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Everyone has their favorite Mario Brothers level. It is a tough call but I have to go with the water level on the original game. My cousin and I used to play it all the way to the end then die on purpose so that we could just play it over and over.

There are a lot of things I like about Fantasy Football. I think I am in love with the bye week the most, however.

Any time you add more factors into the mix “cageyness” becomes increasingly important and the effect of luck diminishes.

“Cageyness” is a term my friend the Eradicator and I talk about constantly. It is a combination of knowledge, tactics, and the “little things” people pick up over the course of time with experience.

Bye weeks are like Tequila; both are catalysts for ill-considered decisions with potentially long term consequences. The most common and devastating blunder is making a bad trade to shore yourself up when one of your starters is off on a bye week.

Last week I almost made a stupid trade because I had Fitzgerald out on the bye. Luckily I consulted some trusted advisors who set me straight and I avoided self-inflicted disaster and instead made a much better trade.

I highly recommend bouncing trades off people you trust before pulling the trigger on anything. This has saved me on several occasions from making bad deals.

A great bye week strategy is to look at your opponents rosters each week and see if the bye week is leaving them thing somewhere. This is a great situation to take advantage of someone, especially if they are down in the standings or facing a particularly tough match up.

Learn to love the Bye week; it’s going to be there like it or not. Look at it as an opportunity to let your “cageyness” be a factor and give you an edge over your league mates.

Week 5 Notable Bye Week Players

Chicago

Jay Cutler: I can’t see the discount being enough to offset the hype from his recent solid play.

Matt Forte: It is relatively tough to buy on him because of his high ADP preseason. One consequence of Cutler for Forte is that he doesn’t dump it off to the backs nearly as often and throws a good deep ball. Overall the offense is more explosive which helps him. If his owner is wiling to give a discount considering the bye week and him being a relative disappointment I’d make a trade.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers: He is playing incredibly considering the pounding he’s taken because of his porous offensive Line. Like Cutler he has played really well and I think it’ll be tough to get enough of a discount on him. I am really worried about Rodgers getting hurt.

Greg Jennings: Now here’s a great trade target. Jennings hasn’t delivered on his “elite” status tag fully. You might be surprised what people are willing to give him up for.

Ryan Grant: Has no room to run and just doesn’t look that explosive to me. He has played fairly well so far but I’m not buying him.

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees: After two weak games he is now attainable. I expect him to bounce back and contend with Peyton Manning for the top overall fantasy quarterback in all scoring formats this season. Playoff schedule is also fantastic for Brees.

Marques Colston: Production has decreased with Brees’s output. When it rebounds, which it will, Colston will be back to the touchdown-per-week pace he started with at the beginning of the season.

Devery Henderson: Hasn’t been huge yet either. He is a relatively cheap player to acquire considering his potential and acquisition cost.

Pierre Thomas: His value has increased as he’s gotten healthy and ran the ball well the past few weeks. If his owner needs a running back badly for this weeks matchup you might be able to get him.

San Diego Chargers

Phillip Rivers: He has some nice matchups the rest of the season, particularly for the fantasy playoffs. Don’t expect a discount because he’s played well but it still might be worth it to make a play for him.

Vincent Jackson: This is a great opportunity to get this emerging star in a trade. He looks like a true break out player at wide receiver this season that will probably end up with elite stats.

Darren Sproles: Huge decrease in his value over the past few weeks. It seemed like he got tired from the excessive work load. I doubt that Tomlinson will stay healthy all season and he played poorly on Sunday.

LaDanian Tomlinson: I’m flat out not man enough to trade for LT. It’s hard to even estimate what his value is. If you are brave and feel like taking a gamble this could really work out for you.

  1. sickmangarner says:
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    There’s a debate (mostly inspired by Bye weeks) in our league about ethical behavior. I’ve been getting trade offers that are of the “give him to me for a week to cover the bye and I’ll give him back to you next week” which just seems to me to be collusion on a scale that would totally piss me off if I was the opponent of the team making that trade. If figured this was a no-brainer because it would damage the game we’re all playing but am hearing other opinions in our league. Am I being too much of a pollyanna and should I be employing tactic if others in my league are? (sort of the like the argument football players use for why they have to take steroids).

