We are passed the half way point in our fantasy seasons! Hard to believe isn’t it? But this means we are now officially on the stretch and if your fantasy teams have a record less than .500, you need to get a move on and get some wins under your belt! Week 9 could swing one of two ways for you and will likely be heavily reliant on which players are on byes. So with that in mind, take a look at some bye week replacements or potential roster fixers that I’ve unearthed this week and are likely available on your waiver wires with less than 50% ownership via ESPN Fantasy.
Jared Goff, LA Rams. 26.6% owned
The 2016 first round draft pick has certainly turned some heads this season. Although he hasn’t lit up fantasy leagues, he is currently ranked just outside QB1 territory and has managed to throw at least one touchdown pass in all games this season except the tough week 5 match-up against Seattle. Fresh off a bye, the Rams travel to the east coast to face the unpredictable 1-6 New York Giants. The cast from Los Angeles have looked very impressive this year thus far and I fully expect that trend to continue this week. The Giants are 9th worst against opposing QB’s this season giving up an average of 22.9 fantasy points per game making Goff a solid play this week. The road ahead doesn’t look too bad either with match-ups against Houston, New Orleans, Arizona and Tennessee who all rank in the bottom half of points given up to quarterbacks.
Josh McCown, New York Jets. 25.9% owned
McCown has been surprisingly good this year proving a lot of doubters wrong. The journeyman has thrown at least two touchdowns in the last four games which included going up against both Superbowl teams from 2016. The Jets face a stout Buffalo defense this weekend so I wouldn’t be starting McCown for this particular game. However, week 10 throws up a favourable game in Tampa Bay and after their bye in week 11; Carolina, Kansas and New Orleans can all be hospitable fantasy match-ups for quarterbacks.
Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens. 32.1% owned
The former Seahawk certainly made his mark within the Ravens murky backfield in week 8. Terrance West has been less than impressive in his five outings so far this season, add that to a third consecutive week on the injury report has meant that Collins has been gifted an opportunity to show Baltimore what he had and boy has he delivered. Since week 3 he has only finished under 50 yards rushing yards once which was against a tough Vikings defence in Minneapolis. Despite not scoring a touchdown yet this season, Collins still finds himself getting double digit touches every week and is clearly the bull runner for the Ravens. Coming off a 113 rush yard display in week 8, he will continue getting plenty of opportunities to likely deliver some solid fantasy points week to week.
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts. 29% owned
It’s tough to gauge what Marlon Mack will do week to week as he finds himself in a terrible situation in a poor Indy offence. Despite this, it hasn’t stopped the rookie out of USF showing what he is capable of. He has three total touchdowns under his belt so far this season and continues to get reps in that limited role. With Frank Gore likely retiring in the near future, Mack may well see more reps as the end of the season draws closer. One thing that is very positive to see is his production in the passing game with 76 total receiving yards in the last two weeks scoring 25.9 total fantasy points in the process.
Dion Lewis, New England Patriots. 49.1% owned
Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants. 39.5% owned
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers. 5.8% owned
Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers. 24.7% owned
Pittsburgh’s rookie second round pick has hit the ground running this season. He’s quickly becoming a favourite target of Ben Roethlisberger’s and has four touchdowns on the season to prove it. Tie this in with a career game in week 8 to the tune of 193 yards and a single TD, Juju is likely to fly off the waivers this week. With the on-going Martavis Bryant saga, I would assume Smith-Schuster has now well and truly planted his flag rendering Bryant surplus to requirements. That means the former USC product will slide in to that highly productive WR2 slot in the Steeler’s offense.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets. 26.4% owned
As I mentioned earlier with Josh McCown, the Jets have been a pleasant surprise this year in the NFL. With a good amount of success in the passing game, one of the beneficiaries of this has been Robby Anderson. He has managed to crack over 50 yards in half of the Jets games so far and is coming off a highly productive 104 yards with one touchdown scoring 23.5 PPR points in week 8. Anderson is becoming a very reliable deep threat who has shown a great ability of creating separation and being very productive after the catch. Again, the week ahead could prove challenging in Buffalo however i’d be happy playing Anderson in week 10 against a Bucs defense who give up 41.6 PPR points per game to receivers, second worst in the league.
Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks. 10.3% owned
Another receiver who feasted on a 100+ receiving yard game in week 8 was Paul Richardson. If you want to grab a receiver with a fairly high floor, this is the guy. So far, week 5 against the Rams was the only game this year where Richardson hasn’t scored more than nine points in PPR formats. The Seahawk’s also have some favourable match-ups coming up on their schedule with the next four games against Washington, Arizona, Atlanta and San Francisco.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars. 1.6% owned
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans. 24% owned
Travis Benjamin, Los Angeles Chargers. 7.6% owned
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts. 39.3% owned
The shining light within the Colts offense comes in the way of tight end Jack Doyle. With the receivers not really being utilised by make shift QB Jacoby Brissett, Doyle has found himself thrust into the passing game as a productive weapon. This works for fantasy because if/when Andrew Luck finally comes back from his shoulder injury, he too loves throwing to his main tight end. Last week vs the Bengals, Doyle recorded a career high 12 receptions which he turned into 121 yards and one touchdown. In the last three weeks he has scored no less than 10 points in PPR, so in a vulnerable and unpredictable tight end market, Jack Doyle may well be a plug and play candidate going forward.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers. 8.8% owned
I’ve been on the Kittle train all season and I will remain there because a breakout is just around the corner, I am sure of it! Kittle seems to do well in good match-up games. With Arizona this week and New York Giants the following week who are by far and away the worst in the league defending tight ends, the former Hawkeye could well see the college camaraderie he had with C.J Beathard re-appear.
O.J Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 21.7% owned
Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins. 13.8% owned
Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins. 10% owned
Buffalo Bills. 32.5% owned
The Bills defense are ranked 12th in fantasy and have at least one INT in all but one game this season with six fumble recoveries to go with that.
Detroit Lions. 46.9% owned
Five overall defensive touchdowns is not to be ignored especially with Green Bay and Cleveland coming up in the next two weeks
Dallas Cowboys. 27.7% owned
51 combined points in the last two weeks can’t be overlooked. They struggled at the beginning of the season but lately things have been in their favour
by Rob Grimwood @FFBritBaller
All ownership % taken from ESPN Fantasy