Got a case of the bye week blues? That's ok. There are still plenty of options available to plug into your lineups this week. A few guys I'm going to list here are more speculative gambles than anything, but they are worth grabbing. Running backs are a bit thin this week (look back at guys who are injury replacements like Rawls and monitor starter injury status this week if all else fails), but there are some good options at other positions.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville. If your quarterback is injured or out due to a bye week this week, Bortles is a nice streaming option that you can snag and toss into your lineup. I'm assuming that your league is intelligent (and therefore that guys like Andy Dalton and Tyrod Taylor are off the market), but Bortles may be the best potentially available QB to grab this week against the Bucs.
Alex Smith, QB, KC. Alex Smith isn't the quarterback to win you a fantasy championship. However, he can help you win some weeks depending on his matchup. This week, he faces an exceedingly weak Chicago Bears defense. Toss him in and enjoy the ride.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago. This is the only time you will probably ever hear me suggest Cutler as your starting fantasy quarterback. What team is allowing the most fantasy points per opponent QB this season? The Kansas City Chiefs. If you need to throw a dart this week, Cutler might be a winning target.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver. Hillman is now listed as a co-starter with CJ Anderson in Denver. While Anderson started the year as favorite to lead the team in carries, Hillman now emerges as a viable option out of the Denver backfield. He's probably owned in most leagues, but if he's not owned in yours, give him a look.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota. Diggs had a nice week last week for the Vikings. He's young and fairly raw, but if he continues to progress, he could see a few big plays this week and moving forward. He's a better option if you can grab and bench him as potential trade bait if he continues to improve, but if you absolutely need to gamble and are grasping at straws, Diggs is an option for your lineup.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington. Over the past two weeks, Jamison Crowder has caught 13 passes. This week, the Redskins face the Falcons, who give up lots of passing yardage. Crowder is a nice option especially if you are in a deeper PPR league and need to roll the dice a bit to cover byes.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina. Ginn is essentially the de-facto #1 WR in the Carolina offense thanks to injuries, and has quietly put together a relatively solid fantasy season. He's not a guy that's going to give you WR1 numbers on a weekly basis, but he will give you decent production most weeks. I started him last week and he helped me win a matchup. He's worth a shot for next week; bye week this week.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston. I know Strong hasn't done much at this point in his NFL career, but the Colts have allowed strong games to WRs not facing Vontae Davis so far this season. With Nate Washington injured, Strong could have a sizeable impact for the Texans this week. It's a complete gamble, but it could potentially pay off.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco. The Raiders are allowing a ton of points to tight ends this year. Know who else is? The New York Giants. Davis should be in line for a pretty big game against New York this week, and is likely a guy that you can snag this week and then cut, especially in smaller leagues, to cover injuries.
Owen Daniels, TE, Denver. This is my weekly "start a TE against Oakland and win a prize" suggestion. Daniels should have a solid game, and given the fact that he's scored touchdowns the past couple of weeks as well, someone in your league might take him in trade following a big game against Oakland if it materializes. Daniels is a guy that may be owned in your league, but grab him if he's not.
New York Giants DST. I'm always happy starting a defensive unit against the 49ers, and the Giants have actually developed into a pretty decent defensive unit over the past couple of weeks. If you need a bye week starter or are streaming defenses, look no further than New York for a solid option.
Hope this helps, and good luck this week!!
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