For all those fantasy football players who are setting lineups ahead of the playoffs (or a crucial late-season matchup), many were dealt a brutal blow on Saturday afternoon. Although there didn’t seem to be a huge concern over New York Giants star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. possibly missing time, that changed quickly ahead of Week 14.
As Matt Lombardo of NJ.com revealed, the Giants ruled Beckham out for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins with a quad injury.
This makes for an interesting spot for fantasy players. There’s no question that Beckham was a clear-cut starter in every format and expected to do the bulk of the heavy lifting against the Redskins this week. But now, it’ll be about finding a potential replacement for him to fill your starting lineup out.
Fantasy Football Replacements for Odell Beckham Jr.
It has to start with Beckham’s teammate Sterling Shepard as a top option in Week 14. The young wideout has received 12 targets over the past two games, even with Beckham in the lineup. Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide quite the same level of upside, and there’s a chance Shepard may not available in your fantasy league.
If you play in 14-team leagues or larger, the waiver wire is almost certainly incredibly thin. So looking at an option like Bennie Fowler could make sense, as he’ll likely take Beckham’s place as a starter. Fowler played 44 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last week (per Football Outsiders), but has caught just nine passes all season.
There’s risk involved in using an unknown option like Fowler, as he could wind up being funneled targets, or simply take a back seat, even as a starter.
Fantasy Football Targets Outside of the Giants
Unfortunately, much of the decision on who to use in place of Beckham for your fantasy lineup comes down to the size of the league you play in. When evaluating 10 and 12-team leagues, you’ll have far more options than you would in 14-teamers.
For the smaller leagues, options such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Chris Godwin, Detroit Lions’ Bruce Ellington and possibly even DeVante Parker of the Miami Dolphins are options. Buffalo Bills WR Zay Jones also has quite a bit of appeal. There’s a good chance at least two or three of those names are on the waiver wire currently, with Godwin and Ellington less likely than the others.
As far as those leagues where the waiver wire is very thin, targeting a name like Dante Pettis, Michael Gallup or Marcell Ateman could make sense. Pettis has been exceptional in his last two games playing with quarterback Nick Mullens while Gallup, the Cowboys rookie, came on in Week 13 with five catches for 76 yards and faces a struggling Eagles secondary.