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Bye Week Fillers: Andy Dalton, Domenik Hixon, more

By Keith Hernandez

Bye weeks are officially upon us in full swing. There will be at least four teams off every week for the next seven weeks, with a high of six clubs resting in Week 7. That'll be an interesting week, for sure.

This is where the best fantasy football squads excel, the deepest rosters flourish and the most savvy managers make their presence known. If you were ever going to use the waiver wire, these next seven weeks is the time to do it.

Week 5 boasts a few under-the-radar players with some good matchups that can help you get by if you're scrambling for roster replacements.

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton against the Miami Dolphins

Green Bay Packers RB Cedric Benson
More work coming

After being blanked in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Dalton has tossed at least two touchdowns in the last three weeks, including three each in Weeks 2 and 3.

Miami is the stingiest defense against the run this year, allowing only 227 total yards on the ground. Through the air is a different matter, though; they've allowed the third most aerial yardage (1,269 yards). Cincy will rely on Dalton's arm frequently, and it doesn't hurt he's got one of the most talented receivers in A.J. Green on his side.

Green Bay Packers RB Cedric Benson at the Indianapolis Colts

Benson won't be on your waiver wire, but don't be afraid to play him if you already own him. Let's be honest, the Packers will win this one, and probably by a hefty margin. Indy won't be able to stop Aaron Rodgers and the passing attack early. By the second half, expect plenty of Benson to slow the game down. After a nine-carry Week 1, Benson has seen 15-plus totes the last three weeks, and the coaching staff is looking to involve him even more in the future.

San Francisco 49ers RB Kendall Hunter against the Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's defense has been a disappointment, and that's being generous. They let Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden combine for 243 rushing yards and three TDs last week, and they've allowed the fifth most rushing yards (548) and are tied for the second most rushing TDs allowed (six). Frank Gore will need to be rested more as the season progresses, too. Snag Hunter immediately if he's still available.

Indianapolis Colts WRs Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton against the Green Bay Packers

The Colts won't have any choice but to play catch-up in their matchup with Green Bay. The Packers may attempt to take Reggie Wayne out of the game, leaving Andrew Luck to throw to Avery and Hilton, among others.

New York Giants WR Domenik Hixon against the Cleveland Browns

The matchup alone is worth starting Hixon in your league, but with Hakeem Nicks (knee) out again and Ramses Barden dealing with a concussion, Hixon has become a much safer play. With Nicks out last week, Eli Manning targeted Hixon 11 times. Expect just as much, if not more work for Hixon against Cleveland.


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