Week 7 absolutely savages fantasy owners. Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on their byes. That means Michael Turner, Willis McGahee, Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush, LeSean McCoy and Ryan Mathews -- likely all, at worst, RB2's -- are sitting. It also means Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, DeMaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates will all be out this week. Those are all weekly starters, some of them among the best fantasy players on all of their owners' teams. That means plenty of you will be digging deep at flex this week.
If you find yourself in that camp, there are answers for you. Even if you haven't been building your depth or if you're particularly slammed by all the byes, a handful of players all of a sudden have found themselves in a place to contribute. Hopefully, you were able to grab at least one of them earlier this week. Let's get to this week's Flex Spending.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay -- In the last two weeks, Williams has eight receptions for 228 yards and a touchdown. Playing opposite Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers have quietly assembled one of the better tandems of receivers in the league. While Jackson is no doubt Josh Freeman's top target, Williams has had 14 passes thrown in his way the last two weeks. He makes a great play this week. Not only do the Buccaneers have a great matchup against the Saints, but you have to figure the Saints will play well offensively, forcing the Buccaneers to match them score for score. Get Williams in your lineups this week.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay -- Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay's backfield, a new/old favorite has emerged. While Blount only got seven carries to Doug Martin's 13 a week ago, Blount racked up 58 yards -- an average of 8.3 yards per carry -- and capitalized on his stranglehold of the goal-line carries to find the end zone. Martin came in with all the glitz and glamour this offseason, but Blount has clearly carved out a sizable role for himself in Tampa's offense. Blount will undoubtedly keep getting the goal-line carries going forward, making him an always-attractive bye-week option. Like Williams, the Saints present a great matchup for Blount this week. If you're struggling due to all the running backs on bye this week, Blount makes a good substitute.
Felix Jones, Cowboys -- DeMarco Murray will miss the next couple of weeks with a foot sprain, thrusting Jones into a starting role. His emergence comes at a perfect time for owners looking for a bridge back to a full roster. Jones will likely be a starter for the next few weeks, coinciding with the final few weeks with byes for the season. Jones will probably never fulfill the potential he had coming out of Arkansas, but he ran well after Murray left last week's game against the Ravens. He ended up with 92 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He steps into the starting lineup at a great time, drawing a lackluster Panthers defense. If you own him, you should absolutely be starting him this week. He's a top-15 running back in my book for the week.
Montario Hardesty, Browns -- Not to be overlooked in the "backup-becomes-starter-thanks-to-injury" show, Hardesty will likely play a role in Cleveland's offense this week, whether or not the banged up Trent Richardson ends up playing. After Richardson left last week's win over the Bengals, Hardesty ran for 54 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He's likely looking at a timeshare at worst this week, and he has a great matchup against the Colts. Should Richardson miss this week, he's a top-20 option in my opinion.
Jermichael Finley, Packers -- Finley's propensity to drop the ball appears to have him on the outs in Green Bay. He's clearly behind Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb among Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets, and he even saw less playing time than Tom Crabtree last week. At this point, I don't see how a fantasy owner can possibly trust him to produce at all. Despite being in a great offense, he cannot be started until further notice.
Malcom Floyd, Chargers -- It won't have an impact this week, but I'm downgrading Floyd for the rest of the season. He has posted two ho-hum games and one stinker in the last four weeks. In those three games, he caught a combined 10 passes for 135 yards and no touchdowns. He put up those numbers against Atlanta, Kansas City and Denver, all decent but not great defenses. Moreover, San Diego was throwing the ball a ton against Atlanta and Denver, and he didn't make much of an impact. I'm also way down on the Chargers and Philip Rivers. I've got Floyd on the outside of the top-25 receivers for the remainder of the season.
Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.