It’s Week 7 and there are six teams with a bye week. The injuries continue to pile up and teams taking a week off are not helping you as lineup decisions are made. Here’s a little info about those that are injured or those replacing the injured that can hopefully help lead you to a fantasy victory this week as you decide who to start.
Jimmy Graham and David Thomas, TEs, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jimmy Graham (ankle) went into the bye week in a walking boot and he returns from the bye listed as out today against Tampa Bay. Graham did some light work in practice on Thursday and Friday but was declared out on Saturday. David Thomas could be a desperation replacement for you as there are six teams on byes and many of the waiver wire tight ends have probably been scooped up. As far as his opponent, Tampa Bay has given up catches and yards to some of the better tight ends but have surrendered just one touchdown all season to the position. Greg Olsen (6-56, Martellus Bennett (5-72) and Fred Davis (4-70) have had the bigger days, with Bennett scoring the lone touchdown.
Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts
Richardson (ribs) saw limited work the last three days of practice this week and it could just be a matter of how much of a pain tolerance the rookie running back has. One thing that should brighten him up is the Colts' defense, or lack thereof, against fantasy RBs. They are third worst at it this season and just let Shonn Greene — yes, that Shonn Greene — rip off 161 yards and three scores on 32 carries. It's the second time in three games the feature back has gone for at least 161; Maurice Jones-Drew went for 177 and a score on 28 carries in Week 3. It's a noon game, and even if he were on a shared amount of carries with Montario Hardesty, the matchup is too good to let go by for Richardson.
Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch, RBs, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday night)
The Pittsburgh backfield is a mess with injuries and usage. Just when Mendenhall returned from injury and was the bell cow, an Achilles injury has sidelined him for Sunday night's game against the Bengals. Redman is also out for the game with an ankle injury. That leaves Batch and Dwyer. Dwyer was a healthy scratch last week, so trusting him is a little dicey. But we've seen plenty of players go from zero action to featured player in a week's time. Batch stepped in and carried the ball 10 times for 22 yards against a Tennessee defense that is sixth worst in the league against defending fantasy RBs. It took until Mendenhall returned in Week 5 for the Steelers to get a double-digit fantasy back and they are 31st in the league in rushing. While Cincinnati is ninth worst in the league in points allowed to fantasy backs, it's a tough call to say "go with any Steelers running back tonight."
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter