The Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on bye this week. Add the loss of those two teams with the poor play of some would-be stars (C.J. Spiller, etc) or injuries (Calvin Johnson, etc) and you might be in for a hurting in fantasy football this week. Unless there are some locks you have to play that are sitting on your bench or wading through the murky waters of the waiver wire.
We tend to call those potential bye week saviors. Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin are all useless this week. So is Vincent Jackson. If you need a key play at a certain position, perhaps you should consider using one of the following bye week replacement options:
Note: Each player listed below should be available in at least 51% of fantasy football leagues and is a strong play to help get you through your bye week hell in week seven.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (Available in 93% of fantasy leagues)
Derek Carr is still Derek Carr and he’s on the Raiders, but his 4-touchdown week six was impressive and his week seven matchup on paper is to die for. Carr goes up against the Arizona Cardinals, who are a bottom 5 defense against quarterbacks in fantasy football right now. Over the past four weeks, they’re allowing over 22 fantasy points to passers. Carr could stumble in this one, but the matchup is too good to ignore.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns (87%)
Jacksonville is terrible and Hoyer has made the big play look routine the past two weeks. The Browns are a run first team and Hoyer threw just 18 balls last week, but you gotta take a chance when he’s facing the damn Jags.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots (88%)
We really don’t know what Bolden’s role will be and Thursday Night Football games can be hell on earth, but the Jets have gotten trounced on the ground the past two weeks. Bolden has a real shot at a solid role, getting early down work and some goal-line touches at the very worst. He’s worth a shot if you’re hurting without Shady this week.
Storm Johnson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (85%)
Johnson struggled just as much as any Jags back has this year in his first pro start in week six, but he did score a touchdown. Jax even said they were holding him back, so there’s a chance to finds more success in week seven. He’s a much riskier play than Bolden, but he might carry more upside.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (88%)
Adams hit career highs last week in catches (6) and yards (77) and he’s getting closer to truly busting out. That huge game could come this week, as the Packers host a pretty shaky Panthers defense. With Carolina focused on stopping Green Bay’s bigger names, Adams could be active underneath.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants (52%)
He needs to be owned for the long haul, while he especially looks to be very involved right away this week. New York is on the road against a beatable Dallas secondary, and they’ll probably end up throwing quite a bit. A season-ending injury to Victor Cruz is what takes the cake here, though, as the rook will have an ever growing role starting this week.
Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts (76%)
Fleener is just a bit player on a loaded Colts offense, so he’s obviously very hard to trust and/or predict. In fact, the Indy TE to use if at all possible is going to continue to be Dwayne Allen. With that said, Fleener does have three scores on the year and faces a Bengals defense that has ranked dead last against TE’s over the past four weeks. He’s a bit of a shot in the dark, but the matchup clearly bodes well.
Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams (68%)
Cook is hard to trust and Seattle is a scary opponent on paper, but this is actually a good week to use the Rams. Not only is he at home where his speed can kill in the dome, but he was targeted 11 times last week. Even more, the ‘Hawks really aren’t that great against the tight end this year. Antonio Gates scored on them three times, Julius Thomas found the end-zone and overall they’re just one spot outside of the bottom 5 against TEs over the past four weeks.
Neither the Titans or Browns have elite offenses by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re facing two of the worst scoring defenses in the entire league. Both kickers are out there in almost every league and are great choices to turn out solid production this week.
Baltimore Ravens DEF/ST (56%)
Baltimore used a beatdown of the Buccaneers to take a major leap lately, but right now they’re one of the better fantasy defenses to use. They also host a Falcons team that can’t run the ball, is terrible on the road and could only score 13 points at home in week six. The Ravens have to be one of the more underrated team defenses to use at the moment.
Cleveland Browns DEF/ST (50%)
They’re not quite 51% available, but they’re out there a lot and we can’t pass by them. They’re facing the Jaguars. Enough said.