As we approach the half way point of the season, it’s now that the astute fantasy manager can make their run as we navigate the NFL’s bye weeks. This week sees another four teams on a bye, with the Ravens, Colts, Dolphins and Vikings all having a well-earned rest, so you will be looking for replacements for the likes of Lamar Jackson, Adam Thielen, Jonathan Taylor and top rookie receiver Justin Jefferson.
In previous weeks, I’ve looked at the week ahead’s match ups looking for where the edge may lay, but I’m switching it up and from now on I am giving you the guys I’m slotting into my lineups as I navigate those bye weeks alongside you. Here are the guys I’m looking to this week to get me those all important W’s.
I really like the way Justin Herbert and Williams connected in the Chargers’ last game against the Saints, where Williams saw eight targets and five catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Coming off a bye and facing a Jaguars team allowing the 10th most points to receivers, both Williams and a healthy Keenan Allen should feast this week.
WR Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Cole Beasley is a target machine in the Bills’ offense and with John Brown struggling this week, Beasley should see an uptick in volume. Beasley is averaging five catches and 60 yards per game in 2020, a healthy 11 points per game in PPR leagues but increase that to eight for 80 and a touchdown against a Jets team in free fall and you have yourself a match up winner in the flex this week. That’s what I’m banking on anyway.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Tannehill is my bye week quarterback of choice for this year and is a point scoring machine so far this season and currently sits as the QB10 in fantasy, despite already having had his bye week. The Steelers defense is fierce, allowing the 5th fewest points per game to quarterbacks, though Tannehill can mitigate this somewhat with both his mobility, and his ability to throw when under pressure. With Derrick Henry keeping the run defense honest, Tannehill should still put up points in this battle of the undefeated AFC teams.
WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks
Kirk has been getting more and more productive over the past three weeks, turning his three targets against the Cowboys into 86 yards and two touchdowns. This week he faces another of the poorer pass defenses in the NFL in the Seahawks and has the opportunity to break those big plays again in what could be a high-scoring shootout.
RB James White, New England Patriots vs San Francisco 49ers
I’m relying a lot on White this week but he is one of those guys who has such a solid floor, I’m always happy to slide him into a flex or RB2 spot to cover a bye week. He’s averaging 12.1 points per game in his three starts this season (RB30), and has seen eight and nine targets in his last two games. White is the first true pass catching back the49ers have faced so though are holding running backs to just eight receiving points per game, White’s volume should see him comfortably hit double digits this week.