The bye weeks are here in full force for week seven.
Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Eddie Lacy, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill, Tyler Eifert, Matt Forte, and Alson Jeffery (that was longer than I expected) are all missing this week because of bye weeks.
Heck even the underperforming Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson and Eddie Lacy were originally relied upon for production at the beginning of the season, and at the midway point a good number of players are playing injured or not playing at all due to an injury.
Weeks 7-10 are going to bring some pretty interesting lineups with each week having at least four teams on bye, and in weeks eight and nine six teams will be on the sideline. Weeks like these are the ones where owners need the studs to really show up and help with scoring because players like Darren McFadden are going to be in a lot of starting lineups with the bye week crunch.
Here is to hoping your options are better than the ones I have in one of my leagues.
Philip Rivers vs. Raiders (70% started): Points per game the Raiders might seem like a good defense against quarterbacks to this point. In four of the five games the Raiders defense has allowed at least 269 yards and two touchdowns. In those four games the lowest a quarterback has scored is 17.2 points. The quarterbacks who have done this against them are Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Josh McCown and Jay Cutler. The only guy the Raiders shut down is the guy who keeps trotting out on the field impersonating Peyton Manning. Also, don’t forget how good Rivers has been, and how bad the running game has been for the Chargers.
Cam Newton vs. Eagles (53% started): Cam seems to be in this list every week. Every time I think he is a sit he still does well. Newton has such a high floor that I think he needs to be rolled out in lineups every week.
Eli Manning vs. Cowboys (52% started): The Cowboys defense has been getting progressively worse against quarterbacks. The Cowboys shut him down earlier this season, but as many fantasy players know Eli is one of the most up and down quarterbacks in the league. Without Tony Romo in the lineup the defense has allowed 23, 22 and 25 points to quarterbacks. I don’t know if there is any real correlation between Romo playing and the defense doing bad against opposing quarterbacks, but it is an interesting relationship.
Joe Flacco at Cardinals (22% started): Flacco finds himself in a tough matchup this week. I can see Patrick Peterson taking Steve Smith out of the game this week, and there really aren’t any other good options for Flacco to throw to.
Alex Smith vs. Steelers (19% started): I don’t see Jeremy Maclin playing this week, and the offense lost Jamaal Charles the week before. Smith never led an exciting passing attack, and now that offense has even fewer weapons.
Sam Bradford at Panthers (23% started): Bradford might have put up one of the ugliest performances of the season on Monday night. He faces off against a really good Panthers defense and cornerback Josh Norman.
E.J. Manuel at Jaguars (1% started): Running quarterbacks can put up points easily in fantasy. Manuel put up 20 points last week against the Bengals, and this week he gets a defense that isn’t close to the same level.
Brian Hoyer at Dolphins (7% started): A lot of other quarterbacks could learn from Hoyer. Throw it to your best receiver a lot and let him make plays.
Ryan Fitzpatrick at Patriots (11% started): The Patriots have a tendency to beat teams badly. That leads to good games from opposing quarterbacks. I don’t think the Patriots run away with this game, but I find it far less likely the Jets have a lead and are killing the clock with the running game.
Latavius Murray at Chargers (66% started): The Chargers have been absolutely awful against running backs this season. On average the Chargers are allowing 122 yards and a touchdown to opposing running backs. In 145 carries opposing running backs are averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The only concern with Murray is the Chargers get out to a big lead early, but I think the Raiders can keep this one close enough to get Murray a good workload.
Danny Woodhead vs. Raiders (58% started): Melvin Gordon has fumbled four times this season and was benched for it last week. Woodhead is always in the game plan, and the more the Chargers pass the better it is for Woodhead.
Doug Martin at Redskins (60% started): The Redskins have been torched by the running game in back-to-back weeks. Any game the Buccaneers can keep close Martin should be able to have a good day.
Melvin Gordon vs. Raiders (51% started): I said it with the Woodhead call, he has a fumbling problem and hasn’t had success when he has been running. Gordon is a top five in the NFL for touches, but is 47th in running back scoring in standard leagues. It is one thing if it’s Adrian Peterson having a fumbling problem, but Gordon hasn’t been producing when he is hanging onto the football.
Justin Forsett at Cardinals (85% started): The Cardinals just shut down Le’Veon Bell, and the Ravens only have two weapons on offense. I think the Cardinals can easily take Forsett out of the game.
Joseph Randle at Giants (32% started): He was doing fine prior to this week, but there are rumors that Christine Michael is going to get a bigger workload. Randle wasn’t getting a huge workload prior to the bye and now he might get even less.
Christine Michael at Giants (12% started): I am not nearly as high on the Michael hype train as a lot of others are. There are a decent amount of running backs on a bye this week and teams could be in a pinch. With this play you are hoping he can manage to get 40-50 yards and the goal line carries when they get close to the end zone.
Branden Oliver vs. Raiders (1% started): This is a complete hail mary play if you start him. I’m not overly confident in him, but if you are really desperate, he is a running back who should get some work this week.
Theo Riddick vs. Vikings (12% started): Almost a must start in leagues that award points for receptions. The more the running game struggles the more it benefits Riddick, the passing downs back.
