Week 8: Bye Week Blues

Bye Week Blues
Andy Dalton is one of the best replacement options at QB this week.

Here it is, the first of two extreme bye weeks. There are 6 teams on bye and many fantasy stars to replace. All of the players in this article will be about 50% owned or less in Yahoo leagues, and I encourage you to pick them up if you are in need.

To begin, here are the teams on bye: Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, and Tennessee.

Fantasy impact players* on bye:

Arizona Green Bay Jacksonville Rams Giants Tennessee
C. Palmer (QB11) B. Hundley (QB18) M. Lee (WR32) J. Goff (QB5) O. Darkwa (RB29) M. Mariota (QB9)
L. Fitzgerald (WR19) J. Nelson (WR9) C. Ivory (RB14) C. Kupp (WR7) W. Gallman (RB43) R. Matthews (WR25)
J. Brown (WR27) D. Adams (WR17) L. Fournette (Injured Wk 7) T. Gurley (RB6) E. Engram (TE7) E. Decker (WR35)
A. Peterson  (RB26) A. Jones (RB27) Defense (D/ST1) Defense (D/ST5) D. Murray (RB13)
Defense (D/ST12) T. Montgomery (RB32) J. Lambo (K14) G. Zuerlein (K23) D. Henry (RB23)
M. Crosby (K6) Defense (D/ST9)

* Based on SI ranking week 7

QB Suggestions

Andy Dalton (vs IND): Andy Dalton over his past 4 games has averaged about 20 points. This is serviceable for a fantasy QB. Meanwhile, Indy is last in points allowed (222) this year. On Yahoo, Dalton is available in 45% of leagues.

Josh McCown (vs ATL): McCown has been heating up rapidly over the past few weeks after a rough 4-week start. I don’t expect him to keep up this pace, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have his 4th 2 TD game against an average (19th against QBs) Falcons defense.

Matt Moore (@BAL): Moore had to come in after a 3rd quarter injury to Cutler and proceeded to lead a 14-point comeback in the 4th. He was able to complete 62% of his passes for 188 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. He has a true test coming up against the Ravens, who have posted the 3rd stingiest defense against QBs.

WR Suggestions

Jermaine Kearse (vs ATL): Kearse is currently 53% owned in Yahoo leagues, and I believe that is about right. He is a fine flex play and has touchdown upside. We won’t blow you away with his targets or yards (4 targets, 48.7 yards past 3 game average), so do not expect him to. If you play him as a filler for a bye week this week, he will be serviceable.

Ted Ginn Jr (vs CHI): Ginn posted his second most yards in a game last week at 141 and has been used as a big-play guy in New Orleans. While he is capable of these great games the past few weeks, he has also shown that he will give you less than 5 other weeks. His next game is at home, so that raises my confidence slightly, but I would still proceed with caution with Ginn.

Josh Doctson (vs DAL): Doctson was finally given the chance to start over Pryor and he didn’t do much with it (3-39-0). I believe this shows confidence from his coaches, but not his quarterback yet. He is going to be a touchdown-dependent, bye week filler this week as he gains trust with Cousins.

RB Suggestions

Wendell Smallwood (vs SF): Smallwood may not have done much last week, but he is going up against the 49ers who have given up the most points to RBs this year. He will be a fine flex play, but he is in a timeshare with Blount and Clement. If there is a week to start him, it will be this week.

Dion Lewis (vs LAC): Lewis is being given the most touches in the NE backfield, but he is still in a 4-man committee which is why I have been wary of adding him. However, as a bye-week add, he has an acceptable floor and that should be what is expected of these guys.

Jalen Richard/DeAndre Washington (@ BUF): Both will be hot commodities this week vis-à-vis Morris/McFadden. However, unlike the Dallas RBs, these two have roles. Richard is the more capable PPR runner while Washington is the guy for standard, getting the goal-line carries. In the limited time, they got last week, both were able to contribute in their own unique way and looked capable doing so. If they continue this play-style, I believe each will score good flex numbers.

TE Suggestions

Tyler Kroft (vs IND): Kroft is becoming Eifert-lite in the Bengals’ offense. This means that he will still be touchdown-dependant, but he is going to be available for those. If you are in need, he can give you a solid floor with around 25 yards and a touchdown.

George Kittle (@ PHI): Although they are 6-1, the Eagles still have a relatively low-end defense, and this is great for Kittle. He has shown that he can connect with Beathard posting 83 yards and touchdown week 5, but he is a boom-or-bust kind of guy posting just 1 catch for 16 yards last week.

O.J. Howard (vs CAR): After preseason hype and many people saying “this is the week” for Howard, it finally happened last week against the Bills (6-98-2). Howard still has Brate to compete with, but he has now shown what he can do and I expect the Buccaneers to use him more now.

K Suggestions

Stephen Hauschka (vs OAK): Having 10 or more points in his last 4 games makes Hauschka a legit fantasy option now. Coming up he has the Raiders who have been great for opposing kickers (3rd best match-up).

Harrison Butker (vs DEN): The Chiefs are explosive on offense, which allows Butker to show off his leg multiple times a week. This week he gets the Broncos and, while they are average for kickers, I can see him getting a few long field goals after his offense gets stopped around the 35-yard line.

Mike Nugent (@ WAS): Dan Bailey hasn’t been great this year, but, with the offense heating up, I can see Nugent posting 10+ against the Redskins who gave up 13 to Elliott last week. He is not owned at the moment, but I can see him rising quickly.

D/ST Suggestions

New Orleans Saints (vs CHI): New year, new Saints. After a relatively bad week against Green Bay, the Saints will get an easier match-up against the Bears at home. If they are able to shut down Howard, this could be ugly for Chicago.

Cincinnati Bengals (vs IND): The Bengals have been up-and-down this year, which I’ll admit isn’t great for streaming, but they get the worst offense in Indianapolis this week and that is too good to pass up.

Detroit Lions (vs PIT): The Lions have been surprisingly great this year for fantasy, posting 13 sacks, 9 INTs, and 3 TDs this year. If they are able to force Big Ben to pass this week by shutting down Bell, they could win handily over the Steelers.


This is all I have for week 8! Thank you for stopping by and good luck!

For any fantasy questions or anything else, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Devyn Smith

Twitter: @smithdev002

Instagram: @devyn5mith


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