Bye Week Alternatives – Week 9

By Ryan Lester,

Before we get started, click here for my Week 9 NFL Picks.

Week 9 Byes: Buffalo, Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis, Minnesota, New York Jets

Brett Favre is the only QB that could leave teams in a bind, though if you have him, you should have a another solid QB. Mark Sanchez has been good at times, but you probably aren’t going to miss him much.

Solid Alternatives:
David Garrard—Garrard plays much better at home, which is where he takes on Kansas City this week. He’s averaging 313.3 yards per game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium with 5 TDs and 3 INTs in 3 games with an additional 32 yards per game on the ground.
Matt Hasselbeck—He’s been hit or miss this year, but he should be on this week as he takes on Detroit.

Desperation Time:
Alex Smith—He takes on Tennessee this week so if you’re really hurting, he’s worth a shot.
Matt Cassel—The Chiefs are a mess, but Cassel makes a decent play against Jacksonville.
Kyle Orton—I don’t love his matchup (Pittsburgh), but he’s been solid this year and worth using in a pinch.

Running Backs
Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Thomas Jones, and Marshawn Lynch leave the biggest holes in fantasy lineups. Shonn Greene, Fred Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, and Chester Taylor could leave some teams scrambling for their flex spot.

High-end Alternatives:
Ryan Grant—Grant should absolutely rip the Buccaneers this week.
Pierre Thomas—Thomas has come back to Earth, but makes a nice play against Carolina this week.

Solid Alternatives:
Joseph Addai—Houston has defended the run better of late, but the way the Colts are moving the chains, Addai could be in for a productive day.
Brandon Jacobs—Jacobs goes up against San Diego this week, who has struggled mightily with the run.

Desperation Time:
Mike Bell—I can see New Orleans getting up big and using Bell and PT to finish the Panthers off. Bell makes a decent Flex play.
Ahmad Bradshaw—Bradshaw should get his usual share of touches against SD, which makes him a nice flex play.
Julius Jones—I’m not a fan of his, but he plays Detroit this week so he could have some fantasy relevance again.
Laurence Maroney—Patriot RBs scare me, but Maroney has had a couple of solid games in a row. He would have been a tier higher if he did more against Tampa Bay in London.
Tim Hightower/Beanie Wells—The Bears ain’t what they used to be. Arizona is in love with the pass, but these backs could fill in if need be.

Wide Receivers
Sidney Rice, Lee Evans, T.O., Mohamed Massaquoi, Donnie Avery, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Braylon Edwards, and Jerricho Cotchery could leave teams in a bind at WR.

Solid Alternatives:
Nate Burleson/T.J. Houshmandzadeh—You know the drill. Play all of your Seahawks this week against Detroit.
Michael Crabtree—Juicy matchup with Tennessee.
Devin Hester—He’s really starting to get the feel for the WR position.

Desperation Time:
Hakeem Nicks
—Nicks just seems to make big plays every week.
Torry Holt
—Quietly playing better of late.
Andre Caldwell/Laveranues Coles/Chris Henry—At least one of these WRs should have a nice week. Picking the right one is the key. I’ll lean towards Caldwell.
Steve Breaston—Should have a productive game against Chicago.
Antonio Bryant—He’s starting to play better, though Green Bay presents a tough challenge.

Tight Ends
Visanthe Shiancoe, Zach Miller, and Dustin Keller are the only TEs to be concerned with replacing.

High-end Alternatives:
John Carlson—He’s playing Detroit so feel free to use Carlson again.

Solid Alternatives:
Jeremy Shockey—He faces Carolina, who has been tough against the pass, but Brees and the Saints can score on anybody.
Todd Heap—Heap faces Cincy, which has been tough, and the Ravens will need to get him involved to stay with the Bengals.

Desperation Time:
Tony Scheffler—He’s been coming on, but faces a tough test against the Steelers.
Donald Lee—Very Hit or Miss, but faces Tampa Bay.
Marcedes Lewis—Ditto, only Kansas City instead.
Kevin Boss—Faces SD, who has a weakness towards TEs.
Fred Davis—After his performance on MNF in replacing Cooley, I considered putting in a higher tier, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke before endorsing him fully.

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