The NFL bye week rotation started last week, as you endured the absences of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and numerous other helpful fantasy football players. They’re back this week, but their return gives way to a whole new group of inactives in what could be a pretty week five for your fantasy team.
More specifically, top shelf options like Cam Newton, Jarvis Landry, Adrian Peterson and Brandon Marshall won’t be available to score fake points in real games for you in week five. And they’re just the best options. Chris Ivory, Ryan Tannehill and others also get a break. But you don’t.
To help you through the mess, we’ll hit the waiver wire to find one can’t miss option for week five. Maybe these guys are worth hanging onto going forward, and maybe they’re not. But for one week, they could help save you from a loss:
Note: All options available in at least 51% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears (Available in 75% of leagues)
Cutler isn’t getting much respect here, as he plays for a 1-3 Bears team and also nursed a hamstring injury just two weeks ago. He may seem fairly spare at first glance, but unless he’s handing out one of his epic crater jobs with 5 picks, he’s actually pretty steady. He was “meh” the first two games, but we need to forgive that due to week one being against a good 4-0 Packers team and week 2 he faced the Cardinals and left before halftime (he was hurt, and all). Last week he put up 280 yards and two touchdowns in a win, which displayed both that Chicago isn’t to be totally forgotten just yet and Cutler still has some game. Even better is his week five matchup, against a Chiefs defense that was supposed to be good but has been getting obliterated through the air. A healthy Alshon Jeffery would be amazing for Cutler’s upside, but he’s a quality bye week savior, regardless.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos (66%)
I feel pretty strongly about most of my bye week picks, but running back doesn’t offer up anyone in concrete certainty. Hillman does have a role and showed last week via a 72-yard touchdown run that he’s pretty damn explosive, but he’s still sharing the rushing load with C.J. Anderson in Denver. He’s the better running back, though, so perhaps that will start shifting more toward just Hillman this week. Even if it doesn’t, Hillman is probably in for 10-15 touches against a still suspect Raiders defense. That’s about as good as it gets, unless Marshawn Lynch sits again and you can try Thomas Rawls in back to back weeks.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (82%)
I’m not vouching for Hurns just because he broke out this past weekend (11 rec, 100+ yds and a TD). That was awesome, but in his first four games he’d already make a solid impression with at least four grabs or a score in every contest. That makes him a solid PPR guy with a shot at a touchdown. Lock him in as your WR3 to help make up for the loss of guys like Landry, Marshall and Eric Decker. If he’s gone, consider Doug Baldwin or Eddie Royal. Both are decent PPR tries and aren’t owned a ton.
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants (65%)
I don’t love any lowly owned tight ends this week. Coby Fleener was a product of a safe game plan with a weak-armed Matt Hasselbeck, so if you want to roll the dice in a major way, he’s your upside pick. But no one saw last week coming by a mile and Donnell projects as the safest option that is out there for week five. He didn’t score the past two weeks but each week he’s a red-zone threat and he’s seen at least six targets in each of the past three games. He’s a legit threat for 4-5 catches and 40-50 yards every week at the moment and he also can score. I’ll take that on a bye week at the tight end position.
Cairos Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs (98)
The Chiefs offense is just the right amount of suck this year, as Santos has plenty of chances for field goals and can even get some PATs on a big week. Last week he nailed all 7 of his field goal tries and that should be enough to sell him as your bye week kicker. Josh Lambo is owned at a similar rate (aka barely at all), and I also like him quite a bit in week five at home against the Steelers.
Atlanta Falcons Team Defense (96%)
You can go off of Atlanta’s crazy week four performance, but I’m actually not. As sweet as that was, last week doesn’t always mean this week. What it does show us, though, is Dan Quinn’s rough edge from Seattle is rubbing off on a talented Falcons defense that might be starting to realize their potential. They did play the Texans last week, but they showed serious upside. This week they’re at home again and they face the walking turnover machine that is Kirk Cousins. Cousins was actually good last week and due to his forever existing erratic play, that almost certainly means an implosion is coming in week five.
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