Skip to main content

Fantasy Football 101: Matt Forte injury leaves owners scrambling

Whether you're a fantasy football beginner or don't have as much time to devote to your fantasy team during the week, I'm here for you with the newest edition of Fantasy 101 -- all your fantasy needs in 15 minutes or less. Because that's how long you'll need to digest this column and make your appropriate moves. I'll give you the top free agents to pick up as well as the injuries to keep an eye on for this coming weekend. And, as a new feature, we're also answering fantasy questions to help increase your knowledge of the game itself. (If you have a question, tweet it to us @nflfantasy.) So let's get to it, time is ticking!

Five players to pick up off the waiver wire

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams:Sam Bradford is looking for a No. 1 wide receiver, and he very well could have just found him. There are no other Rams receivers who are worth owning right now.

Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Eight catches for 157 yards in Week 2, a monster game for a former fantasy star. If you have an underperforming tight end, he can be a good replacement.

Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins: Twelve targets (passes thrown to him) with nine receptions for 111 yards make him worthy to try and get. Ryan Tannehill is looking for a go-to wide receiver and Hartline might be his guy.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers:Cam Newton's not a one-year wonder, and Lafell had twice as many receptions as any other Panther in Week 2. He can be an interesting option for you at WRwide receiver

Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens: Two weeks in a row is hard to ignore. He followed up a 73 yard/TD performance in Week 1 with eight more catches Sunday. If you're weak at tight end, he can start for you.

Other players worth a pickup if the above aren't available: Colts receiver Donnie Avery, Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.

Injuries to watch:

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants: He left Sunday's game with a neck injury and didn't return. Andre Brown had a nice game in his place with 72 yards rushing and a score. Pick him up if you have room because he'll be getting the carries now that Bradshaw has been ruled out, and he'll get them ahead of David Wilson no matter what.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: He didn't travel with the Giants to Charlotte, so you'll need to dip into the free agent pool if you need someone for this week, as he's out.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: His ankle injury has his status up in the air for Week 3. If he sits, you play Michael Bush. If Forte plays, then Bush can stay on your bench.

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: I know, he really put you in a bad spot getting ruled out just before game-time on Sunday. He's fragile, so you always have to have a backup plan ready at tight end. When he plays, he's great, but you have to have another option just in case.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots: His ankle sprain means he'll be out awhile, so you'll need a replacement (see above). It also means that Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd will be better fantasy players because they'll get more passes their way in his absence.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: He left Sunday's game with a hip injury, which means DeSean Jackson becomes a great start as long as he's out, and Brent Celek's value goes way up as well.

Question of the week:

Answer: I love the way this question is worded. And you're not that far off. Most leagues start at least two running backs and two wide receivers. A flex position is sort of a 'wildcard' slot, where you can play either an additional running back, wide receiver, or in some cases, a tight end. No matter who the player is, he's not one of your top two that you would normally start at RB or WR, so yes, it is for a player who is less "reliable" than the others, but he can still be a pretty good player.

Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy Live on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.