In the second week at www.NFLHouse.com of "Bye Week Buyers," we'll once again look at the players who are on bye weeks this week and a few options for you to pick up to make up for the loss.
This week, the Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers, and Seahawks get the week off, but some good matchups and new opportunities for players could lead to some big weeks for sleepers in your starters' absence.
Top Players on Bye Weeks:
Quarterback—Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins
Quarterback—Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Running Back—Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins
Running Back—Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Running Back—Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks
Wide Receiver—Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins
Wide Receiver—Wes Welker, New England Patriots
Wide Receiver—Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tight End—Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots
Tight End—Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
Players to Pick Up: Quarterbacks
1. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Against the Seattle Seahawks this week, Sam Bradford should show no signs of slowing down. The Seahawks haven't been great against the pass, and as Bradford continues to get comfortable and with Steven Jackson back to full health, he should get 200+ and a TD or two
2. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars
This season, when a team plays the Buffalo Bills, always look for some solid fantasy options there. Garrard has played somewhat decent for his lack of consistency by the players around him, and even though Buffalo plays better at home, I still expect Garrard to get a few scores.
3. Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles
With Vick ruled out for the game, Andy Reid has no choice but to name Kolb as the starter. Reid has already said Vick will be the man when he returns (probably by next week), but this week, Kolb against the struggling 49ers should give him a chance to show he still deserves to be a starter.
Players To Pick Up: Running Backs
1. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
With Marshawn Lynch now completely out of the picture, it's between Jackson and CJ Spiller for carries. But, coach Chan Gailey has already told Jackson that he will get the bulk of the carries. He's a good back to have on you're bench regardless, but against a struggling Jaguars defense in Buffalo, he could have 100+ and a score.
2. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
Jacobs has been disappointed with his playing time, and has disappointed his owners who likely have dropped him by now. But, he has recently become a viable option in deep leagues based on last week's number two back performance. He'll be going against one of the worse defenses in Houston, and he should get at least 12-15 carries and possibly a score.
3. Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders
Coach Tom Cable has claimed that McFadden is "very, very doubtful," and with Michael Bennett questionable, Bush looks like the main option in Oakland. The offense hasn't been great in Oakland, but the fact that he'll get 20+ carries plus the fact that the Chargers haven't been great against the run makes Bush a decent spot start.
4. Derrick Ward, Houston Texans
Ward has almost overtaken Steve Slaton as the team's number two back, and against his former team the Giants, I expect him to take advantage any time he's asked to spell the feature back Arian Foster.
5. John Kuhn, Green Bay Packers
I'm not a huge fan of starting Kuhn in any leagues, but the fact that the team didn't make a huge move for Marshawn Lynch and that Kuhn is slated to be the top back this week make him a decent start. He'll be fighting with Jackson for carries, but 10-12 and a few goal line chances may be good enough in deep leagues.
Players To Pick Up: Wide Receivers
1. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been ultra-impressive this season, but if they are going to continue to challenge for a playoff berth, they'll have to make sure Bowe stays involved. He'll be battling the Colts this week who haven't boasted a great pass defense this year.
2. Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Douglas was poised to have a great season last year, but injuries hampered his possible success. This year he also dealt with nagging injuries, but now that he's at full strength, he'll start to re-assume his position as a dangerous slot receiver. The Browns, his opponent, don't have enough depth at cornerback to consistently hang with him.
3. Mike Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
David Garrard's top option usually because Mike Sims-Walker is the focus of many double teams, Thomas has begun to become a consistent threat each and every week. His speed and toughness make him a Steve Smith type player, and against the Bills, he likely will have the chance to get vertical.
4. Anthony Armstrong, Washington Redskins
One of the top receivers for McNabb and the Redskins this season, he hasn't played as well as fans hoped he would based on his preseason performance. Still, he has great size and can gain separation against the Packers press coverage.
5. Josh Cribbs, Cleveland Browns
He's been hit or miss most weeks because of his varied role in the offense, but against the Falcons who haven't been great in containing playmakers, he could dominate as a wildcat back or on screen passes. Also, he's always solid on special teams.
Players To Pick Up: Tight Ends
1. Kevin Boss, New York Giants
Boss has begun to once again be a viable starter each and every week for the Giants. He's Eli's favorite threat in the seam and across the middle, and against the Texans, he should have a big week taking advantage of the usually poor safety play.
2. Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears
Still one of the most athletic tight ends in the league, he is starting to become more of a focal point for this offense. With Todd Collins, who always has liked to use the tight ends, starting and the Panthers being known for letting up big games vs. tight ends, Olsen could get 70+ and a score.
3. Ben Watson, Cleveland Browns
Watson has finally begun to hit his stride with the Browns, and he and Seneca Wallace really have a connection. It looks as though Wallace will be the starter this week, but regardless of who is starting, the Falcons secondary will give up some intermediate throws, some of which should be directed Watson's way.
Players To Pick Up: Defenses
1. Carolina Panthers
They don't have the depth that they have in past years when their defense was top notch, they still have some great players that can frustrate an offense. Mike Martz knows how to pick apart defenses, but we'll see how the receivers gain separation and if Todd Collins can stay upright all game long.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Playing the Buffalo Bills is a good enough reason to look at the Jaguars as a legitimate starting defense this week. However, the reason they aren't number one is that, flat out, the Jaguars have been rather unimpressive on defense all season long. Still, Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't scare me as a quarterback and that offensive line is very mediocre.
3. St. Louis Rams
Based on 2009, starting the Rams defense any week would result in a negative points and constant jokes from opponents. This year, however, they have stepped up a few times, and playing the Lions with no Matt Stafford and an injured Jahvid Best could lead them to hold the Lions to under 20 points and maybe a turnover or two.
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