FANTASY PLAYS: Waivers on first week byes play big role

BY foxsports • October 4, 2016

This is the first week for byes to play a significant role in fantasy football.

Two teams were off last week, and now the Seahawks, Saints, Jaguars and Chiefs are idle in Week 5. That means fantasy footballers with Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Blake Bortles will be seeking a replacement if they don't have a backup. And with Carson Palmer and Cam Newton owners waiting on the status of their concussions, they will be seeking a contingency plan to be safe.

Here are the players to consider adding in Week 5:


Wentz has impressed in his first three games in the NFL. He has passed for 769 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. Wentz is mobile, has a good arm and ran the offense well for a rookie. He has a good matchup this week with as the Lions have allowed 12 passing touchdowns.


If Jay Cutler misses another game, Hoyer is a solid streamer. Hoyer passed for 317 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 and threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 against the Lions. This week, he gets the Colts, who are one of the worst defenses in the NFL.


West had the backfield to himself in Week 4 and came through with 21 carries for 113 yards with a touchdown against the Raiders. West gets another favorable matchup this week against the Redskins, who have allowed seven rushing touchdowns.


Dixon is scheduled to make his NFL debut after missing the start of the season with a torn MCL. Justin Forsett was a healthy inactive in Week 4 and was cut Tuesday. Buck Allen had just five touches behind Terrance West, who had his best game this past week after three mediocre games. Dixon still has a shot to seize the job and should be involved on passing downs at least initially.


The Eagles are going to use a committee with four running backs and Ryan Mathews is going to be the anchor, but he's already dealing with an ankle injury and has been susceptible to injuries during his career. Smallwood should be next in line and he had 17 carries for 79 yards with a TD in Week 3 when Mathews played eight snaps.


A SportsNet New York reporter tweeted that running back Matt Forte was carted toward an X-ray room after the Jets lost to the Seahawks, but no other details have emerged yet. Forte had 59 touches the first two weeks and 33 the last two games. Powell has been more involved in the passing game the last two weeks. He caught six passes for 41 yards in Week 3 and had six catches for 54 yards on nine targets last week. Even if Forte is fine, Powell is seeing more snaps and the involvement in the passing game makes him valuable in point-per-reception formats.


Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve, putting Woods into a role where he will get more targets. He had 10 targets in Week 4 and caught seven passes for 89 yards against the Patriots.


Eric Decker has a shoulder injury and it sounds like he could miss a significant amount of time. Enunwa will benefit and he had value even with Decker playing. Enunwa has size and excellent hands. He had six catches for 60 yards on seven targets in a tough matchup with the Seahawks in Week 4.


The Steelers have been waiting for a complementary receiver to emerge opposite Antonio Brown. Coates is still erratic, but he's making big plays. He has five receptions of at least 40 yards. Coates isn't getting a lot of volume, but he has at least 50 yards receiving in every game.


Royal has at least four catches and hit 52 yards or more in three of four games. Royal had seven catches for 111 yards with a touchdown against the Lions in Week 4 and faces the Colts this week. Royal will get a boost if Kevin White sits with an ankle injury.


Butler is in play in deeper leagues as long as Dez Bryant is out. He played the most snaps of any Cowboys receiver in Week 4 at 82 percent and caught five passes for 41 yards with a TD on nine targets.


Antonio Gates hasn't been close to playing the last two games due to a hamstring injury. Henry had five catches for 76 yards in Week 3 and the rookie caught four passes for 61 yards with a touchdown last week. As long as Gates is out, fire up Henry.


Clay has to see more targets with Sammy Watkins on injured reserve. Clay played a season-high 69 snaps and caught five passes for 47 yards in Week 4.


This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network,