NFL bye weeks have begun and it’s time to make those tough decisions on which members of your bench will move on up to the starting lineup this week.
There is still plenty of schedule left to be played, so don’t fret if your season has not started out exactly stellar.
As usual you will not find the top tier fantasy guys on this list, as they are a given to start week in and week out.
Teams on bye weeks: Detroit, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Oakland
Philip Rivers vs. Saints – The Saints defense has been ineffective this season and this week is a great time to feel confident about starting Rivers. Opposing quarterbacks have scored an average of 20 points against the New Orleans defense in the first four games of this season and Rivers should put up similar numbers this weekend.
Peyton Manning vs. Patriots – The New England defense has been weak against the pass this season. Look for Manning to exploit that vulnerability on Sunday and have another big game like last week.
Alex Smith vs. Bills – This matchup is a great one for Alex Smith. The Bills have given up an average of over 400 yards and 30 points against their opponents so far this season. With weapons like Vernon Davis, Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree at his disposal, the Bills should have a difficult time covering all of them resulting in a great game for Smith.
Matt Cassel vs. Ravens – The Ravens defense is playing tough football and Cassel will have a hard time putting up good fantasy numbers against them.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. 49ers – While Fitzpatrick has been a decent fantasy quarterback this season; he has also had interception issues. This week he faces a stingy San Francisco defense and shouldn’t put up starter numbers.
Ryan Mathews vs. Saints – He is certainly due for a breakout game and this could be his week. I know Mathew’s owners are frustrated but New Orleans has allowed double digit fantasy points to running backs every week so far this season.
Cedric Benson vs. Colts – Cedric Benson has been quietly putting up double digit points in the past three games on the ground. The Colts run defense is mediocre and Benson should have another solid week against them.
Reggie Bush vs. Bengals – Bush’s knee held up against the Jets so he should continue to have his prior success this weekend against Cincinnati. The Bengals have given up double digit fantasy points in the last three games and should do the same for Reggie Bush.
DeAngelo Williams vs. Seattle – Williams has been playing well, however as Jonathan Stewart’s toe injury improves, it could hinder Williams’ playing time. The Seahawks defense can be stingy against the run as well, so sit Williams if you can.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis vs. Miami – The Dolphins’ offensive line has been playing extremely well, not giving opposing rushers any room to run the football. Look for the law firm to struggle this week to rack up fantasy points on the ground.
Jordy Nelson vs. Colts – With Greg Jennings potentially out for another game due to injury, Jordy Nelson should have another double digit fantasy day against the Colts. Aaron Rodgers will look to him down field often against a so-so Indianapolis pass coverage.
Julio Jones vs. Redskins – While Jones has been disappointing so far for fantasy owners, this week’s matchup should be a great one for the young receiver. Washington has allowed the second-most yards to opposing receivers this season and Matt Ryan should have a field day airing out the ball.
Malcom Floyd vs. Saints – Even though the past two weeks have been ugly for Floyd fantasy-wise, this weekend should prove to be a shootout with the Saints. Floyd should find success this weekend and put up solid numbers for your fantasy team.
Steve Johnson vs. 49ers – San Francisco’s defense is stellar against both the pass and run. Fitzpatrick has been struggling to throw the ball and this week will be a tough matchup for the Bills receiving corps. Sit Johnson if it’s a possibility for you this week.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Ravens – While it is difficult to bench guys like Steve Johnson and Dwayne Bowe, this week is a good one to do it if you can. Baltimore has allowed only two touchdowns to wide receivers so far this season. That doesn’t exactly look good for Bowe owners.
Dennis Pitta vs. Chiefs – Even though Pitta scored a big goose egg last week for fantasy owners, he should have a different outcome this weekend. The Chiefs defense has given up three touchdowns this season to opposing tight ends. Your faith in Pitta should be restored this week so do not be afraid to put him in your starting lineup.
Vernon Davis vs. Bills – Like Pitta, Davis had a rough week fantasy-wise in his last game against the Jets. Davis plays well at home and should have a great rebound game against a weak Bills pass defense.
Heath Miller vs. Eagles – This week’s matchup against the Eagles may be too much for Miller, who is having a decent year for fantasy owners. Philadelphia has been tough against the pass especially to tight ends, giving up the second-fewest fantasy points this season.
Jermichael Finley vs. Colts – Indianapolis has only allowed one touchdown to opposing tight ends this season. Finley has not lived up to his expectations this season and unfortunately for Finley owners, this week should be no different.
Giants vs. Browns – This week’s matchup for the Giants is a very favorable one. A home game against a weak Brown’s team with a rookie quarterback is a dream for Giants defensive fantasy owners.
Falcons vs. Redskins – Atlanta struggled last week against the Panthers and they will have their hands full against RGIII and the Redskins again this weekend. For this week I would sit Atlanta if you have another decent defense to plug in.
Got a fantasy football question? Tweet Jennifer @themondaymommy.