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I had planned to discuss my "true" top 10 fantasy players this week, after critiquing my own pre-season top 10 rankings last week, but something more pressing has come up: Numerous players were injured last week, several of them with season-ending afflictions.
The lead-up to Week 8 is looking like it will be one of these busiest in fantasy sports waiver wire history (though I'm hoping no one actually keeps track of this and can prove me wrong).
With fantasy team owners ready to dig deep, here are my ideas for replacing the wounded:
Doug Martin, RB, TAM: Probably out for the season with a torn labrum, though no one's admitting it yet. You could try the TAM rookie RB Mike James, who got several carries and 45 yards rushing after Martin bowed out in Week 7, but another idea is Zac Stacy, RB, STL, who scored a TD in Week 7 and might be in line for more work after his own QB went down last week.
Sam Bradford, QB, STL: Out for the season with torn ACL. Bradford was quietly having a pretty good fantasy run this season, with 13 TDs and only three INTs, though he was probably still a back-up. Given his status as fantasy filler, a suitable replacement could be Geno Smith, QB, NYJ, who has eight total TDs against 10 INTs, but has been running more and passing better in recent games.
Jay Cutler, QB, CHI: Out four to six weeks, groin injury. Cutler also likely has been a fantasy back-up. You could gamble on whoever is starting for Minnesota in a given week. The QB is a three-headed dragon consisting of Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, but for some reason, the Vikings seem more interested in passing than handing the ball to Adrian Peterson.
Jermichael Finley, TE, GB: Probably out for the season with a neck injury. Finley's status is unclear, but the injury was scary enough to keep him in the ICU overnight, so everyone's expecting he'll be out a while. Charles Clay, TE, MIA, is almost an even trade for Finley. He had only one catch in Week 7, but it was a seven-yard TD, and he's been averaging about 50 yards receiving per game this season.
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND: Out for the season, torn ACL. Terrance Williams, WR, DAL, is more of a WR2 than a WR1 like Wayne, but in the last four weeks, he has 320 yards receiving and three TDs.
* Bleacher Report has its own injury replacement ideas.
* Yahoo!'s NFL Skinny features its Week 8 rankings by position.
* SB Nation talks defense.
* USA Today reminds us fantasy football is not life. We should remember this on our own.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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