Another week, another set of players on a bye to deal with. Fortunately, this happens to be a week where many of the players enjoying a bye week are having miserable seasons to this point. All of the following players should be relatively easy to replace if you are careful with your waiver claims.
Teams on a bye in Week 6: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona, and Carolina
Key Player On A Bye: Larry Fitzgerald (Ari)
Suitable Replacement: Roy Williams (Dal)
Playing in an offense that has afforded him no help on account of the musical quarterbacks, Fitz has still found a way to have himself a productive couple of weeks. He hasn't found the end zone quite as often as his owners would like, but he is still one of the better options out there and his absence from your lineup will be noticeable.
Improbably, the Cowboys offense has swung almost exclusively to the passing game and one of the main beneficiaries of that development has been Williams. Left for dead earlier in the season, Williams has stormed back to have some very productive weeks alongside Miles Austin. With defenses keying in on Austin week in and week out, Williams has stepped up and become a reliable target for Tony Romo. Touchdowns in his last two games make him a worthwhile add for this week.
Key Player On A Bye: Cedric Benson (Cin)
Suitable Replacement: Michael Bush (Oak)
Cedric Benson has had a mediocre year to this point, but showed signs of returning to last year's form against the Buccaneers last week. He remains a workhorse out there and a must-start from week to week, so his numbers and potential will be tough to replace.
Always one to take advantage of an opportunity, Michael Bush has shaken off the hamstring injury that plagued him at the onset of the season and reclaimed his role in the Raiders offense. With Darren McFadden likely to miss his second straight week, Bush is set up to thrive and touch the ball plenty against a reeling San Francisco unit. He can safely be counted on to tote the rock somewhere around 25 times with a few catches thrown in. Deploy him with trust if you can still grab him.
Key Player On A Bye: Steve Johnson (Buf)
Suitable Replacement: Danny Amendola (StL)
Bursting onto the scene out of nowhere, Steve Johnson is finally realizing some of his potentil. With Ryan Fitzpatrick looking his way early and often in the red zone, Johnson has quietly become a viable option in an otherwise putrid offense. He is far from achieving must-start status, but he has been on fire and will not be easy to substitute.
Another young man who is taking full advantage of an opportunity presented to him is Danny Amendola in St. Louis. With Mark Clayton out for the season, Amendola has stepped right in and become the No.1 option for Sam Bradford. After Clayton went down against the Lions last week, Amendola emerged to haul in 12 balls for 95 yards. His role in the Rams offense only figures to increase, so grab him now and enjoy the ride.
Key Player On A Bye: Carson Palmer (Cin)
Suitable Replacement: Shaun Hill (Det)
Although Palmer hasn’t been as explosive this season as most would have liked, he is still a top 10 QB option and finding his replacement wont be easy. At this point in the campaign, many of the top QB’s and their backups have been scooped up and stashed away for later days so pickings are slim.
With one more week left to make a mark before the return of Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill looks as though he doesn’t want to give up the gig. While he is throwing many more INT’s than you generally want, he is also doing a great job of racking up yards and finding the end zone. The status of Calvin Johnson will be a huge factor in how useful Hill is this week, so keep close tabs on his availability.
You could do a whole lot worse than Hill this week regardless of his tough matchup against a strong Giants defense. Take a chance on him.