The bye weeks have finally started. Successfully navigating the holes in your roster just got a little tougher, as did your weekly lineup decisions. To this point, you’ve probably just been starting your top draft picks with a few minor alterations here and there accounting for match-ups. Luckily, this week only has two teams on bye with the Packers being the most likely to throw a kink in your plans. Here’s a few fill-ins worth picking up to get you through the week and possibly keep around afterwards.
Ryan Broyles WR Lions - Coming off an ACL tear, the Lions were easing Broyles back into action last week. That probably would have drug on for a few more weeks too if Nate Burleson hadn’t broken his arm in a car wreck. Now Broyles has an opportunity to start. The bad news is the guy on the other side of the field is reception machine Calvin Johnson. I wouldn’t expect anything spectacular out of Broyles but, in a pass heavy offense, he’s got to get some looks. Think over quantity than quality.
Andre Ellington RB Cardinals - Every week I look at the running backs on the wire and each week there’s almost nothing worth taking. The cupboard is bare. Mendenhall, the starter in Arizona, is hampered by a toe injury and Ellington has been impressive in the work he’s gotten. He’s got the talent and last week he got more snaps than Mendenhall and Alfonso Smith. It’s admittedly a bit of a gamble, but I think he’s worth stashing for now and possibly even starting in a pinch.
Robert Woods WR Bills - The talent is here but the production has been more spotty than spectacular. It’s not all his fault though as he has a rookie QB on the other end of the passes headed his way. Woods only had two catches last week but got 10 targets. He also got a lot of playing time. Stevie Johnson is definitely the leading WR on this team but Woods has the potential to develop into a nice second option and a productive fantasy player.
Aaron Dobson WR Patriots - I hate making this recommendation. If someone could get this guy a can of stickem, he’d be having one hell of a season. It’s still extremely uncertain if Gronk plays and probably won’t be known for sure until 5 minutes before kickoff, considering the way the Patriots handle the injury report. If he does, this is a less attractive play. Brady has to throw it to someone and Dobson has at least demonstrated he can get open.
Pierre Thomas RB Saints - Thomas had a tough go of it on the ground but managed enough receptions to salvage a decent Sunday last week. With Ingram injured/playing horrendously, Thomas split duties with Darren Sproles. Surprisingly, he seems to be available in a lot of leagues. I’m not big on playing Saints running backs given their focus on the passing game, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Keep in mind he’s one Darren Sproles injury away from having the job all to himself.
Jordan Reed TE Redskins - I’d be higher on Reed if he didn’t leave last Sunday’s game with an injury. He didn’t practice today and might not play but he’s slowing overtaking Fred Davis as the starter. If that continues and RGIII can finally acclimate to life post ACL surgery, he’s a decent own and a solid fill-in for your regular starter.