*Erin Skelley, aka "Erin the Fantasy Girl" on Texans Radio/Sports Radio 610 in Houston, dishes out waiver wire magic for Week 9.
Brace yourself. The eye of the bye weeks is here. And it's going to be ugly. With the exception of week 4, the byes so far have been relatively painless, with only two teams on vacation each week. Pfft! Anyone can handle a few add/drops. But weeks 9 and 10, a total of 12 teams will be resting.
The really crafty owners master the bye weeks. They poach the wire looking for discarded jewels. They look ahead a week and grab the good defensive matchups. But this little plan is ruined. How can you plan for week 10 if you're forced to play without a kicker this week?
On the bright side, you are not alone. In fact, it's possible your opponents are even worse off than you. But most teams will require a few adjustments. So with that, here are a few friendly suggestions:
Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots – I dismissed his performance week 4 when he snagged six receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. And then again week 6, when he totaled 97 yards and two touchdowns. But it's hard to deny this fantasy free agent much longer after catching 11 receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown from vintage Tom Brady.
Martavius Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – If you were able to overlook the awful uniforms, you noticed Pittsburgh wideout Martavius Bryant burn the Indy defense with five receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. And the Colts have a solid pass defense. Bryant now has three touchdowns in two weeks. He's a good claim, especially with the bye week pains. I've already claimed Bryant in one league, but do plan to talk to him about his attire. It's the right thing to do.
Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars – Two weeks in a row, Denard has dazzled with 100-yard performances, this time with 108 rushing yards. This week, he faces a Cincinnati defense that is generous to running backs. Consider Robinson a Jag you can trust.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs – He wasn't spectacular on Sunday. But he also wasn't bad with 226 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Yes, it was the Rams defense. But guess what, he plays the Jets on Sunday. Kyle Orton threw four touchdowns against them week 8. Yes. That Kyle Orton.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens – It appears the Ravens have replaced TD vulture Bernard Pierce with new TD vulture Taliaferro. On Sunday, Zo cashed in on two touchdowns on 69 combined yards. This little surprise is worth an add, especially for deep leagues or bye week blues.
Cleveland DEF – They play Tampa Bay. I'll leave it at that.
Erin Skelley joins Texans Radio every week on SportsRadio 610. Follow her on Twitter @erinskelley. She'll babble fantasy to anyone who will listen.