Another week of some fantastic football is here, and we are all looking forward to adding those players to help us continue our seasons as well. Out of the six leagues I have, four of them went down to the final seconds of the Monday night game. Another one came down to the Houston Texans defense trying to get me 15 points after I benched Andrew Luck for Marcus Mariota. I lost by six. Had Packers kicker Mason Crosby not missed field goals, I could’ve had the much-needed win.
And now I have to deal with the bye week again, after finally getting all my players back. The only player on bye for me is Detriot Lions WR Marvin Jones. All the Lions players like QB Matt Stafford, WR Golden Tate, and RB Kerryon Johnson will be on a bye. But there is another team on bye as well. The New Orleans Saints and their explosive offense will also be relaxing for the week. That means you’ll most probably need a replacement for QB Drew Brees, RB Alvin Kamara and WR Micheal Thomas. So let me try to help you figure it out again this week.
- Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, 81.1 percent availability
- Case Keenum, Denver Broncos, 83.4 percent availability
- Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears, 73.4 percent availability
- Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 43.4 percent availability
- Jamies Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 87.5 percent availability
Bortles and Keenum are weekly additions every week. It seems like they are only here for bye weeks, and this might be the week where we need one of them with Brees and Stafford getting some rest. Bortles plays a surprising decent Dallas defense that hasn’t given up many points. But if given the time, he could find a way to have a good game, especially if he continues to move out of the pocket to make plays. Keenum has relied a lot on the run game and his three running backs, but he has still managed to average at least 18 points in Fantasy a game. He still has two of the top receiving weapons and could look to beat the Rams. It might even be possible if Keenum can take advantage of the injuries to the Rams team, and also if you don’t need him now, just keep an eye on how he plays against arguably the best defensive team in the NFL this year.
Trubisky is coming off a monster game in week 4 against the Buccaneers before heading into the bye week. He and his offense plan to continue their winning ways and remain on top against the Dolphins. I don’t expect him to get 50 fantasy points against the Dolphins because their defense is much more robust than the one Tampa Bay doesn’t have.
Dalton might have been slowed down a bit against the Carolina Panthers a few weeks ago, but this week he and the Bengals light up the Miami Dolphins after a slow start. They finished strong and now look ahead to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is still trying to find themselves. The Bengals are 4-1 despite all the injuries they have on offense, and as long as Dalton and A.J. Green are both healthy together, he is a must-add in all leagues.
For Winston, it’s merely taking a chance on him after a bad performance in his return from suspension against the Bears. This week Winston has the beaten, bad Atlanta Falcons defense. We hope to have a good performance from him as he looks to show why he deserves to be the starting QB, not only for the Buccanneers, but for our fantasy teams as well.
- Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts, 53.1 percent availability
- Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks, 85.5 percent availability
- Alfred Blue, Houston Texans, 84.5 percent availability
- Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles, 92.5 percent availability
- Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers, 50.3 percent availability
It seems like the Colts and Seahawks have their guy after a quarter of the season. Both teams have been going with the running back by committee approach, but Hines and Davis have set themselves apart from the rest. Hines is really connecting with QB Andrew Luck in the passing game and also from the line of scrimmage as the solo back. It will be interesting to see what Hines, as a solo back, could do in the passing game against the New York Jets, who gave up 95 yards receiving and 91 yards rushing to the three running backs of the Broncos. Davis still looks to be fighting for the primary role as lead back with Chris Carson and Rashad Penny still in the mix, but Davis has the hot hands over the past two weeks. While your lineup is missing Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Kerryon Johnson are on bye, you may be able to use him, especially with their next opponent being one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. That opponent is the 1-4 Oakland Raiders, who have allowed multiple rushing touchdowns in every week thus far. If that’s not a good enough reason to add him, then I don’t know what is.
Blue and Smallwood are players to keep an eye on, but still look to be crucial pieces to their offenses. Blue has done an excellent job this season filling in for starter Lamar Miller, who has been dealing with injuries. We expect to see him do more for the team, even with Miller likely to return. I mean, if you haven’t been watching, Miller is kind of struggling to get anything done. Adding Blue to your roster that already includes Miller is a smart way to keep you from losing an RB2.
Smallwood’s stock has risen with the recent news about Jay Ajayi being placed on the injured reserve list. Of course, Corey Clement is still there, but he missed last week due to his own injury. Sorry for those who added him thinking he might have played. I think Smallwood is still the safer of the two Eagles running backs to add because he seems to be able to stay healthy and he can help Wentz move the ball downfield.
Morris was signed by the Niners when Jerrick McKinnon got injured and placed on the IR a week before the season started. He has struggled to have things go his way. While he was sharing the workload, he still managed to get some of the work. Fortunately, Morris’ workload is likely to increase with the recent injury to his fellow running back. Although Breida does not have a high sprain ankle injury, he may still miss their next game against the Packers on Monday night. I would add Morris to my lineup as a handcuff to Breida if available, and wait to see what the status may be.
- Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars, 57.7 percent availability
- Keke Coutee, Houston Texans, 80.4 percent availability
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, 66.6 percent availability
- Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers, 65.7 percent availability
- Ryan Grant, Indianapolis Colts, 84.5 percent availability
This list didn’t change much! Westbrook is still one of the top passing targets for Blake Bortles. He should be an option on your roster as a flex play since he is the primary target on the Jaguars. But I would still keep an eye out on Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief as well. Coutee is quickly emerging as the second option on the Texans behind DeAndre Hopkins. He should be a must add to all rosters, especially with their matchup against the Bills, who have done an excellent job shutting out the top WR on the opposing team. That means Coutee’s targets should increase. Also, don’t forget about Will Fuller IV, who is still trying to get himself connected with QB Deshaun Watson again like he did last year.
Mike Williams has been a solid pick up thus far in fantasy, and he had been producing yards and touchdowns until their last game against the Oakland Raiders, but the team got ahead quickly and leaned on the run to maintain that lead. Their next opponent is the 2-2-1 Cleveland Browns, who are looking to continue their winning ways. I could see this as a game where Williams looks to contribute to the offense again, and he is a clear receiving option for QB Phillip Rivers behind Keenan Allen and the pair of running backs (Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler).
Allison did not play the last game because of a concussion, and it hurt the Packers’ offense in a big way. Both he and Randall Cobb missed the Packers loss against to Lions that saw Crosby miss four field goals. We hope Crosby and the Packers could bounce back nicely against the Niners on Monday night. Allison is hopefully going to play on Monday night. He will definitely be a big part of the offense, and he should be a big part of your offense as well.
Whether T.Y. Hilton plays against the Jets or not, Grant is still the next best option. Yes, I have Grant over Ebron. I mean, of course Ebron is the touchdown guy in the red zone, but Grant will make the big plays like he did against the Patriots and Texans.
- David Njoku, Cleveland Browns, 31.3 percent availability
- Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers, 68.7 percent availability
- Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons, 75.3 percent availability
- Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 83.4 percent availability
- C. J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals,89.7 percent availability
Njoku is already in most leagues, but if you happen to find one league where he’s available, then you should stash him on your bench even if you don’t need him. I mean, this week you shouldn’t be in a big need for a TE, with no one crucial going on bye. Njoku should also be a start in most leagues. If you happen to have had Austin Serefian- Jenkins or Will Dissly on your team, you are missing out.
McDonald did not have a tremendous weak against the Falcons. Instead, it was Big Ben finding Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster in a huge win that was much-needed. I expect the Steelers to use McDonald a bit more in their next matchup against division rival, Bengals. But with all the rest of the pieces on offense clicking, it may be hard to find him some targets.
Hooper is still continuing to put up solid numbers, and we should continue to see those numbers at a constant rate. With Freeman back in the rotation, Hooper and the Falcons can spread the ball around even more than before. But everyone is still waiting for that Julio Jones touchdown.
Cameron Brate hasn’t done too much this season, but with Winston back, his stock has already risen. We got to see a small sample size of what we saw a lot of last year between the two. And the good thing is — you won’t have to worry about the bye week with him because it’s already over. Think about adding Brate and Winston to your lineup this week against the Falcons, especially since it’s going to be a shootout.
Uzomah still isn’t the best tight end on the Bengals’ roster, but I have him ahead of Kroft in the importance of fantasy. Uzomah can easily find the gaps and become explosive in the red zone. He’s not going to be Eifert, but with the weak secondary of the Steelers, he may find himself in the end zone this week.
I hope you have better luck this week than last if you lost, 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!