It's Week 7 of the 2011 NFL season which means that the Bengals, Bills, Patriots, Giants, Eagles and 49ers are on byes. This could have some pretty serious fantasy implications as there are some automatic starters on these teams, like Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Frank Gore, Fred Jackson, A.J. Green and Ahmad Bradshaw. If you rely on one of these guys to help you win every week, and there's a decent chance that you do, you may have to scour the waiver wire to find somebody to give you an edge this week.
Here are some sleepers that may help you out this week.
|Tim Tebow QB Denver Broncos|
You had to know that was coming, right?
Tebow is owned in about 70 percent of ESPN leagues so there's a decent chance that he'll be available. If you do have him on your team, you may want to start him this week. Denver is playing in Miami where the 0-5 Dolphins have the 26th ranked defense. It will be a good soft opponent for Tebow's first career start as the Broncos' quarterback.
He may not be a weekly starter in fantasy terms but he could be good enough if you're quarterback is on a bye this week. Remember, Tebow has the ability to score a touchdown with his legs too and if the Broncos are close to the goal line, his number could get called.
|Matt Cassel QB Kansas City Chiefs|
Matt Cassel and the Chiefs have been bad this year, especially early. However, Cassel and No. 1 wide receiver Dwayne Bowe seem to have finally gotten on the same page over the last couple of weeks and now that they're coming out of a bye week, they may be better.
Cassel is available in 63 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues so he could be available. The Chiefs are going up against the Raiders, who have the No. 28 ranked defense in the league. Again, if your quarterback is on a bye week, Cassel could help you get over the hump and win in Week 7.
|DeMarco Murray RB Dallas Cowboys|
Felix Jones is out with an injured ankle and it looks like DeMarco Murray will be carrying the ball for the Cowboys in his absence. The Cowboys are going up against the St. Louis Rams, whose defense is ranked dead last at stopping the run.
Fellow running back Tashard Choice may steel a couple carries every now and then but Murray could be poised for a breakout game. He's only owned in 28 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues so he's likely available. Give the rookie a shot, you never know what might happen.
|Jackie Battle RB Kansas City Chiefs|
Jackie Battle is coming off a performance in which he carried the ball 19 times for 119 yards and added 20 yards on catches as well. After a bye week to prepare for the Raiders, who again have the 28th ranked defense in the league, Battle could have another big day.
He's owned in just over 40 percent of ESPN leagues so there's a decent chance he's available. Battle could be worth a flex start if you're short at running back or wide receiver.
|Greg Little WR Cleveland Browns|
If the Browns continue to struggle to move the ball on the ground (they have the 30th ranked rush offense in the NFL), they'll have to pass to move the ball down the field. If that's the case, they'll have to throw the ball more often than not and Greg Little, the Browns' rookie wide receiver, could benefit.
The Seahawks have the 23rd ranked passing defense in the league and Little is only owned in 8.5 percent of ESPN leagues, so he's more than likely available.
This is a pretty deep sleeper but desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
|Titus Young WR Detroit Lions|
Calvin Johnson has been more than amazing this season. However, from here on out, if he hasn't already, he's going to draw double and tripple coverage from any defense they play. That could be good news for Titus Young. He's going to start getting more and more playing time and the more attention Johnson draws, which is a lot, the more open Young could get.
He's owned in less than five percent of ESPN fantasy leagues so he's probably available. Again, this is a pretty deep sleeper but if you're hurting at the wide receiver position, Young could help you out.
|Fred Davis TE Washington Redskins|
Chris Cooley is banked up and John Beck is starting for the first time this season. Davis leads the Redskins in receiving yards and he may be a safety valvue for Beck if the Panthers are able to get pressure on him.
He's owned in about 70 percent of fantasy leagues so he may or may not be available if your tight end is underperforming or if he's on a bye. If you have him on your team, you may want to start him this week.
|Dallas Clark TE Indianapolis Colts|
Any given year, Dallas Clark would be an automatic starter and not a sleeper but since Peyton Manning is such a huge part of the Colts' offense, everybody has struggled in his absence. However, Curtis Painter has gotten better and better every week and last week against the Bengals, he helped Clark have his best week so far this season.
|Cleveland Browns Defense|
The Browns defense has quietly moved up the rankings into the top 10 in the league, which means that all four AFC North defenses are now in the top 10. They're hosting the Seattle Seahawks, who have the No. 30 ranked offense in the league. If you're usual defense is on a bye this week or if they're playing one of the top offenses in the league, go for the Browns this week.
|San Diego Chargers Defense|
The Chargers are playing in New York against the Jets on Sunday. The Jets have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and the Chargers have a pretty decent defense. They're available in about 40 percent of ESPN leagues so there's a decent chance they'll be available. Again, if you're usual defense is off this week or they're playing a team that scores a million points a game, you may want to go with the Chargers.