The bye weeks hit hard this time around. Six teams find themselves on the rag this week, leaving fantasy owners faced with taking the dirt road rather than forging their way down the red river. Some of the alternatives in starting lineups this week should be quite comical, but maybe that’s what makes fantasy football fun? Or maybe the NFL should embrace the second biggest reason (other than gambling) for their popularity a little bit more and make sure we never have more than four teams on the bye during one week. Here’s a list of some guys to turn to in your time of need and some others that won’t even put out.
If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Josh Freeman (QB - Tampa Bay)
The Saints defense has proven they can't stop anyone and neither a bye week or the addition of Jonathan Vilma won't necessarily change that. Freeman is your best option as a fill-in with a lot of elite QBs on the bye this week.
Alex Green (RB - Green Bay)
It seems like the Packers are ready to ride Green for all he's worth. After getting 20 carries last week, Green will see the same workload against a Rams' team that's allowing 14.7 points per game to opposing RBs.
Felix Jones (RB - Dallas)
Remember when Felix Jones was really good? It sure seems like a long time ago when Jones was the game-breaker paired with Marion Barber III. He looked pretty spry last week filling in when DeMarco Murray got hurt. He's got a chance to shine again this week against a Panthers team allowing the fifth-most points to fantasy RBs.
Donnie Avery (WR - Indianapolis)
With Darrelle Revis hurt, Joe Haden might be the best cover corner in the league. He couldn't shut down A.J. Green last week (who can really?), but he'll take his shot with Reggie Wayne this week. That will leave Avery, who’s already 21st in the league in targets, open for a lot of looks.
Lance Moore (WR - New Orleans)
Fantasy owners rushed to the waiver wire to grab Devery Henderson after his strong performance two weeks ago, but he only shined because Lance Moore was out. Moore is back from a hamstring issue and will do good work against a mediocre Buccaneers' secondary. He'll do even more over the middle if Jimmy Graham misses the game, too.
Brandon Pettigrew (TE - Detroit)
The Cover-2 defense is always a friendly one for fantasy TEs. The focus is always on stopping long passes, leaving open plenty of short stuff over the middle. Pettigrew isn't one to stretch the field, so look for him to get plenty of looks against the Bears.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Matthew Stafford (QB - Detroit)
The Bears have been doing quite the job against fantasy QBs, allowing them a measly seven points per game, the least given up by any team in the league. That doesn't bode well for Stafford, who has looked slightly off through his team's first five games.
Williams Powell (RB - Arizona)
It felt nice to be able to call the fact that Powell would be more successful than Larod Stephens-Howling in Arizona's backfield following the injury to Ryan Williams. Powell did lead the preseason in rushing yards after all. The sledding gets much tougher this week, however, since the Vikings are only giving up eight points a game to fantasy RBs. With Arizona's offensive line generally failing to create quality running lanes, Powell won't be able to have the same success.
Shonn Greene (RB - N.Y. Jets)
Last week's game from Greene was a complete fucking fluke. His owners who have been upset at his performance so far this season likely had him benched and threw buffalo wings around the bar when Greene rolled in for his third touchdown. The Patriots, however, can actually stop the run unlike the Colts. They're in the top five against fantasy RBs. Green should return to the turd form you've been used to.
Brandon Lloyd (WR - New England)
Cromartie Island can do one thing really well and that's track deep patterns. Lloyd is the deep receiver for the Patriots and is playing through a banged-up shoulder. The Patriots will likely pound the run while dinking and dunking their way through the passing game. With only one touchdown for Lloyd so far this season, you can't even rely on him for red zone work.
Michael Crabtree (WR - San Francisco)
The Seahawks' secondary continually goes unnoticed as one of the best in the league. They struggled a little against the Patriots, but who doesn'? They'll bounce back this week against the inferior passing game the Niners bring to the table. Crabtree has only managed one touchdown himself this season and has less than 50 yards in half his games. Expect that to be the case this time around as well.
Fred Davis (TE - Washington)
Things have changed in the linebacking core of the Giants. Gone are the days when Jason Witten or Vernon Davis would run wild against their slow linebackers. Now Michael Boley and Keith Rivers among others are shutting down opposing team's TEs and Fred Davis will be the latest casualty. Is the four points a game the Giants are giving up to TEs good enough for you this week? It shouldn't be.