Owning a fantasy team can be like trying to keep an old, rusty car running.
With six teams on bye weeks this week and next, you will find yourself digging through the salvage yard for replacement parts.
Here’s about the worst-case scenario: Philip Rivers (bye week) at quarterback, Ray Rice (bye week) and C.J. Spiller (doubtful) at running back, Brandon Marshall (bye week) and T.Y. Hilton (bye week) at receiver and Jimmy Graham (questionable) at tight end. A great fantasy team that is in shambles.
OK, so this car may need more than a few replacement parts. I’m sure you have some fill-ins lying around, but let’s try and start from scratch.
Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are available in many leagues, and they might be your best plugs for this sinking ship. Roethlisberger faces an underrated Oakland defense that has given up the fourth-fewest passes of 20-plus yards. But the Raiders still give up an average of 241 passing yards a game. Manning, though turnover prone (to put it lightly), has hit the 300-yard mark three times this season and has thrown a touchdown in all but one game.
For running backs, the free-agent market is light. If Chris Ivory is still out there, he’s your best bet after his 34 carries a week ago. Roy Helu could see more goal-line carries after his three touchdowns last week, and Tashard Choice will get opportunities with Spiller likely out and Fred Jackson nursing an ailing knee.
There are always options at receiver. If Harry Douglas is still out there, jump at him. With Julio Jones and Roddy White out, Douglas exploded for 149 yards and a touchdown last week. A deeper option is Marvin Jones of Cincinnati. Jones has scored a touchdown in each of his last two games and is proving to be a nice complement to A.J. Green.
This may be the week you’re searching for help, or it may be next week. But every owner has to overhaul his or her team eventually.
SMART TO START
Michael Vick, QB, Eagles: Vick ran for 79 yards and threw for 105 before getting hurt in the second quarter last time he played the Giants. This time, just hope for health and the Giants will hand you the rest.
Zac Stacy, RB, Rams: Seattle is a tough matchup, but with the Rams breaking in a new quarterback, expect Stacy to get plenty of opportunities.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers: Aaron Rodgers has a way of making his receivers shine, and Boykin was no exception last week with 103 yards and a touchdown.
FIT TO SIT
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: The Jets have shut down Tom Brady twice. Dalton is no Brady.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: Jones-Drew has gotten 20 carries just once this season and he’s coming off a nine-carry game. Plus, running the ball isn’t ideal when trailing, which Jacksonville often is.
Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots: Rob Gronkowski will shoulder the load from here on out and Danny Amendola will likely play, which takes away from Edelman’s already-limited targets.