Byes lead to some good buys

Don’t forget that this is one of those weeks where six — count ’em, six — teams are on a bye.

Several plug-and-play players should still be available on the free-agent wire. And who knows, they may be even better than the guys you’ve already got. Here’s how it all breaks down:

» Donald Lee: The Green Bay Packers’ tight end should be a great plugger for owners of Todd Heap. Despite splitting time with Bubba Franks, Lee has flown under the radar, yet has more catches (22) and yards (270) than Heap (19, 201). He is also decent for all Tony Gonzalez owners.

» Ike Hilliard: Thanks to a couple of solid games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ receiver has broken into the top 25 in receptions (36) and yards (455). This is a perfect fit for anyone who might have Dwayne Bowe, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald or T.O.

» Jason Wright: A lot of the stud running backs (Larry Johnson, Edgerrin James and Willis McGahee) are off this week. If you missed the chance of picking up this solid Cleveland Browns running back two weeks ago (and he’s miraculously still available), pick him up right now. It remains uncertain if Jamal Lewis can play and the Browns are facing a horrific St. Louis Rams defense. Even if Lewis can play, his health is now in question for the rest of the season.

(Notice how Shaun “Of the Dead” Alexander isn’t on that list of stud backs?)

» Chris Henry: No, not THAT Chris Henry. I’m talking about the Tennessee Titans’ running back who had 57 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL game against the Houston Texans. Henry could get his share of touches as long as Chris Brown continues to be hurt.

STONE-COLD LOCK: Ben Roethlisberger vs. Bengals: We were duped into thinking that the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to continue their smash-mouth, ground attack.

But Big Ben’s great start (1,303 yards, 13 TDs) has given the Steelers the type of aerial assault only Bubby Brister could appreciate. And the Cincinnati Bengals simply can’t stop the pass (249.2 yards per game, which ranks 29th in the league).

Start ’em

» QB: Brian Griese, Bears

» RB: LenDale White, Titans

» WR: Laveranues Coles, Jets

» TE: Vernon Davis, 49ers

» K: Lawrence Tynes, Giants

Sit ’em

» QB: Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers

» RB: Steven Jackson, Rams

» WR: Vincent Jackson, Chargers

» TE: Owen Daniels, Texans

» K: Jay Feely, Dolphins

Pick ’em up

» QB: Kellen Clemens, Jets

» RB: Jesse Chatman, Dolphins

» WR: Derek Hagan, Dolphins

» WR: Brandon Stokley, Broncos

» Defense: Browns

Cut ’em

» RB: Tatum Bell, Lions

» RB: Brian Leonard, Rams

» RB: Chester Taylor, Vikings

» WR: Shaun McDonald, Lions

» TE: Randy McMichael, Rams

cnavalta@examiner.com

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