Fantasy Football: Emergency replacement for Brandon Marshall

Kellen MIcah/Icon Sportswire

The New York Jets’ Brandon Marshall is a game-time decision for Sunday’s game. The wide receiver is battling both a knee and foot injuries. While there is optimism that the pass catcher will play it would be wise of fantasy football players to be prepared for him to miss the contest against the Chiefs.

The veteran wide receiver has shown the ability to play hurt. Just last week he was able to return to the game after sustaining the injury. Marshall finished with six catches and 101 yards, with most of the production coming after the initial injury. So before fantasy players pull the plug on him they will want to give him a chance to test the injuries before the game. Fantasy players will want to wait until the Jets’ official active list is released prior to kickoff.

But this also is a bit tricky as the Jets are playing in the second round of games starting at 4:25 p.m. EST. So as fantasy players build their contingency plan, the pool in which to choose from is significantly smaller.

A wide receiver that is available in most leagues and plays in a late game that Marshall owners should have an interest in this week is the Dallas Cowboys’ Cole Beasley. The slot receiver is available in 85.7 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.

The fifth-year pass catcher is quickly becoming one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets. In the first two games of the NFL season, Beasley has received 18 targets and is tied with tight end Jason Witten for the team lead. He has caught 13 of those passes thrown his way for 140 yards. Both his catch and receiving yard totals lead the Cowboys’ offense in those categories.

Besides the attention he is getting from his quarterback, Beasley’s matchup is a major plus. The Bears are thin on the defensive side of the ball due to injury, especially at the cornerback position. It looks like Kyle Fuller will miss this contest, while Tracy Porter is also questionable for the Sunday Night game.

So the Cowboys’ offensive should find little resistance when moving the ball. Chicago allowed the Eagles to score 29 points in an ugly performance on Monday Night Football.

And you can expect Beasley a big part of that movement. According to FootballOutsider.com, the Chicago Bears’ have a ranking of 25th in DVOA against WR2s.  And as well the Bears are allowing 7.4 pass attempts and 74.5 yards per game to the position. With all of the injuries in the defensive backfield and linebacker position for the Bears, Beasley should be able to run wild in the middle of the field for Dak Prescott.

Interestingly the Cowboys’ pass catcher has always performed well against the Bears in the past. In fact, he has a total of three touchdowns in his last two games against Chicago.

Fantasy players will want to be sure that the Jets’ Marshall is inactive prior to plugging in the Cowboys’ Beasley into their lineup. But it is a real possibility the Jets’ wideout does miss this week’s game due to injury. And if he does, Dallas’ Beasley is a solid emergency fill in. The Cowboys’ pass catcher has a nice opportunity ahead of him this Sunday.

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