3:02 pm, October 12th, 2012
It’s another tough week in fantasy football – more bye weeks injuries to deal with, and make you swear you will never play this game again. But you come back every week – we know you do. So we’re here to make sure it doesn’t get any worse for you. Yes, Drew Brees may be off this week and you may have also lost Cedric Benson, but don’t panic when you’re to replace them. And to help make sure you don’t, we’ve got some guys you should steer clear of when you’re setting your lineups this week, to help ensure your survival. Check them out below. All photos via Getty:
1.Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals
This is more about momentum and hunger than anything else: those factors won’t be on Cincinnati’s side this week. The winless Browns are playing at home against their top rival this week and get suspended CB Joe Haden back. Cleveland will be primed for a big victory and will hurt Dalton’s output in the process.
2.Matt Schaub, QB, Texans
Houston is running the ball so much and so successfully that their quarterback has become a clear afterthought. So when facing the Packers, the Texans will do what? Run the ball a heck of a lot. The objective will be to control the clock and keep the Green Bay offense off the field as much as possible. Schaub’s value is fading fast, even as a fantasy backup.
3.Alex Green, RB, Packers
Everyone fell over themselves trying to get Green off waivers this week. What they will discover is he is not cut out for consistent carries, and neither are any of the current Green Bay RBs. The Packers offense will revert to the pre-Cedric Benson outlook, when none of them were worth using in fantasy football. We saw that the Packers RBs were useless last year, and they will be again, beginning with this week’s game against the very intimidating Texans.
4.Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots
Bolden will be a nice flex option in many weeks and can also function as a good bye week plugger. Not this week, though. The formidable Seahawks defense will be focused on containing an improved Patriots running game. The Pats have a unique game plan every week, and our guess is that this week, won’t contain Bolden getting stuffed often. We might see more of Danny Woodhead, however.
5.Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
Jackson was once a top fantasy pick, but he has been reduced to a mediocre RB2/only adequate flex player. Opposing defenses have been loading up against Jackson for years, and while he still performs respectably, he can no longer beat the stacked fronts by himself. Defenses dare Sam Bradford to throw - and often laugh at the results. This week, Miami’s strong front seven lines up against the Rams for lots of tackles in the backfield.
6.Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions
He showed some spring in his step in his NFL debut this season and had a week off to get healthier after some injury issues caused a minor stir. Leshoure has yet to show he can consistently challenge defenses, though, and he faces a challenging task against the Eagles this week. Philadelphia was shown up at times by Rashard Mendenhall last week and will clamp down more on the run this time. Plus, look for the Lions to throw a ton, depriving Leshoure of chances.
7.Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers
He scored twice last week. That was against his former team, the Saints, and Meachem was obviously highly motivated to burn those guys. We’ve seen the act from him before in the past, though. He would have an outstanding game for the Saints, show some promise, and then would disappear for long periods. And that was with a better QB than he works with now in san Diego. The new silent period shall begin against Denver.
8.James Jones, WR, Packers
He has been maddeningly unreliable in his career so far, yet stepped forward recently to fill in productively for the injured Greg Jennings. But be warned: for those who gamble on Jones, the quiet weeks are about to return. Well, at least for one week - he may be improving overall. But it’s not happening for him against Houston. They will study recent film and move to contain him.
9.Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams
With Danny Amendola out, some fantasy types are looking for a WR to step into his role and become a dependable PPR option in the interim. Don’t look for Gibson to be that guy, though - he is nowhere near the reliable receiver that Amendola is or can be. It’s not always about the opportunity, it’s about the player getting it. The Rams will likely not turn to Gibson to be a chain mover, and it will be a mistake if they do. Austin Pettis, if anyone, could be a better fit.
10.Reuben Randle, WR, Giants
You may have been motivated to add him after he looked good in Week 6 against the Haden-less Browns. But adding him would be very reactionary. Hopefully, you learned something this year when you experimented with Kevin Ogletree: one promising performance does not mean you should strongly consider any player for starting duty. No Giants WR other than Victor Cruz is reliable.
11.Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens
Pitta could prove to be another early-season tease - he's gone quiet after exciting fantasy players out of the gate. We’re not saying you should never use him again, but before you do, he has to prove he can be even remotely dependable. For now, bench him, and look elsewhere at TE, even for a bye week option.
Make sure you visit RotoExperts.com every Sunday for their new LIVE chat sessions, powered by Google+Hangouts. Scott Engel and Jake Ciely field all your questions from 9:30 am ET to 12:30 pm ET every week. For more information, click here.