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The Cowboys, Lions, Raiders and Buccaneers are all on bye this week.  That means players like Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson, Calvin Johnson, Tony Romo, and Matthew Stafford are not available this week.  These are some substantially bigger names than we were missing last week so playing matchups with your backup players becomes far more important.

One player you may be on the fence about is Danny Amendola.  After scoring a touchdown off of a fake field goal against an extremely difficult Seattle defense, he’s hard to rely on for a score against the 4-0 Cardinals, but Arizona allowed Brian Hartline and Davone Bess to accumulate a combined 19 catches for 376 yards in week 4 so don’t be surprised if Amendola is still able to put up numbers.  He has plenty of potential and he’s easily Bradford’s favorite receiver so if you need him, play him with confidence this week.

Dwayne Bowe is also set for a big day.  With at least 7 receptions in each of his last three games, Bowe should have no trouble against the surprisingly porous Ravens in week 5.  Bowe has the potential to fill any voids in your WR1 slot this week as he appears to be a safe play against almost any defense.

Need a deep sleeper pick?  How about Eddie Royal of The Chargers?  Royal is averaging only 2-3 catches per game, but he caught a TD last week and this week he faces off against the 0-4 Saints on Sunday Night Football.  The Saints are letting everyone catch the ball these days, but their offense is still potent so The Chargers will still need to pass the ball plenty.  This could be Royal’s best game of the season.  Look for him to haul in at least 4 catches with a better than average chance for a score.

For Tight Ends, look no further than Kyle Rudolph against The Titans.  Tennessee is one of the worst defenses in the league against TEs this season and although he was quiet against Detroit this past week, Rudolph should bounce back well when The Titans come to town.

Unfortunately, Steve Smith of Carolina will not reap the same rewards of these receivers next week.  With 17 receptions for 348 yards over the first four weeks of the season, it’s hard to call Smith a disappointment, but his inability to find the endzone this season won’t end just yet.  The Panthers face off against Seattle this week and unless you think Carolina’s well-versed in fake field goals, 4 catches for under 50 yards might be in the books this week.

Antonio Brown may be in for the same fortune as well.  After being on bye in week 4, The Steelers’ leading receiver has his work cut out for him against Philadelphia.  Mike Wallace’s matchup is also difficult, but his extra height in the endzone gives him a higher upside when The Eagles are visiting.

Finally, in a week where you might need to be able to count on your WR2 and WR3 to step up their production, Santonio Holmes should not be a guy you look to for help.  With only two of his four games thus far worthy of a fantasy start, Holmes will make that 2 for 5 when Houston travels to New Jersey.  Look for him to have a similar stat line to the 4 catches for 29 yards he put up last weekend.

  1. Anonee Moose says:
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    This is why Razzball’s football analysis is terrible:
    Santonio Holmes should not be a guy you look to for help. With only two of his four games thus far worthy of a fantasy start, Holmes will make that 2 for 5 when Houston travels to New Jersey. Look for him to have a similar stat line to the 4 catches for 29 yards he put up last weekend.

    I’m pretty sure Holmes was ruled out for at least this week the second he hit the turf.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Anonee Moose, It actually appears he will likely be out for the season now. So even more a reason not to start him. Don’t bother picking up Chaz Schilens or Jeremy Kerley just yet either.

  2. Murph says:
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    Hello Louden

    Your thoughts on a Better Pass Matchup?

    Vick vs Pitt (Pitt let Carson Palmer carve them up but I hear many starters who missed the first few games will be back)

    Big Ben vs Philly (coming off of a week’s rest but philly D is looking good)

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Murph, I like Big Ben SLIGHTLY more in this matchup. The Eagles let McCoy handle the ball more this past week and it worked so I expect to see more of the same against Pittsburgh.

      • Murph says:
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        @Loudon,

        So Andy Reid is finally going to listen to all the analyst about running the ball more? Thats good to hear it should open up the passing game for Vick but how does he go from 50 attempts to under 20? and I hope they dont shy away from giving Vick goal line designed runs it looked like McCoy had some major issues getting across the goal line.

        Thanks I agree Big Ben slightly over Vick only due to the bye week and Vick appearing on the injury report.

  3. Far Beyond Driven says:
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    San Antonio Holmes is dead. You got busted writing your article in advance…

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Far Beyond Driven, Guilty as charged. In my defense, he hurt his foot on a non-contact injury and the X-rays were negative so I had to go with the information I had at the time.

  4. DiRo says:
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    Crazy trade offer; I was offered Rivers/Run DMC/Maclin/LaFell for my Stafford/B. Lloyd/Sproles

    My team is;
    QB-Rivers
    RB-McGahee, Sproles, Mendenhall, Hillis
    WR-Jennings, Lloyd, Boldin, Holmes, K. Wright
    TE-Gronk, Gresham

    It’s a yahoo overall points league, with 3 WR slots, 2 RB slots and no flex. QBs get 1 point every 50yrds but 6 for a TD.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DiRo, I definitely think Stafford will improve as the season goes on, but Run DMC and Maclin will both improve as well. The addition of LaFell to your WR core will be helpful with the whole Holmes situation too. If I were you, I’d do this deal. Might be worth dropping Holmes or even Hillis for the best backup QB available, but I would have said that whether you did the deal or not.

  5. Tim says:
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    Richardson or forte ROS?
    Looking to trade for a RB
    Standard league
    Thanks

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tim, Richardson has scored a TD in each of the past 3 weeks. Although he won’t get a ton of yards, he’s a lot more likely to score a TD than Forte on an average week so I’d take Richardson ROS.

  6. Tim says:
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    Would u trade Percy Harvin for demarco Murray?
    I need a RB
    Standard league

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tim, I’d say that really depends on your WR depth. If you have plenty of talent at WR, it might be worth your while to trade away Harvin for Murray, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Harvin ends the season with more fantasy points.

  7. george says:
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    Hey Loudon, great article. Would you start rudolph over gates this week? Gates gets NO def, which is not friendly to TEs. Rudolph, on the other hand, gets TEN. Thoughts?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @george, Tennessee is the worst defense against TEs so far this year. However, Detroit was the 2nd worst going into last week and Rudolph managed only 2 catches for 8 yards against them. I would still roll with Rudolph this week though because Gates has yet to see the endzone and against a defense that guards the TE well, there’s no reason to believe that will improve this week.

  8. Wishbone says:
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    Looking for input/opinions
    ESPN standard scoring (2 WRs + 1 WR/TE option)
    I have AJ Green, D Amendola, S Johnson, A Brown, B Hartline, and J Graham.
    – Green is no-brainer; debating the options for the other 2 spots.
    – Current thought is Amendola & Graham, but pros/cons for all
    What would you do?

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