Injury-Related Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Analysis: James Starks, Sammy Watkins
As we head towards the home stretch in the Fantasy regular season, here are some players that could help you in your run to the playoffs. These waiver wire options are either coming back from injuries or replacing injured teammates.
James Starks RB, Green Bay
Starks could very well return this week after missing the last few games due to a knee injury. We have Starks listed as an elevated injury risk with an above average Health Performance Factor, which is a good sign that he should be ready to return soon. Starks is far from a star, but Green Bay needs a healthy running back badly, as they have been virtually without a running game the past few weeks. Starks becomes a starter for the Packers whenever he comes back, which makes him, at the very least, a great speculative add this week.
The Buccaneers running backs are going down like flies. Now they have lost Antone Smith for the season. If Doug Martin (elevated IRC, above average HPF) or Jacquizz Rodgers (elevated IRC, below average HPF) aren’t able to go this week, and neither practiced Monday, Barber becomes the clear starter for the Bucs in Week 10, which makes him a valuable asset with all of the flux at the running back position currently. Barber is a solid pickup and possible plug-and-play asset this week, even in a tough matchup with the surprisingly stingy Bears run defense.
Dontrelle Inman WR, San Diego
Travis Benjamin was in and out of the lineup on Sunday for the Chargers, opening up more opportunities for Inman. While we have Benjamin listed as having a peak Health Performance Factor, there is some buzz that he could miss this week. If that is the case, Inman should get a bump in production going up against the Dolphins in Week 10. Even if Benjamin is active, Inman has been trending positively, going over 55 yards the last three weeks. That makes him a playable Fantasy asset in a week that sees many solid Fantasy receivers, such as T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, all on bye. Fantasy owners can do worse than Inman as a fill-in.
Sammy Watkins WR, Buffalo
Watkins (high IRC, poor HPF) is still a few weeks away from coming back. However, with the Buffalo passing game looking better and better the last few weeks, Watkins could be a valuable asset when he does return. Tyrod Taylor put up great numbers last night while feeding Robert Woods and Marquis Goodwin. Just imagine what he could do with Watkins when he comes back. Watkins has a very friendly schedule the last few weeks of the season during the Fantasy playoffs, making him worth a stash in most leagues if you have an open roster spot.
Austin Hooper TE, Atlanta
Hooper has been a solid fill-in the past few weeks for Jacob Tamme, while the veteran tight end has been out with a shoulder injury. Tamme (low IRC, above average HPF) was absent at practice Monday, putting his status this week in question. Even if Tamme does come back, Hooper has likely earned himself more playing time and could even unseat Tamme, as he brings some more athleticism to this offense. Hooper is definitely worth an add if Tamme is out and isn’t a bad speculative add either way.
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