Fantasy Football Weekly: Bye week fill-ins
If your team runs on Packers and/or Panthers then you’ll need some extra players this week. Your bench, like mine, is probably filled with injured players and guys you drafted that haven’t panned out (like my sixth round pick Montee Ball) though you feel like the have a bright future. Then again, you may have Jimmy Graham and a completely unnecessary second TE rendering this useless player droppable. Here is one player at each position you can use as a one-week replacement or even stash on your bench for future productivity, especially if your league has a flex position. There are not any kickers on this list because they’re completely a crapshoot. If yours is on a bye, drop him for someone else.
QB: Alex Smith, K.C. – His Chiefs are going up against the Giants, who were completely torched by Cam Newton last week. All three quarterbacks (Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Newton) have thrown for a combined seven TDs and two interceptions against the Giants, easily weaving their way down the field against a swiss cheese secondary. Smith, with the help of Jamaal Charles, who is likely to take a screen or dump-off pass to the house, will shock the world once again, pushing the Chiefs’ record to 4-0 while leaving the Giants in their dust at a sickly 0-4.
RB: Andre Ellington, ARZ – I heard it best on our very own Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta, who said Rashard Mendenhall runs without passion. He doesn’t seem to care when he’s on the field and he’s just out there doing his job to make money. Ellington is hungry, speedy and deserves more carries moving forward, so what better week to let your rookie run wild than a visit to a Tampa Bay team in shambles. Granted it’s their offense having the issues, but Head Coach Greg Schiano doesn’t seem to have the greatest control over his team. The Cardinals need to feed Ellington the ball because he’s the future back of this franchise, not Mendenhall. Expect at least 80 yards rushing and the majority of the carries.
WR: Stephen Hill, NYJ – “What,” you say, “a Jets player on my fantasy team? No way!” Yes way. Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes (or as John Madden once called him, San Antonio Holmes) are far and away the top two pass catchers in the Jets offense. Both of them have over 200 yards receiving so far and no other Jets player has over 100. Geno Smith has chemistry with these guys and Hill won’t be seeing as heavy coverage as the veteran Holmes. There isn’t a clear-cut number one guy here, but Hill should be good for at least another five receptions and a TD this week.
TE: Scott Chandler, BUF – Another instance of a rookie QB needing to find chemistry with his receivers on the field and Chandler is making his way into E.J. Manuel’s repertoire. He had the second-most receptions and third-most targets last week for the Bills, and this week faces a Ravens team who gave up five receptions to Owen Daniels on a day where Matt Schaub wasn’t that great. The past two years Chandler has made enough of a fantasy impact for him to be a perfect fill-in TE, and this week is no different. He’s starting on my team over Greg Olsen, a Panther on a bye.
Def: Indianapolis – They’re playing Jacksonville. I could have ended my column right there and that would be plenty to convince you to use them over the Packers, Panthers or really any other defense out there. The Jags are going back to Blaine Gabbert at QB, a phrase which shouldn’t be in their vocabulary but it’s a tough situation down in Florida. Hopefully they can trade for Josh Freeman in an attempt to solve those issues. Jacksonville won’t put up double digit points unless the Colts score over 40 and put in their backups. It’s an easy play that can definitely be taken advantage of, even if your D isn’t on a bye.
More of the same next week everyone! Let me know about your bye week fill-ins in the comments below and good luck in Week 4! Unless you’re my friends Jess, Jeff or Jon, in which case you’re going down and I hope you get zero points from everybody.