Another one bites the dust as yet another top 10 player at his position will now miss the remainder of the season after a Monday MRI revealed that the Titan’s Kenny Britt sustained ACL/MCL injuries. Britt ranks as the 5th best fantasy WR and was looking like one of the steals of the draft early on. Veteran Nate Washington steps into the #1 role in Tennessee and sits atop the waiver wire targets this week.
Through three weeks 20 WRs are averaging 70 YPG or better including a few that likely went undrafted such as Devery Henderson, Nate Washington, David Nelson and Eric Decker.
Many fantasy owners will be scrambling to replace injured studs as Miles Austin’s hamstring injury and will likely be out until week 6. Jeremy Maclin is also listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury. Marques Colston remains sidelined with the broken collarbone. Week 3 saw the return of Dez Bryant, Brandon Lloyd and Sidney Rice. This week Mario Manningham (concussion) Jacoby Ford (hamstring) look like they have a chance to return to the field.
If you have dead weight on your roster in the form of Braylon Edwards, Roy Williams, Big Mike Williams or Arrelius Benn its time to cut bait and consider adding any of the wideouts that we profile this week.
Next week starts the BYE weeks so the proactive owners will plan ahead especially if you own the following players that will take week 5 off: Baltimore (Anquan Boldin), Dallas (Dez Bryant), Miami (Brandon Marshall), Washington (Santana Moss) – St Louis and Cleveland are also on BYE but we hope you aren’t relying on their WRs.
Torrey Smith – (NYJ, BYE, HOU, @ JAX) – Ravens rookie WR Torrey Smith burst onto the scene with a 3 TD / 152 yard performance in St Louis and if Lee Evans foot injury lingers – Smith could be well worth adding as Joe Flacco continues to progress.
Here is our pre-draft coverage on Torrey Smith. Smith is the deep threat the offense has lacked and an adequate fill in for Lee Evans whose ankle injury has lingered since training camp and could keep him out for the sunday night game against the Jets.
Nate Washington - (@TEN, @GB, SD, BYE) – With Kenny Britt sidelined for the rest of the season the Titans would be wise to rely heavily on CJ2K (provided he can snap out of his early season doldrums). Nate Washington will now step into the #1 WR role but won’t exactly create the mismatches that Britt provided. However, the 28 year old Washington is showing signs of justifying his 6-year $27 million contact that he signed in 2009. Through 3 games, Washington has 21 catches for 258 yards (86 YPG) and 1 TD. He should remain a legit WR3 despite the fact that he’s yet to average more than 43 YPG in any of his previous 6 NFL seasons.
The Boise State product may not be best receiver from this class, but as the projected starter in the slot for the Lions he may be near the top in year one fantasy production. As we wrote in our earlier piece, Calvin Johnson is probably going to be the biggest winner because of the extra space that a speedy slot receiver will create. Long term, we think Young can ascend to the ranks of fantasy starters, but more likely as a WR#3 than a WR#2 and with Calvin Johnson in town he has no shot at being a WR#1. We believe Young could join a long line of very solid fantasy producers who make their bones playing opposite a super star. It’s often better to be a secondary target in a good offense than a primary target in a poor or run heavy offense. Here is our pre-draft analysis of Titus Young.
Antonio Brown - (@ HOU, TEN, JAX, @ ARZ) – The 2nd year WR from Central Michigan has slipped behind Emmanuel Sanders on the Steelers depth chart but did manage four catches for 75 yards in Sunday’s win over the Colts. On the season he has 10 catches for 156 yards and could become a greater piece of the offensive equation as the season progresses and the Steelers realize that the 35 year old Hines Ward is on his last legs.