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Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes fantasy options with Arian Foster out

Alfred-BlueThe Houston Texans announced on Sunday that Arian Foster will be inactive against the New York Giants with a hamstring injury. Rookie running back Alfred Blue and second-year back Jonathan Grimes will likely see an increase in workload as a result of Foster’s injury. Veteran back Ronnie Brown could also get some touches.

If you’re looking to pick up one back to plug into your fantasy lineup, Blue is probably the “safest” option. The former LSU Tiger has registered 12 carries through two games this season even with Foster healthy. He is averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Grimes has rushed just four times for 11 yards.

It’s hard to get excited about anyone with Foster out, even against the Giants’ weak defense. The Texans are likely going to ride the hot hand, meaning any of the three aforementioned backs has a chance to make an impact. I personally wouldn’t play Blue, Grimes or Brown unless I was desperate.

Harry Douglas a fantasy option with Roddy White ‘likely out’

Harry-Douglas-FalconsAtlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been nursing a hamstring injury all week, and it sounds like the veteran may wind up sitting out Thursday’s nights game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If that is the case, Harry Douglas would be a solid option as a plug-and-play in fantasy football this week.

According to Pro Football Talk, White is “likely out” against Tampa Bay. Douglas is a talented third wide receiver who has earned the trust of Matt Ryan over the past two years, mostly because White and Julio Jones have battled injuries. In 16 games last season, Douglas caught 85 passes and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

Simply put, Douglas always seems to produce when his number is called. Even with White and Jones playing this year, Douglas has been targeted 16 times through two games and caught 10 passes. The Falcons throw the ball a lot and their offense always looks better at home. He should see plenty of looks from Ryan on Thursday night.

Wes Welker fantasy value after being reinstated

Wes Welker BroncosThe NFL and NFL Players Association announced on Wednesday that a new drug policy for the league has been passed. Changes to the policy regarding performance-enhancing drug use have been made, resulting in Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick and St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey being eligible to return in Week 3.

Unlike the old drug policy, players who test positive for banned substances in the offseason will no longer be automatically suspended. They will instead be referred to the league’s substance abuse program. That applies to Welker, who has been accused of taking Molly at the Kentucky Derby before the season.

Welker, Scandrick and Bailey were the only players named in the NFL’s official release. There are other players who tested positive during the offseason, but it’s possible those tests could have taken place before the official start of the 2014 football year. Or, they could have committed other violations like using a masking agent when providing a urine sample or trying to manipulate a test.

As for fantasy football, Welker is obviously the name everyone is curious about. The 33-year-old was recovering from another concussion before he was suspended, so it is possible it will take him a few weeks to get into game shape. Peyton Manning obviously trusts Welker, so he will certainly have value in PPR leagues and deep standard leagues. His presence may also result in less targets for Emmanuel Sanders, which will be something to monitor.

I wouldn’t plug Welker into my Week 3 lineup, especially with the Broncos traveling to Seattle to face the Seahawks. That said, he should be rostered in all formats until we get a clearer picture of what’s going on.

Khiry Robinson a fantasy waiver add after Mark Ingram injury

Khiry-RobinsonAn incredible amount of injuries to key players on Sunday has already led to a ton of scrambling in fantasy football leagues. Mark Ingram was one of several running backs that got hurt, as Adam Schefter reports he is expected to miss about a month with a hand injury he suffered against the Cleveland Browns. As a result, Khiry Robinson will be one of the top fantasy waiver wire adds this week.

Robinson has already gotten some work this season in Sean Payton’s offense, which utilizes as many as four running backs every game. He has rushed for 59 yards on 14 carries through two games. Ingram is the Saints’ short-yardage and goal-line back, and a lot of those touches will now be going to Robinson.

Of course, the Saints still have Pierre Thomas. It’s possible that Thomas could see some goal line and short yardage carries while Ingram is out, but Payton seems to keep Pierre’s role consistent. Robinson received more carries than Thomas through two games even when Ingram was healthy (14 to 10), whereas Thomas has caught nine passes and Robinson none.

With upcoming games against the Minnesota Vikings and then the Dallas Cowboys, who have one of the worst defenses in football, Robinson could be a quality flex play leading up to the Saints’ Week 6 bye.

Damien Williams, Daniel Thomas fantasy options after Knowshon Moreno injury

Daniel-ThomasMiami Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills with a dislocated elbow and is expected to miss four to eight weeks. Prior to the injury, Moreno had looked like Miami’s best back and had become the No. 1 option ahead of Lamar Miller. The job will now be Miller’s to lose, but the Dolphins will still use multiple backs. Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas are the best waiver wire adds for fantasy purposes.

Williams will likely be Miller’s primary backup while Moreno is out. The former Oklahoma back rushed for 19 yards on five carries after Moreno went down. However, the Dolphins have also decided to bring back Daniel Thomas.

Thomas, who was part of a committee with Miller in Miami for the past two years, was released in the preseason after being beat out by Williams and undrafted free agent Orleans Darkwa. While Miami has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor, Thomas should have some familiarity with the system after having gone through training camp with the team. However, he did rush for just 406 yards in 15 games last season.

As of now, the “safest” fantasy add is probably Williams. That said, the Dolphins are likely going to feed Miller the rock and give him a chance to become a feature back. If he’s unable to do that, Williams and possibly Thomas will get carries. I’m not sure I’d use a high waiver priority on either player.

Donald Brown, Danny Woodhead fantasy options while Ryan Mathews is out

Danny-Woodhead-ChargersDonald Brown and Danny Woodhead will be two names to consider when you put in your waiver requests for your fantasy league this week.

San Diego Chargers starting running back Ryan Mathews was carted off the field with a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. UT San Diego says the initial prognosis is that Mathews has a sprained MCL in his right knee, though there is no timetable for how long he will be out.

While Mathews recovers, Brown and Woodhead will split the carries for San Diego’s offense.

Brown, a former first-round pick by the Colts, had 21 yards on seven carries and 3 catches for 10 yards against Seattle. Woodhead, who is in his second season with the Chargers, rushed for 32 yards on 8 carries and caught 4 passes for 28 yards.

We’re expecting Brown to assume a similar role to what Mathews had in the Chargers’ offense as a featured back. Woodhead will probably maintain his role as a receiving option on passing downs and occasional rusher.

Knile Davis fantasy player to pick up after Jamaal Charles injury

Knile Davis

Looking to scoop up a running back following an injury during Week 2 of the NFL season? Knile Davis may be your man.

Jamaal Charles left Sunday’s game against the Broncos in the first quarter with an ankle injury. There’s been no determination yet on his status, but Davis came in and immediately carried the load for KC.

Davis, 22, was a third-round pick by the Chiefs last season out of Arkansas. He had 245 yards and four touchdowns on 71 carries as a rookie, which only measured out to a 3.5 yards per carry average. While he is much less talented than Charles, the running back in an Andy Reid offense often sees a lot of work running and catching the ball.

If the Jamaal Charles owner in your fantasy league was sleeping and failed to handcuff him with Davis, you should seriously look into swooping in and grabbing him.