Week 7 Pickups: Best Available Fantasy Bye-Week Replacements
Although bye weeks have been going on for a while now, Week 7 will likely be the first time owners really feel the pinch. With six teams off, including a couple with several fantasy football stars, there will be a lot of short-term pickups made.
Even though owners aren't likely to find a player who can completely replace Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles or Roddy White, there are some widely-available players that should be reasonable replacements. Here's a look at one from each key position.
QB: Matt Hasselbeck
Filling in for the injured Jake Locker, Hasselbeck showed he still has a little magic left in his right arm, leading the Tennessee Titans to a surprising win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fantasy terms, it was a solid 13-point performance.
Hasselbeck will get at least one more start before Locker is ready to return, and it will come against a Buffalo Bills defense that ranks 31st in yards allowed at nearly 430 per game. The Bills have also given up 13 passing TDs, tied for fourth most in the league.
Even though the veteran quarterback probably won't throw enough to put up the monster numbers other quarterbacks have against the Bills, he should still put up at least 15 points, which is good for a free-agent addition.
Which player will be the best replacement at their position?
RB: Alex Green
After Cedric Benson went down with an injury, there was plenty of questions about which Green Bay Packers running back would fill the void. It turned out to be Green, who received a large majority of the carries last week.
While he scored just six fantasy points in his first start, it's important to note the game was against the Houston Texans, one of the league's top defenses. As long as he continues to get that many touches, the fantasy numbers will surely follow.
Owners can expect much better production in Week 7. The Packers face off with the St. Louis Rams, which rank in the middle of the pack against the run and are giving up one rushing touchdown per game, meaning Green should break the double-digit barrier.
WR: Donnie Avery
Wide receiver is the position that's been hit hardest with bye weeks, which means many of the top options have already been scooped off the waiver wire. One sleeper option that warrants consideration is Avery, who's emerged as a popular target for the Indianapolis Colts.
Even though Reggie Wayne is the clear-cut top receiver for Andrew Luck, Avery has carved himself a key role and ranks second on the team with 48 targets. The Colts have been throwing enough to make a No. 2 wideout valuable.
That's especially true this week against the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland's secondary has been torched on a weekly basis, leaving the door open for Avery to reward fantasy owners who take a chance on him. His second 100-yard game of the year is a reasonable projection.
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