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Week 6: Bye Week Blues

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It is week 6 of the Brew Crew Corner. Bye weeks are a big headache for most owners. Just when you get your top RB back from his bye week, your top receiver is off the following week. You look at your team and try to shuffle your lineup the best that you can. You start players such as Robert Meachem, DeAngelo Williams and Greg Little in hopes that they can fill in for a week and help you pull out a win. Maybe you guess right and you get a breakout game as did Meachem with two scores. But most of the time you come up short with no points as owners saw with DeAngelo Williams rushing for six yards on six carries.

It is a painful process each week trying to fill holes and get through until the weeks when you no longer have people out on a bye. The waiver wire can sometimes offer you help. Those that picked up a player such as Randall Cobb received 20 fantasy points this week. However, if you play in a league that is set up with waiver priority to teams that have a poor record, chances are that unless you're the worst team in the league, you are never going to be able to pick up the hot player pickup that week. That is an issue I am facing in a few of my leagues. Owners who are frustrated with players early on such as David Wilson or Michael Crabtree, have dropped them to the waiver wire for the Brandon Boldens of the week. I have no chance to pick up any of them because the 1-4 teams in my league always have dibs.

So what do you do? What strategy can you use to get ahead. The options you have are to swing a trade with the future bye weeks in mind. Make good decisions, don't just throw out players. Make a decent offer to an owner, see if they bite. If they comeback with a counter, make sure that you're not over-paying for a player just because the guy you have hasn't produced yet. Sometime the best trades are the ones we don't make. I've had seasons where I trade for a quarterback or running back and the players I had before the trade were better in the long run than the ones I received in return.

Another option, which I mentioned in earlier articles, is to pick up bye week help early. It is hard sometimes, especially in leagues where rosters are small, to stash players. If you can make due now with keeping that backup option until you are able to dump them after a bye week, then you can get ahead of those teams that have priority over you for waiver pick ups or that owner in your league sitting in front of his laptop all game just ready to pounce on the backup when news breaks that a starter goes down.

Teams off on a bye in week 6: Panthers, Bears, Jaguars, Saints

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
 
Marques Colston- 9 receptions for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. Colston has been on fire the past two games with 18 receptions and 284 yards receiving with four touchdowns. I still think he will be inconsistent from week to week but for now ride the hot streak.

Reggie Wayne- 13 receptions for 212 yards and 1 touchdown. Wayne still has plenty of juice left in the tank. Wayne will be Luck's go-to guy and should have some more weeks where he will produce nicely.

Ahmad Bradshaw- 30 carries 200 yards and 1 touchdown. This is the kind of performance that we know Bradshaw is capable of. Health is always a concern but the effort is their when he is a go.

The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Cam Newton- 12 for 29 for 141, zero touchdowns, 1 fumble lost. At least he didn't throw an interception. That is about the only positive stat from Newton’s performance. After looking as if his season was back on track against the Falcons, Newton has the worst game of his career.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis- 9 carries for 14 yards. That is 1.6 yards per carry. He isn't cut out to carry a full-load as a featured back.

Chris Johnson- 15 carries for 24 yards, 1 fumble lost. 1.6 yards per carry seems to be the theme this week. I told you last week that one big game does not mean we should trust Johnson just yet, and I'm sure there are plenty of owners that took a big hit with Johnson in their lineup. It stings more in none PPR leagues that start only two running backs.

MATCHUPS

Good quarterback matchups this week:

Ben Roethlisberger at Titans. This is a Thursday night game so you have to make your decision on who to start but you won't be disappointed with Roethlisberger this week. He had a tough game last week against the Eagles, but lit up the Raiders in week 3. The Titans are second in the league with 10 passing touchdowns allowed. Only the Redskins have given up more, with 11. They are giving up 24.3 fantasy points on average to opposing quarterbacks including Week 3 where they almost gave up 20 fantasy points to both Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill in the same game (19 and 16.5 respectively).

