Cole Beasley missed two practices this week while dealing with a rib injury. As of early Sunday morning, he’s questionable to play in Week 9. If he does play, would Beasley be a solid streamer, or should fantasy football managers immediately lock in a backup plan?
Cole Beasley’s recent fantasy football production
Heading into Week 6, I urged Pro Football Network readers to remain patient with Beasley, who was coming off back-to-back dismal performances: 2 catches for 16 yards in Week 4 and 1 catch for 5 yards in Week 5. The offseason addition of Emmanuel Sanders appeared to negatively impact Beasley’s upside, as last year’s WR27 was no longer viewed as a weekly streamer.
But I argued that while Beasley was not a consistent streamer, his offensive numbers were comparable to 2020. The difference was touchdowns, as he had not yet found the end zone this season. Additionally, Sanders was posting unsustainable WR2 production — a regression was likely.
Sure enough, Beasley took off his next two games, producing a 7-88-1 receiving line in Week 6 and a 10-110-0 line in Week 8 after Buffalo’s bye. As a result, he catapulted into the back-end WR3 realm, only 3 fantasy points shy of mid-range WR3 numbers.
In other words, he’s back to being the Beasley we know and like in fantasy circles. A relatively cheap source of good-upside production when you don’t have a reliable WR2+ to plug in.
Should Beasley be in fantasy football lineups in Week 9?
Beasley managed to practice on a limited basis Friday. Now in his 10th NFL season, the 32-year-old should be out there today as long as there are no pre-game setbacks. With Dawson Knox still sidelined, and the Bills facing a beatable Jaguars defense, it’s not hard to envision Buffalo posting 24 or even 30+ points today. Beasley has earned 13+ targets three times this season and offers his normal dose of boom-bust potential.
If you have a solid top-30 WR, or if you’re looking for a little more boom from a normally fringe starter (Kadarius Toney, Cedrick Wilson, or even an underperformer like DeVonta Smith), then perhaps this is the week you play it safe and bench Beasley. It’s important to weigh his higher-than-average re-injury risk. But if you’re choosing between Beasley and, say, a customary WR4/5 like Mecole Hardman, I’d rather roll the dice with Beasley.