The second weekend full of idle teams hits on a few fantasy football juggernauts this Sunday. The Saints, Packers, Bears and Chargers all are on the shelf this weekend.
That means owners of fantasy studs like Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Antonio Gates are scrambling for bye week plug-and-plays for this weekend. Injuries to other fantasy starters also are putting fantasy owners in a tight spot this weekend.
Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: D-Nice has returned to practice this week for the Eagles and looks good to go for this weekend’s game against the Buccaneers. McNabb could not have asked for a better match-up in his first week back since week 1.
Willie Parker, RB, Steelers: Parker’s turf toe may keep him out of this weekend’s game entirely. Rashard Mendenhall’s performance in Parker’s stead last weekend makes it a even easier decision for the Pittsburgh coaching staff to keep Parker out.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants: Manning looks doubtful to play this Sunday against Oakland after his heel injury cropped up last Sunday. David Carr would start in his place. The Giants would rely heavily on the running game this weekend with Manning out, so Steve Smith and Mario Manningham would have limited value with Carr at quarterback.
Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: Welker has been practicing with the Patriots and looks ready to go this weekend at Denver. However, the always-mysterious Bill Belichick could be toying with the injury report. Check Sunday morning for more on Welker.
- Joe Flacco v. Bengals: Good week to use Flacco for those owners with him on the bench after drafting him late in fantasy drafts. Perhaps he has been Drew Brees’ back-up through the first four weeks on your fantasy roster. Time to break him out and with a good match-up to boot.
- David Garrard @ Seahawks: It is a little concerning that Garrard and Jaguars have to go across the country to play Seattle. But the Jags passing game has shown signs of life in recent weeks. Garrard is a good bye week starter this weekend.
- Glen Coffee v. Falcons: The 49ers fed him the rock last weekend against the Rams but he failed to throw down a monster day. He is going to get the call again this weekend. Frank Gore owners should use Coffee despite the less favorable match-up.
- Rashard Mendenhall @ Lions: Mendenhall is a must-start against the Lions with Parker ailing. He could easily have as good of a fantasy day as he did in his debut last week against San Diego, if not better.
- Mike Sims-Walker @ Seahawks: Same as Garrard. The cross-country travel does scare me a little, but MSW has been playing too well lately to sit. The Jags’ offense finally came to life thanks in large part to his contributions in the passing game.
- Derrick Mason v. Bengals: Mason continues to play well as the Ravens’ No. 1 wide receiver. Mason will continue to be a viable fantasy option as long as Joe Flacco is out there chucking the ball around the field.
- Dustin Keller @ Dolphins: Miami’s defense gives up a decent amount of points to fantasy tight ends. With Braylon Edwards in the fold stretching defenses downfield, Keller should find life over the middle a little easier from here on out.
- Eli Manning v. Raiders: Manning’s status is way up in the air. If you need to use him, check all of the major outlets on Sunday morning for advice on his status. He is a risky play this weekend because of the injury, not the match-up.
- Tom Brady @ Broncos: OK so you probably are not going to sit Brady. But consider this: Through the first four weeks of the season, few fantasy defenses have been as stingy against the passing game as the Broncos. And they get Brady and the Pats at home in a huge game for Denver head coach Josh McDaniels against his former mentor.
- Michael Bush @ Giants: Just because Darren McFadden is not going to play and the Raiders have named Bush the starter does not mean he should be in fantasy lineups this weekend. Oakland has to travel across the country to play one of the best defenses in the league against the run.
- Cedric Benson @ Ravens: Baltimore has not given up a 100-yard rusher in like a million years and I seriously doubt Benson is going to crack that barrier. Especially because he failed as a must-start last week against Cleveland.
- Terrell Owens v. Browns: Is it finally over for TO as a relevant fantasy player? We might find out this weekend. If the Bills cannot put the offense back together against the Browns, fantasy owners may need to consider benching TO more often.
- Roy Williams @ Chiefs: Williams has been battling a rib injury this week after taking a shot in the Denver game last weekend. His status is questionable. Not only that, the Cowboys passing game has been faltering especially on the road.
- Ben Watson @ Broncos: The Broncos have a stifling defense against tight ends in fantasy and this is about the time of year Watson starts to fizzle. He is a good plug-and-play for a stud tight end, but I would not rely on him if there is a better option on your roster.
For more great fantasy roster advice this week, including a plethora of Start & Sit links and consensus rankings, head over to the Fantasy Football Librarian. Don’t forget to grab your library card.