A storm is brewing over the next two weeks of fantasy football as owners prepare to deal with six teams resting each of the next two weeks.
The bye week blitz hits at a pivotal point and comes after the fantasy regular season has reached its midpoint and teams are looking to separate from the pack and lock up playoff spots.
This week, the 49ers, Dolphins, Giants, Rams, Ravens and Steelers all are off. Next week, it’s the Bears, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Redskins and Texans.
To give you a heads up of which important players won’t be suiting up during this stretch, here’s a breakdown of each major position.
Week 8 won’t be too bad in standard leagues, with all the top performers still available. In deeper leagues, be aware that Joe Flacco (Ravens), Eli Manning (Giants) and Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) are off.
Next week is more problematic. The absences of Tom Brady (Patriots), Andy Dalton (Bengals) and are more difficult to replace. Carson Palmer (Cardinals) is off, too.
The way Jay Ajay (Dolphins) is running, his owners will miss him dearly this week. Ditto for Le’Veon Bell (Steelers), Terrence West (Ravens) and, yes, Todd Gurley (Rams). Carlos Hyde (49ers) should benefit from the bye as he rests a shoulder injury.
Fantasy dynamo David Johnson (Cardinals) gets a breather next week, but odds are his owners could survive if forced to take a loss. Owners of LeGarrette Blount (Patriots), Lamar Miller (Texans) and Jeremy Hill (Bengals) will feel it, too.
The biggest Week 8 disruptions come in the form of top-level receivers Antonio Brown (Steelers), Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) and Jarvis Landry (Dolphins) taking the week off.
A.J. Green (Bengals), off next week, has been boom or bust, but the booms are been big. Disappointing DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) and Alshon Jeffery (Bears) are off, giving their owners a good excuse not to start them.
Week 8 isn’t so bad at TE, with Jesse James (Steelers) and Dennis Pitta (Ravens) easily replaced.
Next week is going to hurt owners of the Patriots’ TEs, Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. Zach Miller (Bears) and the Redskins duo of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis also won’t play. Prepare to scrape the bottom of the barrel for a substitute.