So much attention is paid to fantasy football every season, and it is quickly becoming synonymous with the game itself.
While some play for money and others just for fun, one thing is for certain: fantasy football can get extremely serious.
Every season fantasy squad managers have to deal with the dreaded bye week. The bye week is where true fantasy players show their mettle, and maintaining success is dependent on how you compensate with the absence of your big stars.
In Week 7 of the 2011 season the Bills, Patriots, Bengals, Giants, Eagles and 49ers are all on the bye week. There are a lot of great players on each of these squads, so finding suitable replacements can prove to be difficult.
Let’s take a look at 10 fantasy pickups that can help soften the blow of bye week.
When the woefully ineffective Rex Grossman left the game on Sunday, John Beck got an opportunity to show some of his stuff to coach Mike Shanahan.
Beck’s performance was a positive for the ‘Skins, and after the four interceptions Grossman threw, Shanahan looks like he is becoming less patient with the Florida alum.
While it is not official yet, I envision a quarterback change in Washington, and Beck could supply a team some points if he is able to play a full four quarters.
As Jason Campbell crashed into the turf on Sunday and broke his collarbone, Kyle Boller was forced to come off the bench and lead the Oakland offense.
Boller was efficient with his passing and led the Raiders to a win over the Cleveland Browns.
And with Campbell set to be shelved for a lengthy time, Boller will get his chance to play. He is a viable replacement with experience in the league.
***UPDATE: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Carson Palmer is slated to start Sunday vs. the Chiefs. Take Palmer over Boller!
The rookie from the University of Maryland has been sensational in his debut season for the Ravens, exploding the Baltimore offense and becoming a deep threat the squad has lacked for so long.
The speedy receiver has put in some record-setting performances thus far, and is beginning to be targeted more by Joe Flacco as weeks pass.
As he was criticized earlier in the season for failing to produce, he seems to be finding his feet and he is going to be snatched up quickly.
Another rookie, Sanzenbacher is coming off a string of impressive performances for the Chicago Bears.
Quarterback Jay Cutler has limited options when it comes to the pass game, but he appears fairly comfortable throwing to the Ohio State kid and he looks for him a lot.
Expect his role to increase, especially with how short supplied the Bears are in the receiving department.
Williams got off the mark for the first time as a Raven on Sunday, bruising in a 4-yard run against the Houston Texans.
His significance on offense will intensify in the coming weeks, as he looks to be a reliable goal-line option to complement Ray Rice.
Even if he doesn’t get as many carries as Rice, he should be able to supply some hard yards in the red zone and snag a TD.
Peyton Hillis went down with an injury and Montario Hardesty stepped in on short notice, having a mixed game for the Browns.
But if Hillis is to be out for a while (as it is expected), Hardesty will be the number one back and will carry a heavy load.
While he certainly needs to concentrate and clean up his game, having repetitions in practice and games should help him, especially on the run-heavy Cleveland squad.
Tight Ends are a hit or miss position in fantasy football and after a big win against New Orleans, the Bucs’ Kellen Winslow may be a nice pick up.
The young Bucs have loads of potential and it was only a matter of time before they put it all together, and Winslow is projected to be a big part of that offense.
If you are looking for a tight end, give Winslow a try, as he is an athletic player who has game-changing capabilities (attitude pending).
Playing the Detroit Lions in Week 7, playing the Falcons defense seems a bit odd.
But the Falcons defense has been pretty good so far this season with Thomas DeCoud sitting on three interceptions and both Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon rank in the top 10 in total tackles (72 combined).
With the Lions coming off a tough loss against the 49ers and the postgame fiasco involving Jim Schwartz getting a lot of attention, I feel the Falcons D can exploit a young Lions team.
In Week 7, the Cleveland Browns welcome the Seattle Seahawks to town and are looking to bounce back from a tough loss to the Oakland Raiders.
The Browns are fourth in the league in stopping the pass and are organized in the secondary.
Tavaris Jackson does not pose the biggest threat for the Cleveland defense, and they should prove to be a solid bye week pickup.
Not always the most glamorous of positions, the kicker is arguably one of the most important pieces to a fantasy squad.
St. Louis kicker Josh Brown is a reliable kicker who kicks A LOT. The Rams are second in the league in kicking.
Pick up Brown if you can during the bye week, and watch him kick a lot of field goals in the process.