Fantasy Football Week 8 Tips: Replacing your injured stars from Week 7

There’s a good chance someone on your fantasy team got hurt this past week and is missing significant time. Doug Martin, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, and Reggie Wayne are all among the big fantasy producers to go down in Week 7. Some of these injuries have far reaching effects, especially those to Cutler and Bradford as both were having very good fantasy seasons. Below is the impact of a few of those injuries and how to cope.

Doug Martin RB Buccaneers – This one really stings because he was probably your first round pick, and a top-five one at that. He’d been having a pretty bad year so far so you should have been stashing RBs already and preparing for the possibility of a diminished role. It truly seems like a lost year in Tampa now. Mike Glennon is not very good and neither is Martin’s replacement, Mike James. At this point, I don’t want any part of this offense. Martin wasn’t getting much done in it and I would expect James to accomplish even less. I would suggest sliding a FLEX RB into his spot and trying to find a WR/TE to fill the vacated FLEX position on your roster because those positions are much deeper right now, depending on your league. Jonathan Stewart is scheduled to return for the Panthers on Nov. 2. If he’s available, you may be able to piece together a few spot starts from pickups to bridge the gap until he returns but I’m not in love with the prospect of potentially starting Stewart when he returns either. Daniel Thomas (RB Dolphins) interestingly got more work than Lamar Miller last week and may be slowly claiming the lion’s share of the carries in Miami.

Reggie Wayne WR Colts – Darrius Heyward-Bey is the replacement here. It’s not a great option but it’s an option. Jarrett Boykin (WR Packers) is another option but James Jones is coming back eventually and will retake his spot on the field. Harry Douglas (WR Falcons) got a big chance and actually played well but he may not be available after being heavily added last week. Andrew Luck needs a new security blanket. It could be Coby Fleener’s big chance. Question is: Will he step up?

Jay Cutler QB Bears – He is coming back so hopefully you have a backup to use in the interim. The Bears’ bye week is this week so do whatever you planned on doing for that. Josh McCown looked good last week but don’t be fooled, that is a bad Redskins team. Fortunately, he appears good enough to not drag down Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey too much.

Sam Bradford QB Lions – I hope your backup QB situation is better than the Rams’ because they had nothing. This offense is officially a sinking ship. The only guy I’m keeping is Zac Stacy, maybe, and I’m certainly not starting him until I see how he handles what will likely be an increased work load.

Jermichael Finley TE Packers –  Two words: Jordan Reed (TE Redskins). Add him immediately. He was kind enough to remind everyone that there was a time when the Florida Gators actually possessed the ability to generate offense. Andrew Quarless, Finley’s backup, is just a blocker, not a pass catcher.

Arian Foster RB Texans – The injury doesn’t seem too bad and they’ve got a bye this week coming up. Perfect timing. His backup, Ben Tate, probably wasn’t available anyway as his is easily the most popular handcuff. Stand pat and wait out the bye.

Long-term Planning:

Percy Harvin (WR Seahawks) and Michael Crabtree (WR 49ers) should be returning relatively soon. Some say Harvin could be back as soon as this week. That’s not confirmed but it’s certainly on the horizon. Crabtree is a little farther off, tentatively scheduled for a late November return date. If you have the luxury of being able to stash players, now is a good time to go get Harvin and to start thinking of a plan for squeezing Crabtree onto your roster.