We have six teams on bye this week and a lot of offensive firepower on the sideline. The Eagles have fired Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator? Can Andy Reid be far behind? Fun note – Andy Reid is 13-0 after bye weeks. The Eagles are on bye this week and then face the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons after the bye. Should be a fun week eight.
Enough about the future. What have you done for me lately?
Bye week: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers
Matt Hasselbeck – Do you have a stud QB on bye? Is Blaine Gabbert the only person on your waiver wire? Then, look no further than Matt Hasselbeck who has a cherry matchup against the porous Buffalo Bills defense. I could see top 12 production from Hasselbeck this week. Jake Locker is expected back next week according to early reports.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – The other half of that QB matchup this week also provides a great value for those hurting on bye weeks. The Titans are also terrible against QBs and Fitzpatrick has a shot to be top 12 as well. I’d be happy to start either Fitzpatrick or Hasselbeck this week in one QB leagues.
Josh Freeman – Freeman has a great matchup against a New Orleans Saints team coming off a bye week and he’s at home. Freeman is also an excellent bye week option who I would rank with Fitzpatrick and Hasselbeck.
John Skelton – Kevin Kolb is out for several weeks with a rib injury. Skelton has a tough first week opponent in Minnesota on the road. I wouldn’t expect much from Skelton for the rest of the season unless the Cardinals can fix their offensive line.
Nick Foles – Can the Nick Foles era be too far off? The bye week would be a great time to install Foles as the starter, but I have a feeling Andy Reid has made his one change for the bye week. However, if the Eagles come out of the bye and falter, I can see Foles making the leap into the starting lineup in week eight. He’s only a deep league speculative play now, but he could hold value in the second half.
Shaun Hill – Is it me or do Detroit Lions QBs only perform in the fourth quarter and overtime? Matthew Stafford looked awful for most of the game last week. Then, like a light switch, on he came and off went the Lions offense. Again, another deep league play, but if you have Stafford, I’d target Hill as a handcuff as Stafford picks up injuries and was also quite ineffective last week.
Matt Flynn – Looks like Russell Wilson may know how to QB a team, eh? Leave Flynn on the waiver wire for now.
Shonn Greene – Trade him while you can. If he gets three more rushing touchdowns the rest of the season I’ll eat my hat.
Felix Jones – Jones should be your number one waiver target this week. Demarco Murray is out this week and it looks like it could be a longer term injury. Jones has a great matchup against the Carolina Panthers. According to Calvin Watkins spells Jones’ value out here. Jones has looked better according to Watkins. Just know that Jones is a home run hitter and may not get a full complement of carrries.
Phillip Tanner – Tanner looks like he’ll have value as a third down or change of pace back for the Cowboys this week. I can see him getting between five and eight touches and three targets.
Montario Hardesty – Hardesty took advantage of his opportunity last week filling in for an injured Trent Richardson. Richardson’s status is up in the air for this week. Hardesty has a fantastic matchup (the Colts gave up three rushing TDs to Shonn Greene!). I’d put Hardesty number two in your waiver wire priority especially for Richardson owners.
William Powell – Powell looked solid for the Arizona Cardinals and is a viable bye week option. But, don’t expect a ton of production from him over the rest of the season. With John Skelton at the helm, the Cardinals are in for a lot of throwing.
Alex Green – Green is the bell cow runner for the Packers until Cedric Benson returns (or Green falls to an injury). Green is a low end RB2/flex play for the rest of the season.
Daryl Richardson – Man, he just looks great every time he touches the ball. I can see a true timeshare coming out of the Rams backfield and Richardson looks to be the more explosive of the two backs between he and Steven Jackson.
Mike Goodson – Could the Raiders move from Darren McFadden? I doubt it, but if they do Goodson looks like he’s a terrific fit for the zone blocking scheme the Raiders are running. I’d definitely go out and grab him if you are a McFadden owner.
Jamie Harper – With Javon Ringer out for the next three weeks, it looks like the Titans may try Harper as the short yardage back which trims Chris Johnson’s value.
