An ankle injury caused Jimmy Graham to catch just one pass on Sunday night, surely leading to a lot of frustration among the New Orleans Saints tight end's fantasy owners. Luckily, the Saints have a Week 6 bye, giving him time to heal.
It's never a good time for a key member of a fantasy team to suffer an injury, but if owners were given the choice, the week right before a bye would be ideal timing. It gives Graham two full weeks to get back to full strength before the next game.
Additionally, owners were expecting to search for a replacement on the free-agent market this week anyway. So it eases the pain of having to go with a secondary option instead of one of the NFL's premier players at the position.
There are several different directions available for Graham owners. None will fully replace the Saints star, but they should be able to provide a solid amount of production.
If owners are looking for a high-upside option, Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals fits the bill. He's been on the verge of a breakout week for a while now and has the potential to rack up over 100 yards and a touchdown.
For those looking toward a safer play for Week 6, Scott Chandler of the Buffalo Bills is a wise choice. He's a key piece of the team's passing game, especially in the red zone, and should be in line for his usual handful of catches.
Which TE is the best replacement option?
Kyle Rudolph and Coby Fleener are a couple of other options to consider if both Gresham and Chandler are already off the table. All four should be able to hold down the fort while Graham is sidelined.
The Saints haven't provided any type of update on Graham's availability after the bye, but the fact that he was able to play a little bit in the second half on Sunday is a good sign. If it was serious, they would have probably held him out.
Since the team is likely to use a wait-and-see approach to see how he feels once practices start to ramp up again next week, owners should be prepared to survive another week or two with their replacement choice, just in case.
Let's hope it doesn't become an issue, thanks to the bye week. Gresham and Chandler should ensure owners get at least a portion of Graham's usual output this week followed by the Saints' massive target taking back his spot for the rest of the way.
Sometimes bye weeks aren't such a bad thing after all.