Tip Drill: The bye-week blues

Lunchtime Wednesday, time for a status check. Matt Millen is cleaning out his desk. Plaxico Burress apparently isn't working, or taking phone calls. And you're worried about waiver moves, bye weeks, and replacing studs that don't go in Week 4, the biggest slate of sit-downs on the schedule.

Bye Week season gets an unfair rap in fantasy circles. For my money, it's a welcome shift to the game, the official start of trading season. No one wants to deal on Sept. 2; everyone thinks they're going 16-0 at that point. Three games later, with injuries, slumps, surges and now sit-downs on the menu, the season has personality to it, and the decisions become a lot trickier - and interesting.

Here are some tips and nuggets related to bye weeks:

Seek out the owner hurt most by the current bye week. Give every roster in the league a quick once-over and identify who's crippled the most for the coming week. This is your motivated trading partner; figure out what he needs and how you can find a win-win (or, for the cutthroats in the audience, a win-lose).

Trade your name players into their bye week. They can't help you this week, anyway, and it buys you some extra flexibility. There's also value into flipping this principle around - the cheapest time to acquire a star player is when he hits his bye week - your opponent might overrate the importance of the current game to the point that you get a windfall.

Trade for players after they've had their bye. Right now we're just talking about the Texans and Ravens, but obviously the list of teams will continue to expand. Don't underestimate how valuable it is to have an extra bench spot or two to work with as we negotiate the shorthanded weeks. Also consider the "out of sight, out of mind" theory here - players off a bye week don't have any buzz tied to them, because they didn't play the previous week. No artificial price gauging to worry about.

Give the free-agent wire a deeper audit. The startable player pool becomes deeper, in theory, during the bye week season, so make sure you're factoring this into your waiver wire decisions. Chansi Stuckey and Miles Austin never looked so good.

Week 4 is the biggest sit-down of the year, with six teams on holiday (Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants, Seahawks, and fill in your own Lions joke here). Houston and Baltimore got their Ike-induced bye week already, so for the rest of the season it's four teams (no more, no less) sitting until the schedule returns to full throttle in Week 11.

Open up to the floor: give me your best Millen rip, or bye week tip. We can also discuss the curious pronunciation of Plaxico if you like. Your witness.

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