Good news everyone, we are almost done all those pesky byes! Huzzah! That being said, before we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel, Week 11 does bring with it another six teams sitting out. Now, it’s not all gloom and doom as the teams on bye are the entire AFC East (who outside of the Patriots is actually giving you serious fantasy value there?), the Browns and 49ers. So really all you have to figure out is which running back to start instead of Nick Chubb. Not as bad as Byemageddon back in Week 9.
The best way to survive the byes is to be smart and attack the waiver wire with a shrewd precision that would make the old toy fixer who cleans and fixes Woody in Toy Story 2 (and plays chess against himself in the park) proud. Here are the players you should be instantly adding to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (7% owned)
If you’ve read this column before, you know that I don’t normally add quarterbacks to this list because Nic puts out a streaming QB piece each week which is basically the same idea. However, I can’t pass on the potential that Jackson is going to see playing time this week since Joe Flacco is dealing with a hip injury that could keep him out this week. Who knows what Jackson can do, but you can bet that if it is Lamar under center come Sunday, John Harbaugh will have a plan in place to help Jackson win and help save his coaching job.
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (48% owned)
While Dion Lewis has been getting most of the press recently, Henry quietly has been solid in recent weeks. He’s consistently scored double digit PPR points the last three weeks and is coming off his biggest game of the season, scoring 17.8 and recording two touchdowns. Henry still remains a touchdown-or-bust player but he’s worth snagging off the waiver wire if one of your league mates gave up on him too early.
RB Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (13% owned)
Finally, the breakout game that will hopefully get Penny out of the doghouse or witness protection or wherever he’s been this season and thrust him into fantasy stardom. He carried the ball 12 times for 108 yards and a touchdown, just out carrying Mike Davis 12 to 11. You can bet the Seahawks are looking to get the ball to him whenever and however they can given that they spent a first-round pick on him so I would expect his touches to increase rest of the season. He’s certainly worth adding, even if Chris Carson is expected to make a quick recovery.
RB/really WR Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (12% owned)
I’m going to just keep mentioning Theo Riddick on this here website until he’s 100% owned and leading everyone’s fantasy team to greatness. If you play in a PPR league, Riddick has to be someone you add to your bench. He’s taken over for Golden Tate as the Lions’ slot receiver, catching six balls this week for 60 yards and carrying the ball zero times. Riddick brings plenty of PPR value and maybe even some standard if the touchdowns start coming.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0% owned)
Don’t you love when a team completely forgets they have a pass catching back on their roster until late in the season and then is like “oh shit, maybe we should throw the ball to him”. We saw it in Cleveland and we’ve now seen it in Tampa. Rodgers has been just sitting on their roster, collecting dust, despite the fact that he’s the much better back for this pass happy team that hates running the football. Rodgers had eight catches for 102 yards against Washington and could have another productive game against the Giants next week.
WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (44% owned)
Chris Godwin, Chris Godwin, Chris Godwin, what is still left to be said about this man? I feel like between writing on this site and talking on the RB1 podcast, I’ve exhausted all the reasons why you should have this man on your fantasy team. While he was mildly touchdown dependent to start the season, Sunday marked Godwin’s first 100 yard performance through the air, meaning that he’s becoming more than just a red zone target in Tampa. He’s scored double digit PPR points in all but three games this season. He should be on everyone’s team.
WR John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals (22% owned)
Ross is still a gimmicky receiver in the Bengals offense but, with A.J. Green out (and Ross hopefully fully healthy) this could be the start of him seeing more consistent receiving work. It already showed up against the Saints with Ross getting a red zone target for a touchdown to go along with his six targets for two catches and 39 yards. He’s got a tough schedule ahead of him, but you can’t count out that game breaking speed.
WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (13% owned)
Miller is coming off his best game of his season/career (since his career is nine games long to this point), catching five balls on six targets for 122 yards and a touchdown. I guess Allen Robinsons’ return to the starting lineup was a positive for Miller instead of a negative. With the Bears’ offense rolling and Mitchell Trubisky starting to establish himself as an actually decent quarterback, I like Miller’s fantasy potential as the Bears clear WR2 now.
WR Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (1% owned)
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BILLS TEAM??????? I’m sorry for swearing but seriously, this team utterly blows the entire season—outside of the single flukiest win in NFL history against the Vikings—and then with Matt Freaking Barkley at the helm, DISMANTLES the Jets on the road. Oh and Zay Jones saw 11 targets with Barkley under center, catching eight of them for 93 yards and a touchdown. Maybe Matt Barkley is the answer to Zay Jones slow start to his career?
lol football is stupid you guys.
TE Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (1% owned)
Much like how the reason for my Marquez Valdes-Scantling love last week was because I watched him torch the Patriots on Sunday night football, so is the reason for my Jonnu Smith love. The Titans offense seems to be finally waking up after their seven week hibernation and Smith is a clear part of what offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur wants to do. The biggest thing that I drew from watching Smith play was that he is athletic, strong and surprisingly quick, making a defender miss every time he caught the ball. I’m giving credit where credit’s due.