Fantasy football: Look to fringe receivers for bye week help

With four teams on a bye in Week 8 and a continued rash of injuries, fantasy football  owners are having a tough time patching their lineups together for this weekend.

There are no quality running backs available on the waiver wire, and unless you own one of the top four tight ends, that position has become a revolving door of hit-or-miss options who rarely hit. That means you need to scour the wide receiver position to fill the gaps, especially in leagues that require you to fill out a flex position.

To make matters more difficult, players we were using to fill gaps in previous weeks are also losing value. Tre’Quan Smith takes a hit with the potential return of Michael Thomas, your fringe Cowboys couldn’t be more useless right now, and who knows what kind of value Preston Williams has with Miami’s decision to begin the Tua Tagovailoa Era.

Fortunately, those veterans aging out of productivity, whom you were instructed to dump from your roster, are leaving some holes of their own and you can grab their replacements.

With every disappointing week that passes for T.Y. Hilton, Marcus Johnson is gaining value. He delivered five catches for 108 yards on eight targets in Week 6, and most have forgotten about him with the Colts on a bye last week. He can stretch the field with his speed, he isn’t afraid to go across the middle, and he seems to be available everywhere.

Injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Julian Edelman have also opened the door for other fringe wideouts. Rashard Higgins may still be available in shallow leagues, but if he isn’t, the Browns just activated KhaDarel Hodge — who should see a handful of targets, including red zone work. The Patriots may look like a hot mess right now, but Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers are expected to see an increase in snaps.

There is no doubt that this is one of the toughest fantasy seasons in a long time. Our perseverance is being tested. Keep working that waiver wire, leave no stone unturned, and you can work your way into the playoffs.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at
Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to for all your fantasy football advice.

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