Like, for instance, on Hawaii Five-0 two weeks ago, Dan-O gets a new Camaro and Steve McGarrett decides to drive it. While driving, the two have the following conversation:
Steve: This new Camaro really handles well!
Dan: I’m glad you’re enjoying it. You know for a short time, you can get them with only 2.9% financing!
Steve: Hey, you know that we’re chasing an international terrorist who just killed 15 innocent people just because he found out that his DVR ran out of room and missed this week’s episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey?
Dan: Yeah, but I’m talking about 580 horsepower and 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds!
Steve: Well heck, why didn’t you say so? Let’s go pick one up right now!
Yeah, I’m getting a little sick of it. I mean, the characters in Hawaii Five-0 are definitely not the sharpest tools in the shed, but a Camaro? Come on, the ZL1 probably gets something like 2 miles per gallon. On a full tank, they basically couldn’t chase down anything that was more than a few blocks away. What’s next? Does someone kidnap the governor’s daughter and makes him choose between a Chevy Silverado and a Tahoe (“But one has 3 tons of hauling power and the other can seat 6 comfortably-- I can’t choose!”)? But I digress.
The point is, sometimes, it’s the littlest things that will annoy us. I’ve got plenty, but one of them does include bye weeks. You draft the perfect team, but it turns out that 75% of them have the same bye week. So now you’re team is comprised of the third string RB in Kansas City, some WR that just got elevated from the Jaguars’ practice squad and the barista from the Starbucks down the street where you get your morning coffee. She makes a mean double frappe skim latte, but you have your doubts regarding her ability to break big runs in the NFL. So should you resign to lose this week? No way! How do you give yourself a fighting chance, you ask? Well how about some of these free agent pickups (as usual, available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard leagues)?
Nick Foles – QB – 11% Owned
Bye weeks can be tough on the QB position, as many of us don’t carry a backup (guilty), but Nick Foles proved that he can keep up with Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense. In fact, he thrived with 296 yards, 3 passing TDs and a rushing TD. And most importantly, no INTs. Wow, now that’s production! Dare I say, better than what Vick has done in any game this year. Let’s not get too excited, Foles had some chances last year as well, but this is a different offense, and even though most thought thatFoles did not fit a Chip Kelly west coast style offense, apparently they were wrong. If Foles starts next week, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t in light of this performance and Vick’s injury, he’s a viable bye week fill in for 12-team and deeper leagues, or for 2 QB leagues. If he keeps this up, he might be a viable starter in 12-team and deeper leagues before long. And isn’t that worth the roster spot?
Thaddeus Lewis – QB – 1 % Owned
I’m not convinced that Thad Lewis will continue with any consistent success, or that he’ll be OK after his leg injury during the game, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be useful in fantasy leagues for a desperate owner on a bye week. He had 216 passing yards with 2 TDs and one rushing TD. And all without Stevie Johnson against a fairly tough Cincinnati defense. It’s reasonable to expect Lewis to continue doing something like this next week against Miami, but I wouldn’t count on multiple TDs. Either way, 200 yards and one TD is still worth something in a bye week for desperate owners in 14-team or deeper leagues, or 2 QB leagues. Just make sure to check his injury status before relying on him.
Jared Boykin – WR – 1% Owned
James Jones AND Randall Cobb went out with leg and knee injuries respectively for the Packers. Currently, Fox Sports reports that these injuries are not season ending, but really, we won’t know until later this week the extent of the injuries. That leaves the receiving corp pretty thin in Green Bay. We know the Packers like to throw the ball, so if you want a flyer, why not Jared Boykin? Boykin had a nice catch and run in the third quarter for 43 yards, 42 of which were all earned after the catch. He has speed and elusiveness in his second year, but never saw the field much behind all the options in Green Bay. If Cobb remains out (whom he a direct backup) and if Jones misses some time, there’s some opportunity here. And half of being a productive fantasy player is opportunity (I’m looking at you, Willis McGahee). He had some ugly drops, but a week of practice should sort that out. Stash him in 14-team and deeper leagues.
Riley Cooper – WR – 2% Owned
Riley Cooper is arguably more famous for his preseason “racial sensitivity issues” than his actual play on the field. But it might be time to look past that. With Foles first start at QB, Cooper went deep and also created after the catch. He looked solid with 4 catches on 6 targets for 120 yards and a TD. If Folescontinues to start for an injured Vick, Cooper might be productive for the rest of the year. Worth a speculative pick up in 14-team and deeper leagues, or a flyer if desperate in 12-team leagues
Brandon Jacobs – RB – 24% Owned
What in the world happened, did it become 2007 again? Well something happened, because Brandon Jacobs suddenly found his mojo. Maybe it was those weeks of resting and eating cheesy poofs while watching football on Sundays from his couch rather than from the sidelines (much like me, minus ever having any football ability). And now with David Wilson potentially out for the year and Da’Rel Scott also injured, there isn’t much left except for Jacobs and rookie Michael Cox. Jacobs put up 106 rush yards and 2 TDs. The TDs we might have seen coming, but 106 rush yards? On just 22 carries? That’s impressive against the once stout Bears defense. Andre Brown might be back in a few weeks, but until then, there’s low RB2/flex potential here in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Joseph Randle – RB – 2% Owned
DeMarco Murray left the Sunday night game against the Redskins with a left knee sprain, and since the Cowboys had no other options, they put in Joseph Randle. Then they proceeded to pass the ball all over the place and avoid the run game like the plague. But Randle looked competent and even managed to power his way in for a goal line TD. He isn’t any great shakes,and he only went 17 yards on 11 carries and 15 yards on 2 receptions, but since he’s likely the only game in town if Murray misses time, at least as long as Lance Dunbar has a balky hamstring, he’s worth a flyer in 14-team or deeper leagues.
Jordan Reed – TE - 9% Owned
As a pure move tight end, Jordan Reed was having a decent year with RGIII, completely outplaying incumbent Fred Davis. But then he was injured and everyone forgot about him over the bye week. Well, now he’s back, and he still seems to be the number one tight end target for RGIII. Davis got a big fat goose egg, while Reed proceeded to get 58 yards on 4 receptions. Tight end is pretty shallow this year, and Reed can be a good alternative not only for a bye week fill in, but as a low end every week starter in 12-team and deeper leagues.
And here’s a list of pick ups mentioned in previous weeks that I still recommend picking up if they’re still available: Zac Stacy, Kris Durham, Harry Douglas, Andre Ellington, Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins, Fred Jackson, Brian Hartline,Joique Bell, Julian Edelman, Roy Helu Jr.,Terrelle Pryor and Rueben Randle.
So remember, don’t despair in bye weeks, just go make some savvy pickups courtesy of my column and proceed to surprise your competition. And for goodness sake, no matter what you do, don’t go buy a Chevy.
By Ha Kung Wong (Twitter: @Rhihan)