Fantasy football: Keep misfortune in perspective

Ladd Biro
Special to Packer Plus
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Wide receiver Will Fuller of the Houston Texans would be a great pickup for owners at this time of the season.

Did you have a rough weekend? Don’t look for sympathy from Ben Roethlisberger. His five-interception implosion — at home, where everyone knows he plays infinitely better — was one he won’t soon forget, no matter how hard he tries. Maybe all that off-season retirement talk wasn’t premature after all.

Odell Beckham, Jr., feels your pain. Actually, he just feels his pain. And it hurts bad, as he’s likely lost for the season with a broken ankle.

Eli Manning could care less about your fantasy team. He’s too busy trying to find someone … anyone … he can throw the ball to, after losing Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris on Sunday. Paging Victor Cruz!

Amari Cooper doesn’t want to hear about your problems. He has caught just four passes for a whopping 23 yards over the last three games. He’s about as useful as that pair of eclipse sunglasses sitting at the bottom of your kitchen drawer.

Don’t sing the blues to Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. He just lost both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the rest of the season, and there are no viable substitutes available on his waiver wire. Yes, Houston’s fantasy defense just took a serious hit, too.

So as you ponder how to fill the gaps left in your lineup by Beckham’s injury, Big Ben’s and Amari’s flops or the impending bye weeks for the Bills, Bengals, Cowboys and Seahawks, keep your problems in perspective.

You could be a Browns fan …


Marlon Mack, RB, Colts: We’ve covered Mack in this space before, and we’re doing it again after his breakout game against the 49ers. Though 34-year-old Frank Gore had five more carries, Mack produced more and looked better when the ball was in his hands. Don’t be surprised if the distribution of carries shifts more toward the rookie going forward.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans: I told you to pick him up last week, yet he’s still available in more than 40 percent of all leagues. What are you waiting for?

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys: Widely drafted, then mostly discarded after a slow start, Beasley finally rekindled his bond with Dak Prescott. The crafty slot receiver scored twice in the first half against the Packers, though he finished with just four receptions on the day. Still, this may be the jumpstart Beasley needed to regain his fantasy cred.

Ed Dickson, TE, Panthers: It seems that every week a new tight end flashes his potential. Sunday was Dickson’s turn, as he does his best to cover for Greg Olsen’s absence. With Cam Newton finally getting his mojo back, Dickson’s stock is on the rise.


Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers: This might be your best chance to salvage some value from Williams in a trade, though he’s coming off a lousy 22-yard outing. Next weekend, prized rookie WR Mike Williams (back) is expected to suit up, signaling the beginning of the end for Tyrell as a fantasy factor (at least until Keenan Allen’s next injury).

George Kittle, TE, 49ers: Few outside San Francisco have heard of Kittle because, well, there was no reason to until Sunday. Then the rookie came up big toward the end of the Colts game, finishing with seven receptions for 83 yards and a score. But before you rush out to grab him, realize that his heroics came on the last drive of regulation. Let Kittle put some more skins on the wall before investing a roster spot in him.

Ladd Biro is a two-time winner and five-time finalist of the Football Writer of the Year Award by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (, on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).

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