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Week Four: First Round of Byes

The dreaded bye weeks are upon us. No one looks forward to having to sit their best players or scramble to make a legal lineup. Most of us who have drafted well should be prepared for the first round of bye weeks with back up options. If injuries have plagued your team then you might find yourself more shorthanded then most. Don’t be afraid to make some sacrifices. Drop that WR4 or even RB5 to make sure you’re not left taking a fat goose egg for one of your roster spots. The only position I would recommend playing a bye week player is at kicker. Better yet, if you don’t have a kicker off this week, wait until Week 5 to snag a K that was off this week and never have to worry about that position the rest of the year.

In looking at the bye weeks as it relates to fantasy football, you have to consider that it is a positive for competitive leagues. What I mean is, bye weeks in the NFL force fantasy owners to be more proactive with their teams, promotes more trades and gives an advantage to the owners that are more prepared. The owner who drafted Eli Manning and Matt Hasselbeck will find himself without a QB in Week 4 if he doesn’t make moves fast. There is a guy in my money league that has Tom Brady and Tarvaris Jackson, and because he didn’t make request in time, was forced to play inactive QB’s in Week 3.

There are some owners who try to stack the bye weeks so they sacrifice one week rather then mess with several, but that strategy may leave you short in production week to week due to inconstancies.

NFL Teams on Week Four bye

:                                                                    New York Giants,

Detroit,

Seattle,

Indianapolis,

Miami and

New England

QB’s on Week Four bye:

The list includes:

Eli Manning, Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck,

Peyton Manning,

Chad Pennington and Matt Cassel.

RB’s on Week Four bye:

The list includes:

Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson.

WR’s on Week Four bye:

This list includes: Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, anyone healthy enough to play for the Seahawks (Michael Bumpus?), Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Ted Ginn, Derek Hagan, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson.

TE’s on Week Four bye:

This list includes: Kevin Boss, John Carlson, Dallas Clark, Ben Watson, Anthony Fasano and Michael Gaines.

K’s on Week Four bye:

This list includes: John Carney, John Hanson, Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski and Dan Carpenter.

The Golden Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Ronnie Brown – 17 carries for 113 RuYDs, four RuTDs, one pass for 19 yards and one TD! Welcome back Mr. Brown. For those who took Brown in drafts, you were rewarded handsomely for your selection. If you had the guts like I did to play Brown against the Patriots, then you have big ones my friend and sometimes you have to go all in if you want to win the pot.

Julies Jones – 22 carries for 140 RuYDs and one TD. As I stated in my last article, if there was ever a time to play Jones, this was the week to do so. He will get mentioned again in Week 15. However, the return of Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett’s vultures could be a problem for him to have another good game against the Rams.

Matt Forte – 27 carries for 89 RuYDs, seven receptions for 66 ReYDs and one TD. These are not the flashiest stats, but if you play in a PPR league that also rewards for carries, then Forte’s week netted you some key points. Forte scored as many points as Michael Turner in Week 3 and is currently the fifth best fantasy player in Shark Leagues prior to Monday night’s game. I mention him because he is a fantasy producer that I feel hasn’t gotten enough attention. He’s averaging a little over 25 points a game in Shark Leagues and could be a nice player to target for trades. The last three games of the season are against

New Orleans,

Green Bay and

Houston, which are good matchups to get points from.

The Urinal Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

This was a very disappointing week I thought with WR’s. Many of my wideouts put up poor stats and it seem to be the theme of Week 3.

Vernon

Davis – one rec., 17 ReYDs. Is the

Davis bandwagon finally lost its steam? Can he be finally placed on the waiver wire filler list? I’ve stayed away from

Davis since he was drafted in 2006 as he was so over hyped and went too high in drafts. He went middle of the pack this season but I still decided to stay away. Many people have been waiting for him to break out and that hasn’t really happened. He’s never had a game over a hundred yards and he has just four receptions on the year for 68 yards. I’m sure the majority of fantasy owners will dump him on the open market but the minute he has a game where he catches a TD and has 60 yards, people will claim him off waivers only to get crap the next game.

