Generally speaking, I'm a proponent of "live for today" fantasy management. I never understand when some owners start picking out their Week 14 tight end and their Week 15 defense several months in advance. The NFL is the ultimate reshuffle league, and that reshuffling can happen at any time. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. Don't make hard assumptions on players with significant injuries. Focus on what's in front of you. Let's try to build a lead, see if the others can catch us.
That all said, we need to take a few minutes to jump ahead to Week 7. There's one key issue from that slate that deserves immediate attention.
The standard bye week for 2012 is a four-team holiday; that's what we're getting in most segments, including this week. But only two teams rested back in Week 4, and to make up for that later, we're getting a jumbo-sized bye week in Week 7. A whopping six teams are excused from action next week, and just about every fantasy owner is going to feel the sting. Let's examine the soon to be missing; look at all the stars who can't help you in your seventh fantasy game:
-- No Falcons next week. Scratch off Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner.
-- No Broncos next week. Peyton Manning and passing game take a break, along with Willis McGahee.
-- No Chiefs in Week 7. Hey, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are legitimate losses.
-- The Dolphins take a break. We'll miss you, Reggie Bush and Brian Hartline. Davone Bess is a deep-league loss, too.
-- The Chargers won't be in action. Put those Norv Turner jokes on ice for a while. Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, a handful of useful receivers, all taken off the board.
-- And last but not least, Philadelphia does not play in Week 7. Scratch Michael Vick, Shady McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek from your plans. But take heart in one thing: Andy Reid is 13-0 in post-bye games, so your favorite Eagles should be well primed for the Week 8 showdown against Atlanta.
Talk about a mother lode of talent. You could stock most of the Pro Bowl with the skill players here.
Shrewd fantasy owners will probably want to give the Week 7 slate a quick look before shifting back into Week 6 mode. Maybe there's one or two proactive moves you can make now that will help you later. I've been doing this over the last day or so, in part because I've blown a lot of my FAAB funds in leagues, here and there. But no one wants to hear about my first-world problems.
A few Week 7 schedule notes that might be of interest:
-- Tennessee is at Buffalo, which means Scott Chandler wins the tight-end lottery.
-- The New Orleans offensive (and defensive) circus plays at Tampa Bay. Washington's carnival is at the Giants.
-- Jacksonville is at Oakland. Maybe the leaky Raiders secondary can get Justin Blackmon going.
-- The Patriots host the Jets. I've already made a preemptive New England defense grab in one pool.
-- Minnesota hosts Arizona. Even if you don't like the Vikings defense at Washington for this week (I realize Minnesota is no secret at 64-percent ownership), you'll want them next week.
There's no one-size-fits-all to this sort of thing. Just know we have a funky schedule next week. In some instances, you might want to make a play or two now. Your call, gamer.