  2. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @sickmangarner: That is outrageous and should definitely not be allowed to happen. It totally undermines the integrity of the game by allowing people to get away with lacking depth.

  3. Matt B says:
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    Braylon Edwards to the Jets, just sealed the deal on picking up Massaquoi

  4. Vargo says:
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    Mendenhall is a FA in my league. League has a Bidding system set up for FAs. Whats your opinion on him? Is he going to steal the starting role for the rest of the year? Should I wager the farm on him (50% of my available FA dollars)?

  5. Royo says:
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    Now that Braylon has been moved, is Massaquoi or Manningham a better start for this weekend?

  6. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:
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    Yeesh…it’s bad when you can’t decide if a mid-season trade helps or hurts a WR’s value. Braylon surely can’t get any worse than he’s been, I guess.

    Drop Hester to get Massequoi? He made it through the mid-week waiver grabs….just not sure if I want to drop Hester.

  7. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Vargo: If you are thin at RB it’s worth the risk. He may share carries with Parker, but Parker will continue to be dinged up and the Steelers want Mendenhall to be their back.

    @Royo: Massaquoi

    @mgeoffriau: Hester has more value with Cutler

  8. mrfootball says:
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    what are your short term and long term takes on these two players in 200 words or less

    Lance Moore

    Eddie Royal

  9. mrfootball says:
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    1 sickmangarner Says:
    October 7th, 2009 at 3:56 am
    There’s a debate (mostly inspired by Bye weeks) in our league about ethical behavior.

    get out of that league quick

  10. mrfootball says:
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    Massaquoi – he is the nowhere man – he came from nowhere and now he is the number 1 wideout and now will be double team – not even sure how he would have done this week being single teamed

  11. mrfootball says:
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    Mendenhall – maybe the last chance to get a running back off the waivers that will produce – at the very least he will be the short goal line yardage – a MUST pick up – hurry up and buy !

  12. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:
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    Is Shockey an upgrade from Kellen Winslow? The Shockster was just dropped by someone (picking up Heath Miller).

  13. jamiesonmj says:
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    In preseason, asking this question would get me stoned, but… start Roddy White (@SF) or Percy Harvin (@Stl)?????

  14. Tankass says:
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    @royo I like Massaquoi more than Manningham. Eli has found a real chemistry with Smith, and now Hicks is back so he is going to get some of the long balls and end zone targets that make Manningham valuable.

    @mrfootball – you can’t discount the fact that Anderson and Massaquoi were working together during practice with the second team. Every qb has a go to target now that those two are going to be working together with the first team I think Massaquoi remains edwards primary target.

  15. Denys says:
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    hmm… who will have a bigger year @ season’s end – Jennings of V-Jax? … now consider the fact that I have Rodgers… should I trade V-Jax for Jennings straight up?

  16. Tankass says:
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    @royo I like Massaquoi more than Manningham. Eli has found a real chemistry with Smith, and now Hicks is back so he is going to get some of the long balls and end zone targets that make Manningham valuable.

    @mrfootball – you can’t discount the fact that Anderson and Massaquoi were working together during practice with the second team. Every qb has a go to target now that those two are going to be working together with the first team I think Massaquoi remains anderson primary target.

  17. Tankass says:
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    @mgeoffriau – not this week

  18. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:
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    @Tankass: I know Shockey has a bye week….I’m talking in the future.

  19. timSTi says:
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    Big decision over here. Orton vs NE or Cassel vs DAL?

    I just traded Brandon Marshall and Nate Washington for Jay Cutler to improve my QB situation but Cutler is on a bye this week.

    Also who out of Orton & Cassel should I drop as I don’t want 2 back up QB’s.

