More than one person who owns Aaron Rodgers has logged on to their league’s website this week and been overcome with dread.
Some of Rodgers’s owners suddenly realized, or were reminded, that Green Bay and its quarterback are on a bye week.
Beginning Sunday and continuing through Week 12, each NFL team will receive a one-week break. Carolina and Green Bay are the only squads off this weekend (the Patriots are off during Week 10), and each squad has a handful of relevant fantasy competitors who need to be replaced.
Let’s go over some players who’ll help fill the void, and others who should be avoided.
Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego: Woodhead is an ideal bench player who can be plugged in when your starter is on a bye. He has 15 receptions and 14 carries the last two weeks and will continue to get touches while Ryan Mathews continues to underwhelm.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore: Smith is the No. 1 receiver in Baltimore and has been solid with 16 catches for 269 yards. But he has been ignored in fantasy discussions because he hasn’t found the end zone. That could change against Buffalo, which has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers (Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill of the Jets exploded for 262 yards against the Bills last week).
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh: After a rough start statistically, Roethlisberger broke out against Chicago and has a terrific matchup in London against the Vikings, who allow 316 passing yards per game.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City: Bowe’s problem isn’t physical or a lack of talent. He has only nine catches for 90 yards because his quarterback is Alex Smith, whose strength is efficiency, not throwing downfield.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland: If you own Rodgers or Carolina’s Cam Newton, it would be tempting to consider Hoyer, who started for Cleveland last Sunday and amassed 321 yards and three touchdowns. You’re better off staying away. Hoyer and the Browns are in Cincinnati, and that is not an encouraging matchup for an inexperienced quarterback.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit: Broyles has ability and now an opportunity because of Nate Burleson’s injury, but he is also coming off major knee surgery. Unless you’re desperate, wait a week and observe how the Lions use him.Ed Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan.