasn’t been as successful in his career against the Bills as owners may like, I still think he is a strong play this week. Buffalo is currently allowing 10 touchdowns to receivers, which is the most in the entire AFC. They are also allowing a whopping 41.40 fantasy points per contest to the position, which is second-most in the league. Their corners are getting healthier, but this unit is still pretty shaky. Hartline may not have the appeal of teammate Mike Wallace, but he is seeing eight targets per game, which is enough to make an impact in this favorable matchup.
Emmanuel Sanders vs Baltimore Ravens: While number one receiver Antonio Brown receives all the attention, Sanders has done a terrific job as a number two, and is quietly on pace for about 75 catches this year. He’s been especially valuable in PPR leagues, posting at least three catches in every game this season. Sanders has also been targeted a very healthy 44 times through five games, and is coming off his best game of the year. The Steelers seem to be throwing the ball quite a bit, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has attempted 192 passes thus far. Meanwhile, the Ravens secondary can be beat, as they are allowing the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts (31.87 per game). You could do a lot worse than Sanders as a WR3 for this week, as well as the rest of the season.
Timothy Wright @ Atlanta Falcons: The change in quarterback seems to be helping Wright. In two games with rookie Mike Glennon under center, the athletic tight end has been targeted a strong 15 times, catching 12 balls for 132 yards. He is finding ways to get open, and taking advantage of his added opportunity with Luke Stocker on the injured reserve list. His matchup is favorable, as Atlanta is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and their defensive unit continues to become plagued with injury. Wright could certainly take advantage of this matchup and sneak into the top-15 among tight ends for the week. His stock is rising, for sure.
Scott Chandler @ Miami Dolphins: Considering the almighty Jimmy Graham is on a bye this week, I’m providing two tight ends this week. Wright is in my top-15 this week, but just outside of that spot is Chandler of the Bills. He’s seen six targets in three of the last five weeks, and while he has only seen two red zone targets this year, he is making some big plays for Buffalo, as both of his touchdowns have come from him catching and running. Considering the quarterback situation in Buffalo, Chandler could see a fair share of checkdowns, and the matchup helps his prospects. Miami is currently allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends (17.50 per contest). Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe will also be out for this game, which certainly can’t hurt either. He’s out there if you need him this week, and considering the opposition, it may be as good a time as any to use him.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.