  20. stumanji says:
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    @sickmangarner: That was a huge problem in my league last year. I agree that “one week trades” constitue collusion and I made a big stink about it last year. (Similarly, we had problems with trades being made with injury clauses, i.e., “if player X gets hurt we undo the trade,” but that’s another topic). After a great debate, we realized policing trades is an inexact science, so the only thing you can really do about it is to disallow the 2nd half of the trade.

  21. Chris says:
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    Which 2 should I play this week in PPR? SJAX, K.SMITH, R. MENDENHALL
    Please help DOC and DREW

  22. stumanji says:
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    @Denys: I wouldn’t trade VJax for Jennings straight up. Even if Jackson falls off a bit, he’s still going to put up big numbers in that SD offense. Maybe if you got Jennings and a RB2/Flex-type player it would be worth it.

  23. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @timSTi: i’d start cassell this week. dallas is like bottom 5 in the league against the pass. but i’d probably keep orton as a long–term backup. just more weapons and a better situation all around. plus he still gets to throw on the chiefs’ D twice, while cassell has to throw on the broncos’ D twice.

  24. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @Chris: sjax and smith. but monitor smith’s health situation and the fwp health situation. mendenhall probably won’t bring much extra to ppr formats with moore being the 3rd down guy.

  25. premiumwr says:
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    Hey guys, I’m trying to trade for a WR. Which WR do you guys like better going forward:
    Gregg Jennings or Roddy White?
    Please advise.

  26. JevinButler says:
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    Ok, so I picked up Heath Miller to start in Celek’s stead last week, and he was kind of awesome. Who do I start this week? Celek vs TB or Miller vs. Detroit? I’m leaning Celek just because I know he’ll get the looks.

  27. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    ha,i was really surprised to be able to add heath miller,favre,jamal lewis and massaquoi in the last week,miller subs for gates this week,favre for big ben week 8(no other qb`s worth anything left)lewis could still be a starting rb(cant hurt )and massaquoi,some 2nd team wr`s start out real hot with a newly promoted qb then return to practice duty ,but in this case with edwards(i smacked that 130 pound dude)being traded massaquoi should continue to get targets,i had a 1st option waiver on britt but had to settle for massaquoi,in a 12 team league i was really surprised to see miller and favre for sure and even lewis this early in the year

  28. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @premiumwr: both great wr`s and they might come a little cheaper than on draft day,id make an offer on both

  29. Matt B says:
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    Rank these 3 going forward in PPR: Harvin, Knox, Massaquoi

    (is it crazy that I have Harvin as 3rd due to least looks?)

  30. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Matt B: i think harvin is the best player,but due to favre having berrian ,rice,shaincoe and peterson,and the same for knox in chicago we might be surprised to see massaquoi top the fantasy scoring,that said id rather own harvin until massaquoi and anderson prove they can move the ball and get in the endzone

  31. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @premiumwr: i’d lean white. ATL has a pretty weak schedule

  32. tenken says:
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    I just used your bye week advice to get greg jennings for steve smith (NYG) in a non ppr league. Hopefully this pays off.

  33. Doc

    Doc says:
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    Hi all, I’ve been out. Looks like you guys are helping each other out pretty well. If anybody wants my opinion on something ask away.

  34. Marvin N. says:
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    Hey guys,

    I just got a trade offer I’m struggling with:

    I’d give up Portis/Betts/Britt
    He’d give up Julius Jones/Edge/Housh

    or

    I’d give up Portis/Betts/Walter
    He’d give up JJ/Edge/Sims-Walker

    Which is the better move?

  35. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Marvin N.: I wouldn’t consider Edge as the backup, more like Forsett so he would be a drop. I like Sims-Walker more than Housh as long as Hass is hurting. I think the combo of Portis and Betts will probably outplay JJ and Forsett overall so I wouldn’t do it.

  36. xopchipili says:
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    in a real deep league, need some depth on WR, now that Edwards is out, who do you like best of Stuckey, Robiskie, Furrey?

  37. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Doc: crabbtree signed,better grab him doc,i dont have room with all my bye`s coming up,i cant hardly even make a trade,would you trade my welker and massaquuoi for jennings?or t.o and massaquoi?

