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FANTASY FOOTBALL

Byes in the NFL are limiting fantasy football options

Vikings quarterback Case Keenum has a favorable matchup Sunday against the winless Browns.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum has a favorable matchup Sunday against the winless Browns.(HANNAH FOSLIEN/Getty Images)

Here is what season-long fantasy football participants are faced with during the next two weeks: Six teams on byes in Week 8 (this weekend).

Among the remaining clubs are the 49ers, Browns, Jets, Ravens, and Colts, who combined have one, maybe two, fantasy-worthy starters.

Six teams on byes in Week 9.

Of the remaining 26 teams in Week 9, you’re still stuck with the aforementioned group except the Browns, but they can be swapped out for the Giants. Eli Manning, anyone?

These are the dog days of fantasy football. Lots of teams are idle or useless, and the waiver wire is about as helpful as a coaching staff that goes for it on fourth and 6 near midfield toward the end of the half.

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Apparently not all hope is lost with that gunslinging Falcons staff, though — at least they had the good sense against New England to feed receiver Julio Jones some garbage-time fantasy points.

Three up:

Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota: Keenum has a nice matchup against the Browns — it happens to be in London — and he’ll be a dirt-cheap option in daily fantasy after throwing for just 188 yards and no touchdowns against the Ravens. Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, who is at home facing Indianapolis, is also an affordable daily option with a strong upside.

Austin Ekeler, RB, LA Chargers: A rookie, Ekeler is second on the Chargers’ depth chart to Melvin Gordon, who because of injuries has never played a 16-game season. Ekeler has amassed 12 fantasy points in two of LA’s last four games.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia: Here’s your sleeper running back for Week 8. On a short week against an inferior run defense, the Eagles will keep things simple on the ground with Blount.

Three down:

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay: Brate’s numbers — he’s fourth among tight ends in fantasy scoring — indicate he should be in your lineup, but the Buccaneers are facing a difficult Carolina defense, and Brate’s teammate, fellow tight end O.J. Howard, is chipping away at Brates’s production.

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Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit: I’ve relied on Stafford this season, but not this week. His receivers are banged up and the Pittsburgh defense he’ll be facing has dug in its heels.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis: The “fantasy community” is on bended knee for Mack. The problem with that love affair is that Mack’s desperate coaching staff doesn’t seem to want to use him.


Ed Ryan can be reached at edward.ryaniii@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan.