A seemingly never ending week of football started at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day and wrapped up Monday night at the Linc in Philadelphia. As we wind down and enter the fourth quarter of the season, the cream is certainly rising to the top. Many leagues are approaching the playoffs and the alwayys tricky managing of lineups as some teams look at young talent with their season's basically over, while others rest stars to keep them healthy for the post season.
Finally, full rosters for all with the bye weeks now behind us. Its time to make a playoff run, both real and fantasy and owners will be plugging in stars that enjoyed week 11 on bye. Some of the stars expected back in fantasy lineups include, Percy Harvin (healthy?), Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Sidney Rice, Kenny Britt and more. While the bye weeks are behind us, keep an eye on multiple Thursday games, Saturday games coming soon and the usual Sunday and Monday prime time action.
Can you believe we have reached the midway point? A.J. Green and Andre Johnson were the big dogs off in week eight, along with less consistent talent like Torrey Smith and Steve Johnson. Wes Welker is the main target that will be getting a rest this weekend, along with the emerging Jeremy Kerley and marginal fantasy stock like Michael Crabtree and Brandon Gibson. The early game this week comes is a AFC West clash between San Diego and Kansas City.
Did you properly space your bye weeks during your draft or auction? It amazes me that so many owners, especially veterans, fail to track this all important consideration. Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans return from bye in week seven, with fantasy studs like Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and any number of Saints wide receivers return to lineups. Have a dozen teams have week seven off, including Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. Notable players you'll have to do without include dangerous duos on the Falcons, Eagles and Broncos, Dwayne Bowe and Malcolm Floyd. Of course the knife cuts both ways, perhaps you won't have to face these guys in your matchup this week.
With the season now a month old, numbers begin to have more meaning. Injuries continue to play a role and make up a majority of the movers and shakers on the waiver wire. As always, stick with the studs like Larry Fitzgerald. If someone new moves to the forefront, maybe wait a week and see if they can turn a repeat performance. We waded into the byes in week four with only a pair of teams off with Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay taking a break in week five.
In what is now the norm, another explosive week of performances by wide receivers across the league. If you are like most, you are using a WR in your flex position as the pass catchers have been more reliable than the dreaded running back by committee. If your league uses post season, load up on New Orleans and Atlanta which promises to be a high scoring shootout.