Bye weeks and injuries. Two of the most obnoxious aspects of fantasy football. They cause stress, panic and sometimes, damage to household objects. You know, for the fantasy players with anger problems. Well hotheads, hold onto your hats because guess what?
They are only going to get worse.
Don’t worry. The medicine for a diagnosis of the bye week and injury blues is a healthy portion of the waiver wire. As more teams go on byes each week, owners must (and I mean, must) go out and add depth to their roster. You know how wacky the game of fantasy football can be.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off of Yahoo! leagues.
Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (12%): If you don’t know who this kid is, get familiar. As a Bills fan, I’ve been excited to watch Woods play all offseason, and thus far, he has been living up to the hype. Woods posted a strong stat line of four catches for 80 yards and a score, and could have had another score if it hadn’t been called back. He has developed quite the chemistry with fellow rookie EJ Manuel, as Woods has been targeted an impressive 18 times over the last two games. The rookie is making big plays for this Buffalo offense, averaging over 18 yards per grab. It’s hard to trust a rookie, especially when another rookie is tossing him the football, but these two have looked very strong through three weeks, and it’s about time Woods got some recognition. If you are hurting at the wide receiver position, Woods is certainly worth a look.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (40%): Woodhead was a major sleeper of mine heading into the season, and through four games with his new team, he’s been extremely busy for the Chargers. Coming into Sunday’s contest, Woodhead was a third-most targeted running back (20) and had the second-most receptions at the position (17). He followed his strong start to the season with an awesome outing against the Cowboys, catching five balls for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball five times for 32 yards. Playing in an offense under Mike McCoy should bode well for Woodhead, as his offenses in Denver have targeted running backs 18.4 percent of the time in 2011 and 14.4 percent last season. Keep in mind the quarterback, Philip Rivers, is the king of checkdowns (though Alex Smith may take that crown soon). Prior to this afternoon, Woodhead was in on 60 of 79 passing downs, and that trend should continue (if not, increase) all year long. Woodhead is a must-add in PPR formats, but even in deeper standard leagues, I think he is extremely viable.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (46%): Jeffery had the best game of his two-year career on Sunday, hauling in five balls for 107 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 11 targets. He looked like the physical freak we saw out of him during his time at South Carolina, going up to make any play on a ball. Jeffery continues to see his receiving outlook improve. In Week 2 he had 11 yards, 52 in Week 3 and a monster 107 today. More importantly, even with one of the most targeted wideouts across from him in Brandon Marshall, Jeffery has still seen a very healthy 32 targets through four games, which is just 10 less than Marshall. Under head coach Marc Trestman, the Bears will look to throw the football a good amount, so Jeffery should continue to see looks. With bye weeks becoming more of an issue, the sophomore receiver should warrant the attention of fantasy owners.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (32%): The connection between two Stanford teammates continues to grow, as Fleener hauled in another touchdown pass from Andrew Luck on Sunday. He caught seven balls for 89 yards and that score on the day. The big tight end has been surprisingly elusive, averaging 8.4 yards after the catch, the second-highest among tight ends this season. With Dwayne Allen on injured reserve, Fleener is without a doubt the guy going forward at the tight end position, and over the last three weeks, he has been targeted 17 times. With a tight end position that more often than not serves as an inconsistent one, Fleener is worth a look if you don’t have one of the top six or seven guys.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.