Mike Fanelli | October 22nd, 2019
Week seven of the NFL season got off to a scary start when the Kansas City Chiefs lost Patrick Mahomes on Thursday night with a dislocated knee injury in their win against the Denver Broncos. Thankfully, Mahomes is expected to just miss a few weeks and will likely be back after the team’s week 12 bye. In the meanwhile, fantasy owners can’t drop Mahomes and since you spent the early draft capital on him, you likely didn’t draft a second quarterback. The best way to try and fill his shoes is to stream the position. As part of this week’s streamers, I will give you a few options to replace Mahomes with for this week.
In addition to replacing Mahomes this week, the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens are on a bye. That means fantasy owners will be with Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Mark Andrews, Jason Witten, and Justin Tucker. Below I have put together seven players fantasy owners can use as possible bye week fillers as well as typical streaming.
All players listed are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (48.6%)
What were the odds that Stafford would throw for four touchdowns against the Vikings, let alone all four to Marvin Jones? Probably very close to zero. However, Stafford is a strong fantasy quarterback when in the right matchup. He has scored 23 or more fantasy points in half his games this year, all against weak secondaries (no surprises there), including two of his last three games.
The Giants held Kyler Murray to just seven fantasy points on Sunday but I believe Chase Edmonds is still scoring touchdowns at Met Life stadium. However, in their previous six games, the Giants have given up 20 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in five of those contests. Stafford is facing another weak secondary this week, meaning he’s all but guaranteed to score 23 plus fantasy points again.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings (37.4%)
Who the hell would have guessed what the power of an apology could do! After publicly apologizing to Adam Thielen after their week four loss to the Chicago Bears, Cousins has been damn near unstoppable. Over the Vikings’ three-game winning streak, Cousins is completing 76% of his passes for 976 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 77 fantasy points. During the streak, he has score 20 plus fantasy points in every game and had just one interception, which went off the receiver’s hands. Coming to town on a short week is Cousins’ old team, the Washington Redskins, who have been a total mess defensively.
While Jimmy Garoppolo only scored six fantasy points Sunday, the weather had much more to do with that than the Redskins’ defense. Prior to that game, the Redskins have allowed quarterbacks to throw for three or more touchdowns in 67% of their games this season. With Cousins on a hot streak and looking for a little revenge, he is the quarterback you want to add off waivers this week if you want the most upside.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (17.3%)
Aside from that idiotic fumble into the end zone, Carr had a good day against the Packers. Despite not having his top wide receiver, Tyrell Williams, Carr posted a season-high 293 passing yards, had two touchdowns, and scored 15.7 fantasy points. While on the surface that isn’t anything super exciting to ride home about, the matchup might change your mind as the Houston Texans have one of the worse secondaries in the league.
On Sunday they allowed Jacoby Brissett to have a career day, throwing for 326 yards, four touchdowns, and 27.6 fantasy points. Furthermore, over the Texans’ last three games, they have given up 929 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 78.3 fantasy points to quarterbacks. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs had his second straight game with over 120 rushing yards against the Packers. As defenses start to focus more on the running game, Carr will need to take advantage through the air, and that starts this week against an awful Texans’ secondary.
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts (39.2%)
The truth is any tight end you grab off the waiver wire to stream will likely be touchdown dependent. Ebron is exactly that. In the three games this season that Ebron has scored 11 or more fantasy points, he reached the end zone. In the three he didn’t, he failed to score more than 7.7 fantasy points in any game. The good news is Ebron is coming off his best game of the year, scoring season highs in catches (four), yards (70), and fantasy points (17). Meanwhile, Brissett has thrown for at least three touchdowns in 50% of his games this season and Ebron is their red-zone weapon. If he can get in the end zone, Ebron should finish with 11 plus fantasy points again this week.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (18.3%)
When Thielen left the game with a hamstring injury, Rudolph became much more involved in the offense. However, the uptick in usage started last week against the Eagles. Over the first five games of the season, Rudolph had eight total targets and had just one game with more than a single target in it, but during the last two games, Rudolph has nine targets and had his two best fantasy performances of the season. Will he put up 16.8 fantasy points a game doing forward like he did Sunday? Of course not. However, with the short week, Thielen isn’t expected to play against the Redskins, making Rudolph Cousins’ number two weapon. Given the potential volume and red zone opportunities he should see, Rudolph is my top add at tight end this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers, D/ST (31.9%)
Very quietly, the Steelers D/ST had the fourth-most fantasy points scored entering week seven, averaging 8.8 per game. They had scored 13 or more in three straight games, totaling eight turnovers and 14 sacks during that span. Furthermore, over that span, they are averaging 11.5 fantasy points per game while holding their opponents to an average of 15.3 points per game. However, this is all about the matchup. The Dolphins’ offense gave the Bills a scare on Sunday, as the Bills D/ST finished the game with 10 points, including scoring the game-ending touchdown on special teams.
While the 10 fantasy points isn’t the 35 the New England Patriots scored in week two, D/STs have scored double-digit fantasy points in every game this season against the Dolphins. The high upside will likely depend on if Ryan Fitzpatrick has a multiple turnover game or not but fantasy owners can grab the Steelers D/ST this week and know 10 fantasy points is the floor.
Joey Slye, K, Carolina Panthers (36.4%)
Back when I wrote this article for week three, I had mentioned about how Slye was owned in less than 5% of ESPN leagues despite leading all kickers in scoring. Even at 36.4%, Slye is still incredibly undervalued. Entering week seven, Slye had scored the second-most fantasy points among kickers, only behind Harrison Butker, averaging 10.5 per game. He had scored eight or more fantasy points in five of six games this season, including 13 or more in 50% of his games. The 49ers have an excellent defense which means the Panthers will struggle at times to get in the end zone and will have to settle for field goals. In a matchup where touchdown might be hard to come by, Slye should have another 13 plus fantasy point game.
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