As the NFL enters Week five, fantasy football enters a new era for the season. That is, of course, the era of the bye weeks.
Week 5 sees sx teams getting the week off. They are the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams.
Notables with a bye: Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Rex Grossman
With the exception of Romo and possibly Flacco, there's no big name fantasy quarterbacks with a bye this week.
For the Romo owners out there though, a solid bye-week fill in is Jason Campbell. The Oakland Raiders will be playing with passion this week following the loss of their owner Al Davis, and I think Campbell will put on a show. He's also a nice dual-threat to pick up some rushing yards or a rushing TD.
Notables with a bye: Ray Rice, Felix Jones, Steven Jackson, Tim Hightower, Peyton Hillis, Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas
Quite a few big name running backs will be watching the games from their couches this weekend. Topping the list in significance is Ray Rice, who is the top player on many of his owners' squads.
Good Running Back Replacements:
Willis McGahee: The veteran has been getting a fair share of time over Knowshon Moreno and is unowned in a decent number of leagues.
Stevan Ridley: The Patriots rookie looked impressive last week and could show up against the Jets, pending he gets the carries.
Isaac Redman: I love the way Redman runs, and he is a much more explosive runner than Rashard Mendenhall. With Mendenhall banged up, expect Redman to get starting RB carries.
Notables with a bye: Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, Josh Cribbs, Anthony Armstrong
Nothing too rough here in Week 5, but if you are a Brandon Marshall or a Dez Bryant owner, you might be scratching your head. I have been loving Brandon Marhsall on my team this season, yet I found myself in a tough position for a WR fill-in this week.
Good Wide Receiver Replacements:
Victor Cruz: If you haven't noticed, he's become the preferred receiver for the Giants with the other starters banged up.
Denarius Moore: He's owned in the majority of leagues at this point but could still be sitting in free agency here and there. He has a tough matchup against Jonathan Joseph this weekend, but the Oakland Raiders are playing to win following Al Davis' death.
Doug Baldwin: He's risky because Seattle is so bad, yet if they could pull the offense together like they did last week, Baldwin could see 10-12 fantasy points in production.
Jacoby Jones: The most obvious sleeper of Week 5, Jones should be added and started in every league. Matt Schaub is a great passer and will look Jones' way in Andre Johnson's absence.
Titus Young/Nate Burleson: Both of these Detroit Lions clearly get overshadowed by Megatron, yet they both have potential for six to eight receptions and 60-80 yards. Young has done better as of late, but veterans like Burleson tend to shine on Monday Night Football.
Notable with a bye: Jason Witten, Fred Davis
Unless you are a Jason Witten owner, you should have no change in your tight end situation from last week. If it's not good anyway, my apologies.
Good TE Replacements:
Randy McMichael: The veteran will start in place of Antonio Gates once again. His numbers weren't impressive last week, but Philip Rivers will look his way and the Denver Broncos are a terrible defensive team.
Jared Cook: He could really step up in Tennessee with Kenny Britt out for the year.
Visanthe Shiancoe: He was a great fantasy player last season and is starting to pick it up again this year. Rolling with him isn't a terrible idea.
Notables with a bye: Ravens, Cowboys, Redskins
The three aforementioned teams are the only three you would really be starting at defense or defense/special teams. If you have been starting the Rams, Dolphins, or Browns, I do apologize.
Defense is an easy position to fill in, you just have to play the matchups.
Good Defense Replacements:
Tennessee Titans: The Pittsburgh Steelers have been defining what sloppy football is in recent weeks, and the Titans could really take advantage of this.
Tampa Bay Bucs: They man-handled the Colts last week, and I don't think too much will change this weekend in San Francisco.