  38. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @xopchipili: i read somewhere to look for robiskie maybe stepping up,

  39. premiumwr says:
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    Doc,

    I’m trading Mendenhall and K. Walter for G. Jennings and S. Rice in PPR. Is this a good trade for me?

  40. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @xopchipili: Stuckey then Furrey, but it’s pretty slim between the 3.

    @AL KOHOLIC: If you could trade TO and Mass that would be great. I’d do the other as well.

    @premiumwr: As long as you are strong at RB yes.

  41. nate says:
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    I see two questions about trading Kevin Walter. I personally would not be in a rush to do that. He had a huge week, then was quiet last week (so was Andre Johnson, the Texans stopped throwing when they realized Oakland didn’t really want to play).

    Being the undisputed number two, across from Andre Johnson and a red zone target on a team that likes to throw as much as Houston makes Walter more of a buy than a sell in my book.

  42. Lis Franc says:
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    In a 16 team league with a ragtag army of trash runningbacks (JJ, Mewelde Moore, M. Bush, J. Lewis, L. White, F. Jones) – essentially need to offload one to pick up a bye week DEF. Is Lendale White going to do anything this season? There are some similar backs to, say, Mewelde (like K. Faulk) on the WW, but it’s pretty sparse.

  43. Royo says:
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    Another toss up for this week: Berrian (@Stl) or Massaquoi (@Buff)

  44. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    TE bye week question:

    heap or mercedes?

  45. matthole says:
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    Have Chicago def – bye week……which def would you start this week: NE, MIA, JAC, BUF, ARI, CAR, SEA

    Thanks

  46. Denys says:
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    huge problem, with Rodgers on bye-week, i’m down to:

    Chad Henne, David Carr (if he plays), Daunte Culpepper (will likely play)… and that’s about all that looks apetizing on the waivers.

    which fool do i plug and play for a week?

  47. Denys says:
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    @matthole: look @ the match-ups, may be the best way to go about things. i could see browns playing really bad @ buffalo, everyone is down about their secondary, but i’m not so sure browns will play like they did against cinci – in-state rival removed and all.

  48. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @matthole: i’d probably go carolina. not that they are anything special, but when was the last time washington scored more than 20 points? at least you know they shouldn’t hurt you.

  49. nate says:
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    @denys: Honestly, I would probably go with Culpepper. The Steelers are susceptible to the pass, especially if Polamalu is out again. The Giants will probably just run all over Oakland, and I would not want to play Henne against the Jets defense.

  50. sickmangarner says:
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    I’m trying to sell high on Manningham and am offering him for Jennings (we’re all in Ann Arbor so Manningham’s a homer). Good trade?

  51. Sean says:
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    Which pair of backup/sleeper RB’s would you rather have the rest of the way?

    1. Ryan Moats and Shonn Greene
    2. Chris Brown and Justin Forsett

    Or which combination of 2?

    _________________
    12 Team PPR League (1 Point)
    Starters – QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, D, K, Flex*
    *Flex can be ANY position

    Starters -
    QB – Rivers
    Flex – Farve
    RB – A. Peterson
    RB – C. Portis/C. Benson
    WR – R. White
    WR – D. Jackson
    WR – S. Moss
    TE – Shiancoe
    D – Vikings
    K – Nedney

    Bench:
    RBs – F. Jones, C. Brown, J. Forsett
    WRs – J. Gage, M. Clayton, M. Wallace
    QB – D. Anderson

  52. jamiesonmj says:
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    rank these best to worst to have rostered & play this week: mendenhall, mccoy, jerome harrison

  53. jamiesonmj says:
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    Also, @jamiesonmj: In preseason, asking this question would get me stoned, but… start Roddy White (@SF) or Percy Harvin (@Stl)?????

  54. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    @Royo: I’d go with Berrian, warmer climate and better matchup

  55. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Sean: I like Greene and Forsett

    @jamiesonmj: Mendenhall (looks like Parker won’t play), Harrison, McCoy

    @jamiesonmj: White

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