Losing David Johnson was terrible. And Julian Edelman. Then Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson (and these are just the notable season-ending injuries).
But now it’s gotten even worse. I’m sure you’ve already heard, but Odell Beckham, Jr is out for the season with a broken ankle. If you saw the injury, it looked brutal. In fact, “brutal” could be the theme to the Giants’ season so far. This past Sunday, they lost FOUR of their starting wide receivers. FOUR. And three of them are done for the season.
2017 is now a lost season for one of the NFL’s biggest stars. Odell is tough, and I have no doubt that he’ll rebound from this and continue to do great things.
If you’re like me and you drafted Odell, you’re probably wondering how your team is going to win any games now that you’ve lost your WR1. Same here.
Your plan may be to turn to the waiver wire or try and make a trade for a better wide receiver. Or maybe you’re just going to internally cry and drink red wine like Will Ferrell (that’s my plan).
Now it’s time for some encouragement (puts on positive writing tone). The season isn’t over, and there’s still a lot of fantasy games to win. You can still survive without Odell. There are other ways to win; you just have to play it smart.
Obviously, no one is going to replace Odell on your team. OBJ is a one-of-a-kind superhuman that lights up the field whenever he plays and finds ways to score, even though old Eli Manning is throwing to him (or trying to). But without him, you can still win, you’ll just need a little help from some friends.
Who are these friends you speak of? I don’t have any friends!
I’m talking about the friendly (or not-so-friendly) waiver wire. Here are a few candidates to consider as you drop Odell and look for a replacement.
This is a more obvious one, but he’s worth mentioning here. Shepherd was one of the Giants wide receivers that was injured on Sunday, but he’s not going to miss too much time. When he comes back, he’ll be promoted to the Giants #1 receiver, because they don’t have anybody else. Shepherd’s had a decent year so far (over 250 yards and a touchdown), but he’ll get an increase in targets with Odell, Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris all out for the season.
If he’s available in your league, he’s worth a pickup.
Now we turn to the waiver wire. One standout this past week was Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, John Brown. Brown has had a lengthy injury history, including the lingering sickle cell, but he played on 80 percent of the snaps and had seven targets and a touchdown on Sunday. Without David Johnson in the backfield, Arizona has stopped even trying to run the ball, which means more targets for their receivers. As long as Brown stays healthy, he has a chance to finally give fantasy owners starting value.
With one of the coolest first names in the NFL (sounds like something from Key and Peele), Smith-Schuster is making plays every week. Over the past two weeks, he’s had 105 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. According to Mike Clay, Smith-Schuster “has played more snaps and run more routes than Martavius Bryant in three straight games.” Even though Big Ben is struggling, Smith-Schuster should still be able to produce in an offense that is looking to right the ship.
The Carolina Panthers wide receiver has been going off. Ever since I called out a statistic comparing Cam Newton to Brock Osweiler, Newton has been on fire, which means his receivers reap the benefits. The past two weeks, Funchess has had seven catches in each game, and a total of 123 yards and three touchdowns. If he’s available in your league, he’s worth at least a bench spot, as he should continue to produce as long as Newton stays hot.
Another name that might be on your waiver wire is Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. He’s turning into the most trustable option among the Rams receivers, with Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods inconsistent. The past two weeks combined, Kupp has had 15 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. So far, he has had a red-zone target in every game, and seems to be a rising talent in a rising offense.
Will Fuller V
Odds are he's already owned in your league, but if he isn't pick him up ASAP. He's had four touchdowns in the past two games since returning from injury. Deshaun Watson is balling, and Deandre Hopkins and Fuller are getting all the touchdowns right now. Fuller's targets are low right now, but his touchdown potential is extremely high.
Like I mentioned before, no one person is going to fill the void that Odell leaves behind. Odell was averaging 19.8 points per week, and you aren’t going to find that kind of consistent, WR1 production on the waiver wire. But, you can find decent talent that can help you survive and make it to the playoffs. That’s all we need.
Who are you picking up to fill your Odell hole? Let me know in the comments!
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