Last week wasn’t a problem for fantasy football owners when it comes to bye week replacement issues. Few tears were shed over losing Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins options. Derek Carr was on bye. Boo freaking hoo, right?
The tears may be in full flow this week, though. Jamaal Charles, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham are two gargantuan names that you sorely need on a weekly basis, yet they’re nowhere to be found. Heck, even Alex Smith and Brandin Cooks have been helping you out. Oh, and Travis Kelce, the sexiest name in the tight end pool this side of Larry Donnell, yeah, he’s not aiding your fantasy team this week, either.
Needless to say, you’re in need of some bye week saviors. Let’s hit the waiver wire in search for some borderline guaranteed locks that can and will make up for the loss of these fantasy juggernauts for at least week six:
Note: All of these guys should either be on someone’s bench or available in over 51% of fantasy football leagues. Hopefully the latter.
Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Ravens)
Napolean Dynamite is out there in over 90% of leagues and despite looking like a goon, he actually has been a pretty solid fantasy quarterback. Better yet, he’s at home against a suspect Ravens secondary. There’s a lot to like here, even if you want to punch him in the face.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos (@ Jets)
Hillman has been snatched up fairly quickly, as Montee Ball‘s tearing of the sack area has spiked his value for this week, as well as the long-term. It’s true Hillman is largely seen as a scat-back and does face a studly Jets run defense on the road, but he actually looked solid last week and that supposedly elite New York D let Branden Oliver shred them for 180+ total yards. Hillman is a pretty safe guy if you need a Charles replacement this week.
Storm Johnson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Titans)
If Hillman is gone, next up is Johnson, who is available in 87% of fantasy leagues. Johnson gets his first crack at doing much of anything this week, as the rook should get the start with Toby Gerhart out with an ankle issue. That might even turn into long-term value, but you should especially be giddy about him this week against a trash Titans run D. He’s on the Jaguars, though, so just be sure to temper your expectations a scorch.
Savior Special: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Panthers)
Sanu isn’t owned in over 51% of leagues (45%) but he’s still out there in enough that it’s worth checking out. A.J. Green (ankle) is sidelined, making him Andy Dalton‘s top target in the passing game. Marvin Jones remains out, too, so it could be Sanu with all of the receptions this week.
Devin Hester, WR, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Bears)
VENGE game, alert. Hester has surprisingly been solid and actually well involved in ATL’s offense this year, and now he welcomes the only other team he knew into his new team’s town in week six. Add in Chicago’s ravaged defense, and how does Hester not return 3 touchdowns and score 2 more on offense for good measure? He should at least do something worthy of note, right?
Tim Wright, TE, New England Patriots (@ Bills)
Tight ends suck. Basically only four have been worth talking about for most of the year, and if you don’t own one of them you’re either hurting badly at the position or Travis Kelce is on bye. Yeah, that’s this week, ain’t it? Wright turned it on last week and did so on just 19 snaps. He’s going to be more involved and he’s also available to snatch up (out there in 88% of leagues). Go get’em.
Two awesome kickers. One on a new team, both on the road. Both will crush it, as matchups beg for points and both can nail long or clutch kickers. I probably prefer Gould this week, but both are long-term investments, as well. In regards to the long-term, Prater probably takes the cake.
Tennessee Titans DEF/ST (vs. Jaguars)
Tennessee’s defense is available in almost 80% of leagues for good reason – they blow. Hard. But they’re facing the awful Jags at home, so they’re worth a shot. Don’t expect the world, though.
Baltimore Ravens DEF/ST (@ Buccaneers)
I know, I’m playing both sides here, as I suggested to play Glennon and now I’m saying use the defense against him. That’s only if you don’t trust that sacky Titans defense. I’m sure Glennon can do fine and Baltimore can still get sacks, force a fumble or three and limit the Bucs to 20 or fewer points. That’d be a win-win, no?