Week 7 gave us more injuries and Week 8 gives us the first of the bye weeks with the most teams off. Don’t even pretend like you don’t need help, get in here and take a look at what’s available.
Couple that with Week 8 having the most byes (tied with Week 9) of any week and we have ourselves a need for some hardcore analysis and number crunching to help get our teams into the playoffs.
Palmer looks to be out for 6-8 weeks with a broken left arm, Cutler most likely is out for next week with injured ribs. Wallace is in the leagues concussion protocol and Walker is on crutches after spraining his ankle.
The byes this week are for the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans, so the Palmer and Walker injuries zeroed each other out for the this week, but if you have those players or players affected by them, you still have to account for it.
That is a lot to consider and as any veteran fantasy football owner could tell you it is in weeks like this that it is easy to overthink things.
I do that myself, which is why I created this article. So to help you and me I want to take a look at those players whose names are popping up but maybe shouldn’t be and discuss those players that we should be looking at instead. As always, let’s start with Quarterbacks.
Tyrod Taylor had a very nice week in Buffalo’s 30-27 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Taylor who is available in 45% of leagues threw for 268 yards and one touchdown. He also added 53 yards rushing.
Taylor was good and often showed flashes of brilliance, so because of that, he is someone owners have been talking about as a bye week or injury fill in. He was good last week, but on second thought I would be wary of his inconsistency.
Taylor has shown us inconsistency in the past and in this season as well. He has really only had a few good games. He is playing the Raiders this next week which could go well for him but I just feel he is too risky especially when you could go with Josh McCown.
McCown had a very nice game in the Jets 28-31 loss to the Dolphins. Available in 88% of leagues, McCown threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Anyone who has watched the Jets play this last month, can tell you that they are an improving team and are much better than most give them credit for.
This is far from the expectations for the Jets at the beginning of the year. With McCown leading the charge and seeing three straight weeks of improvement himself, there is little reason to think that he couldn’t give you some very nice numbers next week against the Falcons at home.
With the game being in New York and the Falcons having a middle of the road defense against opposing quarterbacks, it would not be out of line to think you could get 20 or more points out of McCown this week.
If you just can’t pull the trigger on a Jets quarterback, I get it, then you need to take a look at Matt Moore.
Moore came in for Miami in the third quarter and rallied the team back in the aforementioned 31-28 win against the Jets. Moore is available in 99% of leagues and in just under two quarters threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Those fantasy numbers are better than many quarterbacks that played the whole game — think about that.
Some might want to chalk it up to a fluke but it’s not like Moore hasn’t started for the Dolphins before. This is an offense he is very familiar with and with Cutler almost certain to be out this next week he is poised to not just take over the team but be a perfect bye week, or injury fill in for your team.
Speaking of injury, Leonard Fournette twisted his ankle in Week 6 and did not play in Week 7 giving what everybody thought would be a great opportunity for Chirs Ivory to have a strong week.
Instead, TJ Yeldon took the ball, literally, and ran with it, for a total of 122 yards on just 9 rushes. He is available in 99% of leagues which has many owners clamoring to the waiver wires to pick him up.
Which is understandable but, you have to know that:
1. They are on a bye this week.
2. Fournette will be back after the bye and the Running Back position is absolutely his.
Yeldon will get very little if any time going forward without another injury to Fournette, so I just don’t see the return on investment in picking Yeldon up.
I do want you to note that there is one definite take away that we hopefully learned this week, and it is if you have Fournette and you wanted to handcuff him, Ivory is not the right person, Yeldon is. So in that instance you may want to grab him, otherwise I’d look more to someone like Latavius Murray.
Murray, available in 40% of leagues rushed for 113 yards on 18 rushes and added one touchdown to the mix. He looked strong and confident and also looks to be the back in Minnesota right now. His availability (40%) is lower than I usually like to put up here so I was hesitant to mention him in this article, but with him averaging 15 carries a game since Dalvin Cook was hurt you have to like his chances every single game to put up big numbers. It really seems that he is starting to figure out this offense and now he gets to go against Cleveland next week, so I had to mention him, even though his availability is low because if he happens to be available in your league you need to grab him now.
Dion Lewis is much more available, in fact he is able to be grabbed in about 80% of leagues. This last week he helped the Patriots in their 23-7 win over the Falcons. Lewis recorded 13 rushes for 76 yards. This may not pop off the computer screen to you but it is still a good week and it happens to be the second week in a row he led the Patriots in rushing attempts. He is certainly the most effective back for the Patriots at this point, and so as long as he is healthy he is a great injury or bye week fill in, especially with the Chargers on the docket for next week.