Fantasy Football: How To Overcome The Injuries Of Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton and Andre Ellington


Sep 13, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) gets his right ankle worked on by trainers while on the bench in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

We were hit hard with injuries last week that caused a lot of fantasy owners to lose huge pieces of their lineups. It’s very stressful to lose a major piece of your fantasy team’s foundation this early in the season because it’s go time, and the early games matter. If you can fill that player’s void with only losing about ten percent of the player’s production, then you should consider yourself lucky.

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I’m going to cover some of the key injuries from week one and give you few options to help you plug the holes in your lineup. You can still use this article as a reference for waiver wire pick ups even if you don’t have any of the injured players listed. As always, feel free to contact me on Twitter, @bmatz08, if you need help with any line up changes or waiver wire adds. After all, we are here to help!

Next: WR Replacements

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) scores a second half touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant, WR Dallas Cowboys

He broke his foot during week one against the Giants and he’s going to miss a good portion of the season. He should miss eight to twelves weeks. That’s a long time to be missing one of your stud wide receivers. I feel your pain, that’s a huge loss to your fantasy team. You more than likely spent a first or second round pick on him.

T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts

Hilton suffered a left knee injury last week against the Bills. Luckily, it wasn’t serious and he will only miss a few weeks. I still recommend looking at the waiver wire to replace some of his production while he’s out unless you are very deep at WR.

DeSean Jackson, WR Washington Redskins

Jackson pulled a hamstring against the Dolphins and he will be out for about a month. He’s a player that you probably had as your flex or one of the top guys on your bench. He’s going to be easier for you to replace because he didn’t cost the capital or wasn’t projected to score as much as the two aforementioned wide receivers.

Wide Receiver Replacements

Donte Moncrief, WR Indianapolis Colts

He was targeted 11 times, hauling in six receptions for 46 yards and one touchdown. He almost had two touchdowns on the day, but he dropped one in the end zone. He’s considered one of the “hot” waiver wire pick ups of the week since he should see a lot of targets with Hilton out.

Phillip Dorsett, WR Indianapolis Colts

He didn’t play well last week, but he did manage to catch two passes for 45 yards. Hilton was targeted 14 times. Those targets have to be distributed somewhere, and some of those will have to go to Dorsett.

Terrance Williams, WR Dallas Cowboys

Williams is going to see an increase in targets with Bryant out. His production is very volatile, and he usually has a monster week here and there, while having weeks where he’s very quiet. If you can handle the risk, rolling the dice with Williams is not a bad idea.

Cole Beasley, WR Dallas Cowboys

He’s being used in the short to intermediate passing game, which puts him in the position to rack up a lot of receptions. He’s going to be a PPR monster with or without Bryant in the lineup. He is much more of a sure thing than Williams, but lacks his upside.

Stevie Johnson, WR San Diego Chargers

He was targeted six times last week against the Detroit Lions. He’s an intricate part of the Chargers wide receiver corps, and he should have a resurgence this season. I look for him to be a viable option for your lineup. Week one proved that he and Keenan Allen can both be productive.

Next: RB Replacements

Sep 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) carries the ball on a 55 yard touchdown run in the second half against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

Andre Ellington, RB Arizona Cardinals

He has a mild PCL strain and he is looking to miss a couple of weeks. Ellington is the poster boy for injury prone fantasy players. He was playing well against the Saints last week, rushing for 69 yards and one touchdown. Running backs are the hardest position to fill when you have an injury, but there are some options on the waiver wire this week for you to try.

Running Back Replacements

Tevin Coleman, RB Atlanta Falcons

Coleman rushed for 80 yards last week against the Eagles. He’s talented, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at his pro-day, and he could be one of those rookies who could come out of nowhere and finish in the top-10. Pluck him off the waiver wire if he’s still on there.

David Johnson, RB Arizona Cardinals

He’s under the radar, but he’s one of my favorite players. He caught a 55-yard touchdown last week. Ellington’s touches are going to be divided between him and Chris Johnson. He’s  electric with the ball in his hands, and he’s a very good receiver. I could see Johnson stealing touches away from Chris Johnson. He’s so explosive that he doesn’t need many touches to become fantasy relevant. He has a cake match up this weak against the Bears, and he could blow up this week. He could also bottom out. If you are in need of a running back and you are desperate, or if you chasing upside, then I recommend David Johnson. How hard can it be to beat out Chris Johnson anyway?

Darren Sproles, RB Philadelphia Eagles

Sproles accounted for 19 PPR points last week against the Falcons. He was used heavily in the passing game and I can’t see him getting less than three receptions during any of his games this season. I look for him to be a decent flex option to plug into your lineups.

Benjamin Cunningham, RB St. Louis Rams

He is getting the bulk of the workload. He rushed for 45 yards and caught four passes for 77 yards last week against the Seahawks. He’s a good fill in option for your lineup until Todd Gurley gets his opportunity. If you’re desperate for a running back, I would consider Cunningham.

Hopefully, there isn’t as many injuries that impact our fantasy lineups next week. Injuries can crush a fantasy season. I’ve had plenty of fantasy seasons turn upside down due to injuries, it’s not fun. For answers to  your start/sit dilemmas contact me on Twitter @bmatz08 .

Next: My Draft Kings Lineup For Week Two

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