Another week of injuries and bye weeks is approaching. That means we have to worry about setting our rosters with replacements.
Due to the way my teams are put together, I only had Christian McCaffrey on bye last week, and I’m glad to have him back. This week there are no players on my team on a bye. However, many of you may have them.
For this week, you may need to find a replacement for players like Jordan Howard, Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans and Ryan Fitzpatrick. You may also need to find replacements for injured players like Tyler Eifert and Leonard Fournette.
So let’s see who may be available this week.
- Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins, 68.8 percent availability
- Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, 81.1 percent availability
- Case Keenum, Denver Broncos, 83.4 percent availability
- Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, 79.6 percent availability
- Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, 89.7 percent availability
Yes, Tannehill is first on the list regardless of his team’s poor performance against New England. Tannehill and the Dolphins have had success passing the ball, but they are one dimensional without a solid run game, and that was exposed against the experienced Patriots. The Dolphins have a date with the Bengals on Sunday, and this one could be another shootout.
Bortles and the Jaguars have suddenly found their offensive rhythm. With the defense already doing so well, this Jaguars team could be dangerous. Let me also mention the Jaguars’ next opponent is the offensive Kansas City Chiefs, so we should expect the offenses to battle until the final seconds.
Keenum and the Broncos are still trying to figure out which running back is the primary back. I literally have both on my roster waiting for one to overtake the other. I started Lindsay in their matchup with the Chiefs. This Sunday, the Broncos are playing the young New York Jets team, which may be more of a defensive game for the Broncos. We still expect Keenum to throw a pair of touchdowns to the receivers, along with all the yards he’ll be throwing for.
Both Carr and Mariota had great games in their comeback wins this past Sunday. Carr leads his Raiders back from a 14-point deficit, only to go back and forth, ultimately beating the Browns in overtime for their first win of the season. The Raiders play a division rival in the Chargers next, and after the poor defensive performance they had against the 49ers passing game, we expect Carr to do just what they need too, pass the ball to Amari. Mariota was in a back-and-forth battle with the reigning Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles. He was able to find second-year receiver, Corey Davis, for the game-winning touchdown. For those of you who started him, great thinking! I hope Davis did you good for your league! Don’t forget to pair him with Mariota this week as they take on the Bills.
- T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars, 53.2 percent availability
- Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts, 84.5 percent availability
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers, 41.5 percent availability
- Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers, 48.1 percent availability
- Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland Browns, 43.1 percent availability
If you haven’t done so earlier, you should do so now. What should you do now? Well, that would be adding Yeldon off the waivers. I had him on this list a few weeks back when Fournette initially got injured. With Fournette banged up again, Yeldon will get most of the workload for the Jaguars. Of course, this could be a hit or miss like it was the first time, but it looks like Jaguars offense is getting as good as their defense.
With Andrew Luck’s big performance against the Texans in a loss, we got to see a lot of pieces come to play on the offense. One piece is Hines, who is the leading back for the Colts thus far. I believe his role will increase, especially if receiver T.Y. Hilton doesn’t. It’s time to add him up! Ekeler is still available in less than half the leagues. He has had more production than most of the RB2s on our rosters. He is in the best situation to succeed as an RB2, even with Melvin Gordon playing ahead of him. Ekeler should be added and used as a flex consideration in all leagues.
Aaron Jones continues to take over the first team reps with the Green Bay Packers after missing the first two games with a suspension. Jones will be the lead back for the Packers, and this will be a good pick up to have for the bye weeks as a stash and grab player on your roster. With the Packers playing the Lions in week 5, we could see Jones be the first Packers running back to rush for over 100 yards in a game, so let’s see how this pick goes.
Duke Johnson Jr. has been a question all season long. The Browns signed Carlos Hyde and drafted Nick Chubb, so it is a bit risky to have Johnson. However, with Mayfield, Johnson should be a must add, as he will be used a lot on passing downs with Mayfield. That is huge for PPR leagues, and he should be able to get his stats even if the Browns decide to have Hyde and Chubb run 50 + yards for touchdowns!
- Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns, 83.2 percent availability
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, 66.6 percent availability
- Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers, 65.7 percent availability
- Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars, 87.6 percent availability
- Ryan Grant, Indianapolis Colts, 89.1 percent availability
Like Johnson, Callaway will have a significant role. The trade with the Patriots to get rid of Gordon also helps, but we saw down the stretch in the Browns loss to the Raiders how valuable Callaway became for Mayfield. He picked up most of his yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, but at least he showed that he can be trusted. Let’s be honest, Callaway may be able to shine against the Ravens with all the focus being on Jarvis Landry.
Mike Williams had a quiet week 4, but you shouldn’t count him out. I mean, I understand there may be too many weapons for Phillip Rivers to throw to. Williams is the fourth option for the Chargers, but their schedule has favorable matchups for the receivers like Williams and Keenan Allen, at least I hope they can find their way into the end zone against the Raiders this week.
Allison benefits with Cobb being injured. Regardless of Cobb’s injury, Allison is still a deep threat for Rodgers, and we know they are still looking for somebody to replace Jordy Nelson. Look for Allison to be that guy. He has been a steady option for the Packers and should be a constant flex in your lineup!
Westbrook believes he should be an easy top target for the Jaguars, and we should keep an eye on how this plays out. The Jaguars offense has been hot, but we are looking for flares. Westbrook along with Keelan Coles and Moncrief will do just that for the Jaguars. With the Chiefs as their next opponents, we should expect to see more of what we have been with the offense.
- David Njoku, Cleveland Browns, 31.3 percent availability
- Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts, 49 percent availability
- Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers, 68.7 percent availability
- Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons, 75.3 percent availability
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars, 73.4 percent availability
Okay, I might be a little all in on the Browns offensive players. Despite their 1-2-1 record, they are moving the ball with Mayfield. We will continue to see Njoku get more receptions and touchdowns soon, so why not stash him on your bench? That’s what I did. How about Ebron? He’s got a touchdown in three of the four games so far and could be a good spot in fill with Chicago’s Trey Burton and Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard on bye.
Howard likely won’t be available anyways because of his injury like Eifert, so do consider adding Ebron permanently. McDonald has emerged as the top receiving tight end for Big Ben and the Steelers. Although the Steelers continue to struggle without Le’Veon Bell, McDonald has been one of the consistent players on the offensive side. He’ll continue to be as long as the Steelers offense struggles, which could be all season long, so watch closely.
This may be the last week we see Hooper on this list for a while. Hooper isn’t a top 3 option for the Falcons without Freeman, and he won’t be with Freeman, especially with the emergence of rookie receiver, Calvin Ridley. I hope you have Ridley, but do consider trading him after a few weeks, as production may fall. Hooper is a valuable addition this week against the struggling Steelers trying to figure themselves out. We have seen tight ends get the best of these Steelers defenders, so hopefully for the Falcons it’ll be good. It may very well come down to who’s got the better tight end on the field.
Seferian-Jenkins is definitely the last choice of all the catchers on the Jaguars team. Okay, maybe not last last, but he is the 4th option, and that means he could likely have a good day because he won’t have as much attention on him. The Chiefs defense had their hands full with the Broncos and their offense, but having one of the worst defenses in the league will not help the Chiefs slow down ASJ and the Jaguars. I hope you can find a way to get him on your roster for this week if he is really needed, but I wouldn’t stash him for the future.
I hope you have better luck this week than last, and you start turning your season around if it’s not going well. Good luck to all the fantasy football players. Hope you can put together the best lineup to win your matchup this week!