Last week, we had had our first run of teams on a bye (Pittsburgh, Indianapolis), but fantasy owners will really feel the crunch with the Lions, Raiders, Buccaneers and the Cowboys all idle this week.
We are talking about a lot of great fantasy options (Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford, Darren McFadden, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, to name a few) who will be of no help to you this week.
So, where do you turn to for help?
Well if the five following five players are on your team (or on the waiver wire) and you are in need of a good replacement or flex option (RB or WR), try these players on for size.
Dalton is quickly ascending the QB ranks in fantasy circles these days.
Dalton is fresh off three fine performances--all Bengal victories--in which he has thrown for 890 yards and eight touchdowns.
With A.J. Green emerging as one of the game’s best receivers and with other weapons such as Jermaine Gresham, Andrew Hawkins and Armon Binns at his disposal, Dalton’s game is taking flight this year.
This week, Dalton and the Bengals will be taking on a Dolphins’ team that is vulnerable against the pass, having allowed Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer and Kevin Kolb to each pass for over 300 yards.
Start Dalton with confidence this week.
You can’t deny Battle’s fine start. Battle has a role with the Chargers and that is to plow towards the end zone when the teams gets inside the 20-yard line.
Battle has been a force thus far (four total touchdowns) while Ryan Mathews has struggled after coming back from a broken clavicle.
Sure, Mathews is still the main running back in San Diego, but Battle could assume the role Mike Tolbert had in San Diego, that being a touchdown vulture.
Considering the Saints, Battle’s opponent this week, are horrid against the run (allowing five rushing touchdowns so far this year), Battle could plunge his way towards some scores and is a good option to ride this week.
With Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden still banged up and not able to suit up on Sunday, Hixon has every chance to duplicate (or perhaps exceed) the success he had last week in Philadelphia when he caught six passes for 114 yards.
Hixon will have the comfort of playing at home against a so-so Browns secondary. With the Browns expected to shadow Victor Cruz, Hixon could get loose for some big plays.
After all, the Browns will still be down Joe Haden and are currently ranked 28th against the pass.
Of course, Arian Foster will be the one to carry the rushing load on Monday night when the Texans visit the Jets, but with this game likely to be a lopsided affair in favor of the Texans, Tate makes for a nice sleeper pick this week.
The Jets’ defense is not what it once was, and they are particularly uninspiring against the run. The Jets rank 31st in rushing defense this year.
The Texans can win this matchup by relying on both Foster and Tate to carry the load while also counting on their stout defense to do some damage. The game could get ugly in the second half, and that bodes well for Tate to perhaps grind out the clock.
With Greg Jennings out again for the Packers, Jones has another chance to post some solid numbers this week.
Jones has 10 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. The Packers will be playing indoors when they travel to Indianapolis, and the Colts are nothing special when it comes to their pass defense. So, expect a lot of points on the board for the Packers in this matchup.
Now that Aaron Rodgers is approaching the easy part of his schedule and is fresh off of passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns last week against the Saints, expect him to keep airing it out this week while connecting with Jones on numerous occasions.
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