Vick Ballard – I wasn’t too impressed with Ballard, but he didn’t get a great opportunity. I’m not sure there is a lot of value here so I wouldn’t be unhappy to put him back on the waiver wire to grab someone with more upside.
Jahvid Best – Sadly, Best is out for the year again.
Jonathan Grimes – Don’t forget about him in the Jets backfield. With Bilal Powell hurt and Joe McKnight also dinged, Grimes may be the backup RB for the Jets currently.
Larry Fitzgerald – With Skelton back under center, Fitzgerald heads back to being a top five WR. If there is one thing Skelton has shown in his young career it’s that he will force the ball to Fitzgerald.
Denarius Moore – Carson Palmer looked early and often to Moore even with Darius Heyward-Bey back in the lineup. Moore looks like the number one WR in that offense and the Raiders don’t seem to be able to run the ball which makes Moore a must own in all leagues.
Brian Hartline – I’ve seen Hartline dropped in a couple of leagues. If he has been (especially in PPR) snag him. Last week was an anomaly. The Dolphins will continue to target him after the bye week. He should be owned in all leagues.
St. Louis Rams WRs – Brandon Gibson did a solid Danny Amendola impersonation last week. I’d grab him in all PPR leagues. I’m not sure that Rams offense is going to lead to a lot of offensive upside, but Gibson should have value. Chris Givens had seven targets last week and looks like he could be a solid WR4/WR5 going forward.
James Jones and Randall Cobb – Both WRs will continue to have value while Greg Jennings remains out. The Packers face a tough Rams defense this week so I wouldn’t expect six passing touchdowns this week for the Pack.
Josh Gordon – Gordon may have pushed himself into the starting Browns’ lineup no matter when the WRs for the Browns get healthy. He brings an ability to stretch the field that no other Browns WR does. He’s not going to be a PPR stud, but he looks like he’s good for one or two explosive plays per week.
Devin Hester and Earl Bennett – Just a reminder from last week, Alshon Jeffrey is out for the next four to six weeks with a broken hand. Jeffrey will be replaced by Hester and Bennett in some fashion. Jeffrey wasn’t valuable except in deep leagues and I believe Hester and Bennett will have little value going forward.
TE playing the Titans – Scott Chandler is this week’s TE du jour. Grab him if you have bye week problems.
Joel Dreesen – Dreesen continues to have value in deeper leagues. He’s not a huge talent, but he’s been consistent over the last few weeks.
David Thomas – Another reminder form last week, Jimmy Graham did not contribute at all in the Saints come from behind victory in week five due to an ankle injury. The Saints have not updated Graham’s status yet. Should Graham miss time, David Thomas will likely elevate to the TE1 role in the Saints offense which offers TE2 upside for fantasy purposes.
Jermichael Finley –Also, your weekly reminder to trade or cut Finley. He left last week’s game with a shoulder injury. He’s not as good as you thought and he’s not as healthy as you hoped.
Martellus Bennett – Bennett had a poor game last week. He was hurt going into the game. Bennett has a great matchup against the Redskins and could be a sneaky play this week.
Lawrence Tynes –Tynes is a free agent in a few of my leagues even though he’s the highest scoring kicker in many leagues. He’s an excellent bye week replacement.
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings face the Cardinals this week and turnover machine John Skelton. The Cardinals offensive line is horrific so I expect a number of sacks and turnovers for the Viking. Moreover, they have Percy Harvin on special teams who is always good for a score.
Baltimore Ravens – Season ending injuries to Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb put the final nail in the Ravens’ coffin as a viable fantasy defense. Feel free to drop them.
St. Louis Rams – A sneaky play is the St. Louis Rams. Yes, Aaron Rodgers threw for six TDs last week, but the Packers offensive line is still terrible. And, the Rams have been solid at home all year. The Rams have the DBs to shut down the Packers WRs so I think the Rams have a chance to be a useful bye week defense this week.
Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi