For fantasy owners injuries are a pain in the behind when setting weekly line ups. On top of that owners must deal with the slew of bye weeks happening from week five through week 11. Each week there is between four and six teams on a bye; except for week seven when there are only two.
Each week I will be giving my fantasy followers potential “bye week saviors” that they can use when their studs are on a bye. In order for players to qualify their ownership in ESPN leagues must be under 60% owned. For each position I will suggest players that fantasy owners should consider picking up and one player I feel that needs to be dropped in order for owners to pick up their “bye week saviors” player.
Teams on a week eleven bye: Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.
Philip Rivers vs Buffalo (57% owned): Despite playing the best defense against opposing quarterbacks, Rivers had 15.3 fantasy points last week against the Jaguars; his best fantasy performance since Week 5. The Bills have given up an average of 16.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks the last four weeks. The Chargers struggled to run the ball last week and if that continues against the Bills, Rivers will be counted on more than usual.
Blake Bortles at Cleveland (15% owned): Who would’ve guessed that Bortles has three straight weeks with 16+ fantasy points? The funniest part is the Jaguars are on a three game winning streak at the same time. Meanwhile, the Browns gave up 21.7 fantasy points to Matthew Stafford last week and give up an average of 19 fantasy points per game on the season. Bortles is playing his best ball of season and that should continue this week against the Browns.
Drew Stanton at Houston (4% owned): Stanton is averaging 14.6 fantasy points per game this season as the starter. The Texans gave up 26.5 fantasy points to Jared Goff last week and give up an average of 20.1 fantasy points per game on the season. Furthermore, the Texans have given up an average of 27 fantasy points per game over the last three games. Fantasy owners in 2 QB or superflex leagues should consider Stanton a solid option this week.
C.J. Beathard BYE Week (3% owned): Last week against the Giants Beathard had a career high three total touchdowns and 25 fantasy points. However, there are several reports that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starter after the 49ers’ bye this week. With Garoppolo starting in week 12 against the Seahawks, fantasy owners can drop Beathard in all redraft leagues. However, in dynasty leagues fantasy owners should hold on to Beathard as he could be traded this offseason.
Danny Woodhead at Green Bay (39% owned): After missing eight games with a hamstring injury, Woodhead is expected to be active this week against the Packers. When Woodhead left the game against the Bengals in week one, he had three catches for 33 yards and 6.7 fantasy points. The Packers give up an average of 25.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Woodhead should be added in all leagues and could take back the starting role this week against the Packers.
Dion Lewis at Oakland (41% owned): If there was any doubt about Lewis’ role as the early down running back it ended Sunday against the Broncos when Mike Gillislee was a healthy scratch. Lewis has received double-digit carries in four straight games and finished the game against the Broncos with a season-high 17.5 fantasy points. The Raiders give up an average of 26.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Since Rex Burkhead returned from injury in Week 7, the Patriots running backs as a group are averaging 40.1 fantasy points per game.
Jamaal Williams vs Baltimore (2% owned): On Sunday against the Bears both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery left the game with injuries. Reports state that Jones will miss three to six weeks with an MCL injury. At the time of writing this, there is no update on Montgomery’s rib injury. However, Montgomery did suffer broken ribs in Week 4 and missed one game with the injury. Williams had 20 carries for 67 yards and 8.4 fantasy points against the Bears. If Montgomery joins Jones on the sidelines against the Ravens, the volume of carries alone makes Williams an RB2 this week.
Rob Kelley at New Orleans (58% owned): This season has been one to forget for Kelley, who has suffered several injuries this season. Sunday against the Vikings, Kelley left the game with a knee and ankle injury. An MRI on Monday diagnosed Kelley with a high-ankle sprain and an MCL sprain. Given the injuries, Kelley is expected to miss to miss some time and could land on injured reserve. Furthermore, Kelley is averaging just 5.4 fantasy points per game. Chris Thompson continues to be the Redskins running back to own and Samaje Perine had a solid seven fantasy points on Sunday after Kelley exited the game.
