We’re headed into Week 8, and we’re back to just four teams on bye after a couple of weeks of six-team bye weeks. Bench all of your Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans. If you need replacement options, we have several suggestions below, as well as one reiteration from last week. Listen up!
Dan Bailey, PK, Dallas: The struggles of the Dallas Cowboys offense has been the gain of fantasy owners of Bailey, as he has seven field goals over the past two games, and three extra points. That’s an average of 12 points per game if you’re doing the math at home. Over the past three games, Bailey ranks a respectable 11th in scoring among Fantasy kickers. He has the same amount of point as fantasy staple Sebastian Janikowski, and more points than Matt Bryant, Mason Crosby and Greg ‘Legatron’ Zuerlein.
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis: It isn’t so much what Bradford has been doing lately, although he is 10th among all Fantasy quarterbacks in scoring over the past three games. However, it is a matchup against the New England Patriots and their shaky pass defense which has us excited about his short-term prospects. The Patriots pass defense has been shredded for 290 yards per game through the air over their seven games, and they have allowed an NFL-worst 16 passing TDs. Bradford is a fabulous bye-week replacement, and he will be looking frequently for the receiver right below.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis: Givens was mentioned in this very same space last week, as we trumpeted him as a ground-floor acquisition, or a speculative pick. He went out and snagged three balls for 73 yards against the Packers in Week 7, his second straight game with at least 73 yards. He has been targeted at least five times in each of the past three games, and he has 51 or more yards during that span. He isn’t a must-start fantasy option, but he might hook up with Bradford for big things in Week 8.
Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans: Henderson has rolled up 193 receiving yards and a touchdown over his past two games, although a chunk of his targets and grabs came in a pre-bye Week 5 performance against San Diego. However, he has at least 75 yards receiving in the past two games, and he is at least worth scooping up as a No. 4 WR or ‘flex’ play if you’re in desperate need due to byes. The Saints face a shootout with the Broncos in the Mile High City. While the Broncos are a Top 10 passing defense, there should still be plenty of room for Henderson and the Saints passing offense to produce.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville: Jennings took over for Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) last week, and head coach Mike Mularkey hasn’t ruled out a Lisfranc injury for MoJo. That would be a long-term injury, and possible season-ender. As such, Jennings might be the most important fantasy option on this entire list. For owners in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, they’ll also want to look at Jennings. He hauled in seven receptions for 58 yards last week in Oakland, showing he is not just a one-trick pony.
Santana Moss, WR, Washington: Moss has rolled up nine receptions, 193 yards and three touchdowns over the past three games. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he is facing a Steelers pass defense which ranks first in the AFC, and second in the NFL, allowing just 184.8 yards per game through the air. Just ask Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, who was held with one catch last week, how good the Steelers pass defense is. So Moss isn’t worth starting this week, but he is worth adding in all leagues, as he has jelled nicely with QB Robert Griffin III.
Brandon Myers, TE, Oakland: Myers is good for 12 receptions and 106 yards over his past three games. While he has failed to find the end zone, the average of four receptions per game is nice, especially in PPR leagues if you’re having a bye crunch. The pickings are pretty slim off the waiver wire at the position, but Myers should be able to help out. Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen is a good second option, as the Titans have allowed several TDs to opposing TEs this season.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland: Weeden is a fantastic bye-week option heading into Week 8, as the Browns welcome the San Diego Chargers and the NFL’s 25th-ranked passing defense to town. Weeden did not come into the league with all of the hype of RGIII, Andrew Luck, etc. But he has been performing just as well, and he has at least two passing TDs in each of his past three games. If not for a dropped pass at the goal line by WR Josh Gordon thanks to the sun and an unfortunate placement of glass panes at Lucas Oil Stadium last week, it would have been a career-high three TD passes and another 300-yard game for Weeds.