Michael Fabiano: James isn't on the same level of Martin, there's no question about that. But when a running back falls into a starting job due to injuries, he needs to be owned in fantasy leagues. The position is so thin, even more so with six teams on a bye over the next two weeks, that at least you know you're going to get guarantees touches from the player. I'm not sure how long you have been involved in fantasy football, but look up the name Samkon Gado. Back in 2005, he came off the practice squad for the Green Bay Packers and was pushed into a starting role due to multiple backfield injuries. He turned into one of the best waiver-wire adds of the year. In fact, there was a four-week stretch where he scored more fantasy points than star runner LaDainian Tomlinson. The point here is that regardless of what James has or hasn't done on the field to this point in his career, he's now worth a roster spot in almost all formats.
Brandt: Gauging injury fallout
In the wake of an injury-filled week, Gil Brandt names the teams that can keep things rolling along -- and some that might fall apart. READ
With so many injuries to my roster (Martin, Julio Jones), should I just throw in the towel on this season? - @OJ_TheJuiceBox (via Twitter)
M.F.: I would never give up, no matter how badly injuries have decimated your fantasy team, if for no other reason than it's not fair to the rest of the owners in your league. It's bothersome when I am in the postseason hunt, and another playoff competitor gets what amounts to an automatic win because an owner has quit on his team. I would also take the hardship as a challenge to do the best I could to field a competitive team from off the waiver wire and with the help of playing the matchups. In a season that has been as crazy and unpredictable as this one, you never know what can happen.
I'm desperate for a replacement for Andrew Luck this week. Any suggestions? - @Dirtydozen6 (via Twitter)
M.F.: Times are tough in the fantasy streets! Here are some suggestions at the quarterback position (for players still on waivers) based on the matchups. Andy Dalton has been on fire over the last two weeks and is worth a look if available against the New York Jets. Ben Roethlisberger is owned in around 70 percent of NFL.com leagues, but he has a nice matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Carson Palmer faces the Atlanta Falcons, a team that has surrendered an average of over 20 fantasy points per contest to signal-callers. Other options include Alex Smith, Mike Glennon and Geno Smith.
M.F.: From a fantasy perspective, Heyward-Bey the clear replacement for his injured teammate. Wayne's absence will also mean more targets for T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, not to mention tight end Coby Fleener. Keep in mind, though, that expecting DHB to come in and put up the same sort of numbers we're used to from Wayne isn't realistic -- Heyward-Bey still has questionable hands and won't be nearly as consistent. On the bright side, he will be catching passes from one of the league's best young quarterbacks in Andrew Luck.
M.F.: Drop, no. Bench, yes (if you have backfield depth). It's hard for me to comprehend how bad Richardson's numbers have been since he was traded to Indianapolis. He hasn't rushed for more than 60 yards in five games with his new team, and he hasn't scored a touchdown in his last three contests. During that time, Richardson has averaged an awful 4.20 fantasy points and is losing carries to Donald Brown of all people. Owners have to hope that the team finds a way to turn things around for Richardson and their ground attack during the upcoming bye week, because he's been an utter disappointment both on the field and in fantasy land.
M.F.: You have held on to White this long, and there is no reason to drop him now. Also keep in mind that once he is back on the field, White will go back to being the top option in the pass attack for Matt Ryan. Even if that means you need to roster him a few more weeks so his hamstring can heal, so be it. I can guarantee you this -- if you release White, someone else in your league is going to pick him up in the blink of an eye.
M.F.: Well, at first it was the lack of consistent receivers at his disposal. He lost Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead in the offseason, Aaron Hernandez was no longer in the mix, and his young wideouts were having some trouble catching the football and running the correct routes. The return of Rob Gronkowski will no doubt help Brady's value, though it didn't do much last week when he scored a meager 7.12 fantasy points in a loss to the New York Jets. I guess you can chalk that up to the fact that he has never had a whole lot of success against the Men in Green, but the excuses for Brady have to end sooner than later. In fact -- dare I speak this -- Brady is now more of a matchup-based starter until further notice.
M.F.: The Rams now have to turn to Kellen Clemens under center, so fantasy leaguers should expect Stacy to be an even more prominent option in the offensive attack. In fact, he is the lone player on the St. Louis roster who I would trust as a starter in 10-team leagues. Look for Stacy to see 18-plus touches week in and week out for the remainder of the season.
Waiver wire: Pick Percy pronto
Michael Fabiano writes that Percy Harvin's debut makes the WR a must-have waiver wire commodity.. More ...
Are there any good waiver-wire pickups at wide receiver other than Percy Harvin? - @UverseFitz (via Twitter)
What are your thoughts on Jordan Reed? Seems like a good matchup this week against Denver. - @ABMUT_UK (via Twitter)
M.F.: Reed is now someone to target off the waiver wire, as he's become a more viable option in the pass attack for Robert Griffin III. He's also now in the good graces of his franchise, as the team announced earlier this week that Fred Davis was on the trade block. Reed, who is still a free agent in most NFL.com leagues, is also a great option based on a matchup against the Denver Broncos. Their defense has allowed the fourth-most receiving yards and an average of close to 10 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.