Week 11 is the end to all your bye-week struggles and heartaches but don’t expect it to go quietly. Week 11 comes our way with the Titans, Vikings, Giants, and Seahawks all on byes. All four of those teams have some serious fantasy talent, so there will be plenty of owners hitting the wire once again this week.
Here’s the ten players to target as we go into the last week with those troublesome bye-weeks. After this, everyone will be at full strength but there’s still plenty of time to make your full-strength stronger by adding some of these players for depth:
1. Danny Amendola-St. Louis Rams-WR: For some reason, Amendola was dropped in 51% of leagues, but will be the top receiver for the Rams going forward. He exploded back onto the scene with a typical 11-catch 102-yard performance. He was unable to get into the endzone but needs to be rostered in all formats now that he’s back. The Rams face the Jets, Cardinals, and Bills in three of their next four games and Amendola will be a solid play expecially in PPR-leagues where he’s virtually a must-start.
2. Danario Alexander-San Diego Chargers-WR: If you need a receiver, Alexander may be your bets pickup after breaking out Sunday against Tampa. He caught at 80-yard touchdown bomb from Philip Rivers early in the game and went on to finish with 134 yards on five catches. He looked the part of the number one running more pass routes than both Malcom Floyd and Robert Meachem. Alexander and the Chargers visit Denver in what could be a shootout so get Alexander if you need a fill-in for Victor Cruz, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, or Sidney Rice.
3. Marcel Reece-Oakland Raiders-RB: Reece filled-in in the injury-plagued Raiders backfield finishing with 48 yards rushing and 13 of the 24 carries. He was actually more targeted than any other Raiders receiver finishing with seven catches for 56 yards. Against the Saints next week, he makes a great flex especially in PPR leagues if Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson remain sidelined. Reece is the top one-week pickup-and-play option if both running back’s ahead of him are out as expected.
4. Donald Jones-Buffalo Bills-WR: In the Bills last two games, Jones has been targeted 19 times and has back-to-back six-catch games after Sunday’s 74 yard effort. He added his third touchdown of the season as well against the Pats. Thurdsay night he and the Bills host the Dolphins in an AFC East clash. He’s owned in under two percent of ESPN leagues and makes a nice addition if your thin at wide-out or need a bye-week filler.
6. Andre Brown-New York Giants-RB: The Giants are headed into their bye week so don’t expect Brown to produce in week 11, but he could be the single biggest acquisition the rest of the fantasy football season if Ahmad Bradshaw’s injury costs him time. Brown out-rushed Bradshaw last week running for 65 yards on just seven carries and adding 29 yards on five catches. He’s scored a touchdown in the Giants last four games and may be in line for way more work if Bradshaw’s tests reveal a condition that costs him game-time. Brown is still available in 48 percent of leagues but expect that to be zero quickly if he becomes the feature back in New York. If you have the roster flexibility and don’t need a quick fix from your pickup this week, Brown should be your #1 claim.
7. Nick Foles-Philadelphia Eagles-QB: Of all the quarterbacks who may be pressed into action next week, I think Foles has the biggest upside. He’ll play against Washington who has allowed opposing quarterbacks the fourth most points-per-game in the league. He has the weapons at receiver and the matchup which makes him the most favorable fill-in. I’d stay away from Jason Campbell against San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick against Chicago, and Byron Leftwich against the Ravens.
8. Logan Paulsen-Washington Redskins-TE: Don’t forget about Paulsen (available in 99.5% of ESPN leagues) coming off the Redskins bye week. Fred Davis is out for the year, and if you need help in a PPR league at tight end, Paulsen remains a solid pickup. He had 13 catches in the three games before the bye and 178 yards. He was the first option for RG3 but didn’t manage to find the endzone. Paulsen’s value is limited based on Griffin’s development but he’s worth a look if you need a pick-and-play option from Sunday as the Redskins host the Eagles.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST: If you need a matchup play for your defense this week, check out the rapidly improving Bucs D. They put up 17 in standard scoring last week against the Chargers and will head to Carolina this week in a rematch of their week one win. The Tampa D scored 12 that week, and Carolina allowed 28 points to the Denver Defense last week at home. The Bucs have become one of the best run-stopping defenses under Greg Schiano allowing just 80 yards per game (best in the NFL). That usually forces their opponent to take to the air which could mean sacks, and turnovers from a beleaguered Cam Newton. The Broncos sacked Newton seven times and forced two turnovers. If the Bucs can force the Panthers to throw they could have similar numbers this week. Tampa is only owned in 8.6% of ESPN leagues and makes a nice play Sunday in Carolina.