NFL Waiver Wire Week 7: Matt Cassel and the 5 Best Fantasy Bye Week Subs

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IOctober 20, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 09:  Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Bye weeks in fantasy football are always tricky to navigate around, and the next batch of NFL teams get a break in Week 7.

What does that mean? It's time to go to the waiver wire to plug in the holes left by those teams that will be watching games this Sunday. 

Here are the some of the big names with bye weeks and how you might go about subbing for them on the waiver wire:

QBs with byes: Tom Brady, Patriots; Eli Manning, Giants; Michael Vick, Eagles

Sub: Matt Cassel, Chiefs

Forget Carson Palmer. The best bet this week for a sub is actually Cassel, the man facing him this weekend in Oakland. Cassel has caught fire in recent weeks, and he's finally starting to find Dwayne Bowe with some consistency. The result? A guy who can help ease the loss of some big hitters this week at quarterback to the bye. 

RBs with byes: Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants; Frank Gore, 49ers; Fred Jackson, Bills; LeSean McCoy, Eagles

Sub: Earnest Graham, Bucs

Filling in for LeGarrette Blount, Graham has looked a lot like the guy he was running the rock a few years ago. He cracked 100 yards against the Saints, and the Bears, his matchup this week, haven't been good against the run. It'll be tough to find a guy on the waiver wire to replace those names, but Graham is your safest pickup.   

WRs with byes: Wes Welker, Patriots; Hakeem Nicks, Giants; DeSean Jackson, Eagles; Steve Johnson, Bills; A.J. Green, Bengals

Sub: Steve Breaston, Chiefs

Yes, we're asking you to double dip with Cassel and Breaston, but it might be worth it if the results of the past two weeks continue. The two have combined for 144 yards and two scores during that stretch. With Bowe playing well opposite him, Breaston is going to get good match-ups. And against a Raiders secondary that still has some leaks, Cassel and Breaston to strike gold for the third straight week. 

TEs with byes: Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Patriots; Vernon Davis, 49ers; Jermaine Gresham, Bengals; Scott Chandler, Bills; Jake Ballard, Giants

Sub: Lance Kendricks, Rams

It's not a killer week for tight ends as long as you don't have one of the Patriots young studs. If you have one of the remaining guys, you're obviously not getting a whole lot from the tight end position. You should then roll the dice with Kendricks, who has steadily improved over the past few weeks and is seeing more targets.  

DEF/ST with byes: 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Bengals, Eagles, Bills

Sub: Broncos

If you're losing the 49ers defense, there simply is no waiver wire defense that can even come close to matching their week-to-week output. But I'm not here to wallow in your sorrows. Pick up the Broncos, who face Matt Moore and the struggling Dolphins offense. It's not a perfect matchup, but there's points potential here from sacks and picks. 

Ks with byes: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots; David Akers, 49ers

Sub: Graham Gano, Redskins

Kickers are so hit and miss, both in fantasy and in games, that's it's a fruitless endeavor to get too worked up about their week-to-week scoring. However, sometimes 5-10 points can make all the difference between a win and a loss. Take Gano this week, even with the Redskins making a switch at quarterback. The Panthers give up a ton of points, and I wouldn't trust Beck to turn many red zone trips into touchdowns. That should mean easy kicks and points for Gano.