Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) runs in for touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Mike Shara

Week Six of the Fantasy Football season is upon us and you know what that means – Bye Weeks have begun. That’s right, sports fans, this weekend will be the first time you’ll have to adjust your roster in weekly leagues to accommodate players who are spending a week relaxing in the Caribbean. Here’s a list of a few players that might currently be under the radar in your league that also might reward you with a good/great game on Sunday. I’ve selected one player at each position except kicker, in case you have to replace one of the key players on your roster. If you have a working strategy that successfully predicts which kickers are going to have big weekends, you should probably be writing this column instead of me. If your roster has any players from the bye-ing Saints, 49ers, or Falcons – the players I’ve listed below might help you stay competitive this week. If your roster contains any players from the bye-ing Jets, you likely aren’t doing very well in your league anyway and should probably start concentrating on your buddy’s upcoming Curling fantasy draft instead

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WIDE RECEIVER – Rondale Moore, Arizona ($4,600 on DraftKings DFS, 44% rostered on Yahoo!) The rookie speedster was a second round pick out of Purdue, so the Cardinals did have him in mind even though they already had DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green. He’s already about even with Kirk in usage rate and has also been given a chance to rush the ball, too. Statistically, Cleveland is a top tier defense so far this season, but they padded their numbers against bad teams early and have started to leak, allowing the Chargers 47 points last week. Even if this week isn’t a big one for him, the (near) future is very bright.

RUNNING BACK – Darrell Henderson Jr, LA Rams ($6,000 on DraftKings DFS, 98% rostered on Yahoo!) Everybody jumped on Henderson’s bandwagon in late August/early September when other Rams RBs were injured in the preseason. Then L.A. acquired Sony Michel from the Patriots. His numbers have been pedestrian thus far and the enthusiasm has justifiably cooled somewhat. Here’s the truth – Henderson has been steady, but not great. He’s not going to carry your team all year long, but if you have Alvin Kamara or one of the 49ers backs and you need a fill-in, he’s definitely the Rams’ #1. Almost all of Sony Michel’s carries last week happened when Henderson was being checked out for a potential injury. As an added bonus, this week he faces a Detroit Lions defense ranked near the bottom in rushing yards allowed.

QUARTERBACK – Joe Burrow, Cincinnati ($6,300 on DraftKings DFS, 86% rostered on Yahoo!) As you can see, the former Heisman Trophy winner is probably already on someone’s roster in your weekly league (hopefully it’s you). If he is somehow still available, nab him – even if it’s just for this weekend. You may not have noticed yet, but the Bengals are pretty darned good this year. They’re 3-2 and both losses have been by just a field goal. This week they face Detroit at home. The Lions are winless so far this season and rank in the bottom half of the league in pass defense so far. Maybe you’re debating between him and your other starter or maybe Matt Ryan is your guy, and this is his week off. Burrow is averaging more than 2 touchdown passes per game, is really starting to click with his young receivers and the Bengals will be out for revenge after a heartbreaking loss to Green Bay last weekend. My money says he’s a Top 10 QB this week.

TIGHT END – Noah Fant, Denver ($4,800 on DraftKings DFS, 94% rostered on Yahoo!) He’s not a secret, I know. He has also not been nearly as productive as folks who have him on their roster had hoped – me included. However, there are signs of improvement. In the last two weeks, he has been targeted 14 times, appearing in over 90% of the Broncos’ offensive plays in each game. This week Denver plays at home against a beleaguered Raiders team that has been through all sorts of turmoil this week, which concluded with Head Coach Jon Gruden being fired for being an entitled dick. It’s tough to play in the thin air of Denver anytime but given the Raiders’ current circumstances it’s even harder to imagine Vegas’ defense having a good day there on Sunday under their brand-new interim HC Rich Bisaccia. If you’re hesitant starting Fant again this week, or you have to because you also have George Kittle or Kyle Pitts as your other TE1, this seems to be a good week to stick with him. Or in DFS you could spend your big money elsewhere and get a nice return here for a reasonable price. He’s due for a breakout game.

DEFENSE – Miami ($3,300 on DraftKings DFS, 30% rostered on Yahoo!) The Dolphins’ defense is coming off a humiliating defeat against their in-state rivals from Tampa Bay, scoring an embarrassing -2.00 points in the game and allowing 45 points. This week, however, they face their other in-state rivals, who are decidedly less efficient on offense. The Jaguars rank near the bottom of the NFL in passing yards and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is second in the league in interceptions thrown. It’s not likely you were counting heavily on any of the team defenses that are having bye weeks this week – none of them are among the NFL elite, so you might not need to replace them on Sunday. However, if your defense faces a tough matchup this week (ie. Baltimore or Tennessee or Arizona), picking up Miami for a weekend at least might well pay big dividends for you. If you’re playing DFS, that price is pretty appealing for a team playing against the league’s second-worst offense.

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