For the first time in about a month, the bye week doesn't take a huge bite out of fantasy lineups. Outside of the guys from Green Bay, only Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Larry Fitzgerald are regular fantasy starters taking a seat this week. No doubt you've already budgeted for those losses. Moreover, next week is the final week any teams are on bye, with the Vikings, Giants, Seahawks and Titans getting the week off. At this point, the depth that got many through the middle of the fantasy regular season is not nearly as important. Now is the time you want to marginalize the decision-making process and maximize the starting lineup. If you've got excess depth, now is the time to sell it for an upgrade that can put you over the top.
The strategy behind this is simple enough. When regular starters are going on bye, you need guys like Vick Ballard and Rashad Jennings and Sidney Rice on your roster. Now that your team will be at full strength every week, barring injuries, those guys become a lot less important. Unless you're spectacularly thin at running back, you probably won't have many opportunities to start Ballard again this season. However, there invariably is an owner in every league who
Pulling off a two-for-one trade is easier said than done. The goal is to trade the second and third best players in the deal for the best. For example, let's say in a league where you can only start two running backs, you have Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner and Ahmad Bradshaw. If you can find an owner who is thin in the backfield, but has, say, C.J. Spiller, dealing Turner and Bradshaw for the Bills' back makes sense. You no longer need the insurance that Turner and Bradshaw provide for each other. The name of the game at this stage of the year is getting the absolute best weekly lineup. Spiller, or someone else like that, allows you to field a starting lineup with a higher ceiling.
This is likely the last chance to make an impact trade before most leagues hit their trade deadline. Look for owners who are particularly weak at a position where you have some depth, and see if you can pull off one of these two-for-one deals. You'll be happy you did come the end of December.
That's what I think. Here's what I think about what other people think this week.
• Over at Yahoo!, two of the three writers participating in their weekly over/under column say
• Michael Fabiano at NFL.com suggests that
• Aaron Rodgers is on a bye this week, but there's reason to believe he may be even better when Green Bay returns. Jonathan Bales at RotoWire (subscription required) finds that Rodgers has thrown an
• Mixed into this Start 'Em, Sit 'Em column by CBS.com's Jamey Eisenberg is a note on why the Bills
• Heading back over to Yahoo!, Brad Evans has
• Finally, Matthew Berry at ESPN