Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week 7 Rankings: The after-bye bump

Posted By Bill Bender 10:19 AM

Do you believe in the power of the bye week?

You should. Teams are 6-2 coming out of the bye this season, complete with a 237-144 advantage on the scoreboard. It has led to some big-top fantasy performances.

Donovan McNabb's best game this season (264 yards, 3 TDs) came after the bye week. The "Roddy White Explosion" -- which featured 210 yards and two TDs was after a bye week. Drew Brees carved up the Giants -- yes, the Giants -- for 369 yards and four TDs.

You guessed it. That came after the bye week, too. An extra week of rest and practice makes a world of difference, especially in a film-driven copycat league. Never underestimate the side effects in your fantasy league.

Here are a few players returning from a bye week who will be a little better than usual this week:

QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys. Overrated. Overhyped. Owners go overboard with their personal hatred of Romo. From a fantasy standpoint, it's not fair. Romo has 608 yards with three TDs and one interception in two home games, and he has thrown for more than 350 yards twice. Atlanta ranks 21st in pass defense. Look for Romo to have better numbers than Matt Ryan, the quarterback who will receive all the over-the-top love.

RB: Frank Gore, 49ers. Owners tend to worry too much when playing a previously injured player in his first game back. Coming out of the bye week, that shouldn't be a concern here. Gore (ankle) returned to practice, and he faces a Texans defense that has surrendered a league-worst 10 rushing TDs. Even in a 60-40 split with Glen Coffee, Gore will get goal-line touches. He's a RB2, for sure.

WR: Ted Ginn, Dolphins. Picking the right Miami receiver is tricky; four different players have led the team in receiving in five games. Ginn, however, is the only Dolphins receiver to hit the 100-yard mark. Chad Henne connected with Ginn in the Monday night win against New York in Week 5, and he'll take a few shots downfield against the undefeated Saints. Ginn will flex his value.

TE: Jason Witten, Cowboys. Witten remains a factor in point-per-reception leagues (28 receptions), but the yards (259), yards per catch (9.3) and TDs are a disappointment. That had to be addressed during the bye week -- perhaps by Jerry Jones -- and Romo will look Witten's way against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed 68.8 yards per game and three TDs to tight ends this season.

DEF: Colts defense. Peyton Manning isn't the only Indianapolis Colt who will benefit from an extra week of film study. In this case, most of it involves stopping Steven Jackson. The Colts -- second in the league in scoring defense (14.2) -- should have an easy time making the Edward Jones Dome their home away from home.

K: Matt Stover. Stover had an extra week of practice with his new team, and that should help eliminate any procedural issues with rookie holder Pat McAfee. Stover's first game is against a St. Louis defense that ranks 30th in points allowed.