Bye Week Alternatives – Week 7

Week 7 Byes: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Tennessee

Matt Hasselbeck, Kyle Orton, and Joe Flacco are the biggest concerns to replace, but it shouldn’t put you in too much of a bind.

High-end Alternatives:
Jay Cutler & Carson Palmer –  Borderline starters that square off against each other.  Unless you have a stud QB, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you roll with either of these guys.  If I had to give someone the edge I’d go with Palmer, who is at home.

Solid Alternatives:
Matt Cassel – Faces San Diego at home.  Will likely get down early and have to pass a lot.
Shaun Hill – He hasn’t had to do too much yet, but will likely need to throw a bit more to keep up with Houston.  Having Frank Gore back should help.
Brett Favre – Favre has played outstanding, but Pittsburgh is tough.
Chad Henne – Looked great on MNF.  Will have to be on his game to keep up with New Orleans.
Mark Sanchez – Faces Oakland, which should be heavy on the run, but is building a rappor with Braylon Edwards.

Desperation Time:
Josh Johnson – Belichick has a way of mixing up young QBs.  Be very careful using Johnson.
Jason Campbell – I don’t love him against Philly, but odds are he’ll have to throw a lot as Philly rolls.
Derek Anderson – You aren’t using DA are you?  Do you want to lose?
Jake Delhomme – Will he complete more to Steve Smith or Buffalo defenders?  Though, he is better than some of the options this week.
Mark Bulger – Indy gets up big.  Bulger is forced to pass.  Indy knows it and brings the heat.  It doesn’t end well.
JaMarcus Russell – You’re almost better off using Julian Edelman and hoping he catches a TD pass from Tom Brady.

Running Backs
Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno, Kevin Smith, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Chris Johnson will leave you short at RB this week.

High-end Alternatives:
Joseph Addai – Should put up good numbers against St. Louis.
Thomas Jones – Shockingly flew under the radar again this year.  He’ll destroy Oakland.

Solid Alternatives:
Donald Brown – They’ll be plenty for Brown too against the Rams.
Jonathan Stewart – Buffalo has gone in the tubes.  J-Stew should finish them off.
Ricky Williams – Two-headed RB attack with Ronnie Brown is devastating.  They have that Wildcat rolling.  There’s enough for both backs.
Marshawn Lynch – Rounding into shape.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Arizona is tough against the run, but the G-Men’s line is nastier.
Rashard Mendenhall – Minnesota presents his first challenge.
Tim Hightower – Should catch plenty of passes as Warner checks down to avoid the Giants pass rush.
Leon Washington – Will make a dazzling play and then Al Davis will want him.
Laurence Maroney – Welcome back to fantasy rosters Mr. Maroney.  Should put up decent numbers against Tampa Bay.

Desperation Time:
Jamal Lewis – The Browns are setting back the game of football.
Larry Johnson – LJ was decent last week.  Can he pull it off again?
Reggie Bush – It’s sad he’s fallen this far off.
LeSean McCoy – Hard to get cleanup duty against divisional foes, but you never know.
Justin Fargas – He should start if you need a warm body.

Wide Receivers
Derrick Mason, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnon, Mike Sims-Walker, Nate Burleson, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are the toughest bye week losses this week.

Solid Alternatives:
Austin Collie/Pierre Garcon – Depends on Anthony Gonzalez’s availability, but if he can’t go they are both solid options against the Rams.  If he can go, bump them down a bit.  I rank Collie higher than Garcon.
Miles Austin – Roy Williams will probably play, but Austin showed he can be relied on for the big play in what should be a shootout against Atlanta.
Braylon Edwards – Sanchez likes his new toy.  This week he’ll see plenty of Nnamdi Asomugha though.
Percy Harvin/Bernard Berrian/Sidney Rice – Farve is going to make some plays.  All are capable of making plays.  Rice’s size makes him my favorite of the three.
Steve Breaston – The Giants are going to bring the heat, but Arizona is going to have to throw early and often to put up a fight.
Antonio Bryant – Josh Johnson is smart enough to know to get him the ball.

Desperation Time:
Santana Moss  – I don’t like him against Philly this week.
Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham – Steve Smith is the constant in the Giants offense.  Either of these guys are capable, it’s just a matter of how many looks they get.  Nicks has been better of late.
Jeremy Maclin – Capable of the big play.  McNabb spreads it around though so starting him is a risk.
Terrell Owens – It’s hard to count on T.O. anymore.
Mike Wallace – Minnesota is tough, but Pittsburgh is going to have to throw to move the chains.  Wallace could be a sneaky play.
Lee Evans – Came to life last week.  Does he have more in  him?
Ted Ginn, Jr. – Very inconsistent.
Mohamed Massaquoi – Up, down, up.  Hopefully the trend doesn’t continue.

Tight Ends
Todd Heap, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Pettigrew, Marcedes Lewis, John Carlson, and Bo Scaife are the Tight Ends you’ll need to replace.

High-end Alternatives:
Heath Miller – He’s quietly been one of the best TEs this year.  MN has allowed plays to TEs.
Vernon Davis – He’s had a solid year.  They’ll need him against Houston.
Brent Celek – He’s been a must-starter.

Solid Alternatives:
Visanthe Shiancoe – Favre could choose to use his big target against the Steelers.
Jeremy Shockey – Solid, not spectacular.  New Orleans is rolling.
Sean Ryan – San Diego has struggle with TEs.  Ryan has been surprisingly adequate.
Dustin Keller – Must miss Brett Favre.  Should produce against the Jets.

Desperation Time:
Benjamin Watson – Mr. All or Nothing takes on Tampa.
Jermichael Finley – Same as above, but Cleveland.
Zach Miller – Hard to count on a Raider, especially against the Jets who are going to blitz heavily.
Anthony Fasono – Finally had a good game.  Can he repeat?

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