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 Chargers and Broncos.
San Diego Chargers
In a league that has committee backfields across the board, Melvin Gordon has a backfield all to himself in San Diego. Even against a stout Broncos front seven, Gordon logged 94 yards when these teams met in Week 6, albeit he needed 27 touches to get them. Gordon is a volume-dependent RB1, but the volume should be there even in a tough matchup. Hunter Henry, expected to play despite a recent concussion, deserves TE1 consideration after posting a 6-83-1 line when these teams last met.
Even though Philip Rivers was masterful in the Chargers’ victory over the Broncos earlier in the season, it didn’t translate to fantasy points. Few scenarios present themselves where Rivers lights up fantasy scoreboards against an elite defense, and even in a bye-heavy week, fantasy owners can probably find better options than Rivers. Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams should also be benched, if possible, against Denver’s shutdown secondary.
With C.J. Anderson now on injured reserve, Devontae Booker steps in as the Broncos’ every-down back. After looking good during his increased opportunities in recent weeks, Booker deserves RB1 consideration in a run-heavy offense. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas also deserve to be started in leagues of all formats as usual.
Trevor Siemian has a middling matchup at hand against the Chargers’ secondary, but he has been quiet from a fantasy perspective for the majority of the season. He can remain on benches, even in a heavy bye week. New handcuff Kapri Bibbs is worth a look in deeper leagues, but should not be started in Week 8 due to usage concerns.