Daniel E. Dobish of RotoExperts.com offers strategies for filling in for your important Vikings during the Week 10 bye.
The bye week gives the Vikings time to enjoy their exciting win over Washington for an extra week while also getting a chance to rest the aches and pains from the first nine weeks of the regular season.
The bye week is here for the Vikings, and they get a chance to rest and enjoy their first two-game winning streak of the season while getting ready for the Chicago Bears in Week 11. Fantasy players will be without their key Vikings performers, as well as players from the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Redskins.
Fantasy owners were pleasantly surprised by the performance of Matt Asiata last week, as he found the end zone three times to become the first player in NFL history to post nine career rushing touchdowns while enjoying three separate three-touchdown performances. It was his second TD hat trick in the first nine weekends, as he continues to be one of the most effective goal-line options in the league.
If you're scouting the waiver wire looking for a short-yardage replacement to make up for your loss of touchdowns from Asiata, you might want to take a one-week flier on Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro. The rookie out of Coastal Carolina has found the end zone four times in the past seven games, including a two-touchdown performance in Cincinnati in Week 8. In Week 10, Taliaferro gets a crack at the Tennessee Titans, ranked 28th in the league against the rush.
Last Sunday also was a breakout performance for TE Chase Ford, who gathered five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Ford has filled in admirably for TE Kyle Rudolph, who is still recovering from sports hernia surgery. Rudolph was able to return to the practice field in Eden Prairie Tuesday, the first time he has been on the field since Week 3, and he worked in individual drills with Ford and the rest of the tight ends. If you have come to rely upon Ford in the past two games, or simply have a hole at tight end this week, you might want to look to New York Jets rookie TE Jace Amaro. He has been targeted 39 times, hauling in 32 receptions for 285 yards and a touchdown. Another option is St. Louis Rams TE Lance Kendricks, as he faces a very favorable matchup against Arizona, and he has found the end zone four times.
During bye weeks it is best to maintain a level of patience. Sometimes multiple players on a bye can make Fantasy owners a bit uneasy, but don't compound your problem by making trades or waiver moves detrimental to your long-term success. Do not focus on fixing your team for just one week, but look at how the moves will affect your team for the remainder of the season.
Teddy Bridgewater showed outstanding poise last week, tossing a touchdown and racking up 268 yards. He has emerged as a solid fantasy option, and he has led the Vikings to a two-game winning streak. Fantasy owners looking for a replacement might want to take a chance on a couple of new starters, Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran Josh McCown or Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez. McCown gets the keys to the offense in time to face the Falcons, and he could be a decent bye-week replacement. Sanchez takes over under center in Chip Kelly's high-flying offense after Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle last week in Houston.
For those looking to replace rookie Jerick McKinnon, who has 14 or more carries in each of the past three games, Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is a viable replacement. He will face the Philadelphia Eagles in a potentially high-scoring primetime matchup Monday night. Stewart's teammate DeAngelo Williams also can help Fantasy owners looking for a one-week quick fix, but remember not to drop a long-term Fantasy option.
View images of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders from the November 2 game vs. Washington.
Greg Jennings has developed a tremendous rapport with Bridgewater, and Fantasy owners will be sad to see the veteran receiver on the shelf this weekend. Don't fret, though, as there are decent alternatives abound. Oakland Raiders WR Andre Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton and San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson have put up similar numbers. Holmes is a deep threat capable of the big play, while Wheaton and Johnson will go for at least five receptions and 50 or more yards. If they're available either on the waiver wire, or are stashed away on your bench, they're decent alternatives for Jennings. Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry is quickly emerging as a useful Fantasy option, and he could be a nice option capable of 50-60 receiving yards and a score, even though the Detroit Lions are solid against the pass.
Another position which is often overlooked in Fantasy Football is the kicker, and the Vikings have one of the best in the league in Blair Walsh. Plenty of Fantasy owners will be scrambling around looking to replace Walsh this weekend. New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham has a strong leg like Walsh, and he will be involved in a high-scoring game against the San Francisco 49ers in the Superdome this week. St. Louis Rams PK Greg Zuerlein, a.k.a. Greg the Leg, could also be available off the waiver wire. If so, pounce on him as the Rams head to the desert to take on Arizona. Conditions will be optimal at University of Phoenix Stadium, and the Rams could see several field goal chances against the Cardinals.
The bye week affects those in Fantasy formats which use individual defensive players, or IDPs. And the Vikings arguably have the best IDPs in the NFL in LB Anthony Barr, DE Everson Griffen and DB Harrison Smith. Those guys will not be easy to replace. The rookie Barr has been a tackling machine, while also recording three passes defensed with three fumble recovering and a touchdown. Griffen is among the league leaders with nine sacks and 29 tackles while also forcing one fumble, and Smith has 41 tackles, six passes defensed and a defensive score. You will have to settle for lesser production from the spot with that dynamic trio sidelined, but Fantasy owners will not lose too much if they can secure Denver Broncos DB Aqib Talib as a replacement for Smith. Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty is great in coverage, and he will post a handful of tackles with at least one or two passes defensed. Denver Broncos LB Brandon Marshall and New Orleans Saints LB Junior Gallette are good options to replace Rookie of the Year candidate Barr, while Fantasy owners will want to look to Minnesota's Week 11 opponent, the Chicago Bears and DL Willie Young, who will make some noise against the Green Bay Packers.
Daniel E. Dobish of RotoExperts.com is a 15-year veteran of the Fantasy industry and has won four Fantasy Sports Writer's Association awards. For more in-depth Fantasy Football analysis from the RotoExperts team. Dan and the RotoExperts team will also answer your Fantasy Football questions right here.