The bye weeks are upon us, as both the Panthers and Washington will take Sunday off. This means players like Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Adrian Peterson, and Jordan Reed can’t help us this week. Fantasy owners are always looking for players on the waiver wire that can help them, but during bye weeks, they may be looking for guys to start for them as streamers. Quarterback is especially deep this week, as Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, and Eli Manning could’ve also made this list. Newton’s owners should be covered.
Case Keenum, Denver Broncos: This may become an every week occurrence, to pick the quarterback playing the Chiefs. Keenum had a big opening game versus Seattle, throwing for 329 yards and three touchdowns, but during the past two games he has only thrown for 414 yards and not a single score. That will have to change Monday versus the high-scoring Chiefs for Denver to have any chance in this game. The Broncos defense may be able to slow down the Chiefs’ offense somewhat, but they won’t be able to fully stop them. Keenum will need to find Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas early and often.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears: What was said about the Chiefs’ defense can also be said about the Buccaneers defense. The fantastic start by Ryan Fitzpatrick has masked what has become a sieve of a secondary. Trubisky and the entire Bears’ offense has yet to hit its stride this season, but a home game versus the Bucs, who are coming off a short week would seem to be just what is needed.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers: Jones came off of suspension prior to the game last week versus the Redskins. The Packers told us that he would start off as third on the depth chart behind Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery. That may have been the case, but Jones performed better than the other two backs in Week Three. Granted, the Packers only ran the ball 17 times last week (two of those by Aaron Rodgers), but Jones led the charge with six carries for 42 yards. That’s seven yards a carry. He will be the starter sooner rather than later.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets: On and off for the last couple of years, the Jets have forgotten about Powell at times. Powell is a “tweene”r. He’s not quite big enough to be a between-the-tackles runner on a consistent basis but is also not quite fast enough to be a third-down back in the mold of a Tarik Cohen or Duke Johnson. It doesn’t matter this week. The Jets’ best chance to move the ball versus the Jaguars on Sunday may be with short throws in the flat to Powell. In PPR leagues, Powell should be in the mix as a Flex play.
Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins: This is all about speed and mismatches. As anyone who has watched the Patriots’ defense over the past couple of weeks can attest to, they look old and slow. Grant is neither. Sure, the Patriots will make adjustments, but the Dolphins will be looking for ways to take advantage of Grant’s speed and get him the ball in space. Grant is a home run play should you be looking to take a gamble.
Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers: We all know how the Packers have to move the ball on offense, by having Aaron Rodgers throw it up and down the field. Defenses will pay most of their attention to Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, leaving Allison with single coverage on the outside. Throw in that Cobb is banged up and may be limited in this game and you have a recipe for success and a more targets for Allison.
Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns: Callaway may have delivered a big game last week versus the Jets if Tyrod Taylor could’ve gotten him the ball. Callaway was open deep several times, but Taylor underthrew him. That would seem unlikely to happen with Baker Mayfield now starting, at least not on a consistent basis. Mayfield has the arm strength to make any throw. The Browns will likely keep taking several deep shots to Callaway each game.
Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints: Throughout the years the Giants always had trouble covering tight ends. Although we haven’t heard about that situation this season, it may have more to do with the fact they haven’t played a top tight end (Jaguars, Cowboys, Texans), than having solved the problem. Watson isn’t a top TE either, but he could take advantage of a Giants defense that will be paying much more attention to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Many were perplexed when the Bucs re-signed Cameron Brate to a six-year $40.8 million contract in the offseason. They picked Howard in the first-round of the 2017 NFL draft and he was expected to be an every-down TE, one who can catch and block, while Brate was more of a receiving threat. Well, Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to be getting more and more comfortable throwing to Howard, as his targets have doubled each game this season. If the Bears’ pass rush is making life miserable for Fitzpatrick on Sunday, he may look to his big target over the middle early and often.
Green Bay Packers: There is just no way that the Bills can play two superb games on the road in back-to back-weeks. The Bills still don’t have many offensive weapons and their best one, LeSean McCoy, will play, but is still dealing with broken rib cartilage. If you’re looking for a streaming defense, they could be a sneaky play.
Detroit Lions: We saw what happened last to the Cowboys in Seattle. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for over 120 yards, yet the offense was still stagnant. There just is no passing game for the Cowboys as they not only don’t have a deep threat, they don’t even have WRs who can get any kind of separation from the defenders. If the Lions can put up a couple of quick scores and make the Cowboys one dimensional, look out.