Kellen Winslow – two recs., 18 ReYDs. The Browns offense hasn’t been the high scoring offense from last year. They have been stumbling out the gates since the preseason. Winslow was targeted 13 times in Week 3 and he only hauled in two catches. One of the balls he almost caught popped out of his arms and was intercepted after Ray Lewis lit him up. You’re going to have to ride out the storm on Winslow unless you have a good back up option.

Terrell Owens & Roy Williams – Owens two recs. for 17 ReYDs; Williams one rec. for 14 ReYDs. This was just an example of how WR’s can be inconsistent from week to week. Owens, playing on Monday night last week stepped up and produced. This week, he was a non-factor in the game. Owens was targeted seven times, almost twice of what he was targeted last week and didn’t have a good game. Williams complained about his role in Week 2 and didn’t get much help from his team in Week 3. He was targeted six times while Calvin Johnson saw 10 targets. It is safe to say that Johnson is the team’s #1 receiver.

MATCHUPS

The matchups

I like

this week for QB’s:

Trent Edwards against the Rams. Three weeks and counting for the Rams to be favorable to beat up on. Edwards is playing well, the Bills have 234.7 PaYDs a game (11th) and are ninth in scoring with 26 ppg. The Rams haven’t pulled it together yet and have been pounded badly in three games. The Rams have given up 272.3 PaYDs (30th) per game and lead the league with seven PaTDs alllowed. Start ‘em, if you got ‘em.

JaMarcas Russell against the Chargers. What? Is that a typo? No. Russell played well last week, completing 65.4 percent of his passes and throwing for 180 PaYDs and two TDs. The offense may be gelling a little bit and the Lane Kiffen saga continues. Call me crazy if you will but there is always a head scratcher game that happens each week, and Russell will have a productive day. Not saying

San Diego will lose but the Jets got beat every which way and Brett Favre still threw three TDs. The Chargers are still near the bottom in pass defense. They are giving up 284.7 PaYDs (31st) a game and have surrendered eight TDs through the air.

J.T. O’Sullivan against the Saints. Are the 49ers for real? Can they make some noise this year? So far they have strung together back-to-back wins and are tied for first in the division. O’Sullivan has been following the Martz plan and has 705 PaYDs though three games. He’s completed 67.3 percent of his passes. The Saints defense hasn’t stopped anyone in the passing game. The Saints have given up 258.7 PaYDs (29th) per game with four PaTDs. They are also allowing 27.7 ppg (27th). All the makings of a nice bye week fill in.

The matchups

I like

this week for RB’s:

S

elvin Young/Andre Hall against the Chiefs. Lost in the headlines of the referee mishaps and Jay Cutler throwing for 918 PaYDs (2nd) and eight TDs (2nd) is the Broncos running game.

Denver hasn’t been the RB-focused team they have been in the past but they are moving the ball at 130.3 RuYDs (10th) per game and have scored five RuTDs (T-3rd). They face the Chiefs who will be fighting the Rams for the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Chiefs are allowing 26 PPG (24th) and more importantly 204 RuYDs (31st) per game. The Chiefs have also surrendered six RuTDs (T-1st). The Broncos have been airing it out through three games so far but they will eventually look to balance it out with the run to control the clock.

Marshawn Lynch against the Rams. Beating a dead horse? Not when it comes to the Rams. Lynch has been playing well as he has 218 RuYDs and four TDs through three games. The Rams as bad as against the pass as they are against the run. The Rams are giving up 184.3 RuYDs (29th) and have also surrendered six RuTDs (T-1st). Through the air or through the ground you have to love this matchup.

