It is a tough week for fantasy owners. A lot of injuries and a lot of players missing with a bye are going to lead to some pretty ugly fantasy scores.
This week brings to the table the question a lot of people have on draft day. Should you pay attention to bye weeks and avoid multiple bye weeks in the same week, or should you spread them out over the entirety of the season?
If you spread out your bye weeks this week shouldn’t be tough, and odds are your team is better than your opponents. On the other hand if your entire roster is on bye this week you are almost certain to have a loss. The bright side of loading your bye weeks into one unbelievably horrible one is, in almost every other week your team has an advantage.
My draft philosophy every year is to completely ignore it. By the time waivers and trades start happening and players over and underperform, the lineup drafted and the lineup you throw out there in weeks 8-11 are completely different.
All we can do is hope that this week doesn’t bring another onslaught of injuries, and whatever players in the patched together lineups thrown out there can find their way into the endzone.
As always if you have any direct start player A or player B questions you can ask me on Twitter @TheSportsGuy40 or in the comment section below and I will try to help you figure out the best option.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Raiders (67% started): Roethlisberger has been rusty every time he has returned from injury in his NFL career. The good news is he should already be over the rust now and he gets a Raiders defense that can be beaten through the air. The Steelers are without all-pro Le’Veon Bell which should make them lean on the pass more. With Martavis Bryant active, he was suspended when Bell was out earlier this year, Roethlisberger has more weapons at his disposal than the last time Bell was out.
Eli Manning vs. Buccaneers (66% started): Eli Manning seems to be a regular in my starts section of this article. He broke out last week for six touchdowns and gets another nice matchup this week against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have allowed multiple touchdowns to quarterbacks in four straight weeks.
Tyrod Taylor vs. Bills (32% started): He is back on the field so he is back as a start for me. He has double digits in every game this season. Even while averaging less than two passing touchdowns per game he has been able to average 20 points per game.
Andrew Luck vs. Broncos (47% started): The Broncos have been amazing on defense this year, they held Aaron Rodgers under 100 yards. Luck has struggled this year, and the Broncos aren’t the team to try to turn a season around against.
Ryan Tannehill at Bills (31% started): The Bills have been good against the pass lately and Tannehill has struggled against defenses who well can actually play defense. Buffalo is also coming off of its bye in a really important game for their playoff chances at home. I don’t see Tannehill having a good game this week.
Matt Ryan vs. 49ers (67% started): Surprisingly the 49ers have been good against quarterbacks at home. Ryan has been underwhelming lately. He is averaging 39 passing attempts per game he has only two 20 point games to show for it this season, he has just as many games in the single digits.
Marcus Mariota at Saints (13% started): The Saints have a horrible pass defense. If you are in a pinch Mariota is pretty readily available as a waiver wire guy who you can plug into your lineup this week.
Jameis Winston vs. Giants (19% started): Winston is really growing up fast this season. He hasn’t thrown for 300 yards this season but he is a good bet for around 250 yards and 1-2 touchdowns. The Giants struggle against the pass as well and are banged up on defense.
LeGarrette Blount vs. Redskins (69% started): I think this game is over early and Blount churns out some second half yards when the Patriots are trying to run out the clock. When he gets double-digit carries he is a good play. Blount should get at least 70 yards and a good chance to punch one or two goal line carries into the endzone.
Danny Woodhead vs. Bears (63% started): Similar to Giovani Bernard last week Danny Woodhead was criminally underutilized by the Chargers. The Bengals got the picture Thursday night and gave him the ball a lot and he produced well like he had all season. I think the Chargers do the same thing on Sunday and Woodhead gets 10-12 touches.
Jeremy Langford at Chargers (62% started): He is going to be the workhorse in Chicago as long as they can stay in competitive games. The Chargers run defense is awful and it sets up really nicely for Langford in his first career start.
Antonio Andrew at Saints (41% started): They came out and said it is his job and they are going to run the ball a lot. I think he has a solid floor of about seven points but very limited upside.
Frank Gore vs. Broncos (64% started): The Broncos defense has been great and Gore hasn’t been anything special this season. Gore is also coming off of a short week and the most carries he has had all season at the age 32.
Eddie Lacy at Panthers (69% started): He bounced back to a respectable game last week against Denver but he still hasn’t shown anything great. The Panthers have a good defense and I think Lacy struggles to find running room.
T.J. Yeldon at Jets (42% started): The Jets, other than last week, have been great against the run. Returning to home in a must win game I think the Jets defense shows up this week. Don’t worry though Yeldon owners, his schedule gets a lot better after this week.
Chris Thompson at Patriots (3% started): If you are desperate at running back this is a rough week for fill ins. Thompson is a hail mary play as the Redskins should be trailing and using him in the passing game when coming from behind.
