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NFL Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 8
As I've mentioned numerous times the waiver wire is something you should actively be working week in and week out. Especially when there is a big bye week such as the one on the horizon. Six teams are off in Week 9 which means there will be plenty of holes to fill on your roster. Here are some players who are still available that can help solve your bye week blues.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (50% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Sure, Dalton is a big name but he is only owned in half of ESPN leagues. I expect that to change and it should change now. A.J. Green, one of the best receivers in football, is expected back this week as the Bengals are set to host the Jacksonville Jaguars. That is a recipe for success. Couple that with the emergence of Mohamed Sanu and the pass-catching Giovani Bernard and Dalton should have a big day on Sunday. What makes him an even more intriguing add this week is the schedule after Jacksonville. Cleveland, New Orleans and Tampa Bay come up in three of the next four contests. The time to ride Dalton's arm is now.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers (24% owned)
Let's start off by stating that the Caroilna backfield has been a mess all year. Injuries have struck nearly every back Carolina sends out there. Well, one of those backs, Stewart, returned from injury on Sunday and had a decent game tallying 79 yards on just 16 carries. Cam Newton is probably the best running threat Carolina has and DeAngelo Williams may be back soon but the Panthers are on a short week and face a generous New Orleans Saints defense Thursday night. For now, Stewart is healthy and will get the carries. That should be good enough for a spot start this week.
Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots (9% owned)
Late of the Carolina Panthers Lafell has been on again off again in New England the last few weeks. Three times in his last five games he has put up 20+ fantasy points. That isn't something that should be available in more than 90% of leagues and I have a feeling after tomorrow it won't be. Tom Brady has been on a rampage lately throwing 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions since the debacle in Kansas City. With defenses trying to key on Rob Gronkowski it should open things up for LaFell who saw more targets than number one wideout Julian Edelman Sunday. He is more than just a bye week fill-in. LaFell should be owned in most standard leagues.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (4% owned)
Jacksonville may not be a good team but every team needs a number one receiver. Robinson fits that bill in J-town. The former Nittany Lion has put up double digit fantasy points in three straight games while finding the end zone in the last two. It seems he and fellow rookie Blake Bortles are developing a nice rapport and they should only improve as the season goes on. While that chemistry will develop, the Jaguars still figure to be a below average team which should mean for a lot of passes in garbage time. The thing about fantasy points is they count the same in the first or fourth quarter. They do have a tough road test in Cincinnati this week but Robinson needs to be owned in all leagues.
Jace Amaro, TE, New York Jets (2% owned)
Before you ask, yes, I am recommending picking up a Jet. Here's why. Michael Vick was officially named the starter this week and he is a more trustworthy quarterback than Geno Smith. While Vick does have the propensity to run the ball, he will actually need to throw it. Aside from Eric Decker the Jets don't have a whole lot of receiving options. That is where Amaro comes in. Three weeks ago he hauled in 10 passes and found the end zone against Denver. While that might be the high point of his season Amaro should be Vick's safety valve and should rack up a lot of catches thereby making him a solid PPR play. If you need a plug and play tight end due to the bye you could certainly do a lot worse.
Is there a player that you may be interested in that I didn't discuss here? Feel free to ask about them in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. I'll be sure to answer as quickly as possible.