We have two fantasy-relevant teams on bye this week: the Lions and Saints. This means we will be missing two good quarterbacks, the top running back, and three top-20 wide receivers. Not to mention, Mark Ingram owners will now move him back to the bench. Surviving the bye weeks is what will put you in the best position to make your fantasy playoffs. To do this, you need to pick up some bye week fill-ins.
To be included in this article, players must have an ownership of less than 60% to be considered an “add.” Here are my favorite Add/Drops of the week, accompanied by their ownership percentage in ESPN fantasy leagues.
Teams on Bye: Lions and Saints
QB Andy Dalton, CIN (56.5%)
Dalton didn’t have a great week 5, but he simply needs to be owned. He’s QB13 on the year and will be included in my week 6 QB streamers article, since he has a great divisional matchup with the Steelers.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (12.7%)
Winston was recently named the Bucs’ starter and is coming off of a bye, so it makes sense that his ownership is so low. Tampa should have a solid game plan, seeing they had an extra week to prepare. This game also has the highest over/under of the week on MyBookie, set at 57.5. We know how explosive these offenses can be, and certainly how poor the defenses have played. The Falcons are the fourth-worst against quarterbacks this season. We can also see below how Winston has stepped up his game in his five matchups with Atlanta.
QB C.J. Beathard, SF (3.1%)
Three weeks in a row. When will people listen? Go back to either last week or the week before for analysis. The only thing new is a Monday night matchup with the Packers. He’s another great streaming option.
QB Blake Bortles, JAC (40%)
Bortles is QB12 this season and has looked pretty good overall. He also is a better fantasy player without Leonard Fournette, averaging over 300 passing yards without him, over the six games without the running back. We also know it’s getting closer to December, which is his month! You FlurrySports Podcast listeners know what I’m talking about! Check out this Mr. December merch we had designed! We do not receive any percentage of the sales, but it is a pretty awesome shirt.
RB Alfred Blue, HOU (15.6%)
With Lamar Miller active, Alfred Blue got the Sunday night start and performed well. Running was inefficient, since the offensive line still sucks, but he ran for 46 yards and caught 8 passes for 73 yards. It would be shocking to see Houston go back to Miller, barring an injury to Blue or the soon-to-be-active D’Onta Foreman.
RBs From Philly
Corey Clement (28.2%)
Wendell Smallwood (7.7%)
After losing starting running back Jay Ajayi for the season, Philly has a short turnaround to play the Giants on Thursday. Corey Clement hasn’t played since week 3, but he is expected to play Thursday and is the clear most talented option. However, Wendell Smallwood will get plenty of run in the backfield as well, and it’s doubtful either player suddenly emerges as a clear bellcow. It will be a rotation. I also fully expect for the Eagles to bring another running back in, since they have already reached out to Buffalo about LeSean McCoy. However, given the short week, I expect these two to be the duo we see Thursday.
RB Nyheim Hines, IND (46.9%)
Hines had another good performance to back up his breakout week 4. However, this time he received 15 carries. We have no clue how healthy/injured Marlon Mack really is, so as long as he is inactive, it seems as though Hines will be the main ball carrier. Even with Mack back, Hines will receive some carries and be active as a receiving option. He needs to be owned in all PPR leagues.
RB Jamaal Charles, JAC (0%)
While writing this, the Jaguars signed the old vet. When we last saw him, he looked to have plenty of game left in those legs, as long as his workload is monitored. This move shows that they are in no rush to bring Fournette back. So, give Charles a look in deeper leagues, and hold onto Yeldon for now, though this certainly affects him.
RB Mike Davis, SEA (14.5%)
With Chris Carson returning, it moved Davis to the sideline. However, the snap share was split between Carson and Davis 58/42%. Also, Davis received three carries inside the 10-yard line, which resulted in his touchdown. Carson did not get a single touch inside the 10. Heading to Oakland this week, there should be goal line opportunities for the Seahawks, which looks to Davis’ territory.
RB Ronald Jones, TB (18.2%)
Coming off their bye, the Bucs need to find a spark. Some magic, if you will. Unfortunately, it won’t be FitzMagic, as Jameis Winston is set to start. Even when the passing game was performing at the top level, the running game was non-existent. It was inefficient, and much worse than it should have been. Peyton Barber does not seem to be the answer at the position, so with the bye week to get Jones more snaps in practice and prepped for the future, it would make sense for the team to put some trust in the rookie and use him more going forward. Now, Koetter does love to make bad decisions, but this seems like a move even he would make.
Pass Catcher Adds
WR Keke Coutee, HOU (19.7%)
I talked him up last week, include a cute (Cout?) picture of him as the feature, and he’s still owned in less than 20% of leagues. He had another terrific game. Pick the rookie up. He’s for real.
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL (53%)
Sanu either has touchdown or 100+ yards in each of the past three weeks. He also has a great divisional matchup at home against the Bucs. All of the hype lately has been going to rookie Calvin Ridley, but it’s Sanu who has been on the field more. In last week’s game, Sanu saw 82% of the snaps, while Ridley was out there for only 66.7%. Snaps mean opportunities, which Sanu will have plenty of.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB (3.2%)
If Cobb or Allison miss more time going forward, MVS will see a big increase of time on the field. Even with them healthy, he has earned trust with Rodgers, proven he can perform at a high level, and offers an athletic skill set that the Packer offense really needs to utilize.
WR Tre’Quan Smith, NO (1%)
The rookie had a breakout performance on Monday night, highlighted by making the touchdown catch to give Drew Brees the all-time passing yards record. Smith finished with 111 yards and two touchdowns in Ted Ginn’s absence. If Ginn misses more time moving forward, it seems Smith will be a main beneficiary.
WR Antonio Callaway, CLE (26.8%)
Callaway hasn’t been great, but he has high upside and will see more targets with fellow receiver Rashard Higgins out 2-4 weeks.
TE Greg Olsen, CAR (60.9%)
Yes, he is over the 60% mark I said I would stick to, but only slightly. After going down in week 1, the Panthers hope to get Olsen back for their matchup against the Redskins this week. Obviously many dropped him, so take a look to see if he is out there.
TE Cameron Brate, TB (16.7%)
Jameis Winston loves throwing to Cameron Brate. So with his return as starting quarterback, this alone significantly raises his value. Also, fellow tight end OJ Howard is still out with a MCL sprain, meaning Brate will be the sole tight end ready to soak up the targets.
QB Derek Carr, OAK
Carr has multiple touchdowns in just one game, but multiple interceptions in three. Remember when HIS BROTHER ranked him as the fourth-best quarterback in June? NFL Network is the worst.
RB Jay Ajayi, PHI
Out for the year.
RB Lamar Miller, HOU
Alfred Blue was given an opportunity and performed better. Now with Foreman returning soon, Miller could quickly find himself as third on the depth chart. If you hold onto him, you’re secretly hoping for an injury/opportunity, or for him to be traded to a team like Philly.
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN
Mixon is back, which obviously hurts him. Bernard is also out with a sprained MCL. Expected to miss 2-4 weeks, they may be extra cautious with Bernard, especially if they beat the Steelers this week. If he takes the full four weeks, they then have a week 9 bye. If you have to figure out if you are willing to hold Bernard on your bench until possibly week 10.
RB Peyton Barber, TB
He’s just not very good. I understand waiting to see what he does after his bye, but if he struggles again, say buh-bye to Barber.
WR Marquise Goodwin, SF
Goodwin started banged up, but he was also overhyped by way too many. Now with Beathard at quarterback, he is also not the favorite target. You can drop him. At best, he’ll be inconsistent. At worst, he’s be terrible.
WR Josh Doctson, WAS
He’s not just terrible, he’s also injured.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
He’s not very good, and on an even worse offense.
Denver Broncos D/ST
The Broncos defense has been terrible the past two weeks, and now they face the Rams. Even if Kupp and Cooks miss, they’re going to score.
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