The bye week we all wish didn't exist is here.
Some lineups you might see this week will humor you. In one league I am in, I am facing the petrifying running back tandem of LaRod Stephens-Howling and Danny Woodhead. In that same league, I am forced to start Carson Palmer.
There are some gems out there, though. This week I absolutely love the Dallas Cowboys running back tandem of Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner as the Panthers' run defense has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
Speaking of bad run defenses, Chris "CJ-NO-K" Johnson faces the Bills last-ranked run defense, allowing 173 yards a game. This may be the game he breaks out in a big way. I expect his first score and at least 130 yards.
I was asked three times this past week my thoughts on the AFC being so down. My answer is quite simply, these things cycle and the NFC is clearly the more dominant conference this year. I will be shocked if a 9-7 or an 8-8 team doesn't make the playoffs from the AFC. Contrarily, I expect 10-6 will be needed in the NFC to secure a Wild Card.
I was also asked who are my top 5 teams and who do I rate dead last. Well the worst team in the NFL is still the Cleveland Browns but not by a lot. The Top 5 in my opinion are 1. Atlanta 2. Houston 3. Green Bay 4. Chicago 5. San Francisco. The most glaring omissions are banged up 5-1 Baltimore and last year's Super Bowl participants, the NY Giants and the New England Patriots.
Players who should be available who may get you through these bye week blues are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Weeden, Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner, Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch, Darryl Richardson, David Wilson, Cedric Peerman, Brandon Gibson, Josh Gordon, Chris Givens, Nate Burleson, Stephen Hill and Devin Hester. Take a peek at New Orleans backup tight end David Thomas as Jimmy Graham will either be inactive or highly limited.
On to the WTO Laid Back League, where Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street" sits atop the league standings with a 5-1 record . This week, Elms battles Jacob "Where's Perryman" (3-3).
In other games, Allen "Wingnut" Seybert (2-3) faces the easily scored upon Oracles (1-5). The Oracles are allowing a ridiculous 122.64 points a game. The next closest team is allowing more than thirteen points a game less.
Jon "Houshmanzadeh" Sitler (1-5) tries to get a win against Jonathan "Foosball" McAfoos (2-4); Brian "Fish" Ferry (4-2) hopes to maintain his one-game edge on (3-3) Bob "Big Bossman" Patchen; Derek "Mountain Man" Farr (3-3) battles The Gambler Josh Cotton (2-4), while; Mitchell "Living" Wilston (4-2) challenges (5-1) defending champion Brian Hagberg.
Last week's scores were as follows: Farr 122.86, Oracles 101.30; Seybert 95.04, Sitler 85.50; Patchen 91.74, Wilston 76.18; Elms 123.50, McAfoos 74.12; Hagberg 87.08, Perryman 77.46, and; Ferry 102.82, Cotton 94.14.
ASK ALAINA: Alaina was a strong 4-1 last week with her only miss on CJ Spiller outpointing Fred Jackson.
This week's questions are: 1. Aaron Rodgers or Robert Griffin III Rodgers; 2. Andy Dalton or Jay Cutler Cutler ; 3. Doug Martin or Darren Sproles Sproles; 4. LeGarrette Blount or Vick Ballard - Ballard, and; 5. Josh Gordon or Nate Burleson - Burleson.
BYE WEEK TEAMS: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Aaron Rodgers. Six touchdowns, a league high 51.22 points, nothing more needs said. My pick Mike Vick had a strong week, but nothing compared to Mister Rodgers.
BILLS (3-3): I predicted the Bills defense would step up last week and step up they did. This week they battle Tennessee and I like the Bills in this one and in a week with six teams off, both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller could be started as they both should produce. I expect three sacks and at least two turnovers from the Bills defense this week. Start Stevie Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick and don't worry at all as they will produce. The defense also makes a solid play, but watch for Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson to put up big numbers. Buffalo 27 Tennessee 24
STEELERS (2-3): Look for the Steelers to go on the road and bombard the Bungles. I like the entire Steeler passing game this week, especially Antonio Brown. I am lukewarm on the running game that is decimated by injuries, as Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman are out. Jonathan Dwyer will be the feature back and be spelled by Baron Batch. They can bail you out if you're in a bye week pinch but this game will be all about Big Ben. The Steeler defense is an average play this week as the Bengals will score on them. I really like Andy Dalton and AJ Green this week. Pittsburgh 31 Cincinnati 20
BROWNS (0-5): Like I predicted last week, the Browns won their first game and Joshua Gordon did caught a bomb. Trent Richardson was banged up last week and Montario Hardesty came in and scored a touchdown. I like Indianapolis in this one 23-20. Start Richardson, or if he is inactive, start Hardesty as they will be able to run the ball against one of the league's worst run defenses. They allow 5.0 yards per carry.
FANTASY BUST: Last week I won my bust pick barely as DeMarco Murray got injured. This week we are heading to Carolina as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has been producing huge numbers, but this week he lays a big fat egg. Don't expect more than 60 yards as this game will be all about the Dallas running game dominating the Panthers.
FANTASY START: Maurice Jones-Drew. I will be astounded if MJD doesn't produce the biggest stat line of the week for a running back. If there ever was a game where one player stood head and shoulders above the rest of the game's participants, it's this one. He needs 179 yards from scrimmage to get to 10,000 career yards and mark my word he'll get it in this game.
ELIMINATOR PICK (3-0): Texans, Giants and Falcons are gone so now I will take the Green Bay Packers in a landslide victory over the St. Louis Rams. Aaron Rodgers is heating up and that means trouble to everyone who doesn't like the Pack.