Dexter McCluster at Saints (17% started): Another complete desperation play here. Hope that this turns into a shootout or a blowout and the Titans need to get the passing game going.
Michael Crabtree at Steelers (66% started): He is leading the team in targets and receptions while being tied for the lead in touchdowns. Crabtree is going under the radar because of what Amari Cooper and David Carr have been doing in Oakland to this point. He has been performing and it doesn’t hurt that Cooper takes away the better coverage corner most weeks.
Eric Decker vs. Jaguars (66% started): Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he will be starting this week and Eric Decker is a touchdown machine. He has scored in all but one game this season and in that game he had 94 yards. He also gets the Jaguars defense who got gashed by the pass the past two games by E.J. Manuel and Brian Hoyer.
Stefon Diggs vs. Rams (48% started): What he is doing to start his career is pretty much unheard of. He has at least six catches for 87 yards in ever game this season and has scored in his last two games.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Broncos (67% started): He is hurt and might not even play this Sunday. If he does he can’t be trusted against the Broncos defense. I am also sitting Donte Moncrief and Andre Johnson if Hilton is out. Normally Hilton being out would vault them to start status, but this week it just means they get covered by two of the best corners in the league.
Randall Cobb at Panthers (86% started): This is a tough call because Josh Norman probably won’t be covering him a lot but Cobb has really struggled this season. When it comes to running backs if someone had this many bad weeks in a row he would be easily benched. Cobb hasn’t been performing this year and might soon need to be grouped with Jordan Matthews and Brandin Cooks as receivers who can’t survive as the number one option in a passing offense.
Dez Bryant vs. Eagles (72% started): With Matt Cassel still playing quarterback and, I assume, a less than 100 percent Bryant I would keep Bryant on the bench for another week.
Marquess Wilson at Chargers (1% started): This game could turn into a shootout if Rivers keeps on rolling. Eddie Royal is going to be out and Wilson should be the one taking his spot in the offense.
Anquan Boldin vs. Falcons (20% started): He is the number one option in the passing game. If you need a starter going with the top option in any passing option isn’t a horrible idea.
Delanie Walker at Saints (61% started): Kendall Wright won’t be playing this week and there really aren’t any other reliable passing option in the passing game. Walker should get a nice dose of targets.
Heath Miller vs. Raiders (36% started): The Raiders are bad against tight ends and I expect with Bell out Miller gets an extra couple targets in the short passing game to fill that void.
Jordan Reed at Patriots (44% started): The guy has been elite when healthy. His on pace numbers based on his games played this year is 112 catches for 1,120 yards and 9-10 touchdowns. In a standard league that would have been easily in second place among tight ends behind only Rob Gronkowski.
Jordan Cameron at Bills (32% started): He is dinged up and really isn’t a top option in the passing game.
Zach Ertz at Cowboys (29% started): I think the Eagles will have to use their tight ends to block the Dallas pass rush and that makes Brent Celek get on the field more often.
Jason Witten vs. Eagles (53% started): He only has two touchdowns all season and they both came in week one when Tony Romo was at quarterback and Dez was on the sidelines. Witten has yet to eclipse 65 yards this season. If you want a good bet for about five or six points you can go with Witten but there is very limited upside.
Jacob Tamme at 49ers (19% started): When Leonard Hankerson is out Tamme the second option in the passing game. Tamme is a nice plug and play for this week.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins vs. Giants (8% started): He should be widely available because he hasn’t played in a while. He was great prior to getting hurt this season and the Tampa Bay pass catchers are hurting right now.
Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys (63% owned): Matt Cassel is still starting for the Cowboys. Any defense against him is a great play.
Atlanta Falcons at 49ers (72% owned): As someone who is streaming the Falcons this week I actually had a hard time deciding if I was happy or sad about the quarterback change in San Francisco. Either way it is looking like a good week for the Falcons.
Miami Dolphins at Bills (38% owned): I am not buying that the Dolphins have turned their season around because they changed coaches. Cameron Wake’s season ending injury is a huge hit to the defense that was bad when he missed time earlier this season.
Connor Barth vs. Giants (4% owned): He is second among all kickers in points per game. He is not getting nearly enough love.
Nick Folk vs. Jaguars (25% owned): The Jaguars have been giving up a lot of field goal attempts this season. It is a good bet to think that continues.
Josh Lambo vs. Bears (33% owned): Multiple field goals in all but one game this season and he is playing a defense that is sub par at best.
Adam Vinatieri vs. Broncos (74% owned): The Broncos don’t allow a lot of field goal attempts and the offense is struggling. Garbage time scoring doesn’t apply to kickers.
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