By: Justin Lynch
Injuries continue as Lynch breaks down how the replacements are faring.
Injuries have been quite the theme this year, so this week we take a look at who’s succeeding in replacing injured stars and who could take the points of the recently fallen.
Aiken posted a solid 7-73 this weekend as the new number one option for Joe Flacco. Aiken projects to do more of the same going forward. He is not a guy who’s talented enough to burn you deep or win jump ball battles, but he is still a solid receiver. The attention of top corners will hinder him, but the Ravens have to throw to someone, and Aiken is that guy. Expect more of the same from Aiken going forward.
West now has three straight 20+ point games in PPR leagues. He is doing his best Jamaal Charles impression, and though he is clearly less talented, he gets lots and lots of touches, something that is hard to come by in today’s NFL. With so many backfields by committee, it is a blessing to have a running back not only carrying the ball 20+ times/game, but also have an impact in the receiving game. West is better than anyone imagined and has been the second half’s best waiver wire pickup thus far. Going forward, it’s tough to see him keeping up the pace he’s on, but with a relatively easy schedule and guaranteed touches, he should almost never be a complete flop.
Inman is now the Chargers number two receiver behind Stevie Johnson. Johnson has been a top receiver before, though it was while he was a member of the Buffalo Bills. But that is not the Johnson that is suiting up today. He is past his prime and will have a tougher time beating top-tier corners. Inman is 26 years old, 6’3”, and runs a 4.45 40-yard dash. Defenses are not scheming for Inman because they are busy with Johnson and Gates, so he should be able to take defenses by surprise at least the next couple of weeks. His adjustments to the new role could be concerning, but I like his chances to be at least what Malcom Floyd would have been after Keenan Allen’s injury. Don’t expect a ton from Inman, but he could put together a few solid weeks which would allow you to sell high on him before the playoffs.
Edelman’s broken foot leaves the Patriots will a void that will be filled by Amendola. If you remember, Amendola was brought to New England with the intention of replacing Wes Welker until Edelman beat him out for that role. However, Amendola has been solid this season coming off of a strong playoffs, and he looks to burst onto the scene when the Patriots need it most. Riddled by injuries on the offensive line, the Patriots want to get the ball out quick. The two players who were the best receiving quick throws were Edelman and Dion Lewis, who are both out for the fantasy season. The Patriots would rather not rely on Gronk until the playoffs for fear of injury, and they seem reluctant to throw James White into the fire. Amendola should be PPR gold the remainder of the season, but you really never know with Belichick. Lafell should also see an increase in production, but to a lesser extent.