The first major injury blows have been dealt to fantasy football owners.
It took five weeks, but a slew of injuries to big name NFL players will have fantasy players scrambling on the waiver-wire this week.
The biggest injury came to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who may miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. That is bad news for the Falcons, especially with Roddy White already nursing nagging ankle and hamstring injuries.
Jones owners were likely to be active on the wire this week anyway with Atlanta on a bye, along with Miami.
Last week, I recommended scooping up Justin Blackmon fresh off a four-game suspension. Blackmon went off for 136 yards on Sunday, and he caught a touchdown pass on his first catch of the season. Blackmon was only picked up in a few leagues last week and is still available in 80 percent of leagues. He will be the main target again on the wire this week, and he is the perfect grab if you lost Jones.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams is also worth consideration. In the two weeks that Miles Austin has been hampered with an injury, Williams has 222 receiving yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions. It will be hard to count on consistency out of Williams when Austin returns because he is behind Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Austin as Tony Romo's fourth target, but he should still get a lot of looks against NFC East opponents, which have struggled to defend the pass so far this season.
Owners of Michael Vick were biting their nails hoping he would somehow avoid injury, but Vick pulled up lame after injuring his hamstring on a run on Sunday. Nick Foles will start this weekend for the Eagles.
Those looking to replace Vick on the waiver-wire might be in some trouble. Injuries to several low-end fantasy quarterbacks has made the wire very thin.
Unfortunately, Geno Smith looks like the best option, especially this week against the Steelers defense that allowed Matt Cassel a 248-yard, two-touchdown day in London in Week 4. Smith was highly efficient against Atlanta on Monday night, throwing for three touchdowns while not turning the ball over.
Since Josh Freeman signed with Minnesota, he will garner some attention on the waiver-wire. He won't start until at least Week 7, and I wouldn't make a move on him until he actually proves he can win that starting job.
Some fantasy players have targeted Zac Stacy as a waiver-wire claim at running back after his first start against Jacksonville on Sunday. Stacy had 78 yards in St. Louis' lethargic rushing attack. Though he may be dubbed as the starter for the Rams, don't get too excited about him. Coach Jeff Fisher will continue to use a committee of backs, and Stacy won't see a better match up all year than he did against Jacksonville. Failing to get into the end zone isn't a good sign.
Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels has done enough to warrant being started in fantasy leagues all year with his three touchdown grabs. However, he also suffered an injury on Sunday, and he will be down four to six weeks. This adds a lot of value to another tight end we have been watching in recent weeks, Garrett Graham. Graham also has three touchdown receptions this year, and he has gone for double-digit fantasy points in three of the four games he has caught a pass. He will get a lot of looks while Daniels is down and is worth picking up in all leagues.
Survivor pools went down in flames this weekend after the Atlanta Falcons fell to the New York Jets at home on Monday night. If you are still alive this week, I suggest picking either the Kansas City Chiefs at home against Oakland or the Houston Texans at home against the St. Louis Rams.
That is all for this week. As always, feel free to send your lineup questions to my email or Twitter.John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Times and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writes Association. He can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.