By Eric Mack
October 05, 2012

We are into October, which means the bye weeks have begun. Instead of spending your free time overanalyzing which one-week scrub you are going to use as a stopgap in your lineup, pour over your opportunities in the trade market. Now is the time to buy or sell. Heck, you can even flip the script and use the bye weeks to your advantage. In this week's Scouting Report, we look at the All-Buy Low Team:

QB -- Tony Romo, Cowboys: He looks awful right now, but there is just too much talent around him to stay down. Unless Romo gets benched, you will want to have this guy on your roster. The bye week is the perfect time to take advantage of someone.

Honorable mention: Matthew Stafford, Lions (only reason he's not the starter on this team is because more people expect him to rebound from his slow start than Romo).

RB -- Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers: Don't expect Mendenhall to return with 100 yards and a touchdown against a good Eagles defense, but those are the numbers you should expect weekly going forward. As much as the Steelers want to throw the ball, they are still a defense-first team that wants to control the tempo and grind wins out.

RB -- Darren McFadden, Raiders: Another opportunity to pound on a disappointing player during his bye week. Yeah, the Raiders offense is frustrating to figure out with that zone-blocking scheme that doesn't seem to suit McFadden, but this talent just needs to stay healthy. He has. Trumpet how terrible he is right now, how he's bound to get hurt like he always does and then wrest him away from some impatient fantasy hack.

WR -- Dez Bryant, Cowboys: That Monday night performance was promising and discouraging all at once. Again, like Romo, he's too good to not get it right and take off.

WR -- Hakeem Nicks, Giants: He will never fully put injuries in his rear-view mirror, but remind your buddy of that before you make a low-ball offer for him. That knee is real problematic right now so make a deal for him before he proves healthy and elite all over again.

TE -- Antonio Gates, Chargers: Depending on your opinion of Gates' health right now, you might want to watch closely this week. If you think Gates will be fine, trade for him before Sunday night's shootout in New Orleans. If you think he's past his prime, let him disappoint his current owner for one more week as they are on bended knee for those final crucial points to close out a fantasy victory in Week 5. After prime-time disappointment, consider it prime time to make an offer. Remind Gates' owner that the Week 7 bye week is the reason you cannot offer much.

Honorable mentions: Jason Witten, Cowboys; Jermichael Finley, Packers; Aaron Hernandez, Patriots. All of these guys have suppressed present-day value relative to their projected worth.

K -- Nick Novak, Chargers: If you missed the boat on the surprising rookie kickers Justin Tucker, Blair Walsh or Greg Zuerlein, Novak is your man. Read more under Nate Kaeding in the most-dropped below.

D/ST -- Pittsburgh Steelers: They are getting healthy and might not be great against the Eagles this week. Michael Vick tends to play to the competition, which should mean a decently error-free performance that makes the Steelers D/ST appear to be at replacement level. It is not. This is an elite unit still and will prove it forward.

If you don't have the stones to work a deal, or your league is just lame with regard to talking trade, the weekly waiver pick-ups are among the most commonly misjudged things in fantasy football. We reanalyze the values of the waiver movement every week right here:

Most added

1. WR Andre Roberts, Cardinals: Despite the quiet performance on Thursday, he still warrants being owned in most leagues. Kevin Kolb targets him frequently, especially in the red zone (four touchdowns). His upcoming schedule is favorable as a WR3 in leagues.

2. WR Brian Hartline, Dolphins: He should have been owned already in PPR formats, but that huge Week 4 performance has him owned in all leagues. You are likely to be frustrated with his inconsistency, though, regardless of what you think of Ryan Tannehill's progression as a rookie quarterback.

3. K Greg Zuerlein, Rams: Yet another disappointment from Thursday night, but better weeks are ahead. He has an offense supporting him that should prove capable moving the ball, yet struggle to get the ball in the end zone.

4. D/ST Minnesota Vikings: They have been great in back-to-back weeks against two very good offenses. Now, they get the struggling Titans at home. Yeah, they look like a good streaming defense this week and going forward.

5. RB Brandon Bolden, Patriots: It is rare a player has a breakthrough like Bolden has, gets added on waivers and we still think more owners should add him than the 57 percent of's leagues. Bolden has to be owned over Shane Vereen and he can take a chunk out of Stevan Ridley, too. Bolden is a great handcuff that can start as a flex in favorable matchups going forward (not this week), even when Ridley is healthy.

6. RB Jackie Battle, Chargers: He is starting over Ryan Mathews, but that is merely a temporary roadblock for Mathews owners. The real issue is Battle looks like he might keep goal-line back status. That is how Battle will truly affect his running back teammate. Battle is a candidate for 10 touchdowns now, which makes him worth owning. Start him in a favorable matchup Sunday night against the suspect Saints run defense.

