This week’s injury du jour (that’s the injury of the day) is the ankle sprain, sometimes of the high variety. Darren McFadden is out with a suspected high ankle sprain. Given his history and the injury, this could be a situation where you get a starter for four weeks or more. Mike Goodson or Taiwan Jones? Well, Goodson also left the game with an injury, so there is a decent chance that the speedy Jones gets an opportunity in the short term. The run game has struggled, but worth a moderate bid.
Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are denying that Antonio Brown has a high ankle sprain, though he said he did. Emmanuel Sanders would be the beneficiary, moving into the #2 role opposite Mike Wallace. If it is a high ankle sprain, then this is a long term thing. Brown was a quality WR2, and I would look for the same from Sanders most weeks. That’s worth a pretty good bid this late in the game if you need receiver help.
Percy Harvin also has an ankle injury, and is not likely to play this week. No one can take his role and place, though.
This is not a great week to be in need of a free agent pick up to start right away, so hopefully you have planned ahead. That said, the best options for a start among guys not likely on rosters are in the same game.
Deeper: Tennessee and Miami play each other and are a favorable matchup. Ryan Tannehill is the safest play of the two. Matt Hasselbeck is more of a wait and see, as Jake Locker could return this week.
Shallow: Vick Ballard has a great matchup this week. We just saw the Detroit duo of LeShoure and Bell put up huge numbers. The Colts run game isn’t great, but either Ballard or Donald Brown, if he plays, will be startable options.
Isaac Redman had a big game, though the situation will again become more muddled this week. Pittsburgh has been in a mode where the healthy back that week is productive, first Jonathan Dwyer and now Redman. Dwyer should be back this week and we don’t know how the carries could be distributed. Still, it’s a great matchup against KC, and for one week, could start both.
Daniel Thomas goes against the bad Titans defense, and could move into a flex play if you are looking for a cheap add.
Deep: Keep an eye on Jamaal Charles, who left the last game with a potential head injury. We haven’t seen the injury report yet, but Peyton Hillis would be startable if Charles is out. Jacquizz Rodgers goes against the Saints “defense” this week and it would seem like the type of matchup where the Falcons should give him more touches.
Deeper: Both Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram got touches behind Pierre Thomas with Darren Sproles out. We don’t know how it will play out, but the RB2 in the Saints offense has great value. I’d lean toward Ivory but hedge on either if I had an open spot.
Shallow: Darrius Heyward-Bey again had over 70 yards, and should be on a roster if he is available.
Deeper: In addition to Emmanuel Sanders, the following are guys you could look to this week: T.Y. Hilton against the Jaguars, especially if Donnie Avery is ruled out in the short week. Hilton would become a WR3. Donald Jones has a great matchup against the Patriots, and Stevie Johnson will be on the injury report. Keep an eye on Robert Meachem, and if he is out again, Danario Alexander started last week opposite Malcom Floyd.
Go with Dwayne Allen, who got all the tight end action last week with Coby Fleener out, and had 6 catches for 75 yards. Fleener is out again, so look for similar production against Jacksonville. Allen is available in over 75% of leagues.
Deep: Brandon Myers continues to lurk and be productive in Oakland. He’s not a TE1 option, but if you are hurting, he is a quality guy in the 10-15 range weekly.
If you miss out on those guys and need a matchup play, it’s probably Anthony Fasano against Tennessee.
[photo via US Presswire]