There will be plenty of fantasy owners looking for BYE week replacements as the Dolphins, Jets, Vikings and Panthers are all off this week. Big name players like Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, and Brandon Marshall will not be able to help out teams this week - but here's who can!
For the majority of leagues, only Cam Newton and Ryan Tannenhill owners will be scrambling for a backup this week, but Ryan Fitzpatrick and Teddy Bridgewater won't be one of those guys.
- Marcus Mariota (68% owned) - Coming off a BYE himself, Marcus Mariota should be a quarterback to target if he's available in your league. The rookie is 100% outplaying Jameis Winston and is averaging 278 yards per game through the air with 8 touchdowns in 3 games. He now faces a Buffalo Bills defense that has allowed the 2nd most points to quarterbacks this year - and at least 2 touchdowns every game.
- Jay Cutler (25% owned) - Cutler led the Bears to their first win of the season, after missing week 3. Cutler went 28 for 43 for 281 and 2 touchdowns against the Raiders. He'll be facing the leagues worst defense against the pass, the Kansas City Chiefs. Cutler isn't Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers but the two of them combined for 8 touchdowns against the Chiefs in weeks 2 and 3. Cutler should also be getting back Alshon Jeffery.
- Blake Bortles (18% owned) - Bortles is off to a good start to his sophomore season, averaging 250 yards through the air. This week he'll face off with Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bortles has now recognized he has two very good receivers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Also tight end Julius Thomas could be making his season debut this week as well.
Calling all Lamar Miller, Chris Ivory, Adrian Peterson and Jonathan Stewart owners...get to the waiver wire! A lot of guys to replace and these are the guys to target.
- Ronnie Hillman (34% owned) - At this point, everyone knows, including coach Gary Kubiak, that Ronnie Hillman needs to touch the ball more for this Broncos' offense. C.J. Anderson has struggled all season, and Hillman just ran for over 100 yards against the Vikings - thanks to a 72 yard touchdown run. Expect Hillman to lead the Broncos backfield moving forward.
- Duke Johnson (31% owned) - There is basically a 50/50 split in Cleveland between Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell. However Johnson has the bigger upside as he is heavily involved in the passing game. Johnson caught 9 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, that's on top of his 31 yards on 8 carries. Johnson will continue to be a major factor in the Browns offense.
Let's be honest, the wide receiver position has been a big disappointment so far in 2015. Guys like Mike Evans, Roddy White, Andre Johnson, T.Y. Hilton and Brandin Cooks have not done much for anybody and this week Jarvis Landry, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Ted Ginn are all on a BYE - so here are a few guys who could be a pleasant surprise this week.
- Kamar Aiken (2% owned) - Aiken had just 88 yards through the Ravens first three games, but had a big game Thursday night against the Steelers with 5 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Steve Smith will likely miss a game or two with his back injury, which means Aiken will continue to see increased targets from QB Joe Flacco.
- Leonard Hankerson (19% owned) - It's official, Hankerson is the number 2 option in the Falcons passing game. Roddy White looks washed up and does not contribute much to the team. Hankerson and quarterback Matt Ryan have a good chemistry right now, as Hankerson recorded 6 catches, 103 yards and a TD against the Texans. Hankerson has had 25 targets over the past 3 weeks.
- Rueben Randle (38% owned) - Who knows when Victor Cruz is coming back, but while he's out, pick up Randle. Randle has 10 catches over the past two games and has scored in both of them. He's going to benefit playing alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and should continue to get a ton of passes from Eli Manning.
If you are in need of a new tight end or just a BYE week replacement for Jordan Cameron, Greg Olsen or Kyle Rudolph, we have some good options for you to confidently turn to.
- Gary Barnidge (9% owned) - Could the 30 year old tight end be in line for a break out season? Well the last two weeks have made it look that way. Barnidge has had back to back 6 catch games with a touchdown in each and 180 yards. As long as Josh McCown is the Browns QB, Barnidge is a guy to own at the tight end position.
- Richard Rodgers (16% owned) - It's a good thing when you earn the trust of Aaron Rodgers and that's what Richard Rodgers has done. Rodgers has seen his targets increase each week and is coming off his best game as professional. Against the 49ers Rodgers caught 5 passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.