Injuries and bye weeks continue heading into week 7 of the regular season. Many top fantasy performers will miss this week thanks to being on bye (or being dinged up). That leaves fantasy owners seeking options. Let me suggest a few.
Matt Cassell, QB, Dallas Cowboys. Cassell isn't an every week starter, but he has an enticing matchup facing the Giants. In their first matchup this year, Romo threw a ton of passes (45 to be exact). The Cowboys are coming off of a bye, and the Giants are on a short week. This could be a big week for Cassell.
Landry Jones, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers. I was one of the rare believers in Jones when he came out of college. He's languished as a third string backup for most of his career, but if Ben Roethlisberger doesn't play this week, Jones is dart throw but an option nonetheless. The upside is there, but so is the risk of starting an unproven starter. If you do grab him, be prepared for a huge game, a terrible game, or something in the middle. It's tough to tell how he'll play.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Houston Texans. I'm not a huge Hoyer fan, but if nothing else, he's at least putting up consistently average numbers. If you want a guy that's not going to have a huge game but also won't have a terrible one either most likely, Hoyer is your guy. He's not going to win you a matchup, but he won't lose you one either. There are worse options than Hoyer.
Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins. Thompson is starting to break out in Washington. He's not an elite player, but at the same time, he has the potential to deliver Giovani Bernard-type upside in the Washington offense. If you're grasping for straws at running back, he's definitely worth a long hard look.
Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions. The Lions have a plethora of injuries at running back, and that forces Riddick to be relevant. He's going to be most helpful in PPR leagues (where he will provide solid numbers), but he's worth a gamble in traditional scoring leagues as well. If you're hurting for RB help, why not?
Christine Michael, RB, Dallas Cowboys. Christine Michael finally gets a chance to be a starter, and he'll be running behind a dominant Cowboys offensive line. He could be the steal of the year if the stars align, or he could be another clunker like Randle and McFadden. One thing's for sure. As the starting running back in Dallas, he's worth a long hard look if you need help at the position.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings. If Diggs is available on your waiver wire, go get him. NOW. I'll wait. Got him? Good. Now here's the trick. Diggs is having a breakout year and is outperforming high profile players such as Mike Wallace and Cordarrelle Patterson right now. His upside is huge as a rookie, and he's a great fill-in option if he's available, with the upside to win matchups on a weekly basis.
Brandon Lafell, WR, New England Patriots. Lafell is expected to return this week from injury against the Jets. While he may be on a pitch count early on, he has the upside to develop into a quality flex play. I wouldn't expect a huge week from him this week, but if you need WR help in a more long-term sense, he's worth a long look.
Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints. If you didn't listen to me and Snead is still a free agent in your league, go get him. He's quickly developing into the top receiving option in the Saints offense, and will put up solid points down the stretch. If you need help, he's a great plug and play option.
Chris Hogan, WR, Buffalo Bills. The Bills wide receivers are reeling with injuries, which leaves Hogan as a potential #1 or #2 WR in this option. With Tyrod Taylor looking likely to miss this week as well, EJ Manuel will start in his place. Manuel throws more often than Taylor, and Hogan could be a huge beneficiary. Hogan is a huge gamble, but one that could pay off.
Bryan Walters, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars. Walters is a bit of a stretch, but he's been great in PPR formats the past couple of weeks, and Allen Robinson might be hurt, which would lead to more looks for Walters. He's a gamble, much like Hogan, but he could also pay off hugely.
Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints. Watson is a big gamble at tight end, but there just aren't great waivers options at the position. He's coming off of one of the biggest games of his career, and Brees has said all along that Watson was their #1. Maybe he's finally establishing a connection with Brees.
LaDarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers. If Gates is available in your league, grab him (and then proceed to slap your leaguemates for their stupidity). If not, Green might be, and he's a good option this week. Why? Keenan Allen is dinged up and the Oakland Raiders love giving up huge games to tight ends. He's a pretty reasonable gamble this week if needed.
Dion Sims, TE, Miami Dolphins. Want to take a huge gamble this week at tight end? Sims is your man. He's not the top TE in Miami, but he could outperform the struggling Jordan Cameron. He's a risk, but the upside is there if you're feeling lucky. Be advised that he could also be a non-factor.
Washington Redskins D/ST. The Redskins are facing the anemic Buccaneers offense. Tampa Bay has been streaky at best, and Washington's defense has been better than expected. This is a unit that could be a sneaky good start this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST. This week the Steelers face the broken Chiefs offense. That should be enough to warrant interest in them as your starting D/ST unit. They're not a flashy unit, but they have a matchup that should be enticing.
Hope this helps, and good luck this week!
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