Welcome to week 10, otherwise known as the bye-week apocalypse. The players who won't be available for the week are going to make for some unfamiliar names on the top 30. Don't panic, there are some stop gap players available and it is possible to
Players On A Bye Week: Antonio Gates SDG, Jordan Reed WAS, Rob Gronkowski NE, Timothy Wright NE, Dwayne Allen IND, Coby Fleener IND
Notable Injuries: Owen Daniels BAL (knee), Jordan Cameron CLE (concussion), Brandon Pettigrew DET (foot), Eric Ebron DET (hamstring), Joseph Fauria DET (ankle), Tyler Eifert CIN (elbow) and Kyle Rudolph MIN (groin)
The Elite Tier (Must Starts):That's right Witten owners, the time has come to start number 82.
1. Jimmy Graham NO vs. SF
2. Martellus Bennett CHI @GB
3. Julius Thomas DEN @OAK
4. Greg Olsen CAR @PHI
5. Jason Witten DAL @JAC (In London)
Jimmy Graham is getting healthier and playing at home, that makes him my number one option regardless of the defense. Martellus Bennett sees a lot of targets and even more in the red zone, he's a safe play. Julius Thomas and the Broncos are going to come out mad after the beatdown they took last week, that will be bad news for the Raiders. Cam Newton will look to get right against the Eagles weak secondary which should mean good things for Olsen. I like Witten regardless of who plays QB for Dallas, I actually like him a bit more if Weeden plays though.
Starter-Worthy (Should Be Safe To Roll With These Guys):
6. Larry Donnell NYG @SEA
7. Zach Ertz PHI vs. CAR
8. Travis Kelce KC @BUF
9. Delanie Walker TEN @BAL
10. Owen Daniels BAL vs. TEN
11. Charles Clay MIA @DET
I know that it is going to be a tough matchup for Donnell and the Giants, but don't forget about those garbage time points. Ertz is going up against a bad defense with the backup QB at the helm. There will be plentiful checkdown passes followed by missed tackles. Kelce has a strong opponent in the Bills, but he is talented enough that he may soon be in must-start territory. Delanie Walker is a hunch, Baltimore gives up big plays and Walker has freakish physical tools. Owen Daniels will be back this week and that should mean several looks from Joe Flacco. I would feel alright running Clay out there if my starting tight end had a bye, Tannehill has been on a tear lately.
Dangerous With Potential (Hit Or Miss):
12. Heath Miller PIT @NYJ
13. Jace Amaro NYJ vs. PIT
14. Clay Harbor JAC vs. DAL (In London)
15. Vernon Davis SF vs. NO
16. Mychal Rivera OAK vs. DEN
17. Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. CLE
18. Jared Cook STL @ARI
Heath Miller is still a very good player, but I think Martavis Bryant greatly reduces the looks that Miller will get. Jace Amaro is going to start having some room to work as Percy Harvin will be getting more defensive attention. Clay Harbor should see a decent volume of work as the Jags will be playing from behind as always. Vernon Davis has shown me nothing, I can't recommend him except in absolutely dire circumstances. Rivera and the Raiders will be way behind Denver in this one, maybe he gets a garbage time TD. I don't really like Gresham or this matchup, the only reason he makes it this high is the lack of decent options. Jared Cook still has not visited the endzone this year, don't look for Arizona to help him end that streak.
Waiver Wire Fodder (There Are Better Options):
19. Gavin Escobar @JAC (In London)
(If Romo Doesn't Play Escobar Is Not Top-30)
20. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB vs. ATL
21. Luke Willson SEA vs. NYG
22. Scott Chandler BUF vs. KC
23. Levine Toilolo ATL @TB
24. Andrew Quarless GB vs. CHI
25. John Carlson ARI vs. STL
26. Anthony Fasano KC @BUF
27. Jordan Cameron CLE @CIN (If He Plays)
28. Lance Kendricks STL @ARI
29. Richard Rogers GB vs. CHI
30. Eric Ebron DET vs. MIA (If He Plays)
If I had to take someone from this group (which I can't imagine) Escobar has a little bit of upside if Romo suits up. Otherwise, take a look at Willson or Seferian-Jenkins - they both have nice matchups.
Good luck with the bye week of doom, scrape and claw for that win and the playoffs could be in your grasp.