FANTASY FIX: Which New Starters / Injury Fill-Ins are Start-Worthy?


Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) runs with the ball against Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson (26) in the third quarter at AT

In the NFL, it often takes an injury for a new star to be born.  Keen Fantasy Footballers have a lot to gain by stashing back-ups with the most potential – think Adrian Peterson in 2007 (a sour memory, as yours truly had Chester Taylor on his team).  Here, we’ll take a look at some players with a chance to break out in Week 7.

Joseph Randle – RB/DAL

When Randle was drafted, I had a lot of reservations.  Fellow Cowboys fans were very excited about him, while I criticized his tendency to run upright and his lack of speed.  After last week, fellow Cowboys fans have criticized his tendency to run upright and his lack of speed, while I have been pointing out a high motor and decent vision.

Here’s the thing: If Randle will be an effective NFL back, it will take a great deal of refinement.  That won’t happen by Sunday.  However, the Eagles are a mid-level defense at best, and it’s looking like Randle and Phillip Tanner will be the only backs available to play.  So, Joseph Randle will get his chances.  I would bet that he breaks the plain at least once – even if he’s pushed over the line – thus making him start-worthy.  Man, where is Kendial Lawrence when you need him?

Harry Douglas – WR/ATL

Unlike with Randle, you know what your getting with 5-year vet Harry Douglas.  The 29-year old has always been a solid receiver for the Falcons, but never showed the same ability or explosiveness as his WR counterparts.  Now, with Jones gone for the season and White potentially sitting out on Sunday for the first time in his career, Douglas has the chance to shine.  Oh wait, the Falcons are playing the Bucs?  Douglas probably matched up with Darrelle Revis?  Yeah, maybe you better wait until Douglas paddles off [the newly trademarked] Revis Island.

Oct 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (34) rushes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago defeats New York 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Jacobs – RB/NYG

Yes, we’re actually going to talk about Brandon Jacobs in a positive light on a Cowboys blog.  FANTASY FOOTBALLERS NEED BE OBJECTIVE!

Anyway, 31-year old Jacobs danced all over the Falcons to the tune of 106-yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 6.  Of course, the Giants still lost.  However, Brandon Jacobs’ biggest contribution to the Giants has not even been his surprisingly solid production, but rather his attitude.  He’s genuinely excited to be back on the Giants and he has immediately jumped into a leadership position.

This week, the Giants draw the Vikings at home (here in New Jersey, not New York, btw), on Monday Night.

It is also worth noting that the Giants are even slimmer at running back than the Cowboys! Jacobs (and his big personality) + MNF + a Vikings defense that just isn’t what it once was + a Vikings offense with a new QB = a solid outing for the veteran.

Jarret Boykin – WR/GB

Jarret Boykin is probably the most intriguing name on this list.  The second-year UFA out of Virginia Tech looks to fill the shoes of recently IRed Randall Cobb, and possibly even James Jones who is Questionable for Sunday’s game against the Browns.  In Week 6, Boykin was targeted six times, yet only hauled in one catch; although, he did turn that one catch into 43 yards.

Boykin does not appear to be as skilled as the other Packers receivers.  However, his strength lies in his ability to run rather elusively after the catch despite his strong, 6’2 frame.  In a way, Boykin is a hybrid of Cobb and Jones.  He may not be as able as either of them, but the skills he offers fit the Packers scheme very well.

Also, the Packers obviously like to throw the ball, and it’s worth noting that they have not trusted rookie Jonathan Franklin very much due to ball security issues.  Thus, anybody expecting a Darren Sproles-type system given the absence of Cobb may not be correct, at least not yet.  All the more reason to like Boykin in the interim.  I would, however, give it a week to see how this Packers situation plays out, especially given the tough opponent.

Thoughts, questions, gripes?  Leave them all below in the comments section!  Also, e-mail to have your fantasy football questions answered in next week’s column!