5:49 pm, December 14th, 2012
Most fantasy football leagues are in the playoffs right now, and you’ve probably got some crucial lineup decisions to make. But we’re here to help – tickle your fantasy, if you will. So here are 11 players you should probably start at left bench.
1.1. Dez Bryant
He may try to play through a fractured finger, but you just cannot risk using a player with such a significant injury in a fantasy playoff game. Play it safe, as we said. It's all about minimizing risk as much as possible. And if he does play, he may just be a decoy.
2.2. Eric Decker
He has only one TD reception in his past five games, and has not reached 90 receiving yards during that span. Decker is simply not contributing enough statistically recently to use him in a fantasy playoff week.
3.3. Mikel Leshoure
He is starting to cede carries and reps to Joique Bell, and is in danger of losing more goal line area touches, which nearly torpedoes his fantasy appeal altogether. He is certainly not a safe option for fantasy points in Week 15.
4.4. Tennessee Titans
They face the Jets, but picking a quality fantasy defense isn’t just about looking at the opponent. The Titans are the 23rd-ranked overall defense on NFL.com this year, so you should simply not consider them. There are much better options out there, whether on your roster or on the waiver wire.
5.5. Carson Palmer
The Chiefs have been more respectable against the pass than most people think, and the Raiders may start sprinkling in more of Terrelle Pryor this week. Don’t judge the matchup purely based on Kansas City’s record.
6.6. Vick Ballard
The Texans will come to play with a ferocious approach after getting embarrassed last week by New England. They will render Ballard a non-factor very quickly.
7.7. Montell Owens
He did score against the Jets last week, but don’t bank on another TD this time. Miami has been more formidable against the run this year and can be very tough on defense at home.
8.8. Anquan Boldin
He does have three TD receptions in his past two games, but that could lead to drawing more of Champ Bailey in coverage this week. Boldin has been inconsistent overall this year and the matchup is daunting.
9.9. Brandon Lloyd
He rose from obscurity last week, but Lloyd has proven he simply cannot be relied upon at all this season. The 49ers should be able to limit the New England offense more than Houston did, and that could mean another quiet week for Lloyd.
10.10. Vernon Davis
He has only one TD reception since Week 3, and one 100-yard game this year. Davis’ lack of production has been so bad, in fact that he’s nearly drop—worthy – which is to say that he should definitely not crack your starting lineup.
11.11. Philip Rivers
Surprisingly, he threw three TD passes at Pittsburgh last week, but don’t bank on a strong follow up outing. Rivers has been underwhelming for most of the year and you can’t depend on him to help you advance during the fantasy postseason.
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