It’s hard to believe that we are already heading into Week 5 of the football season. By now, a lot of us may have our teams figured out, while others still are changing their lineup around every week trying to find some consistency. Week 5 doesn’t make this task any easier, as we are starting off with the bye weeks. This week, only 4 teams get the week off: New Orleans, Washington, Atlanta, and Denver. As far as QB’s are concerned, that means no Drew Brees, no Kirk Cousins, no Matt Ryan, and no Trevor Siemian. For some teams, the bye weeks can leave rather large gaps in lineups, but with some of us that aren’t in a position to pin a 3-1 or 4-0 record next to our teams, finding the right bye week streamer is vital to getting that win we desperately need. Rest easy fantasy fans, help is on the way.
If you combine the performances of Brees, Cousins, Ryan and Siemian, the average start earns around 16 to 17 points per game in most scoring formats. Putting this into a stat line, our filler should have an average performance of about 255 yards passing and 1-2 touchdowns. So when we look for our replacements, where do we turn to find similar output?
How about this kid?? In just his 3rd start, the 22-year old QB led the Texans to a franchise-record 57 points in route to embarrassing the Titans in Houston. This week’s matchup doesn’t look to be great by any means as Watson and the Texans play host to one of the better pass defenses in the league in the Chiefs. On ESPN, before the average waiver processing time, Watson was owned in 29.3% of leagues; a number which skyrocketed to 71.3% after waivers ran. Watson is killing it right now, and despite only starting 3 games, he is already a top seven scoring QB. Watson’s ability to keep defenses modest by scrambling out of the pocket is a huge advantage for the young rookie, and a big scoring bonus for those of us trying to start him. In the three games he has started, he is averaging over five rushes a game for 44 yards, and has reached the end zone on the ground in two of those starts. That translates to at least 4.4 additional points per game with an upside nearing 10 points that he gets purely from his running ability.
He also gets another week of chemistry with Will Fuller lining up at receiver, which can only mean good things in a tough matchup. Again, he is on the road, against a great defense in a primetime televised game – not the best situation. He isn’t going to lead the Texans to 57 points by scoring 5 touchdowns, but I think he could easily put up the 16-17 points we are looking for in a bye week replacement. It will be tough, but this kid doesn’t ever shy away from a challenge… Just ask Nick Saban. Ranked as my QB6 for the week, I will be starting him in leagues that I have the option.
The QB for the Bills…. The AFC EAST LEADING Buffalo Bills. I am still trying to figure out how this team is good, and how they suddenly went from tank mode, to division leading, contender mode. Coming off impressive wins against the Broncos and Falcons, they get a better matchup against an equally hard-to-figure-out opponent in the Bengals. Taylor hasn’t gone out and blown anybody’s minds or had one of those 300 yard 3 touchdown games that gets everyone talking, but his efficiency and high floor is what lands him on this list. In every game this season, he has produced at least 10.5 fantasy points, which doesn’t sound like a lot – but in that 10.5 point performance, he threw for 125 and zero touchdowns while rushing 8 times for 55 yards. Nothing special. In leagues with 1 pt per 25 yards passing, there are only 7 other quarterbacks that are able to say they have scored at least 10.5 in their first 4 games, 3 of which, aren’t playing this week. Much like Deshaun Watson, his high rushing output gives him such a significant advantage over other quarterbacks. Taylor has ran with the ball seven or more times in every game, giving him those extra few points that allow him to throw for only one or two passing touchdown and still have an effective performance fantasy wise. In addition to leading the league in completion percentage on play action throws, he is also taking care of the ball, as he has thrown for five touchdowns to only one interception. With our bye week replacement target around 16 points, Taylor’s 10.5 pt floor with rushing upside gives me the confidence to start him this weekend. The Bengals are giving up about 14 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but with his rushing ability and efficiency with the ball, he has a shot to eclipse that mark and give us the points we need.
I’m not going to lie, when I made a good vibes call on Goff in Week 1, I definitely didn’t see this being a long term thing. Encase anybody hasn’t noticed, Goff is a top-10 QB and less than 20% owned on ESPN. This week, Goff gets the Seahawks, which sounds scary on paper, but in games on the road, Seattle gives up just over 18 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. At home? Only 5.8. Lucky for Goff, he gets the Seahawks in LA, where he should look to exploit a Seattle defense that has been beaten down a bit lately. They will be without Jeremy Lane (groin) and Cliff Avril (neck) this week, and the Rams offense isn’t the Rams we used to know. Sean McVay has completely reinvented this offense that now has the #1 RB in fantasy, and an offense that leads the league in points per game with 35.5, and 4th in the league with 270 passing yards per game. He has scored 20 or more points in 3 of his 4 games, and as far as I am concerned, he is a starter worthy play until he proves me otherwise.
Bye week streamers are important for fantasy success, and finding a temporary replacement for your studs could be the key to grinding out a tough win. Id your team impacted by early bye weeks? Share who your replacements are with me on twitter @M_Garza20 and check out @Fantasyreport_ for our Week 5 rankings to help with all your start/sit decisions!