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The Miami Dolphins are on their bye week, enjoying their one week off for the season, which means we get a weekend to just enjoy football. That does not mean we are not all trying to make sure our fantasy football teams are ready for tomorrow's games. Why should you start and who should be on your bench? We take a look at a few suggestions.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Manning has started off hot this year, and he now gets to face a San Francisco 49ers defense that cannot seem to get it together on the road. Everything seems to be pointing in New York's favor with this game, especially with San Francisco having to come all the way to the east coast. The only way this could be a better situation for the Giants is if this game was a 1pm ET game. Manning should be able to put up some good numbers against the 49ers this week, and you should take advantage of it.
Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens
Forsett ran all over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, and now gets a shot at the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed 141.5 rushing yards per game so far this year, 31st in the league (only the Dolphins are worse). Steve Smith is injured, being listed as doubtful for the game after not practicing all week, which should only add to Forsett's work load. Get him into your lineup.
Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens
I do not like going straight back to the same game for the wide receiver starter after using Forsett as the running back, but the Ravens are thin at receiver, and they have to throw the ball to someone. Again, they are facing the Browns, who are ranking a little better than their rush defense, are are still just 22nd in the league. Last week, Aiken caught seven passes for 77 yards and a score. Against the Browns, he may be able to do even better.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
Clay is becoming a bigger part of the Bills offense each and every week, and that should continue against the Tennessee Titans this weekend. Buffalo is going to be playing without running backs LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Karlos Williams (concussion), both of whom have been ruled out of Sunday's game. Add in wide receiver Sammy Watkins' status as questionable with a calf injury, and Clay becomes an even bigger part of the offense.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Another week of proof is needed before Brees can be declared a must start each week. His numbers looked good last week against the Dallas Cowboys, but can he do it again, and can he do it on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles? Brees' 400th career touchdown pass and second of the game against Dallas came in overtime on an 80-yard catch and run. That does not exactly scream that he is back to being the dominant, sure-fire fantasy starter we all expect to see. Don't start him this week and wait for him to back up one good performance with another.
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Hyde is nines in the league in rushing yards this year and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He has been a good option through the first four games of the season, but his production has fallen off since his 26 carry, 168 yards Week 1 performance. This week, he will be facing a New York Giants defense this week who is number one in the league in rushing yards per game allowed, as well as yards per attempt allowed at 3.1. Things are not looking up for Hyde this week.
Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
I liked Tate at the start of the year, going with the idea that Detroit's second wide receiver option would get plenty of targets when Calvin Johnson gets all the defensive attention. That also assumed the Lions were not the mess they have been at the start of this season. Johnson has struggled this year, both with on-the-field performances and with injuries. Megatron not being Megatron has made Tate irrelevant in fantasy, and pretty much the Lions' offense.
Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
The New Orleans Saints traded Graham to the Seahawks this offseason, but someone may have forgotten to tell the Seahawks. Graham has been an after-thought all year for the Seattle offense, and it has to be upsetting fantasy owners who probably drafted him high, expecting him to dominate in the northwest. He is currently 65th in the league in receiving yards, and 61st in targets. That's fewer passes thrown his way than tight ends Larry Donnell, Tyler Eifert, Travis Kelce, Jordan Cameron, Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Jason Witten, Jordan Reed, and Greg Olsen. The Bengals have done well against tight ends so far this year, and that should not change against the Seahawks.