The Packers have a bye in the last week for byes and — from a fan perspective — I love it. The team gets to rest now before taking on a tough San Francisco 49ers team in prime time. From a fantasy perspective, though, it’s not great.
This week is critical in leagues where the playoffs start in Week 14, or even 15. If you’re on the bubble, your team needs to lock up a win to make a late push and if you’re leading the pack, you don’t want to slip up now and miss out on a first round bye.
Not every Packer is essential to be replaced here, but finding a substitute for Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and Jamaal Williams should be a key priority for many fantasy teams. So if you’re still doing some roster tinkering, let us help ease your mind with some difficult choices.
Replacing Aaron Rodgers
Luckily, there has been some quality quarterback play this season that is worthy of a start so I hope you have a decent backup on the bench for times like this. If you don’t, I would take a look a journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s scary because he plays for the Dolphins, I get that, but in four straight games he’s scored eight touchdowns. Two of those were also rushing TDs, which is great if your league does four-point passing TDs. Fitzpatrick plays Buffalo this week, but luckily he’s already got a game against them under his belt (@Buffalo) where he scored 20 fantasy points. He’s rostered in just 5.4 percent of ESPN leagues.
Other fill-ins could be Derek Carr who’s rostered in just 53.8 percent of ESPN leagues and is QB18 currently, or Jeff Driskel who scored close to 20 fantasy points last week and is poised to make his second consecutive start for the Detroit Lions with Matthew Stafford out.
Replacing Davante Adams
This one is easier in the sense that Adams production hasn’t met his likely high draft position because of injury, but still hard in the sense that there are myriad WR/FLEX players to pick up and anyone of them could go off.
I’d look at someone like Mecole Hardman in Kansas City or Hunter Renfrow in Oakland. Both are rookies, but have shown flashes to pop off on any given Sunday for fantasy purposes. Hardman has a few bad games on his record, but with the big-armed Patrick Mahomes back under center, Hardman could play a bigger role as a stretch player. They also like to use him on sweep plays which could be of some value. Rostered in just 19.6 percent of ESPN leagues.
Renfrow can garner a lot of targets and if he finds the endzone, then it’ll be a good day for him. He’s rostered in just 7.4 percent of ESPN leagues and play the sad Cincinnati Bengals who rank dead last in pass defense DVOA.
Replacing the Running Backs
These replacements are significantly harder to find. Not only is running back a hard position to cover for, but there are minimal backups who might get the same work as Jamaal Williams when the starter is healthy. In this case, hopefully a fluid FLEX position situation can save your fantasy week.
If not, Raheem Mostert might be a long-shot play for you. Mostert has the number two role in the backfield for the 49ers behind Tevin Coleman with Matt Breida out. As we’ve seen in games this season, both Coleman and Breida receive a significant amount of work and can be valuable fantasy assets. The question is whether Mostert can fill the Breida role. With George Kittle expected to be out again and both Emmanuel Sanders and Dante Pettis possibly being out, Mostert will be of some value. 10.7% of EPSN leagues have rostered the back.
Colts running back Nyheim Hines could be another long-shot flex play. Jordan Wilkins injured his ankle last week so Hines could be the primary back behind Marlon Mack. Of course, this secondary role isn’t all that promising, but a divisional game against the Jacksonville Jaguars might requires some heavy pass catching which Hines is adept at.