As we've mentioned before, more than once, the ideal time to acquire elite players via trade is when they're headed into bye weeks.
In fact, depending on the player in question, this might be the only moment when they can be added at reasonable cost. Any owner in your league with a 2-4 record (or worse) should be willing to flip anyone on their roster who can't contribute in Week 7. Sure, mathematically it may still be possible to make the playoffs following a 2-5 start, but it isn't the most likely outcome.
Thus, if your team happens to be well-positioned right now — let's say your record is 4-2 or 5-1 — then you should shop for buying opportunities. Go browse the rosters of your league's bottom-dwellers, identify trade targets, offer short-term relief in exchange for blue-chip fantasy assets. That's how it's done, vultures.
Not only do we have six teams on bye this week, but all six appear to have friendly second-half schedules (an each has at least one desirable fantasy commodity). Below, you'll find a snapshot of the Week 8-Week 16 match-ups for the Falcons, Broncos, Chiefs, Dolphins, Eagles and Chargers, with their opponents' ranks against both the run and pass. I've color-coded this thing like an electoral map, in keeping with the season.
When you see this...
...it means that New Orleans is the opponent, and the Saints rank No. 31 at defending the run and No. 26 against the pass, in terms of yards-allowed.
Make sense? Let's hope so. Here we go...
Yeah, I know, it's kind of a big mess. Basically, when you see red, it represents a tough defense, an unappealing fantasy match-up. (Note: It is not a political statement. Shut up). When you see blue — especially dark blue — it's a friendly match-up.
And there's a lot of blue on the grid above.
Check out the cakewalk schedule that Peyton Manning & Co. will face after the bye. Denver doesn't seem to have a single degree-of-difficulty opponent the rest of the way, at least from our current vantage point. Peyton will almost certainly binge against New Orleans in Week 8, then again at Cincinnati and Carolina. And tell me you don't like the end-of-year slate for Jamaal Charles, beginning in Week 11. Or the fantasy playoff schedule for Reggie Bush (JAC, BUF). Or Michael Vick (CIN, WAS). Or Ryan Mathews (CAR, at NYJ). Or Willis McGahee (at BAL, CLE).
These players aren't exactly unattainable right now. If you're planning for the end-game, get to work.
All the usual schedule-strength caveats apply here, of course. Making plans eight weeks ahead in the NFL is no easy thing, arguably a fool's errand. Plenty of teams will redefine themselves — some for the better, some for the worse — before December arrives. We'll see injuries, acquisitions and scheme changes; everybody's power rankings will be rearranged by Week 16.
Still, we're all trying to build the best possible starting rosters for the most important stretch of the fantasy season, and we have six weeks of data to help us make decisions. Today, the data is telling me to go make a viciously low-ball perfectly reasonable win-win pitch for Peyton and/or Eric Decker in a league that shall not be named. So I gotta go. Please entertain yourselves in comments...