We're right in the thick of bye week frustrations, but if you've made it this far, there are plenty of options available on the waiver wire to help you stay ahead of the game. Obviously, a lot depends on how deep your league is, but you can always find some help out there (unless you're in a 20 team league where the best FA back is Jacquizz Rodgers or Deji Karim). So if you're stuck without stars like Tom Brady, Fred Jackson, Wes Welker, Cedric Benson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and others, take a deep breath, there are some places to look.
QB Carson Palmer, Raiders (vs Chiefs): Don't expect magic, as I believe Palmer will hand it off a ton this weekend since he doesn't know the offense. And, his arm strength is still suspect. But he's better than Kyle Boller and as good as Jason Campbell, and has some speedy guys to throw it around to. Somewhere in the realm of 250 and 2 TDs against the Chiefs isn't out of the question.
QB Christian Ponder, Vikings (vs Green Bay): This is more of a speculative add than one I would recommend making to start as a fill-in. The Vikings saw enough in Ponder to grab him in the first round, and with McNabb on the way out, the future is now in Minnesota. Unfortunately, that future starts against the defending Super Bowl Champions. I'd stay away this week, but there's a chance Ponder could be a nice pickup as the year progresses.
RB Jackie Battle, Chiefs (@ Raiders): We all saw what he could do against the Colts a couple weeks ago. And the Raiders do give up a ton of yards. Hopefully the Chiefs realize that Thomas Jones is finally done and give Battle a majority of the carries. He's not going to wow anybody, but he fights for tough yards and falls forward on his runs. With 20 carries, 80 yards and a score seems realistic enough.
RB DeMarco Murray, Cowboys (vs Rams): It is pretty clear the Cowboys like their third-round RB. He jumped Choice on the depth chart and should be the starter against the Rams. Even if there's a time-share in Dallas, St. Louis is so bad against the run that there should be plenty to go around for both runners. Felix Jones might miss a couple more weeks, so if you were one of the ones burned on holding Bernard Scott while Benson's suspension got reduced, a swap for Murray could be just what you need.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (@ Dolphins): The former first-round draft pick is healthy enough to go, and even though I still don't trust Tim Tebow, he's a big target who should find himself open when plays break down and the secondary bites on Tebow scrambling to run. All it takes is one jump ball in the endzone to make Thomas fantasy relevant.
WR Damian Williams, Titans (vs Texans): After Kenny Britt went down, Nate Washington stepped in as the #1 WR for the Titans, but it has been Damian Williams that has been the most pleasant surprise. He posted 6/66/1 in Week 5 against the Steelers, and with the Titans already having gone through their bye, I expect him to have even more targets coming his way as teams continue to key on Washington. Hasselbeck isn't a star anymore in the league, but he can still get his receivers the football.
TE Lance Kendricks, Rams (@ Cowboys): Maybe the light is finally coming on. Bradford is hobbled, but Kendricks has a looked a lot more confident since a rough go of it (especially in that Monday night game against the Giants in Week 2) at the start of the year. He's extremely athletic, and with this year being a down year for TEs in general, if you're one of the ones out an iffy starter like Scott Chandler, it might be a good call to make the switch or pick up Kendricks to stash.
DEF Cleveland Browns (vs Seahawks): A lot of this depends on the status of guys like Haden and Fujita, but the Seahawks are shaky at QB regardless of it being Whitehurst or Jackson, their WRs don't scare anyone, and their offensive line isn't great. This is as good a week as any for Cleveland to bring a lot of pressure and trust their secondary to make plays.