The Falcons and their supposed high powered offense limp into the bye this week, so if you’ve got Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White or Matt Ryan, you’ll be on the lookout for some by week replacement fodder. We’re still somewhat early in the season and getting those strange injuries, like Michael Vick‘s hamstring injury on a play in which he wasn’t hit. Here’s some good fill-ins for your team this week:
Geno Smith, QB Jets
Geno Smith‘s performance in Week 4 against the Titans may have made you sick (I know I was). However, it was a different story in Week 5 against a very bad Atlanta Falcons defense and Geno turned in a performance to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors – 80% completions, a yard shy of 200, 3 TDs and ZERO interceptions. The Jets are home to face Pittsburgh this week, but they are obviously not the same defense that we have seen in the past, you still have to worry about guys like Troy Polamalu looking to rattle and get turnovers against a rookie. A few weeks ago, this would have been a gimme game for the Steelers, but now it seems as if the Jets have rediscovered their power running attack, which is setting up the pass for Geno. Now, I wouldn’t sit a Matt Ryan for Geno Smith, but Geno is only owned in 25% of leagues, so make sure you get him while you can as he makes an excellent bye week replacement or QB2 in deep leagues.
Zack Stacy, RB, Rams
Who? Zack Stacy has emerged as a Jeff Fisher favorite and has seemingly stole the starting job away from Daryl Richardson. While he lacks the physical tools of a traditional back, his small size and good vision enable him to find the hole and explode through ala Maurice Jones-Drew. I don’t see him having any breakout games, but he can be a good replacement RB2 or Flex player.
Reuben Randle, WR Giants
With all the attention that Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz get, it’s not hard to believe that Reuben Randle would get some looks in the slot. Randle blazed the porous Eagles’ defense for 96 yards and 2 TDs. It wasn’t enough to get the win for the G-Men, but fantasy owners had to raise an eyebrow at that kind of production. Also, rumors abound of the Giants and their lost season, looking to get some value for soon-to-be free agent WR Hakeem Nicks. If a trade goes down for Nicks, you can expect Randle to step into the no. 2 WR spot and his fantasy numbers to increase, but until that happens he’s a solid WR3 or Flex.
Garrett Graham, TE, Texans
So Matt Schaub is floundering at QB for the Texans and the team is on the brink of implosion. I don’t see Gary Kubiak sitting Schaub in favor of T.J. Yates just yet, so the best way for your ailing QB to get back on track is to settle down and let him find his security blanket. That guy in Houston will be Garrett Graham. Even as a no. 2 TE for the Texans, he has caught 5 TDs already this season. With Owen Daniels, the starter, going down with a fibula injury for 3-6 weeks, you have to like Graham, as the Texans try to dig their way out of the hole that Matt Schaub has dug for the team. This is a strong play, especially for all the Tony Gonzalez owners.
Robbie Gould, K, Bears
The Giants come to town tomorrow night and bring their dead last in the NFL scoring defense with them. One thing you can count on is that you’ll score points against them, and you’ll score often. Robbie Gould has been money this year, going 8 for 8 and a long of 58. You can bet that he’ll put up some nice numbers against the Giants, who get no break, just 3 days after getting pummeled by the Eagles at home.