The Wire Troll: Surviving the Byes
After a week with a whopping six teams on a bye, owners can exhale now that only the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins are off in Week Five. Hopefully you aren’t leaning too heavily on players from those teams (other than Mike Wallace). Weeks like this can provide owners a nice chance to plan ahead for future byes. For example, if your quarterbacks are Drew Brees and Tony Romo you may want to make other plans for Brees’ bye in Week Six since Romo’s Cowboys will be traveling to the most dreaded destination in Fantasy football: Seattle. Always try to plan ahead if possible rather than lose out on needed replacements down the line. Weeks Nine and 10, the other two weeks with six teams off, could be problem weeks to look out for.
Bye weeks: Miami and Oakland
Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: As we alluded to in our Quarterback Rankings, we weren’t surprised to see Glennon get his shot. Certainly, Vincent Jackson owners were happy to hear Glennon would get the start in Week Four against the Pittsburgh Steelers, since former starter Josh McCown failed to top 200 yards in either of the games he finished and never appeared to be on the same page as the team’s top wideout. Glennon led Tampa Bay to what was possibly the biggest upset of the season so far, throwing for 302 yards and two scores (see video below for first TD pass), including the game-winner to V-Jax. Week Five brings another favourable matchup versus the Saints, and while not many starting Fantasy quarterbacks have a bye this weekend, if you have an ugly matchup (like Kirk Cousins against Seattle) Glennon is a viable replacement.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater looked better than Bortles in their first starting action, however Bridgewater had the advantage of playing at home while Bortles went on the road to face a defense that has given Peyton Manning fits in the past. Even if Bridgewater is able to play through his sprained ankle he will still be seeing his first action in a hostile environment, and on a short week. Therefore we prefer Bortles in Week Five at home against a suspect Steelers defense.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings: Back in July we all expected to see 185-yard games this season out of a Vikings runner; just not McKinnon. The rookie from Georgia Southern showed explosiveness that fellow backfield mate Matt Asiata lacks, and while McKinnon may not get as many goal line looks, we think he has still has more upside with his big-play ability and should receive at least a 50/50 split moving forward. McKinnon had only nine touches before Sunday, but with 18 carries and a catch in the upset victory over Atlanta he proved he can shoulder a heavier workload.
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals: A week sometimes feels like an eternity in the NFL, so many Fantasy owners may have forgotten Brown scoring twice the last time Arizona played, all the way back in Week Three. The rookie drew rave reviews during training camp and would likely have been drafted higher than Round Three had he played for a bigger school (Pittsburgh State). With Larry Fitzgerald unable to make any impact so far (short of drawing coverage away from teammates) and an exploitable schedule, Brown could be poised to breakout in a big way over the next month. Carson Palmer expects to return in Week Five for what could be a shootout with Denver, followed by games against the Redskins, Raiders, Eagles and Cowboys. Mmmmm, smells like Fantasy goodness.
Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers: We didn’t want to believe — Royal has burned us before. As recently as last season he got off to a fast start just to quickly fade away. But after two consecutive multi-touchdown games we can no longer ignore the fact that Royal looks to be a reasonable Fantasy option. Keenan Allen is attracting more attention from opposing defenses than he did as a rookie in 2013, and with Philip Rivers being more cautious with the football under offensive coordinator Frank Reich, opportunities have opened up for Royal. Since injuries (and a stingy New York Jets front-seven) will likely cause the Chargers will to struggle to run the ball again this weekend, Royal could hit paydirt for a third week in a row.
Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks: Seven catches. Under 100 yards. Zero touchdowns. Those are Miller’s stats so far, but in Week Five he should take advantage of a Washington defense that gave up three touchdowns to Larry Donnell of the New York Giants on Thursday. But beware, if the Seahawks are able to return all of the Cousins’ turnovers for touchdowns they could be up 35-0 before the offense takes the field. Other than a handful of elite Fantasy players like Jimmy Graham and Delanie Walker (Delanie Walker?!?!?!) there seemingly is not much separating players at this position, leading us to play the matchups.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy football pickup of the week is.
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