Week 5 Fantasy Football Bye Week Saviors
You probably got by just fine in week four with just the Colts and Steelers on bye. Week five could be entirely different, however, with four teams with a good amount of stud players taking their break.
Injuries and unavailable players could make for a rough ticket this week, so you may have to hit your waiver wire. Unlike our usual waiver wire vouchers, the following guys are getting firm backings as one-week fill-ins. Some may have value that lasts longer, but the idea is to help you escape week five unscathed first and foremost.
With that said, let’s dive right into our favorite bye week replacements for the week:
Note: Lions, Cowboys, Raiders and Buccaneers are all on bye in week five.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings (Available in 73% of all leagues)
I’ve been high on Ponder as a safe QB2 all year, but you have to know he has his limits. He’s athletic and fearless, but he still plays in a run-heavy system and will have weak games like he did in week four. With that said, he faces an atrocious Titans defense that is giving up a ton of points, so he’s a fantastic play in week five.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins (95%)
I know he’s a rook, but Tannehill just popped off for over 430 passing yards against the Cardinals and now he’s facing a very weak Bengals defense. He certainly comes with risk, but if Miami keeps throwing the ball this much, he could be worth a shot when he’s facing a favorable matchup. This is one of those weeks to give him a go if you need him.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee Titans (98%)
I’m not overly high on Hasselbeck’s long-term value if he replaces Jake Locker (shoulder) for several weeks, but week five would be a good time to plug him in if you need him. He faces the Vikings, who are extremely vulnerable against the pass this year. They’ve been much better the past two weeks, but the potential is there and he’s an experienced vet with some nice weapons.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins (73%)
Thomas is a backup but Reggie Bush isn’t quite 100% and may lose some work to him for another weak. He’s facing a cakewalk matchup in the Bengals this week, so he could at least offer Flex value with upside for much more if all goes well.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots (89%)
The Patriots are messing with our heads with their two running back operation, but Bolden needs to be rostered. You can use him this week as a RB2 or Flex against a so-so Broncos defense, and then judge based off of matchups as the season wears on.
Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns (59%)
I have zero confidence in Little as a long-term weekly option, but if you’re hurting without Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson and others, he has enough potential and the matchup to throw caution to the wind. He drops a lot of balls, but he’s still going to be targeted and we all know New York can get beat in the air. Besides, Cleveland will likely be throwing while playing catch up all day.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers (66%)
He’s in my waiver wire column this week, too, so don’t waste any time. With Greg Jennings (groin) out at least a week, you need to own and start him pronto. In fact, as this week’s WW column suggests, you should aim for Brian Hartline (vs Bengals), Kendall Wright (vs Vikings) and Jerome Simpson (vs Titans). All have great potential and have killer matchups this week. Oh, and they all should still be hanging around in more than 50% of leagues. Booyah!
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills (70%)
How is this guy still out there in so many leagues? Crazy. Tough matchup this week to be sure, but 49ers have given up production to tight end in the red-zone this year and you know Bills will have to throw a good amount in this one. He should be rostered for the long-term, as well.
Lawrence Tynes, K, New York Giants (59%)
He can be shaky with missed field goals at the wrong time (see: week four vs Eagles). However, he’s generally pretty solid, his offense usually hums, and he faces the Browns this week. He’s a great bye week fill-in if you’re without Jason Hanson or one of the other guys.
Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings (80%)
Walsh has been crazy reliable as a rookie kicker, and gets the dreadful Titans defense this week. His offense tends to stall a bit, too, so look for quite a few scoring opportunities this week.
Minnesota Vikings DEF/ST (86%)
Sticking with the Vikes, their defensive unit is easily the best to use off the waiver wire this week. Unless the Cardinals are somehow still out there, of course. They’re facing the Titans this week and have really been doing quite well the last two weeks with big showings against the 49ers and Lions (both wins).
Miami Dolphins DEF/ST (91%)
They don’t look like much, but the Dolphins are actually extremely underrated. Their no-name defense has been very solid ever since getting slapped around in week one against the Texans. They could be at it again for the fourth straight game against the Bengals.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin