Bye Bye Bye: Week 6 Bye Replacements
Another bye replacement article and yet, only two teams are off this week. No disrespect to the Raiders and Dolphins but this week’s byes carry a tad more weight. The Saints and Chiefs will be riding the Fantasy pine this week. Owners have to find ways to replace Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Graham, Jamaal Charles, and . . . TRAVIS KELCE! Any player and I mean ANY player who struts like The Nature Boy has relevance in my book. Like any other NFL season, players are dropping like flies and, therefore, feel free to use these suggestions to fill any voids you might have. They aren’t just bye week-replacements, sheesh.
Let me start with the precursor that I am not a fan of Ryan Tannehill, but this week’s matchup is enticing. The Dolphins play the Packers and I know what you might be thinking. The Packers are only giving up 14.14 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, good enough for sixth best in the NFL. Stop right there. That is what we call an anomaly. Green Bay has had the luxury of padding their stats while feeding off a few of the lower echelon talents in the league. They’ve had games in which they matched up against Geno Smith and Christian Ponder. Enough said. My first instinct was to recommend Andy Dalton this week, but he is averaging just 27 pass attempts per game, far less than Tannehill’s near 39 attempts per game. The Dolphins could end up trailing in this game and have the personnel to make big plays in the passing game.
Start Tannehill over: Andy Dalton, Austin Davis, Kirk Cousins
Looking deeper: Thou shall not say Clipboard Jesus’ name in vein. For that, we will just refer to him as Charlie Whitehurst. Look, it is no secret that Whitehurst is not good, but I think it has become evident that the Jaguars defense can change that. The Titans are home this week and coming off an embarrassing loss in which they blew a 28-3 lead. I have a hunch they will come out strong in this game and try to make a statement. Keep an eye on Zach Mettenberger, whose name has been mentioned in the Titans QB discussion. He showed flashes in the preseason and was serviceable in college. Whichever guy gets the nod for Tennessee could be a deep bye replacement sleeper this week.
While the popular start will be Branden Oliver and rightfully so, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see Andre Williams perform just as well, if not better. The Giants realize the importance of establishing their running game and have done so admirably this season. Before Rashad Jennings went down with a sprained MCL injury, he was averaging just about 23 touches per game as the starting running back. That duty will be passed on to Williams with Jennings sidelined for a few weeks. For those who have waited on Williams or just picked him up, you did so at the perfect time, as he will be more than just a bye replacement. This week the Giants play the Eagles, who have allowed 660 rushing yards this season in just five games and are giving up nearly 22 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. There is no doubt Williams can run the ball; he rushed for 2,177 yards in his senior year at Boston College. But to put it bluntly, he cannot catch. He had just 10 career receptions over his four college years. Think of him as an Alfred Morris type of running back.
Start Williams over: Andre Ellington, Stevan Ridley, Alfred Morris, Zac Stacy, Bills running backs
Looking deeper: Who in the world is Antone Smith? Oh, he’s just the guy that has more Fantasy points than Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy, and C.J. Spiller. Not to mention, he’s done all that on just 17 touches this season! Everybody wants the sexy running back that is going to get the high-volume work, but Smith has earned more playing time in the Falcons offense. There are plenty of heads in the Atlanta backfield, but I believe Smith will get 5-10 touches moving forward and he is extremely explosive. They play the Chicago Bears this week; they’ve been stout against the run but if you’re in a bind, take the chance on Smith.
I don’t want to fall prey to the trend in which I take the easy road and just say start all Titans simply because they are playing the Jaguars, however, Justin Hunter is just about to take off. I’m not sure what Ken Whisenhunt is thinking but it’s obvious he needs to get the ball in the hands of his best playmakers. Hunter broke off one of those impressive 75-yard touchdown receptions last week, which is what we were expecting coming into the season. If you’re worried about opportunity or usage for Hunter in the Titans’ offense, don’t be. Last week, he led all Titans position players in offensive snaps, with 66. The Jaguars have given up the most yards to wide receivers this season, with 1,005 and are allowing nearly 27 Fantasy points per game to the position.
Start Hunter over: Mohamed Sanu, Devin Hester, 49ers receivers not named Crabtree, Giants receivers not named Cruz, Chargers receivers not named Allen
Looking deeper: Who would have thought that by Week 6 Torrey Smith would be a desperation play? This is a guy that was drafted in the middle rounds, and rightfully so. He’s had 129 or more Fantasy points in standard leagues over each of the past three seasons. This season he is on pace for just about 74 Fantasy points. Smith has said he is battling off-field issues right now, but I believe he will be better. John Harbaugh announced publically that it will be a focus to get the ball in Smith’s hands, and what better week than against the dream matchup with the Buccaneers defense?
The Bucs pass defense has been so bad that the tight end I am suggesting comes from the same team as Torrey Smith. Owen Daniels has stepped in for the injured Dennis Pitta and been decent. Gary Kubiak is familiar with the skill set of Daniels, having coached him on the Texans over the past few years. Daniels is a red-zone threat but what bodes well for him is that Joe Flacco likes throwing to his tight end. The Buccaneers are allowing the second most receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season at 404. Couple that fact with Daniels’ ability as a red-zone target and you have a recipe for success.
Start Daniels over: Heath Miller, Jordan Cameron, Eric Ebron
START ALL TITANS, BENCH ALL JAGUARS! Look, the Jaguars offensive line is a mess; they can’t get any attempt of a run game going and Blake Bortles is now turning the ball over. The Titans will be fired up after last week and will take it out on the Jaguars. We could see a defensive touchdown in this game.
Start the Titans D/ST over: Colts, Packers, Giants, Eagles
So, why is this column called Bye, Bye, Bye? Find out here.
Yes, I was a 90’s kid and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned boy band?