Bye weeks can make or break your fantasy team

Timing is everything in fantasy football.

If the matchup is right, the opportunity is there and everyone is healthy, anyone can be a superstar for one week.

Bye weeks can create opportunities for you as a fantasy footballer to uncover these hidden gems and give them the chance to shine.

This week, for example, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham are on bye. These guys are unequivocably two of the premier players in our game. They’re so good that you may not have even drafted a backup for them. I personally own them in a couple of leagues and that was the strategy I adopted.

Now I’m hitching my Week 7 wagon to Ryan Tannehill and Timothy Wright, two players I featured in Monday’s waiver column. Each player meets the criteria. Now they just have to get it done on the field.

But bye weeks are not something we should only address once they’re upon us. Next week is going to be brutal for fantasy owners, with Baltimore, Houston, San Diego, Chicago, Indianapolis an Tennessee all on bye. I’ll spare you the list of viable starters who’ll be unavailable to you, but it’s quite a substantial one.

Given that everyone in your league will likely be affected in some way by next week’s byes and you will all be scrambling for the same players on waivers, now is the perfect time for you to head on over  to your free agents page and make some preemptive adds to cover yourself in Week 8 so you’re not left wanting next Wednesday after waivers run. Be proactive, not reactive. Just a little reminder to keep you ahead of the game and ahead of your competition.
Now for this week’s starts:

8 Jay Cutler – In all honesty, the best QB start not named Peyton Manning this week is Tony Romo. But 99% of teams that have Romo are already starting him. And, if you read this week’s waivers column, You already know that I love Ryan Tannehill against the Bills. The next man up — and not a bad man to have on deck — is Cutler. The Bears draw the soft Redskins defense coming off their best performance of the season in a true rivalry matchup against the Cowboys. After the emotional dump, expect Washington’s D to revert back to its old self and give up at least 250 yards and 2 TDs to Cutler.

* C.J. Spiller – Brandon Jacobs was the number one add this week for a good reason. He has a terrific matchup on Monday Night Football versus the Vikings. You already know that because I told you Monday. And DeAngelo Williams, who is coming off a solid game at Minnesota, looks like a pretty good flex again at home against the Rams. But this one is all about Spiller. It’s time we see the C.J. Spiller that everyone thought they were getting on Draft Day. Fred Jackson is registered his worst game of the season and the matchup at Miami seems to be the perfect time for the RBBC pendulum to swing in Spiller’s favor for hopefully the remainder of the season.

* Mike Wallace – You probably saw this one coming since I’m so high on Ryan Tannehill this week. Much like death and taxes, you can count on the Bills D to give up passing yards and TDs. Wallace has been a roller coaster of mostly disappointment so far this season, but this is a week where the ride should be fun. Buffalo is 2nd worst in the NFL in allowing fantasy points to wide receivers, so there may even be plenty of room for a Brian Hartline WR3 start if you’re in such a league.

* Kyle Rudolph – This is a “shot in the dark” call. Sure, Rudolph is coming off a nine catches for 97 yards and a TD performance against the Panthers. Sure, he faces a New York Giants defense ranked 27th against opposing tight ends. Sure, he’ll be playing with likely the best quarterback he has played with in the NFL when Josh Freeman takes over for Minnesota this weekend. All of these things seem to be positives, but Rudolph hasn’t exactly been a reliable player thus far in his career. So buyer beware. However, if you own Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski or disappointing guys like Jared Cook or Coby Fleener, Rudolph seems worth the gamble in Week 7 with so much in his favor.

With a potential Matt Flynn start for the Bills, the Dolphins D/ST unit looks like a nice plug and play this week along with the Chargers, who get a chance to pick on Jacksonville.

Follow me on Twitter (@FantasyBuddha) for more info leading up to gametime or if you want your questions answered personally.

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