Fantasy football: Bye week replacements


Week 4 and Week 9 of this year's NFL season are the worst for bye week needs.

There are 6 teams off this week; the Broncos, Seahawks, Rams, Cardinals, Bengals and Browns. 3 of those 6 teams had a QB starting in your league, all of them had at least one starting RB, there are 5 to 6 starting WRs and all of them have a start worthy defense. There is a good chance your team needs to fill a hole this week. Below are the best waiver wire options at each position for your week 4 needs.

QB: Play a Rookie

There are 3 rookie quarterbacks starting this week Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater and Oakland's Derrick Carr. Two of them make good bye week replacements.

My top pick would be Bortles. Bortles has the toughest matchup of the week playing the San Diego Chargers on the west coast but he has been the most impressive when he's gotten the chance. I think Bortles with all those weapons at WR will have a big game this week. Bridgewater will be at home this week against the Falcons for his first NFL start. Atlanta's defense gives up a lot of points and their offense scores a lot of points, so Bridgewater and the Vikings will be playing catch up. Don't be surprised if he is also the leading rusher for Minnesota on Sunday. I think Teddy Bridgewater is also startable. Carr is the only one of the rookie QBs I wouldn't start this week. Carr and the Raiders have to travel across the pond to play the Dolphins. The Raiders have a tough time when they have to play on the east coast of the United States, so having to go all the way to London doesn't seem attractive for your fantasy QB. The Dolphins are also are very good against the pass. Play Bortles and Bridgewater, bench Carr.

RB: Play an old vet

Although it would be nice to find one of those up and coming rookies to play at RB for week 4, chances are they have been scooped up in your league already. The guys you need this week are old vets who have started slow and people have quickly given up on. In a couple of my leagues, Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams and the Oakland Raiders Maurice Jones-Drew were cut when once again they showed up on the injury report and underperformed. Guys like that are on a short leash and they haven't proved to be of any use up to this point.

This week that changes for both guys. Williams will benefit from the rest of the Carolina Backfield being in street clothes for this one. He should get the overwhelming majority of carries for week 4. Pure volume will lead to fantasy points for Williams. MJD should also return this week for the Raiders who as mentioned are traveling to London. The benefit for MJD is that he has done this before. He was part of the Jaguars team that traveled to London last season. He knows what to expect. As I also mentioned above I think the Raiders are going to struggle throwing and so they will rely heavily on the run.

WR: Play the Match up

The San Diego Chargers have the best matchup of week playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at home Sunday. Two of the three playable Charger WRs are still available in most leagues. Malcom Floyd is owned in 4% of ESPN leagues right now. He has 21 points over 3 weeks. If you drop week 2 where he was shut down by the Seahawks, and the Jags are the Seahawks, he would be averaging double digits. According to ESPN, Floyd is also leading the league in yards per target through the air with 22.3 per attempt. Floyd's teammate Eddie Royal is also still available in almost 80% of leagues. He had 16 points last week and 7 the week before. Again against the Jaguars D, everyone is going to have a big game.

TE: Roll the Dice

If the Green Bay Packers ever decided who their TE is going to be they would be a very valuable fantasy commodity. This week it appears to be Andrew Quarless. He did catch a TD last week. He is owned in 1.9% of ESPN Leagues. Pick him up for the week. Its high risk high reward, but if you picked up Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron and you still haven't picked up Travis Kelce, Quarless maybe your best hope.

K: Anyone not on a bye.

If you have a bench spot and can pick up 2 kickers, pick up suspended Broncos Kicker Matt Prater who should return next week.

DEF: There aren't many D/ST available at this point for week 4.

The good ones that were available got picked up on the waiver wire, so if you're still looking for a late add try the Buffalo Bills. They play at Houston against former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpartick. Many people believe Fitz will be extra pumped up to play his old team and I agree, but I believe that means he will force more mistakes and the Bills will know his tendencies.