Fantasy Football: Emergency Demaryius Thomas replacement

(Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

One of the more interesting questionable tags heading into Sunday is that of Demaryius Thomas.

The wide receiver, who is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, picked up a hip injury in Week 1 and has been dealing with the issue all week.

He’s been limited, but all signs point to him playing, at least that’s what Gary Kubiak says.

On Wednesday, Thomas was grabbing his hip through drills and sometimes grimacing. SB Nation’s Broncos blog goes as far to say that Thomas should just sit so he can rest and return to full health.

But then there’s Kubiak: “He’s on course to make it Sunday.”

Things looked a little better Friday at practice, but Thomas himself said that he was day-to-day.

The interesting part is that he’ll be playing the most beat up and possibly the worst secondary in the league. Without their top two cornerbacks, the Colts will likely once again turn to guys they picked up a week before the season started, including Antonio Cromartie who is also questionable to play.

Even if Thomas isn’t 100 percent, he could still possibly carve up this defense. But if he plays and that first hit comes in on his hip, he may not last more than one catch.

So, where do we have to turn?

I pointed out Pierre Garcon last week and he’s still an option against the Cowboys. Also on Washington, Jamison Crowder deserves some attention, but getting 10 targets again seems unlikely for the slot man.

My favorite options include two guys in the Monday Night Football game on opposite ends of the field.

Eddie Royal (4 percent owned Yahoo, 5 percent at ESPN) had a solid first week, catching four-of-six targets for 57 yards and a touchdown. Not many are chalking this up as much, so his ownership percentages have remained low this week.

However, who’s to say his success can’t continue into this game? Kevin White is still struggling to run routes and that’ll keep giving Royal more opportunities. Sure, Royal won’t get 10 targets in this game, but he should see similar numbers against a defense that is stacked in the front seven, but with questions in the secondary.

Cornerback Leodis McKelvin is out and that could lead to issues for the Eagles against Jay Cutler. In addition, if that Eagles front can get pressure on Cutler, that may actually help Royal, who does a lot of his damage closer to the line of scrimmage.

Another receiver that most people still don’t respect is Nelson Agholor (12 percent owned Yahoo, 9.1 percent at ESPN). Agholor was a bust last season, so naturally everyone discredited him going into this year and he went undrafted in most places, even as the No. 2 WR for Philadelphia.

But it only took one week for him to show immediate improvement with Carson Wentz at quarterback, as he totaled four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown against the Browns.

With Zach Ertz questionable and looking unlikely to play against the Bears, Agholor could be in great shape to see even more targets in this game.

And like the Eagles, Chicago has a few questions at corner even with Kyle Fuller possibly returning in this game. While they were fine last week, Will Fuller did go for 100-plus yards against them in his first NFL game.

Agholor is probably the better play than Royal, mainly due to Ertz’s injury, but he’s also more widely owned. Either way, if Thomas misses out, which is more than possible at this point, you can do much worse than Royal or Agholor at WR.

Fantasy Football: Emergency Demaryius Thomas replacement

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