7. WR Domenik Hixon, Giants -- First it is Ramses Barden, then it was Hixon in Week 4. It will be Hixon in Week 5 again against a Browns defense that is second-worst in fantasy against receivers. Adding to the tasty matchup, Nicks (foot, knee) is already ruled out and Barden (concussion) is a question mark. Hixon is a possession receiver that can be a target in the end zone for Eli Manning, too. Once Nicks is healthy (if that ever happens), Hixon will be a candidate to cut to fill a hole during the bye season.

8. WR James Jones, Packers: Jones is a frustrating player, because he is talented and plays with arguably the best fantasy QB around in Aaron Rodgers. But, that offense has so many targets and spreads the ball around, Jones can disappear in some weeks. Greg Jennings (groin) being ruled out for Week 5 provides us with some rare clarity on Jones, though. Jones starts, gets 10 targets and should be productive enough to use in all leagues. He is a sell high candidate after a big week, though. He'll regress like Barden/Hixon when the starter players again.

9. QB Kevin Kolb, Cardinals: Yet another Thursday night dud that had been posting solid fantasy totals coming into what shouldn't have been a bad matchup. Kolb has done a much better job of finding Larry Fitzgerald, which alone might be the reason he holds off John Skelton as the Cardinals starter. Having Fitz, Roberts and rookie Michael Floyd to throw to can make Kolb a surprising fantasy backup quarterback through the bye season.

10. TE Scott Chandler, Bills: Like last year, Chandler is off to a great start. Also like last year, he will regress to the depths of the unownable fantasy tight ends. Own him because he has scored too many points to be sitting around on waivers, but expect disappointment against the 49ers this week and in any matchup beyond.

Most dropped

1. WR Santonio Holmes, Jets: His loss for the season makes him easy to cut. Now, the question is who picks up his slack in the awful Jets offense? For now, Chaz Schilens will be the primary receiver. Own him, maybe even start him, in PPR formats. The better bet for fantasy stardom forward is rookie Stephen Hill, though. Hill was a Week 2 waiver-wire gem that has seen be sent to pasture all over again (owned in just 27 percent of leagues). He is dealing with a hamstring issue, but once that settles, opportunity is going to be a huge asset for this sleeper.

2. RB Tashard Choice, Bills: Here is why we do this exercise. Choice was the No. 1 most-added player last week and it was predictably a wasted pick-up with both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller active. Choice has no chance this week against the 49ers. He is arguably the most worthless player in the 27 percent of leagues he is still owned.

3. K Dan Bailey, Cowboys: A bye week is an easy reason to cut a kicker. The general incompetence of Tony Romo and the Cowboys since Week 1 is a very good reason you probably won't worry about having to pick him back up next week. There are too many more productive kickers, and offenses, around the league right now.

4. K Nate Kaeding, Chargers: He "hopes" to kick this season. That sounds like a great reason to cut him for his replacement Nick Novak, who was a revelation due to injury a year ago. Philip Rivers' offense will move the ball, but the struggles of one-time tight end star Antonio Gates and the lack of a real good go-to WR on the outside (Malcom Floyd is merely serviceable because of circumstance) combine to make the Chargers kicker a great one to own. It is Novak now that might challenge for the most productive fantasy kicker title every week forward.

5. D/ST Dallas Cowboys: This unit looked like a world-beater in Week 1. Now it looks like a streaming option. After the bye, this defense faces five straight top 12 fantasy quarterbacks: Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan and Michael Vick. It won't be until Week 11 at home against the Browns and Brandon Weeden when you can consider the Cowboys D/ST a trustworthy unit.

6. WR Brandon LaFell, Panthers: He ownership has slipped to merely 64 percent, which is probably where it belongs. With that said, Newton should only improve going forward and Steve Smith, 33, isn't getting any younger. Who does? Smith has lost a step and LaFell should step forward as the Panthers' No. 1 fantasy receiver by year's end.

7. D/ST New York Jets: No, you shouldn't use this unit against the Texans in Week 5, but you shouldn't have cut it, either. With the offense woefully ineffective and Holmes out for the season, the onus will be placed even higher on this defense to shut teams down. Save for the two games against the Pats (Week 7 and 12) and the bye (Week 9), this is a starting fantasy D/ST. Buy low.

8. WR Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys: He was cut more because of his bye week than his production perhaps, but you shouldn't have picked him up after Week 1 or owned him anyway. He is not this year's Victor Cruz -- or even Laurent Robinson.

9. K Jason Hansen, Lions: After his bye week, he is going to be one of the best kickers to have in fantasy. If you have a roster spot available with dead weight current in it, re-add Hansen and trust him as your lone kicker Week 6 on out.

10. RB Kevin Smith, Lions -- What a riches to rags story this Smith has become. He is closer to bagging groceries at your local supermarket than helping your fantasy team. The bye made him easy to cut, but it is really Mikel Leshoure and, eventually, Jahvid Best (post-concussion syndrome) that make Smith worthless.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his Scouting Report on Friday and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

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