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 seven bye: Detroit Lions and Houston Texans.
Jared Goff vs Arizona (20% owned): After back-to-back weeks against the Seahawks and Jaguars, scoring just 17.6 fantasy points in both games combined, Goff has a good matchup this week against the Cardinals. Last week against the Buccaneers, the Cardinals gave up 23 fantasy points, mainly to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Goff should bounce back this week at home against a Cardinals defense that gives up an average of 19.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Josh McCown at Miami (10% owned): Last week McCown had a season high 20.3 fantasy points against the Patriots. This week he faces the Dolphins, who he played against in week three, scoring 14.7 fantasy points. McCown offers a safe floor for fantasy owners looking to play it safe this week.
C.J. Beathard vs Dallas (1% owned): On Sunday head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Beathard would be the team’s starting quarterback going forward. During the second half of the game against the Redskins, Beathard had 245 yards and 13.2 fantasy points. This week the Cowboys roll into town giving up an average of 18.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. With a full week to prepare with the starters, expect Beathard to have a good game against the Cowboys.
Joe Flacco at Minnesota (14% owned): Yes, Flacco is only owned in 14% of ESPN leagues but that’s 14% too much. In five of six games this season, Flacco scored under 9.5 fantasy points and has a season high of just 14.6 fantasy points against the Browns. Flacco faces the Vikings on the road this week and there isn’t a starting quarterback I’d rather play Flacco over.
Wendell Smallwood vs Washington (35% owned): After missing the last two weeks with a knee injury, Smallwood is expected to play Monday Night against the Redskins. In his last game played, week four against the Chargers, Smallwood had a season high 17.9 fantasy points. Smallwood seems to be the back to take over Darren Sproles’ targets. The Redskins rank 17th against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 23.9 fantasy points per game. This game is expected to be high scoring and that means plenty of work for Smallwood in his first game back.
C.J. Prosise at New York (17% owned): The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Prosise, who missed the previous two weeks with an ankle injury. However, head coach Pete Carroll said on Monday that he expects Prosise to play this week against the Giants; who give up an average of 23.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, most of which comes from receiving backs. Prosise should take back both the third down and pass catching back roles this week. In PPR leagues, Prosise should be at the top of your wavier claims.
Orleans Darkwa vs Seattle (4% owned): Yes, the Seahawks rank sixth against opposing running backs, giving up just 19.5 fantasy points per game. However, Darkwa is clearly the Giants running back to own going forward. Against the Broncos Sunday night, Darkwa had 21 touches compared to Wayne Gallman’s 11 and the Giants ran the ball 31 times compared to just 19 pass attempts. Look for the Giants to run the ball plenty and control the clock on offense going forward. Darkwa on volume alone is a borderline low-end RB2 this week.
Latavius Murray vs Baltimore (70% owned): After the Dalvin Cook injury, Murray was the hottest wavier wire pick up. However, after two weeks it is clear that Jerick McKinnon is the replacement for Cook. Over the past two weeks, Murray has scored just 11 fantasy points while McKinnon has scored 51.5 fantasy points. Murray might steal a goal-line touchdown here or there but besides in the deepest of leagues, Murray needs to be thrown back on the wavier wire.
Ted Ginn Jr. at Green Bay (41% owned): In two of the last three games, Ginn Jr. has scored 14+ fantasy points, including 16.9 last week against the Lions. This week Ginn Jr. faces the Packers secondary that just lost starting cornerback Quinten Rollins for the season with an Achilles injury. The Packers give up an average of 32.3 fantasy points per game against opposing wide receivers. Ginn Jr. has a real chance to put up his second straight double-digit fantasy performance.
Cooper Kupp vs Arizona (39% owned): Much like his quarterback, Jared Goff, Kupp has struggled over the past two weeks against the Seahawks and Jaguars. However, this week he faces off against the Cardinals that give up an average of 38.9 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and over the past two weeks they have given up an average of 15.2 fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers. Expect a big game from the slot receiver Kupp this week.
Nelson Agholor vs Washington (36% owned): Not many people would’ve guessed that Agholor is the highest scoring fantasy wide receiver on the Eagles roster this season. However, Agholor is averaging 12.7 fantasy points per game so far this season and gets to take on the Redskins this week. Over the past two games, the Redskins have given up an average of 29 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. In week one against the Redskins, Agholor had 20.6 fantasy points and should have another strong game against the banged up Redskins defense.
Tyrell Williams vs Denver (63% owned): Outside of the one game against the terrible Eagles’ cornerbacks, Williams is averaging just six fantasy points per game this season. With rookie Mike Williams back healthy and the Broncos coming to town this week, Williams should be dropped in all 10 and 12 team leagues. It has become clear Williams isn’t fantasy relevant as long as Keenan Allen is healthy.
Hunter Henry vs Denver (59% owned): Last week the Broncos allowed Giants’ tight end Even Engram to score 19.2 fantasy points and give up an average 16.3 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends so far this season. Over the last three games, Henry is averaging 12.3 fantasy points per game and has a touchdown in two of those games. There isn’t a major fantasy tight end on a bye this week, but if you stream tight ends, Henry should be your top choice this week.
Austin Hooper at New England (38% owned): Over the last two games, Hooper is averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game and this week he faces off against the Patriots, who allowed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to score a season high 16.6 fantasy points on Sunday. On the season, the Patriots give up an average of 17 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Furthermore, Hooper scored 12.2 fantasy points against the Patriots in the Super Bowl last year; expect another big game from Hooper on Sunday Night Football.
Benjamin Watson at Minnesota (12% owned): Through six games this season the Vikings are giving up an average of 12.5 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Watson has been solid for the Ravens, scoring an average of 7.9 fantasy points per game. In deeper leagues Watson should be available for Eric Ebron owners.
Martellus Bennett vs New Orleans (82% owned): Bennett has failed to score double-digit fantasy points in any game this season and now has lost his starting quarterback likely for the season. Last week the Saints gave up just 12.5 fantasy points to the Lions tight ends. Bennett has been a bust all year long and now without Rodgers, he needs to be dumped in all 10 or 12 team leagues.
Titans at Cleveland (46% owned): Last week the Browns offense gave up 23 fantasy points to the Texans D/ST without J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney for most of the game. The Browns offense is a mess and fantasy owners should stream just about any opposing D/ST against the Browns. Against teams with below average quarterbacks, the Titans D/ST score an average of 10 fantasy points per game. No matter who starts for the Browns in week seven, the Titans defense should have their way.
Patriots vs Atlanta (59% owned): Fantasy owners should’ve dropped the Patriots D/ST weeks ago as they are averaging less than one fantasy point per game. The Falcons are expected to have Mohamed Sanu back this week, giving them full strength on offense for this Sunday night Super Bowl rematch. The Patriots D/ST should already be on the wavier wire and if for some reason they are still on your team; drop them immediately!