Four NFL teams are taking a break this week, and that means Fantasy replacements will be in high demand.
With Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks), and Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars) resting your team could probably use a temporary QB.
Perhaps you’re a Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs), Allen Robinson (Jags), Brandin Cooks (Saints), Doug Baldwin (Seahawks), Colby Fleener (Saints), or Mark Ingram (Saints) owner.
Whatever the case maybe, The Wire has you covered.
This week’s wire features two quarterbacks, two tight ends, two running backs, two receivers, a defense, and a kicker.
Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans QB Roughly 45 Percent Owned)
Mariota is a stretch to make The Wire this week, as he’s probably not on many waiver wire’s (especially in Two-QB leagues). But if the former Oregon Duck is available, you should consider him as a streaming option this Sunday.
Mariota faces an iffy Miami Dolphins defense and should see a Fantasy boom rather than a bust.
If Jimmy Garoppolo can toss three TD’s against Miami, so can Mariota. He currently has more interceptions (5) than TD passes (4), but that scale should tip back in the right direction against the Dolphins.
Projected to put up 19 fantasy points, Mariota will tide you over until Brees, Wilson, or Bortles returns in week six.
Robert Woods (Buffalo Bills WR 18 Percent Owned)
Sammy Watkins (foot) will be sidelined for at least eight weeks and has been placed on the Bills IR. Woods now becomes Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor’s new number one WR (meaning more targets). But head coach Rex Ryan is likely to use a run-heavy attack, lead by LeSean McCoy.
Woods is worth a roster spot and is most valuable in PPR leagues. Moving forward treat Woods as a TD dependent WR/4 with WR/3 upside.
Projected to score between 8-10 fantasy points against the LA Rams, Woods is a possible flex position candidate this week.
Hunter Henry (San Diego Chargers TE 33 Percent Owned)
Henry is the first of a few players on this list making a repeat appearance. The rookie tight end has played well for San Diego while veteran Antonio Gates (hamstring) recovers.
In his last two games played Henry has caught nine passes for 143 yards and a TD. Should Gates get another Sunday of rest, Henry is a must-start TE1 against the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.
If you are in a Dynasty league (or any league frankly), and he is STILL available, what are you waiting for? Pick him up.
Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins RB 30 Percent Owned)
Minus an overtime TD run in week three against Cleveland, Ajayi has been used sparingly behind veteran Arian Foster. This could change as early as this weekend, however. Foster (groin, hamstring)will likely miss this Sunday’s game against the Titans and new head coach Adam Gase claims he’ll no longer be using a four-back committee.
This means Ajayi will be in line for a nice workload this Sunday and could seize the opportunity to become the Fins featured back.
Projected to score eight fantasy points this week, Ajayi is a solid RB3 or flex option. A word of caution though, the Titans have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far (per ESPN.com)
Eddie Royal (Chicago Bears WR 35 Percent Owned)
Royal has scored a touchdown in all but one contest so far and broke free last week with a 7-111-1 stat line. Royal also adds return yard points and one of his three scores was a punt return on Sunday Night Football.
While Royal has been boom or bust (honestly way more bust than boom) over the years in Fantasy, he can help your squad this week.
He’ll face an Indianapolis Colts defense that currently ranks fifth against opposing wide receivers in Fantasy. But those same Colts recently allowed the AFC South rival Jags receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns to score in London.
To be clear, Royal is nowhere near either Allen in Fantasy. But he has the potential to put up solid, possibly even big, points this week (especially in PPR).
A WR/4 with WR/3 potential, Royal is worth your consideration.
Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE 19 Percent Owned)
Brate makes this list as an emergency TE play in the event you read this and there’s no better option this weekend.
On the plus side, the Bucs play a Carolina Panthers defense that allowed Matt Ryan and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons to have a field day in week four.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston will likely target lead receiver Mike Evans often against Carolina. But Brate (16 catches for 159 yards and two TD’s this season) should see red zone targets and could turn in a solid MNF performance.
If you’re willing to roll the dice this week or have no other choice, Brate will be waiting on wire for you.
Wendell Smallwood (Philadelphia Eagles RB 15 Percent Owned)
Coming off a week of rest and an impressive 17-79-1 stat line in week three, Smallwood is gaining steam in Fantasyland.
Eagles first year bench boss Doug Pederson highly praised Smallwood after his big day, and has said he will use a committee approach moving forward.
The Philadelphia backfield situation is one to monitor this week. Smallwood could edge Ryan Mathews (ankle) as the new chairman of said committee.
Of course Darren Sproles will still be in the mix on passing downs. But if you’re looking for a high upside flex play or stash player, Smallwood is your guy.
Green Bay Packers D/ST (Opponent New York Giants/Roughly 49 Percent Owned)
It’s 50/50 that the Packers defense is still available on your waiver wire. If Green Bay’s unit is still up for grabs, they have a juicy matchup against the struggling New York Giants.
Eli Manning & Co. are likely still recovering from the pounding they took from Minnesota’s defense on Monday Night Football.
Unless Super Bowl caliber Eli shows up this Sunday and ODB Jr.’s attitude adjusts greatly, expect the Pack Attack to get you big points.
Dustin Hopkins (Washington Redskins K Roughly 47 Percent Owned)
The argument can be made that Hopkins is the MVP of the Redskins this year. Responisble for more than half of the ‘Skins 99 total points scored this season, Hopkins is 12/12 for field goals and nine of nine for extra points.
In fact, Hopkins has kicked more field goals (12) than the ‘Skins offense has scored touchdowns (9 total TD’s). Hopkins is also tied with the Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker for the most fantasy points by a kicker this season (49pts).
Averaging 13 fantasy points a game currently, you’ll want to grab Hopkins before it’s too late.
Honorable Mention: Derek Anderson (Carolina Panthers QB), Brian Quick (Los Angeles Rams WR), Dontrelle Inman (San Diego Chargers WR), Brice Butler (Dallas Cowboys WR), and Kenny Stills (Miami Dolphins WR).
(all player profiles are courtesy of NFL.com)
If you think this bye week is rough, wait until weeks eight and nine arrive. A total of six teams will be out of action for both weeks.
Don’t wait until then to revisit The Wire though, as every week in Fantasy is a chance to better your team.
Happy adding and good luck.