For the second straight week we will have six teams on bye — the Bears, Browns, Vikings, Steelers, Patriots and Chargers all have the week off.
It won’t be easy finding replacements on the waiver wire for players like Jordan Howard, Adam Thielen, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon.
In general, it’s easier to find wide receivers on waivers than running backs. Also, with six more teams on bye last week, you still want to take a look to see what players are available even if you don’t need a bye week replacement. One of your opponents may have been forced to drop a good player at one position for help at another in order to fill out a complete lineup last week. We are all forced to make tough decisions as the fantasy season wears on and even if you can field a full lineup and are happy with your roster, there are still opportunities to improve.
MARQUISE LEE, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (46 percent owned): He is likely on this list because the Jaguars were on bye in Week 8 and fantasy owners decided to release him in order to pick up a replacement who could fill out their lineup. He is not a must start week in and week out, but in his last two games he does have nine receptions for 155 yards and with opposing defenses stacking the line of scrimmage in order to slow down Leonard Fournette, Lee will almost always see single coverage.
PAUL RICHARDSON, WR, Seattle Seahawks (46 percent): The Seahawks have their issues with the offensive line, but quarterback Russell Wilson is a master at making something out of nothing. Richardson and Wilson seem to have a solid deep ball connection and with teams paying more attention to Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham in the passing game, it leaves Richardson as an afterthought for the defense. He may be the definition of riding the hot guy, but with three touchdowns in his last two games (a fourth was called back via penalty) he deserves to be started.
JAMISON CROWDER, WR, Washington Redskins (39 percent): The Washington passing game has been an enigma all season. It lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon via free agency. Terrelle Pryor has possibly been the biggest free agent bust this season and shouldn’t be rostered. Jordan Reed can’t stay healthy and Crowder has been battling minor injuries all season. With the offensive line in shambles due to injury, the game plan versus Dallas on Sunday was to attack via the short passing game with Crowder. It worked, as Crowder had by far his best game of the season with nine receptions for 123 yards on 13 targets. The OL is not likely to get much better in the short term. You may want to add Crowder as a backup. Kirk Cousins may be forced to sling the ball 40-plus times a game to keep Washington competitive.
TRAVIS BENJAMIN, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (8 percent): Benjamin is as inconsistent at they come, but he is a touchdown waiting to happen whenever he gets his hands on the ball. While the Chargers are on bye this week, if you need WR help in Weeks 10 or 11, you can probably get Benjamin cheaply because owners won’t be looking to grab a player who isn’t playing this weekend.
ALEX COLLINS, RB, Baltimore Ravens (49 percent): If you watched the game Thursday, you can see why fantasy owners are intrigued about Collins. He’s quick, elusive, and can make big plays. The reason he hasn’t started all season for Baltimore is because unfortunately, he has a tendency to put the rock on the ground. Nothing will get you benched quicker than fumbling the football. He’s not a goal line threat either, as he is far from the biggest RB, but as a flex play, he could get8-10 points each week.
GREG OLSEN, TE, Carolina Panthers (49 percent): If you’re looking for a long term or playoff player, Olsen could be your man. In leagues that don’t have a IR slot, he is starting to be released, as owners need a healthy body in that slot. If you’re not in this situation and could use a TE around Week 12, then Olsen could be your guy. He has shed the walking boot and could begin practicing as early as next week. Cam Newton and the Panthers have a very good fantasy schedule. The only top pass defense they face for the rest of the season are the Vikings in Week 14. Olsen could be a boon for your fantasy team during your playoff run.