Opinion Sports Columns

Midseason Fantasy Football Busts and Surprises

Dave Seronick

Staff Writer

During week 10, some players in the NFL will be sitting on the sidelines watching their teammates play.  On the other hand, some will finally be coming back from injury and jumping in the starting lineup.  With all of these players leaving and coming back, it could have a huge impact on your team.

Miles Austin: After a big reception last week against the Seahawks, Austin came up lame.  Many owners worried it was the same left hammy that had plagued him earlier.  Fortunately, it was his right hamstring; nonetheless he is still out for two to four weeks.  While that may be unlucky for some, there are owners who will benefit from this.  Those people are owners of Dez Bryant.  Though Bryant has had a shaky season, with moments of greatness and others of dismay, now is his time.  With Austin out, he is the man and No. 1 receiver.  Expect more targets, yards and hopefully touchdowns.

Andre Johnson:  Will he return this week? Won’t he? That question seems to be up in the air.  Although he did practice Monday, it is uncertain if he will for the rest of the week.  The Texans are not going to rush a franchise-player like Johnson back before he is ready.  If that is the case, owners of Kevin Walter are in luck.  He has not had a stellar season thus far, but he has been a beneficiary of Johnson’s injury.  Although he has accumulated only 1 TD in Johnson’s absence, Walter has been Schaub’s No. 1 target.  Owned in 25 percent of leagues, he is available for this week against the Bucs, who to this point have struggled against opposing teams’ top receivers.

Felix Jones: He is expected to return this week after a three-week hiatus.  If he does return it is unlikely he will resume the role of the team’s No. 1 back.  After injuring his thigh and ankle, it is likely he won’t get as many carries as usual.  With Murray being a stud in his absence, he will continue to get most of the carries.  Yet it is promising to see Jones return ahead of schedule.  Expect him to split carries, but over time he should get his role back.  For those who do own Murray, I wouldn’t worry too much about this week.

Dallas Clark:  Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get worse for the Colts, Clark went down. There really is no upside to Clark being injured, as no Colt player seems to benefit from this.  If anything, Wayne, Garcon and the others will get more attention than usual.  In fact, for owners of Garcon and Wayne, I would advise to sit them until Painter proves otherwise.  With Clark out, things somehow look even worse.

Darren McFadden:  It’s official, McFadden is out for week 10.  Plain and simple, expect Bush to get loads of touches, a few receptions and another double-digit fantasy game.  Owners of Bush, I highly recommend starting him.

Ryan Mathews: He will likely play this week against the Raiders.  If this is so, expect him to jump right back into action.  The struggling Raiders gave up over 100 yards to Tebow last week, so what do you think Mathews will do to them?  Though Tolbert will still likely be involved in the run game, if Mathews is as healthy as the Chargers hope he can be, expect him to get lots and lots of touches.

Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks:  Neither of them has been practicing this week and do not seem too promising for this weekend’s game.  If later in the week the news changes, then by all means continue to start them as you normally would.  If they sit again, expect big games from Victor Cruz and Brandon Jacobs.  Both players received more targets and touches last week versus the Pats, and will likely continue if Bradshaw and Nicks miss this week.

Dave Seronick can be reached at dseronick@springfieldcollege.edu and read more of the senior’s work at http://www.rotoinfo.com


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