Ranking the Week 5 bye week QB replacements

We haven’t done this yet, but now that the byes are here, I think we should have this every week.  Considering the first round of byes, here’s my official QB rankings for this coming Sunday.  And by that I mean, in a perfect world, here are the 12 QB’s who should be starting this weekend — taking everything into account, including talent and defensive matchups.  Obviously, every week, you’re going to start the Holy Five: Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.  But who are the next seven plays?  In order, here’s who I like:

6. Matthew Stafford v. CHI.  The Bears defense has been soft on fantasy quarterbacks and Stafford has a chance to shine in primetime.

7. Eli Manning v. SEA.  Another big week for Eli on the horizon, and the Seahawks can’t stop anyone.

8. Cam Newton v. NO.  Seriously?  This is the week it stops for Cam?  There has to be a Jacksonville monsoon to not start him.

9. Matt Ryan v. GB.  The Packers defense is bleeding right now and Ryan at home is a great play.

10. Kyle Orton v. SD.  Orton needs to save his job and can’t afford another loss.  Also, Eric Decker has been unstoppable.

11. Mark Sanchez @ NE.  Everyone slices up the Patriots ‘D.  Even Sanchez.

12. Ryan Fitzpatrick v. PHI.  Last week was a flat week for BUF and we saw it coming.  Back to their usual ways this week.

Speaking of byes, Tim Hightower and the Redskins are off this week.  I know it’s hard, but try to sell as high as you can on him.  If you really want to make a trade with another owner and he’s hesitant to pull the trigger, throw in Hightower to clinch the deal.  He won’t be any more than a committee guy the rest of the way.  Same thing with Rex Grossman.  Maybe you’ve been starting him, but he’s coming back to earth now.  He’s also a good throw-in to cinch a trade.

Also, this is the best time to waive Sam Bradford.  With QB’s like Orton, Kevin Kolb and even Matt Cassel on the waiver wire, those guys are worth having right now over Bradford.  (Hey, I’m not a big Chiefs believer but unless Christian Okoye or Barry Word are suiting up, it’s the air or nothing for KC.)

See Jason Smith NFL Fantasy Live, airing Sundays on the Red Zone Channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2pmET and 12AMET/9pmPT.  He writes Fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily.  Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca.  He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

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