By Jack Thomason-
(CBS) Finally, we are finished with those miserable six-team bye weeks. We aren't out of the weeds yet though. Four more teams are missing this week (Jacksonville, Dallas, Baltimore and the New York Jets). So let's see if we can find some of those deep sleepers to fill those missing holes.
Enjoy as always, and good luck.
Josh McCown (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, available in 74% of CBS leagues) – The Redskins have allowed 18 aerial touchdowns with only three interceptions. That translates to giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. I have to admit, I wasn't a fan of McCown coming back as the starter for Tampa. I thought he would hurt the value of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, as he did early in the season. Then he had a solid fantasy performance in throwing for 301 yards, two scores and two picks against Atlanta last week. Given this week's matchup, that his receivers clicking on all cylinders and the emergence of a tight end in Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I think McCown can provide you with a quality spot start.
Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings, 81%) -- Bridgewater has thrown for a score in three straight games and for at least 241 yards in his last two. He's coming off a bye and gets the horrid Chicago Bears defense that allows the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. We've watched Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers combine for 48 completions on 62 attempts (77.4 percent), 669 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions in Chicago's last two times out. Now, I'm not comparing Bridgewater to Brady or Rodgers; I'm simply pointing out how bad this defense is. Bridgewater registering 250 yards and two touchdowns isn't out of the question.
Jonas Gray (New England Patriots, 69%) – Andrew Luck has thrown for the most yards (3,085) and second-most touchdowns (26) in the NFL. One way to cool him off is to keep him on the sideline. That is where Gray comes in to play. I'd expect Gray to be right in line Sunday night with his average number of carries (14.5) over the last two weeks. He is the clear "big back" in New England, which should pound the rock in this one. Add goal-line work and clock-killing duties to one of the hottest offenses in football, and you have a great chance at hitting RB2 value. Indianapolis has given up the 13th-most points to running backs by allowing eight scores and 4.4 yards per carry on the season.
Bryce Brown (Buffalo Bills, 59%) - Brown will be hit or miss, but if it weren't for a fumble on the goal line last week (in typical Brown fashion), he'd be the talk of the town. Brown led the backfield with 13 touches, totaled 100 yards and looked the part doing it. He's far and away the most explosive player out of the three back (Fred Jackson and Anthony Dixon) and provides the highest upside. If you like to gamble, Brown is your play. He can take any touch to the house or he could fumble the opportunity away. Miami allows the 17th-most points to running backs. Brown is high risk/high reward, but I think he continues to be heavily involved in the offense in Thursday's game.
Malcom Floyd (San Diego Chargers, 45%) -- We just watched Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas rip though the Raiders secondary for a combined 16 receptions, 175 yards and two scores. The Raiders allow the 11th-fewest fantasy points to receivers, but that stat is skewed due to their bad run defense. Floyd has been targeted 26 times over the last four weeks, and he blew by the Raiders for five catches, 103 yards and a trip to paydirt in Week 6. Fantasy points are there for the taking.
Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings, 62%) -- For all you Daily Fantasy players, why not stack Bridgewater and Greg Jennings this week? In Bridgewater's last four starts, he has targeted Jennings 29 times. During that span, he has topped 75 yards twice and scored a touchdown. Compile those stats with a Bears secondary that allows the 10th-most points to receivers, and you have a great bye week fill-in.
Mychal Rivera (Oakland Raiders, 35%) – He's here for one reason -- Rivera is still available in 35 percent of CBS leagues. He has been a top-five tight end over the last three weeks. Yes, San Diego has given up the third-fewest points to tight ends, but if you're in need of a plug and play, Rivera is hot. Over the last three weeks he has hauled in 21 balls on 28 targets, while piling up 185 yards and three touchdowns. If he's available, go get him. Trust Rivera until he proves otherwise at this point.
Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts, 50%) – Fleener was targeted a team-high 11 times last week. He converted those targets into four receptions, 77 yards and a touchdown. He now gets the Patriots, who have given the 12th-most points to tight ends. Last year, when Dwayne Allen was on injured reserve, Fleener had for six catches on 11 targets and 74 yards in their playoff showdown against the Patriots. I'm not saying there's a trend; I'm just saying he could be a sneaky play as the Patriots focus on T.Y. Hilton and Allen. Fleener also had four scores in the last seven games.
Other considerations: Ryan Mallett (91%), Brian Hoyer (78%), Theo Riddick (75%), Roy Helu (78%), Preston Parker (98%), Jarvis Landry (89%), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (80%) and Kyle Rudolph (64%).
Jack Thomason is the winner of the 2014 Bud Light Fantasy Expert Contest, co-host of Fantasy Streamers and co-host of the Nerd Herd. You can listen to Fantasy Streamers every Sunday from 8-9 a.m. CT at 670thescore.com/listen. The Nerd Herd is on every Friday, starting at 11 p.m. and lasting until 1 a.m. on 670 The Score and online here. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.
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