Now that we’re over a quarter of the way through the 2013 NFL season, there’s a really good chance that, due to injuries, under performances and poor coaching, your roster is in need of some TLC. The good news here is that there are still plenty of players available in 10- to 12-team leagues that can help fantasy owners right away. Let’s take a look at five such players who could have big games this week.
Zac Stacy - Running Back, St. Louis Rams
The Rams have had trouble establishing a solid running game all season, and are obviously feeling the loss of Steven Jackson. Stacy was handed the keys as the starter last week and responded by racking up 78 rushing yards on 14 carries and eight fantasy points, which was good for 24th-best among running backs. If you're in need of an RB2 or flex player, Stacy is definitely worth a look this week against a Houston Texans team that ranks 20th according to numberFire's rushing efficiency metric, allowing 126 rushing yards per game and 16.4 fantasy points-per-game to opposing running backs.
It is important to temper expectations here though. Despite being named the starter last week, Stacy split the workload nearly 50/50 with Daryl Richardson, who had one less carry with 13 but was much less effective with just 48 yards rushing. As long as the Rams go with a committee approach, it won’t matter that Stacy is the starter by title and you shouldn't count on him for high-end fantasy numbers.
Jeremy Kerley - Wide Receiver, New York Jets
Kerley continues to progress and become more involved in the Jets’ offense. Last week, starting in place of the injured Santonio Holmes, Kerley had a huge day, putting up 68 yards and a touchdown on five catches, good for 15th-best among fantasy receivers with 12.8 points. Holmes is expected to miss this week’s game as well, which will give Kerley starting time once again, opposite Stephen Hill. With Kellen Winslow Jr. getting popped for PED’s and suspended four games, that leaves Kerley open for even more targets moving forward.
Moving forward, Kerley is a solid flex option for owners in need of help at receiver, or even as a plug-and-play bench option if you’re stacked at the position.
Williams had a breakout performance last week in place of the injured Miles Austin, amassing 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five catches, finishing the week less than a point shy of teammate Dez Bryant with 23.30 fantasy points (fourth-best among receivers).
This week, Williams and the Cowboys take on the Washington Redskins, who are giving up the fifth most passing yards per game with 298.2 and allowing the fifth most fantasy points to receivers per game with 27.0. Even if Austin is able to play this week, Williams will still see a ton of targets as the team’s number three receiver against the Redskins abysmal defense. While Austin’s return means you can’t unequivocally depend on Williams as a WR1, he makes a great WR2 and/or FLEX option in deeper leagues, especially this week.
Jordan Reed - Tight End, Washington Redskins
Reed, the talented rookie from Florida, has overtaken veteran incumbent Fred Davis as the Redskins’ top tight end this season. Through four games, Reed has racked up 13 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, which is 29th-best among fantasy tight ends on the season.
The Redskins take on Dallas this week, a team currently allowing the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. With Washington likely going down early and having to play from behind, there’s potential here for a ton of garbage-time points from Reed.
Chad Henne - Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
It feels really weird writing about any Jaguars quarterback being a fantasy sleeper, but if there was ever a week, this is it. This week, Henne and the Jaguars are lucky enough to play against the Denver Broncos and their league-leading offense. It’s definitely a no-brainer that the Jaguars will be playing from behind early, which sets them up to go pass-heavy for almost the entire game. This is good news for Jacksonville, as Denver is currently surrendering the most passing yards per game at 347 and have given up the fifth-most touchdowns with 11. It’s also worth noting that the Broncos are giving up 20.8 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, which is the sixth-most in the league. Henne has the smarts, skills and talented pass catchers to put up a ton of fantasy points as Jacksonville tries to keep pace with Peyton Manning and Denver.