Bears and Jets injuries create new fantasy football options

      October 19, 2012 @ 14:20:56 PDT


With six teams on bye this week, including several fantasy-star-infused offenses, it's time to be more brazen with your spot starts and take a few chances.

Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears

One situation I am keeping a close eye on is the New York Jets' backfield of injuries. Bilal Powell (shoulder) is doubtful, and Joe McKnight (ankle) is a game-time decision. While the latter says he intends to play, I have a hard time believing someone with a high ankle sprain is ready to go so soon.

Lex Hilliard is more of a bruiser at 240 pounds, but he has decent enough hands to be a checkdown and is a capable pass protector after a couple of snafus early in his career.

There has been talk that Tim Tebow could line up at running back, although I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen. If it does, expect a few plays at most.

The back with the most intrigue is undrafted rookie Jonathan Grimes. He looks the part of a big-play third-down back at 5-foot-10, 201 pounds, despite having no NFL regular-season game action under his belt.

My guess is if McKnight doesn't play, Hilliard is the primary third-down back and Grimes will spell Shonn Greene from time to time. One electric play from the youngster could change that, however. The New England Patriots have allowed 6.50 receptions to running backs in the last four weeks, which means there is room for exploitation.

Another situation that has my attention is the No. 2 target behind Brandon Marshall in Chicago's pecking order now that Alshon Jeffery (hand) is out. Mike Tice says Devin Hester will see more action, but I have a strange feeling that Earl Bennett could be a sneaky play this week. Only consider him as a deep flier pick in point-per-reception leagues.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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