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Pick Up Giants’ Orleans Darkwa, Buy Low on Falcons’ Julio Jones

Inside Injuries October 17, 2017 6:00PM EDT
Brett Hundley QB, GB

Hundley didn’t look great filling in for Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, but he has been in the Packers system for three years and was a talented prospect coming out of UCLA. Expect him to look much better at home against the Saints after a week of practice rather than being thrown into the fire against a fierce Vikings defense on the road.

Hundley becomes an intriguing Fantasy option because of the weapons around him in Green Bay, but also because he has the ability to accumulate some numbers on the ground. Sure, Rodgers makes everyone around him look better, but the receiving corps of Nelson, Adams and Cobb with Ty Montgomery making plays out of the backfield is a great supporting cast. The main concern would be the offensive line in Green Bay, which is again banged up coming out of the game on Sunday. He’s only a deeper or two quarterback league option at this point, but there’s a good chance Hundley turns out to be a useful Fantasy player this season.

Orleans Darkwa RB, NYG

The Giants will lean heavily on the run game with Orleans Darkwa going forward. AP Photo/Joe Mahoney

The 0-5 Giants went in to Denver without any healthy receivers and won in convincing fashion on Sunday night. The main reason? A running game that was reinvigorated out of nowhere by Darkwa. The fourth year pro ran 21 times for 117 yards, pacing the New York backfield. Rookie Wayne Gallman, who looked like the leader in the New York backfield coming into the game, ran just 9 times for 27 yards.

It’s possible that this was just a “hot-hand” game, but Darkwa was leading the New York backfield in Week 5 before suffering a mild calf strain. With the Giants so banged up on the outside, they will have to run the ball and play to their defense, which means that Darkwa should continue to have a solid workload. He has a decent matchup this week against a Seattle defense that can be run on. He needs to be owned in all leagues.

Matt Forte RB, NYJ

Forte’s return to the lineup coincided with Bilal Powell being out, meaning that Forte was the clear lead back for the Jets. This lead to 17 touches and 81 total yards. Not the flashiest thing in the world, but it’s a workload that can earn Forte flex consideration in deeper leagues. The biggest questions will be whether or not he stays healthy and whether Powell will return.

The first portion of that is a risky proposition, as Forte is a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries. However, so is Powell, and Powell has yet to return to action from his calf injury. Forte is still probably the lead back when both are healthy, but he becomes a Fantasy asset when he’s the lone healthy back. That very well could be the case this week, making him a solid pickup and potential flex option.

Bennie Fowler WR, DEN

The Broncos were dealt a serious blow when Emmanuel Sanders went down with a sprained ankle that is expected to keep him out several weeks. Fowler is next up on the depth chart, though he specializes in the slot. Even if Fowler stays in the slot, however, he should still see an uptick in targets with Sanders out. He’s not a super exciting player by any means, but a bigger target share in an offense that needs to lean on the short-to-medium pass game could make Fowler a Fantasy asset, especially in PPR. It’s unclear exactly how this will play out until the Broncos take the field next week without Sanders, but Fowler is worth a speculative pickup.

Kenny Golladay WR, DET

Golladay was the buzz of training camp and then showed it in Week 1, catching two touchdowns in the Lions’ comeback win. Since then, he has become a bit of a forgotten man. He missed the last three weeks due to a hamstring injury but should be on track to return after the bye week when the Lions take on the Steelers. The Lions will likely be without Golden Tate, who suffered an AC joint sprain on Sunday. Tate is a High Injury Risk with a Poor Health Performance Factor according to Inside Injuries, so it could be a few weeks before Tate returns. The Lions will need someone to step up across from Marvin Jones, and Golladay should be that guy when he gets back on the field. He should become a factor in fantasy again soon.

George Kittle TE, SF

Bye week season and injuries have seriously complicated the tight end pool here in the middle of the season. For those looking for an under the radar option with some upside, Kittle could be your guy. He had eight targets on Sunday, turning them into four catches for 46 yards. He was a beneficiary from the insertion of former college teammate C.J. Beathard at quarterback. The week before Kittle had seven catches for 83 yards and a score, making this two straight positive weeks for him. That’s enough to get excited about a tight end on the waiver wire, at this point. Kittle has some talent, and around eight targets a game should lead to some solid production, even in an offense that has struggled at times. He’s worth a look.

Julio Jones ATL – BUY LOW

Jones owners are likely starting to get antsy. Week 6, coming off of the bye with Mohamed Sanu out, was supposed to be the prime recipe for his monster breakout. Instead, he put up a very ho-hum six catches for 72 yards on only seven targets.

Teams are obviously trying to take Jones away, but the Falcons need to be better about trying to force feed their best player. Dan Quinn said as much on Monday following the Falcons loss to Miami, in which they were shut out in the second half. Quinn’s vocal support for getting the ball to Julio more hopefully will mark his turnaround.

The fact of the matter is, Jones is still the most physically gifted receiver in the game, and the Falcons will figure this out. He has no touchdowns and only one red zone target on the year, which are both unsustainable numbers that will positively revert to the mean. The biggest concern with him is always injury, and he is still a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, but he showed no signs of being hampered by the injured hip that knocked him out in Week 4 on Sunday. If you are looking to buy low on a stud, Jones looks like the guy to go after. There are some inherent risks, but his upside remains unchanged.

Davante Adams GB – BUY LOW

Aaron Rodgers going down has downgraded the Packers from Super Bowl favorite to total question mark. Due to Rodgers super human ability, the belief is that Green Bay won’t be able to survive on offense without him, and that weapons like Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson will go from high end options in fantasy to barely usable.

While it’s unclear how this will play out, poaching Adams off of a panicky owner could be a smart move. He won’t have the same efficiency as he did under Rodgers, but he was targeted 10 times on Sunday by Brett Hundley and looks like the early favorite to be Hundley’s go-to guy. If that’s the case, and Adams gets the lion’s share of targets in Green Bay, he should still be a solid fantasy asset. His ceiling is capped without Rodgers, but Adams’ talent plus double-digit targets should lead to solid fantasy outputs each week. This is a chance to buy low on him.

Chris Thompson WAS – SELL HIGH

Chris Thompson has been so dynamic for the Redskins catching passes out of the backfield this season that he is their leading receiver by more than 100 yards over any other Washington player. On Sunday he had 16 carries, which is way more than we’re used to seeing. However, it was the 4 catches that he turned into 105 yards that did the damage (he had just 33 yards rushing).

It’s clear that Washington will continue to feature Thompson, but 20 touches doesn’t seem like it will be the norm for him moving forward. Washington should get starting running back Rob Kelley back soon, and when they do he will likely take away from Thompson’s share of traditional carries. Washington loves Thompson, but they also know that he is a smaller guy with injury problems in his past, so they won’t want to ride him too hard on earlier downs.

If Thompson doesn’t continue to turn screen passes into massive gains, which seems highly unlikely, then a decrease in touches will make him a risky fantasy play week to week. He’s a great player, but his production seems unsustainable at this point, even if his impact on a game isn’t. Moving him now seems like the smart move.

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