Welcome to Week 4 of the CMChat Fantasy Football Hoedown. There’s more goings on in football this week than your average CMA Fest, so let’s get on to the big topics of the week.
The Bye Week Of Doom
Six teams are on bye this week. SIX!!! Players on Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Arizona all get to go on sleepovers and pig out on ice cream and do each others’ hair and nails, or whatever they do when they have Sundays off. Peyton Manning, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Montee Ball, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Zac Stacy, Brian Quick, not to mention all six defenses who are normally worth starting, are all out this week. That leaves a lot of open roster spots for fantasy teams to fill. Despite all of the injuries (and suspensions) we’ve seen this year, filling those empty Week 4 spots shouldn’t be that difficult. Whatever you do, DO NOT DROP any of the players I just mentioned to fill roster spots from the waiver wire if you have a bench. One of the numbskulls in my league just did that and I’ll be happy to add another Top 20 receiver to my squad if the waiver request goes through on Saturday. It’s more than fine to replace a starting kicker, tight end (unless it’s a top five TE) and maybe a defense (though I wouldn’t drop Seattle, Cincinnati or Arizona) on a bye week. Just don’t drop your top running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks. Those positions are far too precious, especially as injuries mount up. Be smart. Know when to hold ‘em.
More confounding than Tim McGraw’s “Lookin’ for That Girl” is the amount of projected Top 10 running backs I still saw available in the free agent market this week. In at four of my eight leagues I was still able to pick up Chargers running back Donald Brown, who most experts have as a Top 5 running back this week (and likely beyond). Not a bad bye-week replacement and possible trade bait down the road if need be. Rashaad Jennings was still available in a few leagues. Even guys like Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Khiry Robinson and Matt Asiata are worth checking out if you’re having bye week issues. Heck, even if you don’t have a bye week issue this week, it’s always good to have a few starting running backs stashed on your bench. Go get ‘em.
Despite only getting nine combined points from my kicker, tight end, defense and one of my running backs, my Takin’ Bills team finally found its way into the win column last week. I only have one player affected by the “Bye Week Of Doom” and that’s Bengals receiver A.J. Green. Fortunately, I have a capable back-up in Reggie Wayne to fill in (once again, the importance of having a solid bench). Looking toward Sunday, I only have two very minor concerns. First, will Jamaal Charles play? Unfortunately, we won’t know until Monday. Thankfully, I still have his more than capable backup Knile Davis who was huge in week 3. Second, and this is the one I have no control over, when will Frank Gore and Jason Witten finally start to put up the numbers that they should? At this point I have no choice but to stick with them and hope they’ll both turn it around. I’m a slight favorite to win this week, but then again I’ve been a slight favorite to win every week and I’m sitting in eighth place with a 1-2 record.
These Teams Stink
Much like predicting a Blake Shelton single will hit the top of the charts, it was pretty easy to predict that the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be winless after the first three weeks of the season. To be honest, the New York Jets would be in this group if they didn’t get to take on the Raiders in Week 1. I’m not saying these teams are going to have 0-16 years, but I’ll make a not so bold proclamation that these three teams will remain winless in Week 4.