So the title is misleading right? Options for replacing Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones don’t exist. Promise. Don’t believe it? Look at the stat leaders through week five. You’re talking about top-10 receiving talent. Chances are you will not find that on the waiver wire. What you will find are somewhat capable “fill in” options at least (in the case of Johnson) for the time being.
Lets start in Atlanta; with Julio Jones out most fantasy owners are undoubtedly going to be all over the Harry Douglas claim wagon. Avoid. This. Urge. I promise you will regret that decision if you go that route. I already know what doubters of that last sentence are saying: “But who else does Matt Ryan have to throw to?” Well let me start by giving you a little context to why I believe this is a mistake. When targeted, Douglas (who has 170 of them since 2010) doesn’t do a whole lot with the catches he does make. So now with the prospect of having both Roddy White and Julio out their first game after the bye week you’re going to pin your hopes on a guy who will draw the top corner from each team?
Good. You’re listening now.
Drew Davis is a name you should consider. Not only will he not draw said coverage, the 6’2″ wideout out of Oregon was impressive enough in the preseason to be listed as the fourth receiver on the depth chart. If you want to take a flyer, I suggest you take that one.
Calvin Johnson’s situation is a bit…trickier. It’s nice that Broyles is more than likely available in your leagues, as well as Kris Durham. But if you saw the way Stafford played without his top guy this past week you should take pause on either of those options. You know Julio isn’t coming back this season, but Johnson very well could suit up Sunday (or he might not). Given the situation I would look at a receiver such as Keenan Allen. The rookie out of Cal-Berkeley has become a favorite target of Philip Rivers (yep, that guy) and is playing at a high level. Depending how deep your league is I would look for him or Alshon Jeffrey. Josh Gordon has long since been scooped up, but another name that has probably been forgotten is Denarius Moore in Oakland. He is the undisputed number one receiver for the Raiders and its pretty simple why: he catches the ball.
Finding replacements for these guys isn’t happening, a stop-gap however is possible.
Others to consider:
- Rueben Randle, New York Giants
- Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings
- Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
- Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks