As we head into bye week central over the upcoming few weeks; a lot of you are likely going to need to dip into the waiver wire in order to grab yourself some replacements. Luckily for you, we here at the Across The Fantasy Pond will dig you out some gems every week so that you can head into your matchups confident of beating your opponent.
With the Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, and Titans on bye this week; those of you that own Ezekiel Elliot/Melvin Gordon/Keenan Allen/Julio Jones/Tevin Coleman and dare I say Amari Cooper, you especially, need to keep reading.
RB – Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – 54% owned (ESPN)
Since Mack has returned into the Indianapolis fold after fully recovering from a hamstring ailment, he’s rushed for 215 yards on 31 carries (6.94 YPC), with two total touchdowns in those two games. Despite Nyheim Hines (3.9 YPC, 3 TD’s) being a dual threat and Jordan Wilkins (220 yards, 0 TD) having the bruiser role throughout that period, they seemingly didn’t do enough to trouble Mack’s RB1 status upon return for Indianapolis. Expect Mack to be the main guy for Frank Reich for the remainder of the season, and if he carries on performing as he has over the last two weeks, Mack will help guide fantasy owners to a playoff birth.
RB – Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders – 18.5% owned (ESPN)
With Marshawn Lynch being placed on IR this week, it looks like the Raiders will be seeing out the remainder of the season with Richard, Doug Martin, and DeAndre Washington. With Washington yet to see a single carry of the campaign so far, it looks likely that Richard will be sharing the carries in a committee with Martin.
However Richard has one major leg up over his competition in that backfield – he is the out and out receiving back. In PPR formats especially; Richard is a must add for anyone in need at RB. In four games this season, he has a minimum of 48 yards or 6 receptions. With Cooper jumping ship to Dallas, there will likely be plenty of more opportunities fall Richard’s way.
WR – Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders – 68.9% owned (ESPN)
I’ve just mentioned it; Amari Cooper is no longer with the Black and Silver. This gives Nelson a massive boost within fantasy circles as he automatically becomes the WR1. I know it’s not the prettiest offense and for a team destined for a top 10 draft pick in 2019; but that means the Raiders will be playing from behind in the majority of games, therefore relying on Derek Carr to throw the ball. Nelson is currently the #36 ranked WR in non-PPR leagues with touchdowns in 3 of his last 4 games, Nelson will look to add to his season tally and will hopefully have a few more games like he did in week 3 vs Miami where he ended the day with 173 yards and a touchdown. Nelson might be at the end of his career, but there is definitely still tread on the tires.
WR – Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints – 8.7% owned (ESPN)
The explosive Ted Ginn Jr was placed on the IR before last weeks matchup against Baltimore and we did get a glimpse into what the usage for Smith may be going forward. He seemingly was Ginn’s replacement in the slot over fellow receiver Cam Meredith and played 52 of 71 snaps. When you have the opportunity to grab a young and talented player in a high powered offense, with a future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees slinging the rock and seeing this much playtime- you have to take advantage.
WR – Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals – 18.3% owned (ESPN)
The rookie out of Texas A&M has definitely struck a rapport with fellow rookie, Quarterback Josh Rosen. With legendary receiver Larry Fitzgerald having a quiet season so far, Kirk has become the main receiver in Arizona. Kirk has put up no less than 3 receptions for 57 yards in the last 3 weeks and has a season game high of 7 for 90 in week 3 versus that stout Chicago defense. Currently WR44 in PPR leagues, Kirk is a nice add for a bye week filler, or a great player to stash if he continues being Rosen’s go-to man out wide.
TE – Chris Herndon, New York Jets – 0.6% owned (ESPN)
It’s always nice to see one of your pre-season deep sleepers start to break through! That’s exactly what Herndon has done over the last two weeks. After finding the endzone twice in two weeks and scoring a combined 27.8 PPR points, Herndon is quickly moving up the rankings.
In a volatile position in fantasy football with multiple players out with either injury or on a bye, the Miami Hurricanes alumni is close to being considered a “plug and play”, especially with his next three opponents (Chicago, Miami and New England) all currently in the bottom half of fantasy points given up to tight ends.
QB –Alex Smith, Washington Redskins
The dream is over for everyone who bought into 2017 Alex Smith. He’s currently ranked QB25, which means your fantasy teams will be better off streaming. Even Blake Bortles is outscoring Smith in every department.
RB – Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars
Dropping Carlos Hyde might be a surprising take. However, when can you trust him enough to start him again? He heads into Jacksonville with what will likely be committee with T.J Yeldon, then what happens when Leonard Fournette comes back from injury? Certainly, try to trade Hyde away first; but in 10/12 man leagues, if you can’t work out a deal, drop him and pick up a Mack/Chubb/Richard.
WR – Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers
I loved Goodwin’s potential heading into this season. But the fact of the matter is – without Jimmy Garoppolo, Goodwin is nothing but a boom or bust play. Other than a monster game versus Green Bay in week 6 (126yards 2 TD’s), Goodwin has seen no more than 3 targets, with a season-high of 30 yards. Some people still buy into Goodwin’s upside – but for me, I’d rather have a dart throw on my bench than a player that’s only done it once so far this season.
WR – Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills
Benjamin’s highest point scoring game came last week versus a leaky Indianapolis secondary. With stout defenses against wide receivers in New England, Chicago, New York (Jets) and Jacksonville next up for the Bills (with a bye in week 11 ), no receiver is trustworthy so feel free to drop the former Carolina Panther – there are so many better options on the waiver wire.
by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller