Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sit’em column, which takes a look at unfavorable match-ups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you may want to consider benching for Week 12. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Mikel Leshoure has been laying the lumber and coming to play of late. Mikel rang the bell against Green Bay and found the end zone as the clear-dominant running back in the Lions offense. However that doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing week-in and week-out. I would venture to say that this dope-smoking, cannibus-toker doesn’t have the moxie of a Barry Sanders and isn’t going to impose his will on the Texans defenders either. I’m going conservative and guessing that anything over 7 points for him on Thanksgiving would be fantasy gravy. This game isn’t being played in Washington State or Colorado so you are best served leaving your bud at home and find other options to play Thursday.
Darrren Sproles/Saints Backfield
Sproles might just be the biggest fantasy RB bust this season. While many expected him to bring this awesome dynamic to the offense especially with Sean Payton out for the season due to Bounty Gate it’s been the air it out show led by Drew Brees. Even Chris Ivory couldn’t put together back to back solid performances. It was Ingram who out performed him last week. What about Pierre Thomas and now with Sproles back, what’s next? There’s too many running backs and too good of a passing game to gamble on the Saints backfield this week. By the way, look at the matchup and ask Matt Forte what he thought of that 49ers defensive front. It’s not good either way you look at it.
Flacco got smacked upside the head in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. He’s been absolutely abysmal on the road, to encapsulate one performance look no further than when the Ravens put up a paltry 9 points against the Chiefs early on this season in Arrowhead. Lucky for them it was against the Chiefs, but they might not be as lucky this week in sunny San Diego. The Ravens are a threat to get one of the top two seeds in the AFC but if Flacco doesn’t start stepping up in his performances on the road they’ll wind up a play or two short of the Super Bowl again. Keep Flacco on a short leash and stuck square on your bench this week.
All hail Henne! Hailmary for Henne! Henne’s our Hero…blah blah blah. I’m not buying it. This guy has had ample amount of time and started enough NFL games for the Dolphins in previous seasons that you know what he’s capable of doing. I’m not saying he’s horrible, I just think that too many people are jumping too quickly on his bandwagon. It’s one game, yes it was one hell of a performance, but let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. Henne does have a favorable matchup, but don’t get cute. He’s not a great option on an offense that’s not prolific and doesn’t have that many big time weapons without MJD or much of a TE presence. I love these young wide receivers in Cecil Shorts and Blackmon but keep it in your pants folks. Don’t let this Chad leave you hanging, so leave him on the waiver no need to have a hanging Chad Henne on your post-election roster.
Maclin got the golden goose egg courtesy of the league’s worst pass defense last weekend. That does not bode well for his chances moving forward with Nick Foles under center and Vick listed as doubtful. Andy Reid’s job is locked up in a coffin underneath Lincoln Financial Stadium so I don’t expect Maclin and Co. to feel the fantasy love this week either. It’s a sad situation for Reid who is the longest tenured NFL coach and has been incredible for the city and fans of the Eagles the last dozen plus years. Don’t expect Maclin to be strutting himself into the end zone or flapping his eagle wings much in the battle of the “Who cares about these teams?” on Monday night either.
Lance has turned in quite a product season in Brees’ pass first offense. I love Graham and Colston but Moore is a sit this week due to the fierce San Fran pass rush and ability to defend the deep ball. Interesting stat, on over 35 passing plays that have gone over 20 yards down the field against SF, the 49ers have only allowed 6 completions this season. Thus I don’t bank on Lance to grab any long bombs against a more physical 49er secondary. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Saints and Niners have another epic shootout similar to the divisional playoff game from last season. I just don’t like Moore as an upside play. Expect more bust than boom from Moore this weekend.
Truth be told, the Browns are playing good football. They actually possess a defense that ranks towards the top of stopping opposing teams’ tight ends from scoring. Let’s give it to the Steelers they are a stinky pile of manure without Big Ben at QB. Byron Leftwich takes about a solid 5 seconds from when he decides to throw it to completing his throwing motion, which is killing this team’s ability to spread the field and poses no threat. Well this week its Charlie Batch taking signal calls and he’s not much better. He is a better short-dump off passer but he’s not going to impress anyone with his arm strength or accuracy. It’s a tough time to be an owner of a pass catcher on the Steelers, hence the desperation of picking up Plaxico Burress this week. It’s won’t be Miller time, unless you’ve got beer goggles on come Sunday.
Chandler has been a roll of the dice this season. I wanted to throw Finley on the list again but he gets a well deserved rest for actually shutting me up with his 1 TD performance last week. I’m just shocked he hung on to the pass given his track record. Chandler should be on the receiving end of some Fitzpatrick targets this week against a generous Indy pass defense that was dissected against New England last week. However I don’t see the confidence and trust that was there earlier this season around the goal line. He’s in line for more yards, but not necessarily a touchdown so I think there are better options to be owned this week.
San Francisco 49ers
I feel like I’m going out on a HUGE limb again with this pick on defense. Much like last week I successfully said Brandon Marshall would not eclipse 10 points in fantasy. Sure enough, even with his 1 TD reception, he was below the threshold in large part due to this 49er defense. Why avoid this wrecking ball crew this week? Look no further than the NFL’s most efficient and leading fantasy QB in Drew Brees. This guy can carve up just about any opposing defense. Even if he has to implore the short-passing game, he’ll be ready to exploit the few weaknesses it does possess. I saw the body of work Brees has amassed this season and playoff performance from last year. Could this be a shoot-out in the Superdome? My bet is yes, so avoid this Defense if you have better options this weekend.