We're on the eve of Week 10, but for me and I suspect most of us, it's not a terrible week as far as byes go. The four teams not playing this week -- Ravens, Broncos, Texans and Vikings -- take some very good wide receivers with them. But only one (maybe two) good fantasy quarterbacks, and very little at running back or tight end. Week 11, though, is different.
There will be six teams on bye in Week 11. On the bright side, some are teams you don't want to be starting anyone from anyway (Bills, Dolphins and Jets), but the Patriots certainly have plenty of viable options, and the Browns have a few too. The 49ers have a running back and tight end that are starting in most leagues.
I personally have been using James White, Nick Chubb and Kenyan Drake to get my running back starters in a league, so I know I'll be in trouble at that position. And I've been streaming the various AFC East defenses with a lot of success, but they're all out for Week 11. So I've been scanning the waiver wire. Here's some of what I've found.
Darren Sproles, Phil. I picked up Sproles for cheap last week, which maybe raised an eyebrow or two. He's ancient, and he hasn't played since Week 1. But Doug Pederson says Sproles could return this week. As long as he doesn't pick up an injury that knocks him out for the rest of the year, he could be Philadelphia's passing down back in Week 11...at New Orleans, his former team. Sproles can hopefully be a poor man's, or old man's, James White in that game.
Jacquizz Rodgers, T.B. Ronald Jones has a hamstring injury, which as we know can be something that lingers for a while. The Bucs are at the Giants in Week 11, which isn't a tough matchup for their offense, and Rodgers will likely be handling passing situations behind Peyton Barber. A bottom-of-the-barrel option, perhaps, but some chance he'll grade out as a viable PPR starter.
Tampa Bay Defense. Speaking of Tampa Bay, they'll be facing Eli Manning and the Giants. Eli these days moves like he's wearing cement shoes that have been dropped into the East River. Oh yeah, Jason Pierre-Paul plays for the Bucs. Gotta think he'll be looking forward to get a free run or two at his former quarterback.
Sebastian Janikowski, Sea. I've got Stephen Gostkowski in a couple of leagues, and I'm not about to drop him on the Patriots bye. So I'll take a look at Janikowski, not because his name rhymes with Gostkowski, but because Seattle will be at home against a soft Packers defense that week, and some chance Janikowski has a good game.
Chad Williams, Ricky Seals-Jones, Josh Rosen, Arizona Defense. There's a game we can play the rest of the season. It's called "Who's facing the Raiders this week?" The Raiders have dumped most of their viable offensive and defensive players, and the ones who are still there might not really be happy about it. Everyone saw them get curb stomped by the 49ers last Thursday night, and that's not a great team. Well, in Week 11 Arizona hosts Oakland. They should put up good numbers with both the run and the pass, and their defense should have some fun knocking Derek Carr around too.
Chris Conley, K.C. Sammy Watkins has a foot injury and is iffy for this week. I think Kansas City will lean on the run (hosting the Cardinals), but that won't be possible in Week 11 -- they're facing the Rams in Mexico City. Should be a back-and-forth shootout, and if Watkins misses that game (Kansas City has a bye in Week 12, so it makes sense to maybe keep him out for that one, too), Conley could be very productive. Gotta move quickly on this one, because Conley will probably be picked up everywhere today.
These are just some of the options that should be available in most leagues. There are others. The bottom line is that the time to react to a brutal bye week is not that week. It's now.