Fantasy football week 7: Dreaded 6-bye week brings owners to their knees

This is the NFL weekend that rivals Easter for putting people in church seats once a year. That’s right, it’s the bye week with six teams sitting idle, meaning some owners just picked up Tampa running back LeGarrette Blount to fill in for Philly’s LeSean McCoy or Washington wide receiver Santana Moss to fill in for Atlanta’s Roddy White or Julio Jones, and they’ll be asking for divine intervention to get them by “just this one week, Lord.”

What I learned last week:

Jordy Nelson is alive. A lot of owners of the Packers wideout had reported him missing to Green Bay authorities and feared the worst. He won’t get three TDs every week, but he should be a steady producer hereafter, even after Greg Jennings returns, which actually helps him.

Play the man:

Josh Freeman. He looks like he’s rounding back into the form he displayed at the end of 2010, then abandoned in a miserable 2011. At home against the Saints’ defense, maybe it’s not a 3 TD day, but it’s 250 yards and 2 TDs at the very least, and if your normal starter is on bye, Freeman will answer your prayers.


Put him on the pine:

The Jets’ defense. Something wicked awaits them Sunday in New England, where Tom Brady and Co. will wash off the stink of Seattle.


Three thoughts:

■ After his “take that, all you who doubted me” season opener in which he scored two touchdowns, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson hasn’t found the end zone since. His yards have been decent enough to make him a top 10 running back this season, but “decent enough” is not what you expect from Peterson. And the near future doesn’t figure to reverse his fortune. After Arizona this week and Tampa Bay the next, he gets three of the top five defenses in limiting running back production: Seattle, Detroit and Chicago.

■ After three strong weeks to open the year, followed by three poor weeks, which were the product of bad matchups and injury, Giants TE Martellus Bennett is ready to rebound. He’ll start this weekend at home against a porous Redskins’ pass defense.

■ As an owner of Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis, I’ve contemplated waiving him, but I can’t pull the trigger. He’s on a bye this weekend and already was upgraded to questionable after being out in recent weeks. If you own him and aren’t ravaged by byes that are forcing your hand, hang onto him. There’s hope for a decent second half of the season if he can get and stay healthy. A big if, I know.



If you have to have a 49ers WR on your roster, which one do you take?

Tim: Can I refuse to answer this? No? Then Mario Manningham.

Ben: I’ll pass and take a zero.


If you have to have a Seahawks WR on your roster, which one do you take?

Tim: Can I have a 49ers receiver instead? No? Then Golden Tate.

Ben: Sidney Rice. Don’t call it a comeback ...


Who is the better fantasy QB going forward, Josh Freeman or Russel Wilson?

Tim: Freeman. He has a more favorable schedule and better receivers.

Ben: Not a Freeman fan. He’s had one good game in like, forever. I’d take my chances with Wilson.


What will Cowboys RB Felix Jones do in his start at Carolina?

Tim: He should go nuts against a bad run defense, but my gut tells me he screws this up: Under 100 yards, no TDs.

Ben: If the Cowboys were smart, they’d run him all day long and not let Tony “Phony” Romo throw five more picks.


Ravens WR Anquan Boldin has returned to fantasy relevance. Will he remain relevant?

Tim: Yes. The Ravens are committed to the pass, and opposing defenses’ are committed to slowing down Torrey Smith.

Ben: Yes. The dude is money when his number is called.


Does Cleveland finally have a WR you can count on in Josh Gordon?

Tim: No. He’s a home-run hitter who hasn’t caught more than three passes in a game. You’ll ride a roller coaster with him. That said, I picked him up this week.

Ben: 35 fantasy points in his past two games. Hitting a home run is a good thing, and this guy’s been hitting them outta the park.


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