And then there were two, bye weeks that is. Week 10 is the second-to-last bye week on the NFL schedule, but this is one that Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III owners have possibly been dreading. No Packers, Redskins, Browns and Cardinals this week mean no reigning MVP or RGIII, also known as the top two scorers in all of fantasy football, along with several other reliable fantasy producers.
Whether you are looking for a fill-in quarterback or have a need at another position because of a bye or injury issue, here are some options worth considering as you prepare your team for Week 10.
Bye week teams: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington
Week 9 Recap: Matt Cassel added to his league-leading turnover total with two more in Kansas City’s 31-13 loss to San Diego. If Brady Quinn is cleared to practice, he may get the start on Monday night in Pittsburgh. Matt Moore didn’t even see the field on Sunday as Ryan Tannehill played through his injuries and performed pretty well (290-1-0) in the Dolphins’ 23-20 loss in Indianapolis.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick had his best game of the season the last time he faced New England, throwing for 350 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-28 loss to the Patriots in Week 4. He did have four interceptions in that game, but still managed to score 32.4 fantasy points. The Bills and Patriots hook up again in Foxboro, Mass., on Sunday and as good as the Pats have been against the run, they are 28th against the pass and are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions in four home games, compared to four scores and eight picks in five road contests. He is averaging 29 fantasy points over his last two contests played at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are home to the Jets this Sunday, and while the Jets are No. 6 against the pass, keep in mind that Wilson’s flawless home performances have come against the Packers, Cowboys, Patriots and Vikings.
Week 9 Recap: Joique Bell had a nice day for Detroit, leading the team in rushing with 73 yards on 13 carries and a score and adding three receptions for 36 yards. Even though Mikel Leshoure had three rushing touchdowns in the Lions’ win in Jacksonville, he and Bell tied in terms of total of number of touches (16 each), meaning Bell is someone definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Donald Brown was listed as Questionable heading into Sunday’s game with Miami. He did play, but managed only one catch for seven yards and didn’t receive a single carry in the Colts’ win over the Dolphins. Justin Forsett got just six carries as Houston struggled somewhat to put away Buffalo. Peyton Hillis got seven carries, second most on the team, against San Diego, but finished with just 14 yards on the ground.
Lance Dunbar, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray will resume his role as the Cowboys’ lead back once he returns from his foot injury. There’s a chance Murray could be back in there this Sunday in Philadelphia. Until he’s back, however, the team continues to look for ways to jumpstart a sluggish running attack, which is why Dunbar got one less carry (9 to 8) than Felix Jones in Sunday’s loss in Atlanta. Dunbar finished with only 26 yards rushing (3.3 ypc), but with Jones’ well-documented injury history and the fact that Phillip Tanner got just one attempt against the Falcons, don’t be surprised if Dunbar gets a fair amount of touches against the Eagles should Murray miss a fourth straight game.
Mike Goodson, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden left Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay with a leg injury that is now being reported as the dreaded high ankle sprain. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, but at this point, he has to be considered very questionable for this week. The Raiders abandoned the running game after McFadden left, but that’s also partially due to the fact they were trailing the Buccaneers 28-10 headed into the fourth quarter. Goodson figures to be first in line to take McFadden’s place in the backfield and he’s averaging 6.5 yards per carry in limited action. He also has been hampered by injuries, including an ankle injury on Sunday, so Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones are two other names to watch. Reece is extremely valuable as a receiver, as he led the Raiders in receptions (8) and yards (95) and caught a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer. The team also likes Jones, but he has missed a lot of time with a knee injury and got his first carry of the season on Sunday.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have certainly had their share of injuries when it comes to running backs, but it also seems like whoever they hand the ball to lately is getting the job done. Sunday was Redman’s turn as he rushed for a career-high 147 yards on 26 carries (5.7 ypc) and a touchdown in the win over the Giants. The Steelers don’t lack for backfield options with Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall all taking their turn as lead horse, but right now it’s Redman who is the healthiest and he played a huge role in Sunday’s victory. If Mike Tomlin chooses to stay with the hot hand, Redman could have another big game with Kansas City on tap for Monday night.
Week 9 Recap: T.Y. Hilton had a hand in Andrew Luck’s record-setting performance against Miami as the rookie hauled in five passes for 108 yards (21.6 ypc) and a score. Darrius Heyward-Bey accumulated 74 yards receiving on just five catches against Tampa Bay, while Titus Young managed just two for 20 against Jacksonville. Dexter McCluster got more carries than receptions (4 to 2), but finished with only 34 total yards in the Chiefs’ loss to San Diego.
Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers
After being with the Rams the past two seasons, Alexander signed on with the Chargers in late October. Injuries to Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal thrust Alexander into action on Thursday night against Kansas City and the San Diego’s newest receiver responded by catching all three targets thrown his way for a team-leading 61 yards. Alexander averaged better than 16 yards per reception when he was with the Rams, and Philip Rivers has been looking for a deep threat to take Vincent Jackson’s place all season. It remains to be seen exactly what Alexander has to offer in terms of fantasy production, but it certainly does look like he will get more chances to prove his worth in the Chargers’ passing attack.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
Keep an eye on the practice reports, but Amendola could be back in action this week after missing the Rams’ past three games with a shoulder injury. The match up with San Francisco isn’t great by any means, but Amendola is quarterback Sam Bradford’s undisputed No. 1 option, as evidenced by the 44 targets he saw in his first four games. For the season, Amendola has 32 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not often you have the possible opportunity to add a No. 1-caliber wide receiver as late as Week 10.
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins
Teammate Brian Hartline has better numbers, but one could argue that Bess has been more consistent. He has caught at least two passes in every game and has five games with four or more receptions. He’s seen nine targets in each of the past three games and has reeled in 16 receptions during that span. He’s still in search of his first touchdown on the season, but that could change with Tennessee’s porous pass defense on tap this Sunday. The Titans have allowed 20 touchdown passes, which is tied for the most in the league. Because of his consistency and match up, Bess could be a WR3/Flex option this week, especially in PPR leagues.
Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
It took eight games, but Blackmon, the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, finally found the end zone. Blackmon has struggled getting acclimated in his first pro season, but he’s showing signs of progress. He has nine receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. In his previous six he had 14 catches for 126 yards and no scores. Better still, he has caught 57 percent of his targets (9 of 17) in his last two contests, compared to only 38 percent (14 of 37) in his first six. Cecil Shorts is still the Jaguar receiver to own, but the team has a lot invested in Blackmon, so he should continue to get his opportunities as well.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown suffered an apparent high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Sanders made the most of his opportunity. He caught both targets thrown to him, including the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game. For the season, Sanders is fourth on the team in both targets and receptions and should see his role increase if Brown misses any games because of the ankle injury. Jerricho Cotchery, who caught four passes for 50 yards on Sunday, also could see more opportunities if Sanders replaces Brown as the starter opposite Mike Wallace.
Week 9 Recap: Brandon Myers led all tight ends in fantasy scoring with 22.9 points as he caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. Zach Miller didn’t score, but he did add two more receptions for 47 yards to his recent stretch of solid production.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Teammate Coby Fleener is expected to miss a second straight game with a shoulder injury, meaning Allen will get the start once again this Sunday in Jacksonville. This past Sunday, the rookie from Clemson saw seven targets from Andrew Luck, hauling in six of them for 75 yards. He has passed Fleener in receptions and yards on the season and has a two-to-zero advantage on him in touchdowns too. With as well as Luck has been throwing the ball (NFL rookie record 433 yards passing against Miami), Allen is definitely starter-worthy this week against the Jaguars.
Joel Dreessen, Denver Broncos
Dreessen may trail teammate Jacob Tamme in terms of targets, receptions and yards, but he has four touchdown catches compared to just one for Tamme. The opportunities have also been a little more even in recent weeks as both saw four targets on Sunday against Cincinnati. Dreessen, however, is clearly Peyton Manning’s more favored target in the red zone, as evidenced by his four touchdown receptions, and scores from tight ends is what makes all the difference when it comes to fantasy value.
Week 9 Recap: San Diego’s defense converted two Matt Cassel turnovers into touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the unit scored 27 fantasy points in the win over the Chiefs.
The Broncos are seventh among DSTs in fantasy scoring, thanks to an effective pass rush (24 sacks) and the ability to capitalize on turnovers (three defensive touchdowns so far). Denver goes to Carolina this Sunday, and while Cam Newton is not the easiest quarterback to bring down (sacked just 17 times), the Broncos’ pass rush could still prove beneficial in forcing Newton into making a mistake should he choose to throw the ball while being pressured. The Broncos also seem to have found a new special teams weapon in the addition of kick returner Trindon Holliday, who took the opening kick of the second half against Cincinnati back 105 yards for a touchdown.
Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.
— By Mark Ross, published on Nov. 6, 2012