Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images
Here is the second installment of my weekly fantasy football column. I hope you enjoy the wisdom I am about to bestow on you!
Undeniable Truth of the Week
Once the bye weeks start you need to make sure to pay attention to who is on bye each week. You do not want to get caught with your pants down without enough players at a position to fill your starters. Its most important to pay attention to this during your draft because that is when you are picking your highest quality back ups.
Just last week this came up in one of my leagues where my computer auto-drafted for me. I hadn't noticed that Tony Romo and Carson Palmer had the same bye week. I got stuck having to pick up Kevin Kolb for the week, and don't nobody want to have to rely on Kevin Kolb. The Arizona Cardinals don't even want to rely on Kevin Kolb! If I had been more shrewd with my roster I would have noticed this earlier and had a higher chance at finding a better back up for that week.
Now there is one position that the bye week can be handled differently than the other positions and that is Kicker. If you have a run of the mill kicker than its no big deal to cut him for somebody else. However if you have a kicker that you like you might not want to cut him and you also might not have anybody else expendable on your roster. What I like to do in that situation is to see what kickers are available that are playing either Sunday or Monday night. I let the rest of the games take place to see if I can get away with a 0 from my kicker and still win. If my team is way ahead or way behind then I don't pick up a replacement that week but if the match is close then I pick up one of the night game kickers. Be careful to know your league's pick up rules because some won't allow that type of move but it can be a useful tactic.
1. Randall Cobb, WR for the Packers, is still only owned in 69% of Yahoo! Leagues. If you are in one of the 31% of leagues that he is still available jump on it and go get him, especially if it is a PPR League. He also gives you the potential of getting a TD return on punts and kickoffs, as he is one of the most explosive returnees in the league. With Greg Jennings hurt and out this week Cobb's place in the offense will increase. There is a chance that Jennings will leave in free agency next year so this is an excellent chance to test his replacement. If he is already on your roster then start him this week unless you have established stars ahead of him.
2. I hate to have another Packer on this list, especially this week going against the Texans, but I have to include their new starting running back Alex Green. Cedric Benson is out indefinitely with the dreaded Lisfranc foot injury and James Starks is on the PUP list until after week 6. That leaves the second year player out of Hawaii Green as the Packers running threat. He started his rookie year out strong before an early ankle injury landed him on IR last year but he looks to be full speed again. He had 10 carries for 63 yards versus Indy last week and will be looking to continue that hefty ypc average into Sunday night's game against Houston. He is owned in only 46% of leagues but is a hot target with 40% of those owners picking him up this week. If you need running back help hurry and grab Alex Green before somebody else in your league does.
3. Kyle Rudolph, TE Minnesota Vikings, is a beast in the red zone. He has 4 TDs in 5 weeks but more impressive than that is that he has 4 out of the 6 TD passes that Christian Ponder has thrown this year. The surprising Vikings have been rolling and are 4-1 right now and Rudolph has been a big part of that. Kyle's value is increased even more in a PPR league as he has 19 catches already this year. He hasn't caught long balls but he has been very consistent. He might be available in your league with his Yahoo! owner % being 69%. If he is on your bench make sure you have somebody better starting because he is a truly solid option as a starter at TE. If he is not able to beat out your starter it might be worth trying to find a trade partner for a position you do need. His production appears to be consistent and I would expect even more passes his way in the weeks to come because of his undeniable chemistry with Ponder.
Bench that Guy!
Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills. He is owned in 89% of leagues but he has done next to nothing all year. He has battled injuries his whole career and this year has been more of the same. This year he is battling something else which has really dipped into his production though, and that is CJ Spiller. With the emergence of Spiller has the value of Jackson strongly depleting and he no longer is a must start.
If you don't have a better player on your roster consider adding the number 2 sleeper in this article Alex Green and start him instead of starting Jackson. Fred is a player that I always liked but age, injuries and a quality back alongside him has really hurt his fantasy value. Of course if your league is deep enough you might not have a better option but make sure to look just in case because Fred Jackson does not appear to be a fantasy starter any longer.