Six weeks into the season is an excellent time to assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses, consider who the fantasy sleepers and busts have been so far, and take note of your draft decisions that have gone horribly wrong. Unless your team is 1-5 or 0-6, you still have time at this point to right the ship, reel off a few wins in a row, and make the playoffs in your league. We have entered a stretch of the season that is rife with teams on bye week. This upcoming Week Seven will be especially challenging, in that SIX teams are on bye week, the most during any week this season. There will be furious activity on the waiver wires, with owners scrambling to fill holes in their lineups. I encourage you to check out our weekly player rankings for this week at Fantasycpr.com when you’re finished reading this column. We do the work of weeding out the bye week players and ranking the rest. This will aid you in who to pick up and who to start, in order to help you win this week’s match-up.
You should really be looking at the coming week of play on the previous Tuesday, if possible. Give a quick check and see who you have on bye week and who you may have lost to injury. Bear in mind the weekly Thursday night game. Select your desired players from the waiver wire and hope that you land them before your opponent. Also check back, at the very least, on late Sunday morning. You’ll get a final update on game day decisions and can take a last look at your team before play begins.
Sometimes, tough decisions have to be made. Deciding who to cut when making the necessary roster moves is not always easy. If you need to fill a Kicker or Team Defense spot during their bye week, it is sometimes best to just cut your current players. If you have the 49ers defense, you might obviously balk at this. It can come down to either that, or cutting a good back-up position player, or ( unforgivably ) taking a zero for the spot. If you must cut a bench player, then cut your least productive or most-often injured player.
So, we’ve established that hitting the waiver wire or the trade desk is imperative if you want to succeed during this heavy bye week stretch. Moves must be made and player values weighed. Who should be given up on at this point ? Who is ready to explode like pyrotechnics at a Kiss concert ? I’ll try to help you by offering up some suggestions..
Here are some players that are still available in many leagues that you might consider picking up for Week Seven….
Top Fifteen Waiver Wire Targets
1. Josh Freeman, Bucs QB – Josh goes against the hapless Saints defense in Week Seven.
2. Felix Jones, Cowboys RB- DeMarco Murray is injured, and hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire so far, anyway. Jones gets his chance.
3. Alex Green, Packers RB- Green is the guy for the moment, with James Starks pushing him.
4. William Powell, Cardinals RB- With Beanie Wells out until at least Week Twelve and Ryan Williams gone for the year, Powell is the top back in Arizona.
5. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings TE- Rudolph is a favorite red-zone target of Christian Ponder.
6. John Skelton, Cardinals- Kevin Kolb is out for awhile.
6. Daryl Richardson, Rams RB- Richardson has been very impressive and has even taken some carries away from Steven Jackson. He had 76 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving in Week Six. He could be their RB of the future.
7. Mikel Leshoure, Lions RB- Jahvid Best is shelved for the season, yet again.
8. New England Patriots DEF- Good pickup vs. the Jets this week.
9. New York Giants DEF- Scored 16 fantasy points last week.
11. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans QB- He goes against the Bills in Week Seven, as Jake Locker remains out.
12. Earl Bennett, Bears WR- Alshon Jeffery is injured. Bennett is Jay Cutler’s buddy from their days at Vanderbilt.
13. Mike Williams, Bucs WR- Off to a decent start and facing the Saints porous defense this week.
14. Josh Gordon, Browns WR- Has supplanted the butter-fingered Greg Little as the Browns top WR.
15. Connor Barth, Bucs K- Should get plenty of chances vs. New Orleans.
Now I’ll list some players that you’ll want to reconsider leaving in as your starters. If might be a bit rash to cut some of these players, but you should at least have an alternative on your roster, while waiting for them to produce.
Top Fifteen Fantasy Busts
1. Michael Vick, Falcons QB- His turnover rate is appalling. Hopefully, you have another decent QB.
2. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys RB- Has disappointed early, and is now out with an injury until likely next week. With an impressive showing this week, Felix Jones might win the starting job from him anyway.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers DEF- I drafted them because of James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. Polamalu has made one cameo appearance and Harrison missed the first three games.
4. Baltimore Ravens DEF- Their age is showing. Terrell Suggs may return this week, but iron man Ray Lewis is out until at least Week Fifteen, perhaps for the season.
5. Tony Romo, Cowboys QB- He’s the A-Rod of the NFL. He comes up short in the big games. His recent five INTs on MNF equaled his worst outing ever.
6. Fred Davis, Redskins TE, – Has yet to score a TD.
7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings RB- Has not scored a TD since Week One, and has only broken 100 yards once. In his defense, he returned from injury ahead of schedule.
8. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars WR- Not much involved in the anemic Jaguars offense.
9. Matthew Stafford, Lions QB- 4 TDs, 5 INTs
10. Donald Brown, Colts RB- Should return to play in Week Eight, but has gained minimal yards with only one TD so far.
11. Philip Rivers, Chargers QB- 10 TDs, 9 INTs
12. Pierre Garcon, Redskins WR- Would be good, if he ever played !
13. Mark Ingram, Saints RB- He’s doing well these days to rush for double digit yards.
14. Greg Jennings, Packers WR- See “Pierre Garcon”.
15. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers RB- Is averaging only 3.5 yards a carry with 2 TDs.
Stay one step ahead of your opponents and start the best line-up you can this week. You’ll reap the rewards of just a little research and a small investment of your time !