Chris Perry/Kenny Watson against the Browns. A good play for a Bengals player? Yes sir. Not because of the running ability of the Bengals but due to the fact the passing game is showing signs of improvement. The Browns haven’t been playing well themselves and are sharing the basement with

Cincinnati. Last year these two teams combined for 96 points and 1,085 total yards. In the second meeting, the stats were toned down a bit but Watson ran for 130 RuYDs and one TD. The Browns are allowing 145 RuYDs (25th) per game and like the Rams and Chiefs, have given up six RuTDs (T-1st).

The matchups

I don’t like

this week for QB’s:

Trent Green against the Bills. If your defense is bad and your offense is worse, who gets the blame? The head coach; the Rams have already put Scott Linehan on notice. We’ve talked about the bad pass defense that Trent Edwards will feast on and now we look at Green and the sad state their offense is in. Bulger has been benched for Green to make his first start of the year. Green is past his prime and should have left the game in 2006. It will only be a matter of time before Bulger will need to step back in as the starter. The Rams are averaging just 9.7 ppg (32nd) and the passing offense is putting up just 146 PaYDs (27th) per game.

Buffalo has been playing well and will look to go to 4-0 as they look to stay ahead in the AFC East.

Buffalo is giving up just 153.7 PaYDs (5th) per game and has only surrendered two PaTDs.

Gus Frerotte against the Titans. Frerotte got the win in his first start but he had an average day with just 201 PaYDs and one TD. Many forget Frerotte is a journeyman backup for a reason. Last year he played in eight games for the Rams and threw seven TDs with 12 INTs to go with it … Notably throwing five INTs in one game against

Baltimore. The Titans are off to a 3-0 start and the defense has played well. They have given up just 9.7 ppg (1st) and allowed just 151.3 PaYDs (3rd) per game. The Titans also play well against the run as they have surrendered 89 RuYDs (10th) per game, which will force Frerotte to have to make some throws. The Titans lead the league with seven INTs by the way.

Joe Flacco against the Steelers. Joe I would like you to meet the Steelers … welcome to the league rookie. Flacco has yet to throw his first NFL TD and he might have to wait another week as this looks like a defensive battle between two good defenses and division rivals. The Steelers enter this game giving up just 12.7 PPG (3rd) and 169.7 PaYDs (9th) per game. The Steelers are also second in the league with six INTs.

The matchup

I don’t like

this week for RB’s:

Matt Forte against the Eagles. As mentioned in the Golden Mug Awards, Forte is a good runner. The anti-Benson Chicago needed to help this offense.

Chicago lost a close one to

Tampa last week in overtime. They face a tough Eagles defense that played a good Steelers team well. The Eagles are giving up just 45.7 RuYDs (1st) a game and have given up just one RuTD. Now I think Forte will get some production in this game but if you have a better matchup to work with, I would take that option.

Brian Westbrook/Correll Buckhalter against the Bears. Now with the Forte’s outlook we switch sides of the ball to the Eagles and their matchup against a good Bears defense. Westbrook is banged up, and even though there have been times where he has been a game-time decision and then put up 200 total yards, you can’t always assume he can do it again. Buckhalter has been teasing fantasy owners since 2001 but has never been a reliable option. Since 2003, Buckhalter has had three 100+ YD games and plenty of average games. Although he may put up decent stats with Westbrook sidelined, the truth is you may get a 40-yard day out of him rather then a 100. The Bears defense has given up just 71.3 RuYDs (4th) per game and two RuTDs.

Rashard Mendenhall against the Ravens. This just in: Willie Parker will not play due to a sprained knee. This means the rookie out of

Illinois will get the start and has a tough matchup to look forward to. The Ravens defense has been hot and looking like the old defense that has won games for them. They have allowed just 71.5 RuYds (5th) per game and have held opponents to 10 points in their first two games. We’ll see if Mendenhall can hold on to the football as he had fumbling problems during the preseason and hasn’t carried the ball since Week 1.

Week four. Set your lineups, fill those bye week holes and look to get through the next few weeks in good shape as these bye week games can make or brake your playoff hopes.

Good Luck to everyone in week four.

Cheers!

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.