Last week was one of the better ones for my fantasy surprises. Jay Cutler had a very nice game and Caleb Sturgis was one of the highest scoring kickers across fantasy formats. That also goes along with T.J. Yeldon scoring double digit points and Kamar Aiken having a solid day. While the matchups were there, I was off on both the Giants defense and Owen Daniels. It seems more than usual owners have had to rely on players off waivers and it seems that an injury to a certain area in particular has caused the problem: the hamstring.
Here are just some of the top fantasy names who have been impacted by hamstring injuries to this point: Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Those are all guys who were expected to be huge contributors to both their teams and fantasy owners. Five of the players mentioned were at least top 25 picks in every draft, while Jackson probably went in the fifth or sixth round. Make sure to stretch to avoid your own soft tissue issue as this figures to be another fun week for fantasy players.
QB: Blake Bortles vs Texans: It may be hard to believe, but Bortles has been one of the better fantasy quarterbacks in the past few weeks. His skillset always gave him the potential to be an enticing fantasy option, but now he’s beginning to live up to it. This week he has a matchup against a Texans defense which hasn’t exactly been living up to expectations. If you’re in need of a quarterback this week, Bortles is one who could be in for a nice day that’s available on waivers. Expect 240 total yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Shane Vereen vs Eagles: Giants and Eagles players are going to be tempting in a game which has shootout potential, and Vereen figures to be one of the top options. With the Giants facing a ton of injuries to their receiving corps, there is a chance Vereen is used once again how he was this past Sunday. If that is the case, he suddenly becomes a very nice flex option or a starter in points per reception formats. Expect around 70 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Anquan Boldin vs Ravens: If you’re into the revenge game narrative, chances are you’d already be all over Boldin this week. But for those who aren’t it’s worth pointing out that the Ravens secondary just hasn’t looked that good. Colin Kaepernick showed some positive signs this past Sunday night and if he can build off them, Boldin will end up turning in a nice day. Expect around 70 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Delanie Walker vs Dolphins: The Dolphins have only had a few games against pass catching tight ends, but they’ve struggled in both of them. Granted, coming off a bye they could have made some adjustments but Walker is worth a shot if you need a tight end this week. They always say a tight end can be a rookie quarterbacks best friend and if the Dolphins pass rush does come alive, Marcus Mariota should look Walker’s way early and often. Expect around 50 yards and a touchdown.
K: Robbie Gould vs Lions: The Lions defense has been a mess after an extremely impressive 2014 season. Now it is time for Gould and the Bears offense to take advantage in the kicker friendly dome environment. Expect around two field goals and two extra points.
DEF: Vikings vs Chiefs: Losing your starting running back for the year on any team, but Jamaal Charles’ absence will be devastating for the Chiefs. He was the heartbeat of the offense with his big play speed and ability to also contribute as a receiver. Now the Chiefs will have to resort to a committee of unproven runners and rely on Alex Smith. While Smith has been serviceable the past few years, he doesn’t have many weapons outside of Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce (who has continued to be underutilized) that will scare you. Throw in the Chiefs ranking among the league’s worst in sacks allowed and the Vikings defense becomes an appealing option at home. Expect around four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.