Week 4 Fantasy Bye Week Saviors
The first week of NFL bye weeks come to fruition with week four, so it’s time to dig deep and find those one week stop-gaps that can save your roster from epic failure.
They’re not necessarily going to be your golden boys for the rest of the season, but the following guys are out there in at least 51% of leagues and should be able to get it done this week while your regular starters are on a bye.
The Steelers and Colts kick off the “resties” for us, which means Big Ben, Andrew Luck, Donald Brown, Mike Wallace, Reggie Wayne and Antonio Brown are leave a gap in your weekly roster. If you’re unsure of who you want to replace them for week four, read on:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills (Available in 60% of leagues)
Fitzpatrick is simply getting it done, and it’s time to give credit where credit is due. Eight passing scores through three weeks, and now he gets the Patriots in week four. New England has been tough at times, but their weakness is still their pass defense. They’ll be hungry after dropping two straight, but this looks like a new Bills team. Fitz and co. should bring the offense.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings (87%)
Not a fan of Fitz’s turnover potential or hate his beard? I feel ya, so I’ll give you one more that’s available in a ton of leagues. Ponder is vastly underrated and I actually liked him a lot coming into 2012 – and that tiny man-crush has not gone away in the least. I know the Vikes run the ball a lot, but they’re facing a Lions team that has been sketchy on defense overall, and just gave up 378 yards to Jake Locker. Ponder tore up an elite 49ers defense last week, and could be headed for a mighty fine game in week four.
Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo Bills (89%)
Choice is quickly flying off the waiver wire with both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller currently shelved (knee and shoulder, respectively), so you need to act fast in order to snatch him up. It’s still possible one or both of F-Jax and Spiller could play, but if they don’t Choice is going to be in for a meaty role against the Patriots in week 4. The Pats do stop the run pretty well, but he’s your best bet.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals (63%)
Williams draws a pretty tough matchup with the Dolphins this week, but he is playing at home and just ran for 80+ yards in week three. I like the momentum here, and with Beanie Wells nicked up and ineffective, Williams could be in for a good amount of touches again this week. He clearly comes with risk due to the Cardinals’ overally shaky groun game and the tough matchup, but he’s your last safe bet out on the waiver wire for week four.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers (70%)
Jones has been super inconsistent so far in 2012, but so have the rest of the Packers. The reality is, Green Bay has had three brutal matchups to start the season (49ers, Bears and Seahawks) and now they get an awful Saints defense at home. They’re pretty angry after that crazy Monday night loss, too, so I’m betting on an explosion. Jones has a shot at getting a piece of the pie this week.
Andrew Hawksin, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (74%)
I like Hawkins more than Jones, and he’s actually available in more leagues. This guy is just so shifty and explosive, that he needs to be rostered. He’s been making an impact in just about every game this year, and he has a decent matchup with the Jaguars in week four. They’ll be busy trying to contain A.J. Green, so there’s potential here for a huge day.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (60%)
For this week and long-term, Rudolph is by far the tight end to grab off the wire heading into week four. He’s not a target beast just yet, but he is a red-zone machine and has the potential to keep developing into a sound TE1. He’s a stellar play this week versus a weak Lions pass defense.
Brandon Meyers, TE, Oakland Raiders (96%)
If Rudolph, Dennis Pitta, Martellus Bennett and Heath Miller are all gone (and they should be), then let everyone else sleep on Meyers. He’s not an elite athlete and he isn’t a TD machine, but he’s becoming a reliable PPR demon. He now has 15 catches through three games and hasn’t caught less than four balls in a game yet. He could be over-looked against a so-so Broncos defense in week four.
Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings (90%)
Walsh has been insanely accurate and reliable as a rookie so far, and I certainly don’t see that stopping this week against a weak Lions defense. Walsh should get plenty of chances to get you points in week four.
Jay Feely, K, Arizona Cardinals (99%)
I’m not really vouching for Feely or even the Cardinals’ offense at this point, but more their defense and the matchup for week four. Feely is solid and the Cardinals have scored 20+ points in every game, which isn’t bad at all. But their defense gets the ball out of the opposition’s hands and simply doesn’t give up a ton of points. Ultimately, against a rookie quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) at home, it should end well for Feely and the Cardinals.
San Diego Chargers DEF/ST (92%)
I know the Chargers just got rocked by the Falcons, but prior to week three they had slapped the Raiders and Titans around. Their defense is pretty solid, overall, and outside of Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs (their opponent in week 4) are pretty average on offense. They could be worth a shot.
Miami Dolphins DEF/ST (93%)
This goes against my Feely backing, but both could actually end up working hand in hand. Miami really has only gotten trounced by the undefeated Houston Texans in 2012, and has otherwise proven to be very tough. They’re on the road against an unbeaten Cardinals squad, but they have a chance at paying off for you if you need them in week four.
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