Bye week blues ravaging rosters

What I learned last week:

Something is horribly wrong in Dallas, and it’s probably best the Cowboys have a bye this week. A few of their players, such as Dez Bryant, should spend most of the next two weeks in detention, thinking about what they’ve done, or haven’t done, so far this season. The offense has looked awful since that awesome season opener at the Giants. The Ravens await post-bye, and Tony Romo has some work to do to reverse the 2 TD, 7 INT form of the past three weeks.

Play the man:

Philip Rivers hasn’t been anything special in three of four games to date, but the Saints’ defense is powerful elixir for an any QB.

Put him on the pine:

Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills’ QB won’t even save you with garbage-time production against the Niners’ D.


The offense isn’t the only side of the ball that’s been disappointing in Dallas. There didn’t appear to be any D in Big D in that Monday night disaster in which the Cowboys made Jay Cutler look like he might be worth owning again in Fantasy Football. Don’t fall for that, by the way. Cutler and consistency have never met.

Back on point, the Dallas defense wasn’t allowing many points prior to Monday, but it wasn’t scoring any in Fantasy Land. I just dumped them. You’d be wise to do the same.

■ I now own the Pittsburgh defense because someone in our league dropped the Steelers during their bye last weekend.

Granted, the Steelers’ D is off to a lackluster start, allowing more than 30 points twice in the first two weeks. But there’s hope. Troy Polamalu and James Harrison are expected to return this weekend, and that makes a tremendous difference, especially Polamalu. I say Pittsburgh starts resembling the previous years’ defenses in short order.

■ Stevan Ridley owners, I feel your uneasiness. Two weeks ago, Danny Woodhead emerged as a threat in the Patriots’ backfield. Last week, Brandon Bolden had a few less carries but more yards than Ridley. I suppose this week it’s Shane Vereen’s turn to make us wonder who ultimately will be the man.

I’m of this mind: Just like there are enough passes to go around to multiple Patriots’ receivers each week, Bill Belichick’s commitment this year to running the ball will keep Ridley viable. Ridley may not be “the man” the way Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Adrian Peterson are, but he should see enough carries and goal-line work to remain a solid play.


• Peyton Manning in New England: Good, bad or ugly result?

TIM: Good from a fantasy perspective for Peyton. Bad for the Broncos who fare better than 45-10 but drop to 2-3.

BEN: Manning-Brady 13. The winner is ... Manning.

• Does Rashard Mendenhall’s return revive the Steelers’ running game?

TIM: Not this week against Philly. Longer-term, still no. Pittsburgh’s woes go back to last year, when Mendenhall was healthy.

BEN: Nope. His knee is still a liability and possibly still al dente.

• On the defensive: Will Da Bears and Houston continue to rack up more points than many starting QBs?

TIM: No. That’s as silly a notion as a dozen kickers each week outscoring Tony Romo. What’s that? They are? Oh.

BEN: The Bears’ D is for real. Yes.

• Can St. Louis kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein keep scoring a dozen points each week?

TIM: The Rams struggle in the red zone; Zuerlein will keep getting his kicks. So, yes.

BEN: Just kick it, baby. Yes.

• It appears Hakeem Nicks and Greg Jennings are out this week. Who is the better waiver pickup: Domenik Hixon or James Jones?

TIM: Jones. He ranks higher in his team’s WR pecking order.

BEN: Jones has a guy named Rodgers throwing him the ball. I’m jonesing for some James Jones.

• Chris Johnson finally broke out against, of all teams, Houston. Does he do it again this week against the run-stuffing Vikings?

TIM: Lightnin’ ain’t strikin’ twice, folks.

BEN: This guy stinks. Forget about it.


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