The Bye Week forces fantasy owners to prepare by drafting a solid bench for such occasions. Who are you going to start this week? Fantasy studs such as Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss, Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson are every week no-brainers. Let's look at those 2nd and 3rd tier players that could impact your team this week.
The Chiefs enter the bye week looking to refresh the legs and prepare for a match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars in week six. Fantasy owners get no bye weeks and must hope they drafted well in the 7th through 12th rounds of their drafts. Waiver wire pick-ups and smart trades could have your team suited to make a run at your fantasy league championship.
Let's hope you know already who you plan on starting. We'll let you decide on your kickers and defense, but if you're on the fence about a player or two, hopefully this can help.
Kurt Warner -That's right. He's definitely worth a start this week. Warner has looked solid all season and now gets a chance to battle a Dallas secondary that allowed Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell 325 yards passing and two touchdowns. The Giants offense is further along than the Redskins and I expect Warner to have a good day finding receivers Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard and Tim Carter downfield. Plus the Dallas offense has problems running the football and must rely on the pass to move the ball. This limits time of possession and should give the Giants offense plenty of opportunities on Sunday. Expect 225+ and at least one score.
David Carr -The Texans face a high-scoring Minnesota Vikings team that is still young on defense. This should be a shoot-out as the Texans are the number seven scoring offense in the NFL. This will not be 17-10 final score. Expect Carr and the Texans to push the ball downfield this week and try to keep up with the Vikings scoring prowess. Carr should throw for 250+ and two scores. He may run for one as well.
Michael Pittman - Playing in his second game of the season, Pittman gets to feast on the New Orleans Saints porous run defense. Pittman is a strong, tough back that can pound the football and also catch the ball out of the backfield. The Buccaneers are in dire need of a victory and are suffering a lot of offensive injuries. Quarterback Chris Simms will start in place of Brad Johnson this week, and Simms should lean on the running game to get him going. Pittman should be a workhorse this week against a defense that allowed 147-year old Emmett Smith 127yds and a touchdown. Expect similar numbers from Pittman.
Lee Suggs -Fantasy owners must feel happy to have Suggs back in the rotation. After sitting out the first three games, Suggs returned to take the load of the carries in the Cleveland backfield. Suggs was praised by teammates after his return and helped the Browns to a victory over the Redskins. His 82 yards and a score was an impressive showing against the league's best run defense. This week Suggs and Green are expected to share the load against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Suggs is clearly the better back and should get a bulk of the carries again. The Steelers have struggled stopping the run this season and Suggs could go wild. Start Suggs as a 2nd or flex position running back and you should be rewarded with 100 yards and a score.
Brandon Stokely -This 3rd string wide receiver has found his way into the NFL top ten list for receiving yards. The Colts offense is racking up yards through the air at an alarming rate. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne will get most of the attention from the Oakland secondary, and Stokely should benefit. Start Stokely in bigger leagues at a flex or in a bind as your second receiver. The jury is still out if he can continue to put up big numbers, but he has the potential for a 100 yards and a score.
Koren Robinson -This guy has done nothing all year from a fantasy perspective. Owners who drafted Robinson early on are probably looking to trade him. Don't do it. Robinson and the Seahawks have a fairly easy schedule from here on out and Robinson will be targeted this week against the Rams. The Seahawks had a week 4 bye, and usually put up good numbers the week after a bye. Robinson could get 80 yards and a score. Put him in your line-up and take a chance this week, the match-up calls for it.
Eric Johnson -This guy has been awesome this year for the San Francisco 49ers. He has been the favorite target of both quarterbacks Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey. The 49ers are usually playing from behind so they must throw the ball. Johnson leads all tight ends with 28 receptions, and tied for 2nd in the NFL with Hines Ward and right behind Isaac Bruce (32). Start Johnson if you got him. Expect 60+ yards and a possible score.
Jason Witten - Another sleeper tight-end prior to the season, but you know Bill Parcells likes to throw to the tight end. The Cowboys are now a pass first ball team, with the lack of running game, plus Witten is good. He's shown to have speed and very good hands. The Dallas receivers are very good and command respect from the secondary. Witten is oftentimes covered by a linebacker and not many can cover him. Start Witten this week and he should get you 50+ and a possible score.