GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
Reggie Bush, RB, Lions
Given the spate of injuries to running backs this may not feel like the time to kick one to the curb. On the other hand, with panic setting in Reggie’s trade value is bound to be inflated. Take your pick of reasons to sell: the knee injury he nursed last week, or the fact that he’s splitting touches—and not even getting the lion’s share (pun intended) of the workload. If you can find an owner with his hand poised over the panic button, you’re bound to get a premium for Bush. Turns out it’s a great time to divest yourself after all.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers
Through two games no team has more fantasy points from the wide receiver position than the Packers. And Boykin, still owned in 60 percent of MFL leagues, has accounted for exactly one catch and six yards of that productivity. He was sacrificed to Richard Sherman in Week 1, then outperformed by rookie Davante Adams in the win over the Jets. The demotion may not be permanent, but the fact remains: barring injury to Randall Cobb and/or Jordy Nelson Boykin is a bit player in this offense—one in danger of being usurped by the rookie. Don’t be afraid to throw him into the churn at the bottom of your roster.
DON’T GIVE UP ON ME, BABY
Matt Asiata, RB, Vikings
No player was a more popular add last Friday than Asiata, once news broke that Adrian Peterson was being deactivated for the Week 2 loss to New England. And with the Vikings announcing that Peterson would be back in the lineup this week, Asiata gets pushed to the back burner—maybe even the waiver wire. But the Peterson saga is far from over, especially with reports of another abuse allegation surfacing. Asiata was surprisingly productive as a receiver and has demonstrated the ability to carry a full feature-back load in the past; if nothing else, the current political climate of the NFL suggests he’ll see another Sunday or three of heavy duty yet this season.
PUT A RING ON THAT THING
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
Stewart has languished on the fringe of fantasy rosters throughout his career, in large part because of his inability to stay healthy; also because he’s mostly been in a committee in Carolina, one where Cam Newton has been prone to calling his own name at the stripe. But for the moment at least the shoe is on the other foot as DeAngelo Williams is the wounded Panther and Stewart the feature-back beneficiary. He certainly didn’t wow anyone against Detroit, but he did find the end zone. Plus, two of his next three games come against the fantasy-friendly run defenses of the Steelers and Bears. If you want to take the cynical approach, half of all marriages end in divorce anyway so it’s not like you’re making a long-term commitment here.
Niles Paul, TE, Redskins
To the surprise of no one, über-brittle Jordan Reed lasted all of seven snaps into the 2014 season before straining a hamstring. Add that to the list of maladies that have plagued the promising tight end—the worst of course being the concussion and the prospects of another hit to the head sidelining Reed for an even lengthier period of time. But Jay Gruden found a replacement right on the Redskins’ roster in Paul, who may elude some of your searches because some venues consider him a wide receiver. With 15 targets, a dozen catches, 185 yards and a touchdown through two games you can just call him the team’s most prolific pass-catcher and enjoy his productivity. Reed’s not coming back any time soon, and if/when he does there may not be a gig for him to come back to.
Donald Brown, RB, Chargers
You knew Ryan Mathews’ run of luck and good health was too good to last, and sure enough he’ll be down for a month or more with a sprained MCL. Enter Brown, one of the more curious offseason signings given Mathews’ success last season—but, as it turns out, one of the more prudent ones as well. On paper this week’s matchup with the Bills doesn’t look particularly favorable, but then again neither did last week’s with the Seahawks. After that Brown gets the Jaguars, Jets and Raiders; two of those teams rank among the three most fantasy-friendly for running backs. Again, he may not be the long-term love of your running back life but you’re at least covered at the position for the foreseeable future, with plenty of upside in the offing.
ONE NIGHT STAND
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
Odds are the RG3 owner in your league didn’t handcuff Cousins; in fact, given Griffin’s injury history he likely has another decent QB already on the roster. But just like Jay Gruden believes Cousins can operate his offense efficiently, so should you think he can help your fantasy squad—especially against a Philly D that has given up back-to-back multiple TD games to opposing QBs. Heck, you might even extend Cousin’s run a second week into the matchup with the Giants; not that we expect RG3 to return in a fortnight, but with the Seahawks looming on the schedule squeezing a couple productive fantasy outings from Cousins would be plenty.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Robert Turbin, RB, Seahawks
There are plenty of other running backs for fantasy owners to chase this week; odds are Turbin, currently owned in just 22 percent of MFL leagues, will be overlooked in that gold rush. Yet he’s been the primary backup to Marshawn Lynch while Christine Michael sits with an injury, in the process touching the ball 10 times for 69 yards and a score. Lynch was hardly impressive last week against San Diego, so if you’d like to be holding the next Knile Davis or Matt Asiata when the Lynch hits the fan best grab now.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings
Bridgewater is currently owned in about a third of MFL leagues, most of the likely dynasty/keeper leagues. But on the heels of a four-pick performance by Matt Cassel, and with their star back no lock to be on the roster for all of the remaining 14 games, the rebuilding process might get an earlier-than-anticipated start in Minnesota. And that means a transition from the run-heavy AP offense to something that requires a bit more playmaking from the quarterback position. Bridgewater will have plenty of weapons to throw to and makes an intriguing stash if you’re holding a QB with a late bye week or your just looking to buy a lottery ticket at the position.