Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bye Week Fantasy Corner

The Bucs and Eagles are on their byes, so you might have to bench some of your usual starters... Let’s look at some waiver-wire gems that could get you through Week Seven unscathed.

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Tampa Bay and Philadelphia get Sunday off to rest after six weeks of action. Of course, their bye translates into some scrambling for fantasy owners looking to fill their starting positions.

It would be a not-too-difficult task if it weren't also for the usual mid-season injury reports rolling in, putting some of the biggest fantasy names in jeopardy of missing the weekend as well.

So, where do you turn when you're staring at a lineup minus LeSean McCoy, Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz, Greg Olsen and/or the rest of the players who could miss action in Week Seven? The ominous waiver wire, of course.

With six weeks under our belts, fantasy owners have gotten a grip on which under-owned players could turn out to be sleepers. Here, we give you some of our picks who could plug into your starting lineup and put up some points while the Bucs and Eagles take their turn on the bench. First, let's look at the list of the resting and the wounded:

Running Back:

* *

Player

Status

Fantasy Pts.

% Owned

TB Doug Martin

Bye Week

21

98.9%

PHI LeSean McCoy

Bye Week

49

100%

PHI Darren Sproles

Bye Week

60

93.2%

NYG Rashad Jennings

Out

57

91.6%

NE Stevan Ridley

Out

44

80.6%

TEN Shonn Greene

Doubtful

24

83.9%

DAL DeMarco Murray

Questionable

116

100%

ARI Andre Ellington

Questionable

56

100%

MIA Lamar Miller

Questionable

55

100%

STL Zac Stacy

Questionable

33

95.6%

Murray, Ellington and Miller were all limited participants in practice, while neither Stacy or Greene were able to go. Even if the former three are able to suit up this week, that leaves 70% of the aforementioned players sitting this week and some spots in your lineup to fill.

First on the list of potential fill-ins, owned in a shockingly low 10.3% of leagues, is Denver running back Ronnie Hillman. Regular starter Montee Ball is still out with injury and Hillman had 24 carries and three receptions in his absence, leading to a total of 113 yards and 11 fantasy points. It's clear that Hillman is seeing most of the work and being a running back in a Peyton Manning offense is almost always a good thing. He goes up against the 49ers and their fourth-best fantasy defense vs. RBs, which is a bit of a concern, but if you can fill a bye week with a workhorse off the wire, you do it.

Jacksonville rookie runner Storm Johnson is another waiver wire name (3.1% owned), though he does come with a bit more risk. Johnson started in place of injured Toby Gerhart last week and managed eight fantasy points on 10 carries. He is sharing the load with a couple other backs, but Johnson should take the majority of snaps against a Browns defense that is allowing 149.6 rushing yards and 202 fantasy points to RBs per game.

Of course, a strong option when filling in for an injured player is to simply draft their backup. This is the case for STL, but they will likely split carries between Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason. Mason had more yards last week between the two, but Cunningham took more carries and scored. New England is generally a nightmare for running back owners, and Ridley's counterpart Shane Vereen is likely owned by someone in your league, but we could see Brandon Bolden stealing some of his fantasy thunder.Wide Receiver:

* *

Player

Status

Fantasy Pts.

% Owned

TB Vincent Jackson

Bye Week

44

100%

TB Mike Evans

Bye Week

35

60.7%

PHI Jeremy Maclin

Bye Week

65

100%

PHI Riley Cooper

Bye Week

22

79.9%

NYG Victor Cruz

IR

37

89.1%

ATL Julio Jones

Questionable

75

100%

CAR Kelvin Benjamin

Questionable

60

85%

DET Calvin Johnson

Questionable

45

100%

CIN A.J. Green

Questionable

40

100%

Different position, but a similar story. WR sees four majority-owned players on bye this week with a slew of fantasy must-starts looking at injury. Luckily, receiver is the deepest position in fantasy football and it should not be too difficult to find someone to plug in for a single week.

If you don't have anyone trustworthy on your bench, you could look at a few of last week's fantasy standouts and hope for a repeat performance. Oakland's Andre Holmes (10.6% owned) put up 24 fantasy points last week and faces a cushy matchup against the 31st-ranked Arizona WR defense. With Green and Marvin Jones out in Cincinnati, Mohamed Sanu stepped up with a big 18 fantasy points. He is owned in 60.8% of leagues, a low number considering that his 60 fantasy points on the year put him as the 12th-highest scoring receiver.

For those looking for a longer-than-a-week solution to fix their ailing wide receiver problems, here are three names to keep on your radar and possibly snag this week. Giants' rookie Odell Beckham Jr. (14.8%) should grace their starting lineup with Cruz out for the season. Malcom Floyd (10.7%) has become of one Philip Rivers's favorite targets in San Diego with eight catches, 175 yards and a score over the last two weeks. Miami's Jarvis Landry (0.8%) had a big Week Six leading his team in receptions and yards and could benefit from heavy coverage on #1 Mike Wallace.Tight End:

* *

Player

Status

Fantasy Pts.

% Owned

TB Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Bye Week

12

0.5%

PHI Zach Ertz

Bye Week

37

45.3%

MIN Kyle Rudolph

Out

14

58.9%

CAR Greg Olsen

Questionable

67

99.2%

NO Jimmy Graham

Questionable

51

100%

Neither bye week player is overwhelmingly owned, but two of the top seven scoring TEs are questionable this week, and there are a few players out there who have been silently producing this season and remain up for grabs.

STL's Jared Cook, believe it or not, has been among the most consistent fantasy TEs this year and is just 11.7% owned. While he has yet to really break out, he is 15th in TE points and has at least four catches and 40 yards in all five games this year.

Redskins' TE Jordan Reed is owned in 59% of leagues, a number that should be higher now that he is healthy and starting. He had nine points in his first week of action. Colts' TE Dwayne Allen is largely available at just 22.6% owned and goes up this week against the defense allowing the most points to tight ends this season.

Defense:

* *

Status

Player

Fantasy Pts.

% Owned

Buccaneers

Bye Week

23

40.7%

Eagles

Bye Week

85

26.6%

Defense ownership varies wildly from league to league, largely because owners often take a "set it and forget it" style approach, leaving it alone all season long. Look for big fantasy defensive performances this week from the Buffalo Bills (60.5% owned, sixth-highest scoring DEF) going up against the 30th-ranked Vikings, also the Chicago Bears (18.8%, ninth) against the 26th-ranked Dolphins. The Titans and the Browns have not been high-scoring fantasy defenses this season, but face good matchups against the Redskins and Jaguars respectively.

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