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Under-The-Radar Fantasy Football Stashes


Week 7 was the first week this NFL season that featured four teams on bye (Packers, Raiders, Steelers, Seahawks). Week 8 follows suit with the Falcons, Cowboys, Titans, and Chargers taking the week off. Week 9 gets even dicier with six teams out (Bengals, Colts, Giants, Eagles, Cardinals, and Jaguars). Week 10 will see another four teams with the week off (Broncos, Vikings, Ravens, Texans). Then there are six teams on bye in Week 11 (Bills, Browns, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, 49ers). You get the picture. It's safe to say that the dreaded bye weeks are in full swing. Things won't cool off until only the Chiefs and Rams are on bye in Week 12 (presumably so they can rest up for the Super Bowl).

Get ready for your fantasy team's depth to be seriously tested. That's why it's extremely important to look ahead, plan for favorable matchups and stash any players that might be flying under the radar on your league's waiver wire, if you have the room.

Usually, players are forgotten because they were previously on bye. Many times they were discarded because they haven't been performing up to expectations. And the most common reason why players are banished to the waiver wire is that they are hurt. But even injured players are sometimes worth stashing. And don't be afraid to add a player whose team is on a bye if they are an upgrade over someone you currently have, especially if they have favorable upcoming matchups. We'd like to help point out some potentially forgotten players that might be available in your league that we think you should consider stashing. Let's start with players from teams coming off a bye in Week 7.

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Teams Coming Off Bye

Green Bay Packers

Wide receivers Randall Cobb (49 percent owned) has missed the last three games and Geronimo Allison (38 percent owned) has missed the last two due to hamstring issues. But they were both close to playing in Week 6 and should be back this weekend against the Rams.

Allison is younger (24 years old) and has looked like the better receiver this year with 289 yards on 19 receptions for two touchdowns. While some owners may not want to touch them because they've been out for a while, the reality is they're both starters when healthy and have quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing them passes. Their ownership will be on the rise.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tight end Vance McDonald (40 percent owned) can be boom or bust for fantasy owners, but at this year's incredibly weak tight end position he still remains at least a low-end TE1 on a team that ranks second in the NFL with 329 passing yards per game.

Oakland Raiders

Marshawn Lynch (groin) was put on Injured Reserve on Tuesday and is likely to miss the rest of the season. Running backs Doug Martin (27 percent owned) and Jalen Richard (26 percent owned) will benefit moving forward. Martin should factor in more on early downs, while Richard is the pass-catcher of the two.

Martin hasn't looked very good in his limited chances this year, but he needs to be owned now that he'll see a big spike in workload. With Oakland likely to continue playing from behind often, Richard is the more attractive fantasy guy, especially in PPR leagues. The Raiders have one less receiving option after trading Amari Cooper to the Cowboys, too.

Seattle Seahawks

Chris Carson is the lead running back, but head coach Pete Carroll refuses to be predictable, meaning Mike Davis (17 percent owned) and rookie Rashaad Penny (17 percent owned) will likely remain involved. They both remain dicey touchdown-dependent flex options in deeper leagues, but an injury to the oft-injured Carson would make them a lot more attractive. Seattle also faces a Lions team this Sunday that allows the sixth-most fantasy points per week (29.9) to running backs.

 

Injured Stashes

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (32 percent owned) has been out since Sept. 30 with an MCL sprain, but he's getting closer to a return and could even be active in Week 8 against the Buccaneers in a great matchup. While he's not as exciting for fantasy owners as the change-of-pace back to Joe Mixon, he'll certainly be flex-worthy in deeper PPR leagues once he's back.

Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman (18 percent owned) is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles last year. He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list but is eligible to resume practicing and should join the team soon. Given how mediocre Lamar Miller has been (aside from Week 7), there's a good chance that Foreman could see meaningful touches in the second half of the season if he's fully healthy.

The Cleveland Browns don't have much talent or experience behind Jarvis Landry at wide receiver. Unless they pull off a trade or add a free agent, Rashard Higgins (1 percent owned) could serve as their No. 2 down the stretch. The 24-year-old sprained his MCL on Oct. 7 against the Ravens but should return soon.

The New York Jets have designated running back Elijah McGuire (0 percent owned) to return from Injured Reserve. He impressed as a rookie last year and should be in line for a decent workload when he returns now that Bilal Powell (neck) is out for the rest of the season.

 

Speculative Additions

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (35 percent owned) has yet to go over 300 yards in a game this year, has accuracy issues and a terrible supporting cast aside from Ezekiel Elliott. But he'll now have a No. 1 receiver in Amari Cooper coming off Dallas' bye. He's more of a safe play than a high-ceiling QB but one that shouldn't be overlooked in favorable matchups.

Peyton Barber is still the No. 1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but rookie Ronald Jones II (16 percent owned) will inevitably see more work as the season progresses. Despite rushing for just 2.6 yards per carry on 17 attempts in three games, Jones finally found the end zone for the first time in his career in Week 7.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16 percent owned) is criminally under-owned, even if he's entering his bye in Week 8. He doesn't have more than four catches in a single game this year, but he's coming off back-to-back 118-yard performances and has three touchdowns in those games.

Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore (16 percent owned) is finding his way in the NFL. The 21-year-old wasn't benched after losing two critical fumbles in Week 6, which shows that the coaching staff has a lot of faith in him. He should only get better the rest of the way.

The New York Jets just signed receiver Rishard Matthews (6 percent owned). He's only two years removed from a 65-catch, 945-yard, nine-touchdown season with the Titans. The Jets are without Quincy Enunwa (high ankle sprain) and just released Terrelle Pryor.

The Denver Broncos could trade either Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders before the Oct. 30 deadline, which would put rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton (9 percent owned) in prime position for a much bigger workload. The 23-year-old has looked impressive in his limited work so far.

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