As the bye weeks begin, it's more important than ever to be able to identify a few key sleepers or waiver pickups to aid your team. On the flip side, however, it's just as important to avoid getting "sleeper happy" and ignoring your more reliable players on the whims of recency bias and trends.
So below, I'll break down the top 10 players at each position for this week and also offer one sleeper per group for your consideration.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
9. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
10. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Sleeper: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
While Philip Rivers finds himself barely in the QB2 range among scoring leaders at the position after four games, that designation is a bit deceptive. Yes, he was horrid against the Chiefs, but in every other week he's been an extremely reliable producer for fantasy owners.
This week, he faces a New York Giants defense giving up 17.5 points per week to opposing quarterbacks, 25th in the NFL. Rivers is a pretty safe bet to give you solid production if you find yourself needing a replacement at QB this week.
Don't sleep on Watson or Wentz. Watson has been a beast in fantasy since earning the starting gig, while Wentz has cooled off slightly since a hot start but has largely played well and remains in the QB1 discussion each week.
1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
3. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
4. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
5. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
6. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
7. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
8. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
9. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
10. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Sleeper: Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings
There's no need to get cute at running back. Trust your studs. Given the slew of injuries and backfield committees this season, the top-tier running backs remain wildly valuable.
One player who should certainly be owned in every format and will immediately enter the flex conversation is Latavius Murray now that Dalvin Cook is out for the year with an ACL tear.
While Murray doesn't offer the upside Cook did—there was a reason Cook was the starter and Murray barely saw the field early in the season—Murray did rush for 1,854 yards and 18 touchdowns in the previous two seasons with Oakland.
As handcuffs go, he's a solid one to have on your roster. Now that he's likely to be the starter—though Jerick McKinnon will see his fair share of touches, namely on third downs—Murray is immediately worth RB2 or flex consideration.
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
3. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
7. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
8. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
9. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
10. Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
Sleeper: DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
Like running backs, your top wide receivers are worth your trust. Don't overanalyze matchups when it comes to studs at the position—more often than not, the top wideouts will still produce.
One player worth your consideration this week, however, is DeVante Parker. Despite the fact Miami's offense has been dreadful the past two weeks, they're facing a Tennessee Titans defense that continues to get shredded by opposing wideouts.
Parker has been the best receiver for Miami this season, even as Jay Cutler plays uninspired football. He's nothing more than a flex option, but against Tennessee, he has the sort of upside that makes him a worthy sleeper candidate.
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
6. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
8. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
9. Evan Engram, New York Giants
10. Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
Sleeper: Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Tight end has been a pretty rough position for fantasy owners this year, with only Rob Gronkowski averaging double-digit points per game and only Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Charles Clay averaging more than eight points a contest.
You may have to get creative when seeking out a player to fill the slot, in other words, especially with the bye weeks now in full swing.
Suffice to say, there aren't many sleepers to be had, but Henry is an intriguing option. The Giants have given up five touchdowns to opposing tight ends—a good sign for a red-zone threat such as Henry.
With Antonio Gates also in the game plan, it's hard to trust Henry outright. But if you are streaming tight ends and looking for high ceiling more than high floor, you can't beat the Chargers man.
1. Detroit Lions
2. Buffalo Bills
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Cincinnati Bengals
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
9. Oakland Raiders
10. Minnesota Vikings
Sleeper: New York Jets
The Jets? You think I should consider starting the Jets?
Yes, the Jets. As a sleeper pick. Obviously, the 10 defenses listed ahead of them are preferable. But here's the thing about those Jets: In the past two weeks, they've given up a total of 20 points, and they now face a Cleveland Browns offense with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who has already thrown eight interceptions this season.
That makes the Jets are a sneaky pick this week. Yes, the Jets.
1. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams
2. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
3. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
4. Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo Bills
5. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans
6. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers
7. Jason Myers, Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
9. Chandler Catanzaro, New York Jets
10. Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans
Sleeper: Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants
Kickers are notoriously difficult to project, so in general these rankings will always reflect the season leaders pretty closely.
As for Aldrick Rosas, he faces a Chargers team giving 11.5 fantasy points to opposing kickers per week.
All fantasy stats and points-against totals via Yahoo Sports.