INDIANAPOLIS --- Most of our readership comes from #ColtsNation. Therefore, I assume many of you have some of your favorite Colts players, and they are on their bye week. Don't fret though, because the Fantasy Football Friday column has you covered, with a couple options to fill in your starting lineups at each position.
The following players are all owned in less than 50% of NFL.com leagues :
QBs - Andrew Luck Bye Week Fill-In:
Mark Sanchez (Eagles QB) --- Eagles starting QB Nick Foles is out with a broken clavicle, which means Sanchez will start for Chip Kelly's high-powered offense. Last week, Sanchez posted 14 fantasy points in a little more than a half (202 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT) at Houston. Monday night Sanchez and the Birds host the Panthers, a defense that is 26th against opposing fantasy quarterbacks. The combination of Chip Kelly's uptempo style and the plethora of offensive weapons around Sanchez should get you at least 15 points this week, if not 20.
Carson Palmer (Cardinals QB) --- Palmer's match-up (vs. St. Louis) is not as good as Sanchez, but his production can't be ignored. For me, he's a top-12 QB the rest of the season, yet he's only owned in 40% of NFL.com leagues. He's averaging 19 points per start, with a low of 17. That's a high floor/high ceiling situation fantasy owners crave. If you only counted games Palmer played in, that 19 points per start average would put him 6th among fantasy quarterbacks. He's a fantastic bye week fill-in and, frankly, more.
If both are gone, Kyle Orton (at least 15 points in every start) or if you're in a really deep league Josh McCown (starting over Mike Glennon vs. Atlanta). On some sites, Ryan Tannehill is owned in less than 50% of leagues. Tough match-up against Detroit, but he should be owned and started over both Orton and McCown. He's playing very well.
RBs - Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw Bye Week Fill-Ins:
Bobby Rainey (Buccaneers RB) --- I'm shocked Rainey is only owned in 23% of NFL.com leagues, especially after his 121 scrimmage yards last week against the Browns. He gets the Falcons this week (dead last vs. fantasy RBs). He's a wonderful RB solution this week if available (just don't get mad at me if Charles Sims steals work from him --- a guy you should stash, if you can, especially in keeper/dynasty leagues).
Tre Mason (Rams RB) --- The Rams refuse to name a full-time starting running back, but they've gone with Mason more often in recent weeks. It's a really tough match-up this week at Arizona, but hey, it's not like running backs are growing on trees this year. If you need a RB to fill in, you'll take a guy that should get most of the work.
Anthony Dixon/Bryce Brown (Bills RBs) --- Fred Jackson practiced Thursday. So, you want to keep an eye on his status. If he does not play, I'd start Dixon over Brown. It's a tough match-up vs. the Chiefs (3rd vs. fantasy running backs), but again, RBs are tough to find on the free agent market. If Fred Jackson does play, Brown is still a desperation play but not Dixon. Dixon serves Jackson's role in the offense; whereas, Brown serves C.J. Spiller's role. That won't go away with Fred Jackson back.
WRs - T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne Bye Week Fill-Ins:
Doug Baldwin (Seahawks WR) --- Owned in just 44% of NFL.com leagues, he faces the Giants secondary this week. We all saw what the Colts did to them last week, and CB Prince Amukamara is lost to a bicep injury. Baldwin may have been dropped after a couple down weeks, but this one is in Seattle. He's still Russell Wilson's favorite target too.
Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants WR) --- Same game, tougher match-up, but I can't ignore Beckham's fantasy numbers since Victor Cruz went down. His four games in standard scoring: 10, 2, 16, 15. His four games in PPR: 14,4, 20, 23. Most of his yards against Indy came in garbage time, but we don't care about that in fantasy. Eli Manning has targeted him 7 and 11 times the last two games. His physical talent and opportunity can't be ignored.
Martavis Bryant (Steelers WR) --- We're going with a second rookie in the year of the rookie receivers. Bryant has been mostly touchdown dependent in his three games (40, 83, and 44 yards gained in those games), and you can't expect Big Ben to keep throwing six touchdowns per game. However, this one is all about the match-up. J-E-T-S? Yes, yes, yes.
TEs - Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener Bye Week Fill-Ins:
We all know tight end is very inconsistent this season outside the top five or six guys, but here are a few you can give a chance for one week: Ravens' Owen Daniels, Steelers' Heath Miller, and Jaguars' Clay Harbor.
Ks - Adam Vinatieri Bye Week Fill-Ins:
Chandler Catanzaro (Cardinals, top-12 kicker owned in 16% of leagues)
Shane Graham (Saints)
Brandon McManus (Broncos)
Colts Defense Bye Week Fill-Ins:
FYI: You shouldn't be starting the same defense every single week anyway. Streaming fantasy defenses based on match-up is the wave of the future, and the future is now.
Ravens (making an exception to the rule, owned in 52% of leagues, slightly over 50%)
Steelers (at Jets)
Cowboys (vs. Jaguars in London)
Packers (vs. Bears)