Fantasy Plays: Owners scramble after injuries to receivers

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley.

Hey Cole Beasley, you're going to be in high demand in fantasy football this week. You, too, Donte Moncrief.

Grab those backups — if they're even available — after an injury-riddled weekend saw some top receivers go down. Dallas standout Dez Bryant is out for at least a month with a broken bone in his foot, making Beasley and Terrance Williams attractive additions.

And Indy's T.Y. Hilton may be sidelined with a bruised knee, meaning Moncrief is an intriguing choice.

There were quite a few potentially league-altering ailments in the opening week. In addition, Washington receiver DeSean Jackson is likely out three-to-four weeks with a strained hamstring, while Arizona tailback Andre Ellington is hobbled by a knee. Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas hurt his hand but said he's OK.

On the defensive side, the Ravens lost Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles). There went Baltimore's heart and soul.

No lamenting too much over bumps and bruises, though. Time to push forward. It's only Week 1.


— Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota had more TD passes (four) than Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Eli Manning combined (three). Peyton Manning and Flacco did throw TD passes — to the opposing team.

— Just when you thought the tight ends consisted of Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and everyone else, along comes Cincy's Tyler Eifert. He caught nine passes for 104 yards and two TDs on 12 targets, the most of any tight end.

— This was eye-opening: San Francisco's Carlos Hyde outrushed Minnesota's Adrian Peterson 168-31 in the last game of the week.


Hoping to tweak your lineup? Here are some possible waiver additions to consider:


— Stating the obvious: Marcus Mariota, who had a perfect debut in terms of passer rating (158.3). He's only owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues.

— Kansas City's Alex Smith (owned in 19.8 percent of ESPN leagues) threw three TD passes, including two to tight end Travis Kelce.


— If San Diego's Danny Woodhead (owned in 68.4 percent of ESPN leagues but just 50 percent in Yahoo) is somehow available, pick him up. He shared work with touted rookie Melvin Gordon in Week 1, but had two short TDs and figures into the passing game.

— Paging Chris Johnson. With Andre Ellington's status unclear in Arizona, probably a good time to snare the former 2,000-yard rusher. Or rookie David Johnson.

— Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams (37 percent owned in Yahoo) is a good option for another week. He had 127 yards rushing in the opener, though his value nosedives when Le'Veon Bell returns from suspension in Week 3.


— Quick, grab Green Bay's James Jones now! Cut by the Giants, he landed back in Green Bay after Jordy Nelson tore his ACL. Jones was instantly in sync with Aaron Rodgers, catching two TD passes.

— Donte Moncrief was targeted 11 times by Andrew Luck. Only will go up with Hilton hobbled.

— Buffalo's Percy Harvin (owned in 41 percent in Yahoo leagues) caught five passes, including a TD.

— In addition to Dallas' Cole Beasley (8 percent owned in Yahoo), take a look at New Orleans' Brandon Coleman (27 percent) and Seattle big-play rookie Tyler Lockett (30 percent).


— No brainer, Tyler Eifert (if you still can).

— Pittsburgh's Heath Miller (49 percent owned in Yahoo) had eight catches for 84 yards on 11 targets in Week 1. He's poised for a key role with wideout Martavis Bryant suspended four games.


Should we be worried about Peyton Manning and Denver's offense? The Broncos only had 219 total yards. Thursday's game at Kansas City will be a good test to see if it was just a blip, or you should be concerned about high picks such as running back C.J. Anderson and Demaryius Thomas.

Given Denver's stalwart defense, will be a good chance to see if K.C.'s offense is for real.


Pat Graham is an Associated Press sports writer based in Denver. He's played NFL fantasy football for a while and also dabbles in college fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter.