Fantasy football tips: Using your playoff bye week

It's nice to have a bye week. We give fantasy owners some tips on how to use this advantage.

There are some great things about having a bye week. Obviously, getting a week of not having to worry about taking a loss is the best of it all, but there are other advantages. The fact that this week means nothing to you gives you a head start on Week 15. There are a couple homework items fantasy owners will want to do before using their waiver claims/roster spots this week.

Obviously, you're going to want to attempt to figure out where your weakness will be. So you're going to pretend to set your lineup for Week 15 now. Yes, a lot can change over the week, but it should help you identify your weaknesses. For instance, if it looks like you're going to start Bobby Rainey against the San Francisco 49ers, you might want to think about using some of your bench space for a backup who offers the most upside. Also, if you have three solid backups behind three solid starters, it might be time to cut part of that depth for an area that suits your team better. In other words, overall value isn't as important as team need is. In other other words, if Knowshon Moreno is my third back, someone like Shane Vereen in a standard league doesn't have much value.

Let's take a real quick look at a few high-upside guys who might be available at receiver or running back.

Running back

Dennis Johnson - Ben Tate has a rib injury and might be one bad hit away from missing time. The Texans don't have anyone behind him outside of Johnson and he would be featured. They get the Colts in Week 15.

Jacquizz Rodgers - Steven Jackson can't stay healthy and the Falcons get to face the Redskins and their inept defense in Atlanta in Week 15.

Christine Michael - If the Seahawks get comfortable in their playoff spot, they might take it easy on the Giants. If they beat the Niners, they'll have the division locked up.

James Starks - With Jonathan Franklin down, James Starks is the main backup for Eddie Lacy. They get the Cowboys in Week 15.

Wide receivers

DeAndre Hopkins - If Andre Johnson goes down, Hopkins would be a beast. They get Indy in Week 15.

Kenny Stills - He was putting up some nice numbers while Marques Colston was dealing with injuries.

Andre Holmes and Denarius Moore - They get the Chiefs and will likely have to pass with KC shutting down running games.

Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods - If Stevie Johnson gets hurt again, the Bills get the Jaguars in Week 15. You probably saw what Josh Gordon did to them.

Another advantage is to get a jump on streaming your defense or kicker. Don't be lazy, and look on the wire and try to find the best defense. If you're torn, it's not a bad idea to grab two. That's assuming you're in good shape at the other positions. Heck, you can grab a kicker if you want. Look at what Adam Vinatieri did last week.

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