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 Bears and Vikings.
There isn’t anything to get excited about regarding this Bears offense, especially when squaring off against an elite Vikings defensive unit. Alshon Jeffery has the upside and the talent to compete against anyone in the NFL, but a downside certainly exists with Jay Cutler throwing the ball his way. Jeffery is a WR2, but can be considered highly volatile in such a terrible matchup. Zach Miller has TE1 appeal, but that is more due to the lack of depth at the position instead of his matchup at hand.
Cutler, Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal can be left on benches, and the backfield that has a potential committee approach with Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey and Jordan Howard should prompt fantasy owners to leave them out of lineups.
After Stefon Diggs’ hot start to the season, the Maryland product has been quiet due to injury and a poor matchup against a swarming Eagles pass rush in Week 7. Diggs now gets the benefit of facing a Bears defense that was decimated by what was a struggling Packers offense, and has an opportunity to reaffirm his WR2 designation. Kyle Rudolph leads the Vikings in targets and is a TE1 for Week 8 and beyond.
Jerick McKinnon was in a walking boot earlier in the week, but fantasy owners can’t be so quick to put Matt Asiata into lineups. With the Vikings playing the last game of the week, fantasy owners likely can’t wait for inactives to come out 90 minutes before game time before determining who to start. As a result, even in a plus matchup, both running backs should remain on the bench. Fantasy owners afforded the luxury of waiting can start Asiata if McKinnon sits, and McKinnon if he is healthy enough to go.
Sam Bradford is nowhere on the streaming radar due to his limited upside, even against a hapless Bears defense.