Before the games started on Sunday, I was curious to see which big time fantasy player would be lost for the season (did this not enter your head as well?). Unfortunately for Ryan Grant owners, his season has come an end with an ankle injury. For many, Grant was a second round pick and one of the few running backs who didn’t split carries making him a rarity in football today. Knowing this, it’s time to hit the waiver wire looking for Grant replacements.
Brandon Jackson – Jackson is obviously the name that everyone will be looking to add to their rosters this week. In the second half of last week’s game Jackson ran for 54 yards on 14 carries against a better than average Eagles run defense. Jackson is now the feature back in Green Bay, but will miss out on goal line carries to fullback John Kuhn. Kuhn isn’t worth owning, but he will get the ball anywhere near the three yard line. Jackson is an average running back with no great features, but has an opportunity on a high octane offense to become a great fantasy asset. Many would argue that’s the problem with fantasy, but isn’t this what makes fantasy sports great. Jackson should be viewed as a number two running back ahead of Jerome Harrison, Clinton Portis as well as the Cowboys duo of Felix Jones and Marion Barber
Jabar Gaffney – I mentioned Gaffney in the faketeams auction as someone who could breakout in 2010. In week one Gaffney finished with the three catches and a touchdown, and continued to be Kyle Ortons favorite red zone target. Gaffney now has 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns since becoming the number one target in Coach Josh McDaniels offense. Gaffney and Orton have been a solid duo going back to week 16 of last season and I believe it continues all year. I wish I called it earlier, but Gaffney will be a top 20 fantasy receiver this season.
Fred Taylor– The Laurence Maroney era in New England is over and the running load will belong to Taylor and Morris. Taylor was the starting running back for week one, but the threat of Maroney scared off owners from drafting Taylor. Taylor was productive vs. Bengals, rushing for 71 yards on 14 carries and should see anywhere from 14-16 carries a game as the Patriots feature back. Taylor hasn’t played full 16 game slate 2003, so handcuffing Taylor with Sammy Morris would be a smart move if you have the roster room. Taylor should finish the season with over 1,000 all purpose yards with a couple of touchdowns sprinkled in, making him a solid flex play throughout the season.