As bye weeks go, I have to admit Week 5 wasn't particularly frightening for fantasy owners, and this pending week won't torture us too much. Last week, among the big names missing were Tony Romo and Ray Rice, but I think we can say we survived without players from the Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins. This week isn't so bad either: Losing key San Diego Chargers isn't fun, but after that it's an underwhelming Chris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and -- wait for it -- the hero Tim Tebow. In other words, it's not that big a deal.
Next week is a big deal, though. And since I'm a planner, and the Friday blog is about precisely that, looking ahead and making your sneaky pickups in advance not of this coming Sunday but future ones, I feel compelled to recommend you plan for Week 7 before Week 6 even begins. You won't have Tom Brady or Wes Welker next week. You won't have the awesome Fred Jackson, leading all running backs in standard scoring so far, or wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and A.J. Green. And say what you will about the bumbling, stumbling 1-4 Philadelphia Eagles, but from a fantasy sense it's not such a bad Dream Team, with the No. 6 quarterback, No. 2 running back, two top-15 wide receivers and a defense that lets everyone else score. They're on bye, too.
Before focusing on long-term pickups available in nearly every league, as per standard for this Friday blog entry, here are some names to think about picking up today in advance of Week 7, rather than next Wednesday when everyone else in your league will be scrambling as well:
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