Waivers have run and your first choice of streaming quarterback or defense was sniped from you. You’re in bye week hell and going up against the first place team in your league. Now what?
The Best Of The Rest will shine a light into the dark corners of your free agent pile. Everyone is under 30% owned, usually much lower, and so should be available to help as a high ceiling plug-and-plays that won’t kill you and will get you through to Week 9.
BAKER MAYFIELD - Cleveland Browns
(Ownership in: NFL.com = 25%; Yahoo = 33%; ESPN = 18%)
He just lost one of the most electric wide receivers in the NFL to an ACL tear last week. He’s thrown at least one interception in all but two games this season. He also threw for 5 touchdowns in week 7. Being benched toward the end of a drubbing by the Pittsburgh Steelers the week prior seems to have lit a fire under him.
Despite losing a key playmaker, Baker was able to connect with his other pass catchers for 30 of Cleveland’s 37 points. The Raiders will be making the ~4 hour flight northeast to play in an early game, heading into the contest allowing the 3rd-most points to the quarterback position. Their defense is middle of the pack when it comes to defending the tight end, so expect Baker to continue feeding Rishard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones (both caught 100% of their passes last week) and leaning on Kareem Hunt to get the job done on the ground.
I see this game needing to be fast-paced and the Browns defense having a bit of trouble with the Raiders, so Baker will need to keep time with them. PREDICTION: 250 yards - 3 TDs - 1 INT = 20 points
DEEJAY DALLAS - Seattle Seahawks
(Ownership in: NFL.com = 2%; Yahoo = 3%; ESPN = 1%)
Chris Carson = mid-foot sprain
Carlos Hyde = hamstring tightness
Travis Homer = knee contusion
DeeJay Dallas may be the last man standing in the Seahawks backfield. Make no mistake, between Wilson, Lockett and Metcalfe, Seattle does not need a running back. They are not the 2020 Patriots and so the 49ers defense will not be able to hold them to just 6 points and under 100 rushing yards.
Don’t be surprised to see the rookie RB only start to pay off in the late third or fourth quarter after Seattle gains a lead and use Dallas to run down the clock. Track the practice status of the other three backs ahead of him on the depth chart, but as long as Dallas is one of the only active backs on gameday… PREDICTION: 100 yards - 1 TD = 16 points
SCOTTY MILLER - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Ownership in: NFL.com = 13%; Yahoo = 11%; ESPN - 9%)
Scotty has been in a prime position to put up points in the past while Chris Godwin was out (@ Chicago) and ended that day with a 0-0-0 stat line. With Godwin ruled out for Monday night, Scotty Miller once again is bumped up to the Buccaneers WR2. Word is circulating that Mike Evans will see more of the slot so that he avoids the shadow of James Bradberry, who has given him fits in the past, so it would stand to reason that Miller will get Bradberry’s attention this week.
With Antonio Brown eligible to see the field next week and Chris Godwin likely to return, this is Miller’s last chance to really ball out and show that he’s earned his place on the field with those men. I like him to ride the momentum of last week’s 100+ yard showing into this week. PREDICTION: 130 yards = 13 points
COLE KMET - Chicago Bears
(Ownership in: NFL.com = 1%; Yahoo = 1%; ESPN = 1%)
This from Bears coach Matt Nagy on Monday night: "Cole Kmet is going to start playing more in this offense. He's deserved it. He earns it. He's a guy that I think I'm really proud of the way he's playing. For us, we have to be aware of that, understand that and start using him more."
No better time to “start using him more” than this week as the Bears host the New Orleans Saints, a team allowing the 3rd-most points to tight ends. Looking past his low target total, he’s been trusted to catch balls in tight windows and down field from Foles. (His 38-yard reception on Monday night was the longest play of the Bears season up to that point.)
I can see a scenario where the Bears defense is able to keep this game competitive for the offense and Kmet’s number gets called on two big plays downfield. PREDICTION: 70 yards = 7 points.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this article helps you win your league this week and Fix Your Fantasy!