Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sit’em column, which takes a look at unfavorable matchups 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 14. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Are you over Matt Ryan this season and the Atlanta Falcons? I certainly have seen enough of these 2012 NFC Championship runner-ups underperforming on the gridiron. The offense has seen its fair share of injuries and Ryan’s numbers are down considerably given these circumstances. In what should have been a juicy matchup last weekend against the Bills, he turned in a rather average performance with one pass touchdown. While Green Bay is reeling, the Packers might be getting Rodgers back and it’ll be cold at Lambeau so I anticipate more of a slugfest than up tempo affair. Ryan is merely bench material right now.
Cool Joe might be a trendy sleeper pick and pick up and play candidate, but not so fast my friends. The Vikings are far from a defensive juggernaut, in fact only 2 teams have yielded more passing yards than them this season. The emphasis in Baltimore is on the running game and John Harbaugh is content with grinding out games on the ground and relying on a steady pass rush and defense that bends without breaking. I anticipate Flacco to put up decent numbers but there are much better options than him this week. Sit Flacco even if Dennis Pitta comes back this week.
Crabtree is the rave of the waiver wire and fantasy experts who have eagerly anticipated his return to the starting lineup after his achilles injury. While he showed he can go full speed against the Rams, that was last week and this week it’s the Seahawks and the legion of boom defense. The Seahawks are not a team worth betting against with the physical, lengthy and taller cornerbacks that can bump and rise up in coverage against their opponents. Crabtree has better matchups coming up so bench him this week and hope he stays healthy to play him next week.
Edelman is coming off two back-to-back 100 yard receiving efforts. So it would make perfect sense to go ahead and play him against the Browns who couldn’t even keep the Jaguars to under 30 points. However, Joe Haden who is one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks, will probably be covering Edelman for most of the game. If not for one bad coverage play against the #1 receiving option for the Jags, Cecil Shorts, he would have completely limited Shorts’ production. I don’t expect Haden to have a problem staying with Edelman and Gronk will likely have a bigger role in this game. Edelman is low-end flex option so you should consider someone with a better matchup.
Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams
The running back committee is back to creating headaches for owners in Carolina. While Tolbert saw more carries and had a season-high in yardage against Tampa Bay, the Stewart/Williams tandem threaten to cannibalize each other’s fantasy value. Stewart suffered an ankle injury and is on the mend, while DeAngelo appears to be returning from a quad bruise. With all three guys in the mix it’s not easy to decipher how the workload will work. If the ball is close to the goal line it’s going to either be Tolbert or Cam who are there to vulture those touchdowns anyways. No reason to start either running back this weekend.
Rice has been a frequent visitor to the sits column this week. However, there are still some readers who might not heed the advice and are still hoping he turns the corner. It appears the hip flexor is more limiting than initially thought and without Pitta and a quality blocking tight end he’s found those holes to be much smaller for him to run through. Minnesota is one of the statistically worst defenses against the run so there might be reason to put Rice into the flex spot. I would hesitate to do that based on recent games and lack of explosion like previous years. He could be a high risk reward, so take caution if you are looking for stability from your flex position.
Fred Davis has been the starting tight end the last couple weeks while Jordan Reed has been recovering from post-concussion headaches. He’s done virtually nothing to prove he’s a reliable option in the passing game. At this point in his career he’s better known in the nation’s capital for his marijuana toking activity than his actual football play. Kansas City is starving for a win coming off its 3rd straight defeat. Davis could very well contribute a goose egg effort even if Jordan sits out the game, much like he’s sitting out practice this week.
Miller was a prime-time performer on Monday night for the Seahawks. As Dick Vitale would call him, if he played college basketball, he was a P-T-Per. Hauling in 5 receptions with a touchdown and 80 plus receiving yards is great output for any tight end. However, this week it’s NFC West divisional foe in San Francisco and the 49ers are the second most stingy in yards allowed to tight ends this season. Expect the physical Niners defense to come to play and Candlestick won’t be a place to roll the dice with this risky play. Bench him or leave him on the waiver this week.
While there is reason for optimism from this unit that posted 10 plus points against the same Jaguars team from two weeks ago, and is one of the most generous to opposing defenses, there is reason for caution. The Texans have been horrible up until last week about turning over the football and putting themselves in bad positions that create points for their opponents. While Jacksonville is a cellar dweller they have considerably more bite than earlier this season and after watching the Browns at home give up huge plays I’m inclined to think the Jags could have similar success at home this week. There are better matchups out there, sorry J.J. Watt and company.