The regular season hasn’t even started yet, but a handful of talented players have gone down with injuries. Alas, such is the nature of the preseason.
If you’ve already drafted in your fantasy football leagues, then you’re likely regretting at least one of the picks that you’ve made. If you haven’t drafted yet, though, then you’re in luck. New players have been rising up draft boards in recent weeks, and you get to cash in on their newfound high-level fantasy status.
Let’s break down three of the most notable replacement starters and where to draft them in your fantasy draft this year.
Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
Replacing: Cameron Meredith
Many saw Cameron Meredith as a potential sleeper this year, considering that he appeared to be the best wide receiver on the Chicago Bears’ roster. One torn ACL later, though, and it appears that Kevin White will take up that role.
White hasn’t really proven much in his NFL career. He missed all of his rookie year due to injury, and he missed all but four games last year for the same reason. Despite that, he will likely be Mike Glennon’s (or Mitch Trubisky’s) top target this season. He still a bit of potential to tap into. After all, there’s a reason he was the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
You’ll have to be cautious when drafting White, though. Don’t expect him to put up big numbers right away, considering his lack of experience and the quarterback situation surrounding him. However, he would be a very good pickup as a WR4 on your fantasy roster. He’d be a good target somewhere between Rounds 10 and 12.
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Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Replacing: Spencer Ware
Kareem Hunt has been a favorite of mine for a while now. Last September, I marked him as my sleeper in this year’s NFL Draft class. Earlier this month, I also had him as one of my biggest rookie sleepers in fantasy football this season. Now that Spencer Ware is injured, those who were previously sleeping on him have apparently woken up.
The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had a stable running back situation in quite a while. Jamaal Charles only played in eight games from 2015 to 2016. With him gone, it was expected that Ware would step in as the starter. Now, however, Hunt is in a prime position to succeed.
The Chiefs have done well at running the ball over the past few years. Ware had 921 rushing yards filling in for Charles last year. He and Charcandrick West combined for 1,037 yards in 2015. Although Hunt may not reach 1,000 yards, he might come close. Kansas City doesn’t have many other talented offensive weapons, so he will get a handful of carries. Draft him as an RB3 or a FLEX in between Rounds 6 and 8.
Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
Replacing: Julian Edelman
The loss of Julian Edelman will be a huge one for the New England Patriots. Nonetheless, they still have a dangerous duo in Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski for Tom Brady to throw to. While Edelman will be missed in their offense, they will seemingly promote Chris Hogan to his spot.
Hogan had a solid season last year, racking up 38 receptions for 680 yards and four touchdowns. His yards-per-reception total, 17.9, tied DeSean Jackson for the most in the NFL. While the Patriots added Cooks, who is another talented deep ball threat, Hogan can still realistically come close to his total from last year.
Hogan best projects as a WR4 this year. Draft him somewhere around the 12th round.
– Jacob Infante is the Social Media Director for cover32. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.