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Teams on Bye Week 4: New York Jets, San Francsico 49ers
Week 4 of the NFL season is the first bye week of the year, meaning that fantasy football owners will have to keep a close eye on their rosters. Starters will have to be benched, bench guys will have to be started, and the waiver wire will be as hot as ever. Fortunately, the NFL eases into its bye weeks, and only two teams are off: the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers. While neither of those teams are littered with star fantasy players, a few guys will be off that aren’t easily replaceable. This is a way to early look at the fantasy situation for Week 4.
First and foremost, Jets running back Le’Veon Bell will be unavailable. The star tailback figures to be drafted in the first two rounds, making him a potential RB1. Anytime a running back like that is rendered unplayable, your team suffers, as there are so few backs in the league of starting quality. Other running back options, such as Jerrick McKinnon, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman of the 49ers will be out of commission, as will quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo. At wide receiver, a few potential WR3s will be unplayable, such as Dante Pettis of the 49ers and Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson of the Jets. At tight end, superstar George Kittle will receive a brake, and so will potential TE1 Chris Herndon.
If you’re an owner of any of these players, you’ll have to get a bit creative in Week 4. Here are some potential options.
The Titans face the Falcons in Week 4, and the Atlanta defense was among the league’s worst against the run. Derrick Henry would be starting for you no matter what if you were to have him, but the other Tennessee back, Dion Lewis, could be a guy to target for your bench in the latter rounds if you’re a Bell owner or an owner of one of the 49ers running back trio.
A matchup between the Colts and the Raiders pits one of the league’s best offenses against one of its worst defenses, so nearly every member of the Indianapolis offense is worth a start. Like Lewis, Hines is a pass catching back whose ADP should make him very gettable at the ends of drafts. While Marlon Mack is the lead back, Hines excels on third downs and should get plenty of opportunities against a porous Oakland defense.
Similar to the Raiders-Colts matchup, Bucs-Rams features one of the league’s worst defenses, on the road, against an explosive offense. Henderson, as the handcuff to the potentially limited Todd Gurley, will be drafted higher than you would think, but if you are fortunate enough to get him, and you’re missing a running back or a FLEX due to byes, this might be the week to play Henderson.
Barring an incredible first three weeks, Amendola should be available on waivers for his Week 4 matchups against the Chiefs. If you’re missing one of Pettis, Enunwa, or Anderson, Amendola could be an intriguing option. With Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones on the outside, Amendola looks to be the third option for quarterback Matthew Stafford, but Kansas City’s struggles against the pass were so apparent last year that Amendola might produce just enough to adequately replace your WR3.
By this point in the season, one of Washington, Moncrief, or Rogers will have emerged as the number two receiver alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the unlucky two that fail to emerge will have a chance to prove their worth in Week 4 against the Bengals, owners of the league’s worst pass defense. At least one of this trio, if not two, should be available on waivers, but if you’re worried, take a flyer on Rogers at the very end of your draft. It could pay major dividends.
Replacing George Kittle will be nearly impossible for fantasy owners unless they were to draft Kittles and someone like Zach Ertz back to back, which is more than unlikely. That being said, owners will have to scour the waiver wire for an option with at least some intrigue in an ultra-shallow position. Despite his alarming injury history and the presence of C.J. Uzomah, Eifert has that intrigue. When healthy, he’s a potent Red Zone threat. In a potential shootout with the Steelers, there are worse gambles to take than betting on an Eifert touchdown.
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