Kevin Kolb against the Bills. Kolb has been a Top 12 quarterback over the past three weeks even though he failed to throw a touchdown last week. This week he has a tasty matchup against a Bills defense that has been torched by every QB they have faced this season. They have allowed three 300+ yard passing games to Tom Brady, Alex Smith and Matt Cassel along with three touchdown games to Brady, Smith and Mark Sanchez. Smith, Sanchez and Cassel are not lighting the scoreboard up any other games so you know that the matchup is great.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Christian Ponder against the Redskins. As I mentioned, the Redskins have allowed the most passing touchdowns this season with 11 but they also have given up 326.2 yards per game (31st). The Redskins in the first three weeks of the season gave up three touchdowns a piece to Drew Brees, Sam Bradford and Andy Dalton. Quarterbacks are averaging 25.4 fantasy points per game against this defense.

Good running back matchups this week:

Reggie Bush against the Rams. Key stat: 5.5 yards per carry. That is the number the Rams are allowing this season. It is the worst in the NFL tied with the Bengals. The Rams are also allowing 129.5 yards per game (21st) with four rushing touchdowns given up. Even though the Rams held the Cardinals running game in check last week, they are still giving up 18.3 fantasy points per game to running backs and made Kevin Smith look like a first round stud in Week 1.

Doug Martin /LeGarrette Blount against the Chiefs. Matchups are important when it comes to those middle round players you drafted. Martin has not run well so far this season and Blount vultured a touchdown last week. The Chiefs have handed 20.9 fantasy points to running backs this season and they made players such as Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown seem relevant. I expect Martin to have his best game of the year.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Vick Ballard at the Jets. Many will flock to pick up Alex Green this week or maybe even David Wilson as he has been dropped in some leagues, but Ballard has the best chance to be the waiver wire gem of the week. The Colts can move the ball with Andrew Luck which will allow the running game to develop. Ballard faces a Jets defense that hasn't played well. Last week Arian Foster bulldozed his way to 151 yards. The Jets defense is allowing 23.8 fantasy points per game to running backs.

Bad quarterback matchups this week:

Eli Manning at the 49ers. This is a tough matchup for Manning who will travel on the road to San Francisco to face a defense that did not allow a passing touchdown in two straight weeks. The 49ers are allowing just 15.4 fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Manning has played well with a banged up receiving group but it's going to catch up with him this week.

Aaron Rodgers at the Texans. It's hard to pick against Rodgers. You’re going to start him no matter what, but it could be a day that he doesn't put up great numbers.  Houston, even without Brian Cushing, is going to be tough to score on. They are giving up just 14 points a game this season and are holding teams to 182.8 yards per game (2nd). This season they are allowing 13.8 fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Rodgers has four interceptions already this season as compared to just six for all of 2011.

Carson Palmer against at the Falcons. The Falcons are on a roll this season while the Raiders are coming off a bye trying to still figure out their offense. The Falcons are holding fantasy quarterbacks to 16.3 fantasy points per game. The defense has seven interceptions on the season, facing Palmer who has been picked off five times already this year.

Bad running back matchups this week:

Alfred Morris against the Vikings. Morris is coming off of two great games where he rushed for 113 and a score in Week 4 and 115 yards last week. Mike Shanahan has fed him the ball consistently as he is averaging 20 carries a game. The Vikings last week put Chris Johnson back in his place and have not allowed a 100 yard rusher all season. The Vikings have held starting running backs to 7.88 fantasy points per game and have yet to give up a rushing touchdown.

Stevan Ridley at the Seahawks. Ridley, like Morris, has been on fire the past two weeks. Even with Brandon Bolden getting fantasy attention, Ridley still produced. This week, the Patriots face a tough defense as the Seahawks are allowing just 46 yards per game (2nd). They are holding starting running backs to just 9.1 fantasy points per game.

Week 6: Scrambling for a bye week fill-in is just a part of managing a fantasy team. Those owners that make the right adjustments and prepare will weather the storm.

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