The bye weeks are upon us. This system of weeks off will settle into the valley that is the NFL season and will linger for the next couple months. Navigating these byes while also keeping an eye on approaching schedules is what the Fantasy Forecast is for. Here is your Week 6 Fantasy Forecast:
Clear Skies (Favorable Schedule)
Kelvin Benjamin & Devin Funchess
Next 4 Opponents: PHI, @CHI, @TB, ATL
I know the names may look gross as this duo burned many a fantasy owner last season. Looking past the names though, we see a plus schedule with a QB that looks to be rounding into form. It is possible that Cam Newton, and this offense as a whole, got off to a slow start because they missed valuable practice time in the offseason. If what we’ve seen over the last two weeks is the real Carolina Panthers, I’m excited about what these two towering WRs can do.
Low Pressure (Buy Low)
Next 4 Opponents: NYG, @LAC, @KC, @PHI
Coming off of a bye week, sometimes a player can be marginalized and forgotten. This is a golden opportunity to strike a trade. Not only is their cost potentially lower but you have the added advantage of acquiring a player you can use the rest of the season free of bye weeks. Sanders, in particular, has a favorable schedule coming up with tilts against two defenses in Kansas City and Philadelphia who are in the top-five in giving up points to WRs. The other two games with the Chargers and New York are considered tougher because Casey Hayward and Janoris Jenkins are lockdown corners. However, I expect Demaryius Thomas to draw their attention leaving Sanders with an easier path to production.
Next 4 Opponents: DET, @GB, CHI, TB
Mark Ingram benefits in the same vein as Sanders, in that he too is past his bye week. The trade of Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals is the cherry on top for Ingram. We should see Ingram as the featured back going forward with just pass-catching back Alvin Kamara to compete for touches and a weak upcoming schedule. Pick him up while you still can.
Next 4 Opponents: BYE, @NYG, HOU, WAS
Normally I would not advise buying a player on a bye week, however, the TE position has been a whirlwind of suck this season. If you are in a situation where you have a winning record and can afford to take the risk this week, Graham will pay off for you going forward. The Giants are giving up the most fantasy points to the TE position and the Washington Redskins are third by the same metric.
Evacuation Warning (Drop)
Next 4 Opponents: BYE, @PIT, IND, @JAX
Unless you have a top-tier option like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, I don’t recommend keeping a QB through their bye week in regular leagues. Dalton has a exacerbated situation. Even if you hold him through the bye week, the reward is that two of his next three games are on the road against two of the toughest passing defenses in the league. Just look at what the Jaguars and Steelers did to each other in Week 5. Roethlisberger threw five interceptions and Bortles failed to exceed 100 passing yards. No thanks.
Cold Front (Poor Schedule)
Next 4 Opponents: @HOU, TEN, MIN, BYE
If you still have Isaiah Crowell on your roster, it is because you don’t have any other attractive options. However, over the next month, it is not going to get better for the Browns RB. Two dates with top-five run defenses and a bye week mean that, at best, Crowell is usable in your lineup once in the next four weeks. Even in that game against the Tennesee Titans, you cannot be confident with Crowell because the Browns have not shown an ability nor a willingness to commit to the run game.