Donte Moncrief vs. Saints (59% started): Andrew Luck is back and the Saints defense is really bad. Moncrief is a must start this week unless you have and embarrassment of riches at the receiver position.
John Brown vs. Ravens (65% started): The Ravens secondary is beyond awful, and Brown is starting to come alive with back to back double digit scoring weeks. Start Brown with confidence. Brown had his hamstring tighten up in practice on Thursday and didn’t practice Friday. Keep an eye on what he does Saturday. If he misses practice again you might have to look elsewhere unless you have other options on Monday night.
Travis Benjamin at Rams (59% started): He has been doing more than running straight down the field, bringing him weekly targets and receptions. With McCown at quarterback the past three weeks he has had 10, 12 and 12 targets.
Jordan Matthews at Panthers (% started): He hasn’t done much this season, and the Panthers defense should be able to shut down the passing attack for the Eagles.
Brandin Cooks at Colts (64% started): He isn’t able to carry a passing attack the way we thought this preseason. He is too easy to take away for a defense. If you play Cooks you have to hope the Colts blow this game open early and the Saints are playing the second half in garbage time.
Kendall Wright vs. Falcons (36% started): Marcus Mariota isn’t going to play this week and Wright didn’t do a lot with Zach Mettenburger last season.
Stefon Diggs at Lions (21% started): Diggs was a popular waiver add this week. While I do agree he was worth the add, I wouldn’t start him unless I was hit hard by the bye weeks. It looks like Diggs may have overtaken Charles Johnson as a starting receiver in the offense, but Diggs did his damage when Johnson was out of the lineup. With Johnson back, I would like to see what it will do to Diggs’ role in the offense before I started him.
Robert Woods vs. Jaguars (% started): No Percy Harvin and no Sammy Watkins. Woods turns into the number one receiver by default, the number two pass catcher if you count Charles Clay. The Jaguars defense is far from good so Woods could have a surprisingly good day.
Michael Floyd vs. Ravens (% started): Floyd was looked at a lot last week against the Steelers and has been slowly working his way back into the offense. He had seven targets where he was either in the end zone or inside the 10 yard line. With John Brown appearing to not be 100 percent he could be in for a better day. If Brown is out Floyd jumps to a potential top 20 option.
Delanie Walker vs. Falcons (54% started): I think Mettenburger starting hurts the majority of the Tennessee offense, but Walker should still manage to get his normal target count.
Charles Clay at Jaguars (43% started): He will be the number one target in the offense with Watkins and Harvin out. The targets should lead to a good game.
Julius Thomas vs. Bills (52% started): He played on 73 percent of the teams snaps last week and was able to turn 13 targets into 7 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. The Jaguars have a good fantasy passing offense this season. There is enough to go around to make Thomas a good tight end option.
Gary Barnidge at Rams (60% started): If he does it again this week I will finally buy in. I just can’t
Larry Donnell vs. Cowboys (35% started): Under 40 yards in every game this season. He needs a touchdown in order to have a good game.
Zach Ertz at Panthers (36% started): He is going to be here every week until his start percentage drops under 30 percent.
Ladarius Green vs. Raiders (10% started): Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson are banged up but it looks like both will play. Antonio Gates is nursing a sprained MCL as well and hasn’t practiced all week. If you own Gates you need to add Green. If you have one of the touchdown dependent tight ends Green has a similar floor with a much higher ceiling.
Carolina Panthers vs. Eagles (60% started): Sam Bradford is turnover prone and the Panthers have eight interceptions so far this season.
Atlanta Falcons at Titans (31% started): If Mariota was playing this would still be a decent matchup for the Falcons. The Titans have allowed 20 sacks this season and turned the ball over seven times, and they are now turning it over to their backup quarterback.
St. Louis Rams vs. Browns (60% started): The Rams are a good defense, and even with McCown’s good fantasy production he has been getting sacked and turning the ball over.
New York Jets at Patriots (56% started): Not much to say about this one. The Jets haven’t been anything special when it comes to scoring fantasy points this season and the matchup this week is not good.
Houston Texans at Dolphins (53% started): The Dolphins came out and played great last week, and the Texans have been bad on defense most of the season.
Baltimore Ravens at Cardinals (37% started): One of the better offenses in the league goes against a bad passing defense. The Ravens only have one double-digit scoring week and scored in the negatives twice.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chiefs (26% started): The Steelers have been surprisingly good on defense, and the Chiefs are without their playmakers.
Dan Bailey at Giants (24% started): He has scored eight plus fantasy points in four of five games.
Josh Lambo vs. Raiders (19% started): One of the better kickers in fantasy. He has only missed two kicks this season, and the Raiders allow a lot of field goal opportunities to opponents
Dan Carpenter at Jaguars: The Jaguars have allowed three or more field goal attempts in all but one game this season; last week against the Texans being the only exception. Even though the Bills are without some of their offensive playmakers they should be able to get into field goal range against the Jaguars.
Nick Novak at Dolphins (28% started): The Texans have only attempted more than two field goals in a game this season one time. In three of the six games the Texans have only attempted one field goal.
Caleb Sturgis at Panthers (8% started): I think the Eagles have a hard time moving the ball against the Panthers.
Nick Folk at Patriots (6% started): This is a very unfavorable matchup for Folk.
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