Dez Bryant expected to miss at least a month because of a broken bone in his foot
All fantasy owners enter the football season with hope, knowing that it takes a good draft, good waiver wire pickups, good trades, and good luck to get through the season successfully. The good luck often comes from hoping that your players stay healthy. When a first-round draft pick goes down in the first game of the season, it's a tough blow to any team.
While there were certainly plenty of injuries to talk about from Week 1, the most devastating for fantasy owners, at least based on the information we have right now, is the news that Dez Bryant has a broken bone in his foot and needs surgery. The timeline is a 4-6 week injury, although since the Cowboys have a bye in Week 6, it is likely that Bryant won't be back on the field until Week 7.
Along with Bryant, DeSean Jackson went down with a hamstring injury (leaving his fantasy owners with zero points) and T.Y. Hilton has a bruised knee, which will cost him time.
As a fantasy owner scrambling to place waiver claims, what are some options? Here are the five wide receivers you should target if they are available in your league.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys (57 percent owned in ESPN.com leagues)
Williams is the obvious replacement for Bryant. He'll step up to the No. 1 receiver role for the Cowboys while Bryant is sidelined. Cole Beasley will also be in the mix, but Williams has always been a red-zone threat and a better bet for fantasy points than Beasley. He had eight touchdowns in 2014 and had three red-zone targets in Week 1. He's not a WR1 to replace one you lost, but at this point, odds are you aren't going to find a WR1 on the waiver wire.
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills (41 percent owned)
Harvin had been dealing with hip soreness during the preseason, but he looked good in Week 1. Tyrod Taylor hooked up with Harvin for a 51-yard touchdown pass, which helped both of their numbers. Harvin ended the day with a 5/79/1 stat line, however, he had five targets, and caught them all. He added one nine-yard rush as well. The Bills are still going to be a run-first offense (Taylor only attempted 19 passes) and Sammy Watkins will be the No. 1 receiver. However, Harvin has value as a fill-in for desperate Bryant owners.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers (31 percent owned)
After a year in Oakland and being bounced around teams in the offseason and preseason, Jones landed back with Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers looked for him. He had four targets and he caught all four, piling up 51 yards and two touchdowns. Jones has always been hit or miss (he'll likely follow up his huge week with a 1/14/0 stat line next week) but he is certainly worthy of filling in for an injured WR because of the huge red-zone potential.
Brandon Coleman, WR, New Orleans Saints (27 percent owned)
Coleman was a darling of the preseason and his Week 1 performance shows he should be picked up, especially if you need a wide receiver replacement. He had seven targets and caught four of them for 41 yards and a touchdown. Drew Brees did attempt 48 passes, so the target ratio isn't great, but Brandon Cooks only had eight targets and Coleman was tied with Colston with seven. In the event Cooks or Colston gets injured, Coleman will have a huge boost in fantasy value. Grab him now as a low-end WR3 even with the two other WRs on the Saints.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (11 percent owned)
Moncrief makes the list because he's the most obvious injury fill-in for T.Y. Hilton. Hilton has a bruised knee, the extent of which is unknown, but he could miss a game or two. His Week 2 status is certainly in jeopardy. Moncrief will be next in line, although based on Week 1, the Colts need to work on their passing game. Moncrief caught six of his 11 targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. Andre Johnson will still be ahead of him on the depth chart, but based on Sunday's performance that won't be the pecking order for long. Look for Moncrief to be a good add even once Hilton comes back if Johnson keeps faltering.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.