This week sets up to be one of the most complex and challenging one on the waiver wire of the entire season. There are a few reasons for this. First, this week has six teams (Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit and Tennessee) on bye. It’s the most since we had six sit out Week 4. Second, the trade deadline is at 4PM Eastern this afternoon. Rumors are flying around, and you’ll want to wait until the dust settles before making any kind of move to your fantasy roster. My gut feeling says this will be a trade deadline with a couple of big moves that will make ripples across the fantasy landscape. Third, you have to decide if you want to be in on the first wave of claims or wait and see who gets dropped and make a move on reverse waivers. Decisions, decisions…

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Normally, I start with a little opening about the week and dive into the picks for the waiver wire. This week, I’m going to go a little different to open…

It’s one thing to get waiver advice from this site. It’s another thing to get it from someone who is in first place. It’s even nicer when they’re the same person. That is exactly the case right now in the Razzball Writers League, where I am the top banana by myself at 6-1. Hooray for me at the halfway point. Enough chest-thumping, let’s get into the meat of the column.

This week is going to be a very key one on the waiver wire. This is Week 8 and each of the next two weeks feature six teams on bye. If you make the right move this week, you can potentially sit back and reap the benefits while your opponents scramble each week trying to make moves. First, the byes. This week, it’s San Francisco and the New York Giants. Week 9 features Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Tennessee sitting out. Week 10 has Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, San Diego and Washington at home on the couch. Week 11 is a little easier with Baltimore, Dallas, the Jets and Jacksonville on a bye. And Carolina and Pittsburgh close it out on Week 12.

We’re going to have to keep this in mind as we evaluate our selections.

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The 2014 NFL season looks more and more like a demolition derby of humanity with each passing week. In Week 6, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants was the biggest name to see his season end. He ruptured the patella tendon in his knee on a fourth-down play and that was it. The night didn’t get any easier for the New York Giants as they lost Jerrel Jernigan for the season, which put them down two wide receivers. Losing 27-0 to the Eagles on Sunday night seemed to be secondary. Things worsened for the Giants in one day but is your fantasy team dealing with injuries? Of course it is. If you haven’t had a player get hurt you’re either extremely lucky or it’s a total fluke. Either way, we’ll help you get through this difficult time of the season.

Let’s look back and see the big fantasy-relevant names who got hurt on Week 6…

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This past week was brutally tough on running backs. We saw several of them get injured and there are lead backs who will miss multiple weeks from the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Factor in Kansas City and New Orleans are on bye this week, and it makes for a minefield of running backs to work through. We’ll help you get through it in this week’s column. Here we go.

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We’ve survived the first bye week with six of the better teams in the league on a two week vacation. It led to unusual results and other players taking a turn in the other spotlight. Miami and Oakland are the only teams on bye in Week 5 after they beat up on each other in London, so there aren’t that many players you need to replace this week. Oakland also needs to replace its coach, but that’s another story. But there is one player that needs to go immediately, and his name is Tom Brady.

Brady has been shoddy at best this season, and it’s got to be killing fantasy teams. For the season, he has 791 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and has failed to break the 250-yard barrier this season. It hit a low point last night when he was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who was put in during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 41-14 a**-kicking of New England. Brady just doesn’t look right. He still has Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but after that, there is little else in the way of receiving talent that he can utilize. His tackles aren’t protecting him well, and the ground game isn’t getting the holes it used to. Brady can still dink and dunk, but without a good deep threat, it looks ugly for the 37-year old signal caller from Michigan. He’s on pace for career lows for a full season and he has a Sunday night game with 3-0 Cincinnati and it’s tough defense in Week 5, before Buffalo and the New York Jets in a five-day span.

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As if the injuries weren’t bad enough, now we get to add in bye weeks to the train wreck known as Fantasy Football in 2014. This week, you’re missing Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, Cleveland and Cincinnati to pile on with the problems. Let’s dive in and see who can help your team out on a bumpy Week 4.

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It’s time to run to the waiver wire and put your claim in for Kansas City running back Knile Davis. Star running back and first-round pick Jamaal Charles left the loss at Denver in the first quarter with an ankle sprain and didn’t return. Davis took the field and had 79 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He added a pair of catches as well, and looked sharp. Davis could be a starter on some other running-back hungry teams and he should be on your fantasy roster this week. Charles (sprained ankle) looks to be questionable at best for this week against Miami. He’s been diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, and Davis should capitalize on it. The Dolphins are giving up 101 yards a game on the ground so the opportunity is there for Davis. The week after, it’s a Monday night tilt at New England (122.5 yards per game) for the Chiefs. Week 5 is a brutal matchup at San Francisco. We know how tough they are to run on, hunh Matt Forte? It wouldn’t make sense for the Chiefs to bring back Charles to get pounded into ground chuck before the team’s bye week on Week 6.

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The first week of the NFL season reminded us of how volatile this league can be. We saw rookie Allen Hurns of the Jacksonville Jaguars score touchdowns on his first two receptions. Then we saw the Jaguars blow a 17-0 lead and lose 34-17 to Philadelphia. Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens went from being suspended for a few more days, to being suspended indefinitely by the league in a 48-hour span shaking things up. Injuries played a big part as well, with tight ends Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed suffering injuries and sending rosters into flux. He can be dropped in redraft leagues but hang on to him in dynasty leagues. Thankfully, we’ll help you make sense of it all on the waiver wire this week. We’ll break it down by position and ownership on ESPN, NFL and Yahoo Leagues to help you out.

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As we open the season, all of our NFL teams have the same goal— to play in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona on February 1. Our fantasy teams have the same goal— to play in our respective league’s Super Bowl whatever week (usually 16) that it falls on. For some of you, getting there will be difficult if not impossible. Others will find the road to be easy, and cruise through the season. For me, I fall in the latter when it comes to getting to the Super Bowl. That’s mainly because I live about 40 minutes north of University of Phoenix Stadium. Getting to the Super Bowl is easy for me, even if traffic sucks.

That’s what I’m here for. To help you navigate the journey from your starting point to your league’s Super Bowl. We’ll help you avoid the roadblocks of poor play, the detours of bye weeks, and the potholes of injuries. That said, let’s turn the key on the season and start giving some recommendations for players who can be picked up now to help you out in the long term.

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