Welcome to bye week hell. With six teams on bye, fantasy owners are left in a bind for Week 8, as the options to keep lineups across the spectrum competitive have dwindled. It would be nice to reassure fantasy owners that it only gets better going forward, except Week 9 will have six more teams taking their bye weeks. Fun times.
In the meantime, fantasy owners can look at each game to see who can be a capable fill-in while their studs are sidelined, starting with the Chiefs and Colts.
The Chiefs’ defense has been able to get by, but the lack of pressure applied in the absence of Justin Houston could haunt them during a matchup with the pass-happy Colts. It makes Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton attractive in a matchup that could allow the duo ample time to let their deep routes develop, and both need to be started in leagues of all formats. Tight end Jack Doyle can also be penned in with Dwayne Allen sidelined. In Allen’s absence, Doyle caught nine passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Frank Gore faces a Chiefs defense that is surrendering 4.5 yards per carry on the ground, giving the veteran a high floor for Week 8. But the fact that the Chiefs have allowed just three rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs puts a damper on his upside. Gore remains a solid RB2, even if his ceiling isn’t among the highest in the league.
Donte Moncrief may return from a shoulder injury, but until he shows his onlookers that he is back to his regular self, he should remain on benches. Phillip Dorsett and Josh Ferguson can join their teammate on fantasy benches across the spectrum.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spencer Ware owners continue to keep a watchful eye on Jamaal Charles’ health, but Charles has shown nothing to suggest he is anywhere close to supplanting Ware on the depth chart. Now, Ware has another juicy matchup on the docket, once again placing him in RB1 territory after back-to-back weeks with a touchdown. Travis Kelce can also be inserted into lineups, as usual, as a TE1.
Jeremy Maclin continues to underwhelm each week, and even with a matchup against a hapless Colts pass defense, Maclin may draw the coverage of the very capable Vontae Davis when lined up at the perimeter. Fortunately, Maclin is also a capable slot receiver, giving him a higher ceiling than he has displayed in past weeks. Maclin is an upside flex, and quarterback Alex Smith deserves streaming appeal with six teams on bye.
Charles has been ruled out, and with his health so uncertain, fantasy owners must keep him on the bench in future weeks until he proves worthy of being reinserted into lineups. Chris Conley, Albert Wilson, and Charcandrick West can join Charles on the fantasy bench.