The ultimate fantasy football week is finally here! You know what that means, don’t you? The Kansas City Chiefs are on their bye week, so what are you going to do? In this week’s edition of the Starts and Sits, I’m going to look specifically at the positional voids created by having a Chiefs’ star player on the bye.
Baker Mayfield vs. HOU – It may seem like a stretch considering how inconsistent Baker Mayfield has been for fantasy football this season, but the Browns play the abysmal Houston Texans this week. The Texans defense has struggled mightily by averaging only one fantasy point per game and allowing over 20 points to opposing offenses in every game except for Week 5 against the Jaguars. Mayfield is only owned in less than 20% of ESPN fantasy leagues and should be looked at as a viable streaming option while Patrick Mahomes is getting some rest.
Kirk Cousins at CHI – This one is so simple. The Vikings have a guy in Dalvin Cook who’s running all over everyone. The Bears have struggled at stopping the run, albeit succeeding nicely last week against Derrick Henry. This week the Vikings will lean heavily on Cook and the run game, which negates anything Cousins may have to do. Noting the Bears offense and their inability to score; Cousins won’t have to throw very much in this game. He has a very low fantasy ceiling if he can even escape the ferocious pass rush led by Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks.
Running Back Start
Cam Akers vs. SEA – If you read through our Week 10 waiver wire additions, then you’ll already know Cam Akers is the guy to get. It’s likely that Darrell Henderson will miss some time, or at the very least have his reps managed, opening the door for Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers. The pair are suited to split the reps in the Rams’ backfield and Akers is widely available in most leagues. The timeshare could look unappealing but I’m more confident in Akers than Brown this week.
Running Back Sit
Justin Jackson at MIA – Last week, Justin Jackson left the game due to an injury and recorded a big fat goose egg in fantasy points. Head coach Anthony Lynn is already leaning toward resting Jackson. Even if he doesn’t, you should not risk playing him. It’s too much risk for too little reward in this case against the Dolphins. When the Chargers have Justin Kelley and newcomer Kalen Ballage to fall back on, Jackson should be benched in all fantasy leagues until his health returns fully.
Wide Receiver Start
Brandon Aiyuk at NO – Recently coming off the COVID-19 reserve list and hopefully getting some rest, Aiyuk returns to the 49ers at a critical time. They have been slaughtered by injuries this season and finally have a positive note to cling to in Aiyuk’s return. He should be the focal point of the San Francisco passing attack and should be started across the board.
Wide Receiver Sit
Chris Godwin at CAR – Godwin has two touchdowns in five games and Antonio Brown is only going to reduce the chance of those numbers increasing. Last week, the Buccaneers offense couldn’t get anything going against the Saints. If they figure out how to play offense this week, I do not expect a banged-up Chris Godwin to be very involved. His injuries have been hindering him all year and the Bucs don’t seem to need his skills all that much. In fantasy football, some players have a great season like Godwin last year and then experience a massive drop-off the next year. It seems Godwin is enduring that scenario this season.
Tight End Start
Trey Burton at TEN – The Thursday Night Football game is a doozy when the Titans take on the Colts. The winner of this game will likely win the AFC South, so this is a game with monstrous importance. Jack Doyle is officially ruled out for this game with a concussion so naturally Trey Burton will take on a larger role in the Colts offense. He’s been hard to trust in the last few years, but the starter status in this divisional game should be enough to bolster a 5-65-1 stat line when all is said and done.
Tight End Sit
Robert Tonyan vs. JAX – I hate saying this one because knowing my luck, I’ll bench him and he will go off for two touchdowns. However, that is highly unlikely considering the Packers offense runs through Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. Tonyan had some nice breakout moments this season but it’s become clear that he is an afterthought for Aaron Rodgers now that Adams has returned to full health.
Washington at DET – I normally don’t discuss defenses since a lot of fantasy football leagues have omitted them from their lineups, but this one intrigued me. Obviously, you’re not looking for a complete shutout in every performance from your defense but you definitely enjoy sacks. The Washington Football Team has recorded a minimum of one sack in every game this year. They also have logged five or more on three occasions. They tout eight interceptions on the year and one fumble recovery to go with it. The Lions can get after teams offensively but can also be fooled into pressure-driven mistakes.
Miami vs. LAC – Do not be coerced into starting the Dolphins defense after three defensive scores in two weeks. Those are huge outliers on the season and should be regarded as such. They have seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries this year, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. That kind of production isn’t sustainable for a group with this talent. I don’t see their defensive scoring continuing against the Chargers this week.
Good luck this week while your cherished Chiefs are on the bye week. Let us know how you did, and don’t forget to follow the Fantasy Hour On Tap Podcast for more in depth discussion.