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Depth perception is crucial

Running back Stevan Ridley, who had a breakout game against the Raiders, might be carrying a bigger load for the Patriots. Running back Stevan Ridley, who had a breakout game against the Raiders, might be carrying a bigger load for the Patriots. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / October 7, 2011

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A hypothetical bye week narrative:

Someone in your league drafts Tony Romo at quarterback, probably fairly early. Later in the draft, that person sees Joe Flacco available and selects the Baltimore QB as insurance. Flacco, helming a good team with stellar skill players, represents good value in the later rounds.

The person who drafted Romo and Flacco is pleased with the quarterback depth - until one month goes by, it’s time for bye weeks, and suddenly that person realizes what they should have prepared for on draft day: Romo and Flacco have the same week off.

Wake up. Don’t let this happen to you. Byes begin this weekend, with six teams off, and continue through Week 11 (there are no byes during Week 10).

If you haven’t already, go over your roster, figure out who is off in the coming weeks, and act accordingly.

Three up:

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England: Starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis was running extra hard against Oakland, and it’s no wonder; it could be only a matter of time before he loses his spot to Ridley. The rookie from LSU had a big day against the Raiders, and with Danny Woodhead nursing a bad ankle, Ridley’s workload should increase.

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco: Crabtree was targeted nine times against Philadelphia and finished with 68 receiving yards. His value remains low, so now may be the time to take a chance and trade for this talented but inconsistent wideout.

Tim Tebow, QB, Denver: Tebow could end up the starter if Denver loses to San Diego and enters its bye week at 1-4. Broncos coach John Fox had nothing to do with drafting Tebow, so he’s a risk to even see the field, but in the last game of the 2010 season, Tebow threw for 308 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another.

Three down:

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland: Heyward-Bey had 115 receiving yards against the Patriots , but doesn’t every wide receiver have a big day against the Patriots? Heyward-Bey is not to be trusted.

Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas: Another receiver you shouldn’t concern yourself with, despite his seven catches for 116 yards against Detroit. Dallas is on a bye, and Miles Austin is expected to return after the week off.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee: Hasselbeck has put up outstanding fantasy numbers, averaging just over 22 points per game, but the Titans’ opponents this week - the Steelers - have allowed just over 10 points per game from quarterbacks. The game is in Pittsburgh, so find an alternative.

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