With the first bye week upon us and several injuries changing the landscape of the fantasy football world, it's an important time for late-round picks to make a difference. Luckily, we've broken down the ones ready for a big day, and listed a few that may not meet expectations.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan is leading the league in red zone scoring efficiency and lining up against the San Francisco 49ers 32nd ranked scoring defense this week. Expect a pair of touchdowns and some gaudy yardage for the third-year signal caller.
Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins
Henne is coming off of a 300-yard performance and will face a New England Patriots team that has surrendered the sixth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
LaDanian Tomlinson, New York Jets
Tomlinson is just starting to get his second (career) wind, and should be able to extend his hot fantasy start against a Buffalo Bills rush defense currently allowing over 140 yards-per-game.
Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints
With Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush sidelined, Ivory becomes a nice pick-up for fantasy players looking to plug a hole during the bye week.
Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks
Forsett nabbed 17 of the Seahawks’ 21 rushing attempts last week and should be the go-to guy against a St. Louis Rams’ defense that is allowing over 130 yards-per-game on the ground.
Louis Murphy, Oakland Raiders
Murphy is slowly emerging as a must-start fantasy wide receiver. Look for him to cement this status with a breakout game against a terrible Houston Texans’ secondary.
Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers
Floyd currently leads the NFL in red zone targets and has established himself as the number one receiver in San Diego. Expect him to use his new-found status to torch the Arizona Cardinals in a blow-out win.
John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks
Carlson leads the Seahawks in virtually every major receiving category. With Hasselbeck hoping to turn this team into a playoff contender, expect him to look Carlson’s way even more against the Rams’ 24th ranked pass defense.
Chicago Bears Defense
Eli Manning makes a lot of mistakes. The Bears defense causes opposing quarterbacks to make a lot of mistakes. Kind of seems like a no brainer.
New Orleans Saints Defense
Facing rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen should help the Saints defense regain their 2009 fantasy football scoring prowess.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Nobody is putting up fantasy numbers against the steel curtain. Don’t expect Flacco to buck this trend on the road against Pittsburgh.
Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills
After two straight productive weeks, many fantasy owners have scooped up Lynch to replace injured backs or bye week holes. If only he wasn’t facing the New York Jets this week, he may be worth looking at for a flex position start. Wait till next Sunday when he plays the Jaguars to utilize him.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Indianapolis Colts have allowed 28 passing yards to opposing tight ends in three games this year. For you math majors out there, that’s nine yards-per-game.
Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions
After a stellar start to the season, it appears as if Best may be starting to struggle. After a poor showing last week and “game-time decision” status, he has become a risky play against the Green Bay Packers.
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers
Now that Ryan Matthews has returned to the Chargers’ line-up, expect the 17 carries Tolbert enjoyed last week to be drastically cut.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Not only has Rice been nursing an injured knee all week, but he also has the pleasure of facing the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense on Sunday. If Chris Johnson couldn’t muster 60 yards against Polamalu and company, what are the odds Rice can do it?
Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos
Expect the Broncos’ breakout receiver to slow down in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans’ top five pass defense.
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
After a 100-yard performance in Week 3 against a young Tampa Bay secondary, Wallace should slip a little this Sunday against the Ravens’ experienced defense.
Miami Dolphins Defense
The Dolphins may become one of the better fantasy football defenses by the end of the year. However, when they line up against the Patriots’ top ranked scoring offense on Sunday, they become a risky option.
Washington Redskins Defense
Michael Vick is going to make a statement in Week 4. Sadly, the Redskins will be a victim of his MVP assertion.
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