Marqise Lee at Cleveland (43% owned): Over his last three games, Lee is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game, scoring a touchdown in the last two games. Lee has taken over as the Jaguars’ main passing threat. The Browns give up an average of 28.9 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and gave up 21.7 fantasy points to Golden Tate last week. The Browns are one of the better teams against running backs and that could force the Jaguars to rely on Lee and the passing game more this week.
John Brown at Houston (31% owned): While Brown has struggled with Drew Stanton as the starter, averaging just 5.5 fantasy points per game, this week he gets to face the Texans. Last week the Rams’ wide receivers scored 63.3 fantasy points led by 37.1 for Robert Woods against the Texans. On the season, opposing wide receivers are averaging 37.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Texans have struggled with fast receivers, giving up 12.1 fantasy points to Sammy Watkins last week and 28.5 to Paul Richardson two weeks ago. Brown is averaging 15.8 yard per catch this season and should have a big game against a terrible Texans secondary.
Kenny Golladay at Chicago (11% owned): After missing five games with a hamstring injury, Golladay finished the game against the Browns with two catches for 64 yards and 8.4 fantasy points. The Bears gave up 34 fantasy points to the Packers’ wide receivers last week and give up an average of 31.4 per game on the season to opposing wide receivers. Golladay has nine catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns this season and could see his role increased starting this week against the Bears.
Will Fuller vs Arizona (81% owned): Since Tom Savage has taken over at quarterback, Fuller is averaging just 4.4 fantasy points per game. On Sunday against the Rams, Fuller reportedly suffered cracked ribs and did not return to the game. Reports state that Fuller will miss at least one game with the rib injury. Fuller was on fire when Deshaun Watson was playing quarterback, scoring seven touchdowns in four games. However, in the last two games with Savage, Fuller has just four catches for 37 yards.
Tyler Kroft at Denver (56% owned): After five straight weeks with at least 7.8 fantasy points, Kroft scored just 1.4 on Sunday against the Titans. However, this week he faces the Broncos, who give up an average of 18.4 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. With A.J. Green facing the “No Fly Zone”, Andy Dalton will have to lean heavily on Kroft in the passing game.
Vernon Davis at New Orleans (55% owned): During the last two games that Jordan Reed has missed with a hamstring injury, Davis is averaging 13.9 fantasy points per game. Over the two game span, Davis has 13 total catches and 70+ yards in both games. Furthermore, in the three games as a starter this season, Davis is averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game. If Reed is out again this week, Davis becomes a top ten play against the Saints.
Austin Hooper at Seattle (46% owned): Over the last three weeks, Hooper is averaging 12.7 fantasy points per game, including 16.9 last week against the Cowboys. Over that span, Hooper has 13 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks have given up 13 or more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in three of their last four games, including 17.4 last week to Jermaine Gresham.
Ed Dickson BYE Week (35% owned): Dickson should have been dropped after his zero fantasy point performance against the Falcons in Week 9. However, if fantasy owners still have Dickson on their roster, it is time to drop him. The Panthers are on their bye this week and Greg Olsen is expected to return in Week 12 against the Jets. Dickson had just one great game with 22.5 fantasy points back in Week 5.
Cardinals at Houston (47% owned): The Cardinals D/ST has been rocky this season, scoring negative fantasy points in two of their last five games. However, over the last two weeks, the Cardinals D/ST is averaging 9.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the opposing D/STs are averaging 18 fantasy points per game against the Texans offense when Tom Savage starts, including 16 last week by the Rams D/ST.
Rams at Minnesota (85% owned): Speaking of the Rams D/ST, last week was the last game of a four week span against poor offenses. Starting this week against the Vikings, the Rams D/ST faces a top eight scoring fantasy offense in four of their next five games. The Rams offense is going to have to carry the team over the next five weeks as the defense faces tougher opponents.