It is time to start prepping for Week 4 already, and as usual there was plenty of action and surprises last Sunday in the NFL. As seems to be a weekly occurrence, the injury bug bit around the league, but with injury comes opportunity and rising stock for someone else. A couple of these guys this is going to be your last opportunity to grab them, while a couple others it is just taking a wait and see approach. Regardless of the situation, here are nine guys whose stock is on the rise. Follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
He was knocked out of the first game early, and fantasy owners ran for the hills. But the last two weeks Derek Carr not only has shown the flashes of the guy who finished 2014 strong, he has declared himself ready to rise to starting fantasy quarterback position. He is owned in less than a quarter of season long fantasy leagues on major platforms, but should be a DFS darling next week against the lowly Bears.
Michael Vick, Pittsburgh Steelers
PETA might not be happy, but Michael Vick is going to be the quarterback of the Steelers for at least a month. He didn’t light the world on fire in his short time in the game Sunday, but the Rams defense certainly came to play. He has nice weapons in Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell out of the backfield among others, and a solid offensive line. His value might be limited to deeper leagues two quarterback leagues, but Vick is a guy to keep an eye on.
Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills
This one might already be too late, but if not this is the week to grab him. We’ve known for the past couple of seasons that LeSean McCoy has become an injury waiting to happen, and when it does, Williams has shown the ability to step up. He now has a touchdown in all three games this season, and ran for over 100 yards on just 12 carries on Sunday. Even if McCoy is healthy I believe he will garner a half dozen or so carries a week, but if McCoy was indeed going to need to miss a few weeks somewhere along the line, Williams is looking like a must start.
Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles
Is something fishy going on in Philadelphia? DeMarco Murray has been epically bad through two games. He was less than 100% heading into Sunday, but the report that morning was he was going to play. Suddenly about an hour before kickoff he was deemed inactive. Was his injury suddenly too much to play through, or is something going on with him and the team? Either way, Ryan Mathews would be the beneficiary of that situation. He did well getting a 100 yard game against a stout Jets defense and keep your eye on this situation in the coming days!
Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans
Rookie David Cobb is on the shelf and we all know that Bishop Sankey sucks something awful, so it isn’t a surprise that the Titans gave someone else an opportunity. Andrews is never going to light up the highlight reel, but he’s a tough runner. He had one touchdown on an eight yard run and had another called back for holding. The Titans have a bye in Week 4, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Andrews be the lead back again when they return.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
To say that Justin Forsett has been a disappointment so far would be quite the understatement. To be just under 125 rushing yards after three games is not what his fantasy owners signed up for. I’m not saying they are going to start looking elsewhere, but rookie Javorius Allen has gotten carries here and there, and if the rookie from USC can open an eye or two, perhaps he can chip into Forsett’s carries.
Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams was questionable coming into Monday night’s game and he didn’t last very long before he reinjured that ankle. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Adams miss some time. This would have Montgomery be the next man up as the third receiver for the Packers. For a team that throws a lot like the Packers, there is plenty of value in their third wide receiver position.
Leonard Hankerson, Atlanta Falcons
Roddy White’s aging and his preseason injury didn’t get him off to the start he needed after a bounce back 2014. Things have gotten so bad that he has been active the last two weeks, played a normal complement of snaps, and hasn’t caught a single pass. In that time, however, Leonard Hankerson has gotten a nice showing for himself with nine catches for 122 yards and a score. I expect this trend to continue and Hankerson will be the definitive number two in Atlanta going forward. Too bad that damn Julio Jones catches everything in sight!
Cecil Shorts, Houston Texans
He’s not going to be a big sexy name who is going to put up monster stats, but Shorts is quietly having a solid start to his first year in Houston. DeAndre Hopkins is the guy, but Shorts has become the possession receiver that Ryan Mallett trusts. He has 12 catches in the last two weeks, and I see no reason why this won’t continue. His value is obviously higher in PPR leagues and I think he is a solid guy to have towards the end of your bench for injury and bye week replacements.
Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts
Another aging veteran who dialed up a goose egg on Sunday was Andre Johnson, leaving the receiver depth chart in Indianapolis a little cloudy. The problem for Dorsett is there are just so many mouths to feed in Indy. Hilton, Johnson, Montcrief, Gore, Fleener, and even Dwayne Allen all are capable receivers which makes it difficult to think that Andrew Luck will start to favor Dorsett. However, the kid was a first round pick when the Colts clearly had bigger needs so they must think highly of him and he is definitely one to watch for a breakout.