The playoffs are underway in many fantasy football leagues, and this means that important decisions must be made. Having a player who is on the bench score more than a starter in his place is very frustrating, and could be the difference between winning and losing.
Big Names Who Could Disappoint
Dalton has burst onto the scene as a rookie, and would be a favorite to win Rookie of the Year if a certain Cam Newton was not doing even better than Dalton. Last week was tough for the Andy Dalton, and the Bengals as a whole, as the Steelers took care of business at home with a 35-7 win. Dalton went 11 for 24 with a touchdown, but sat out the fourth quarter due to the large deficit.
Things will only get harder this week as the Bengals are taking on the Texans. Houston’s defense is ranked third in passing yards per game (183.4) and is second in sacks (35). I would expect Dalton to be towards the bottom of the fantasy quarterback ratings this week, and sitting him would be a wise choice.
Jackson and the Rams are going up against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, in a game that is scheduled for the wrong time on the wrong day. (Really NFL schedulers, this game is on MNF?)
Jackson has been held under 100 yards for three straight games, after having over 100 in three straight, and has not scored a touchdown since Week 8 against New Orleans. The 2-10 Rams have not been able to live up to high expectations for this season, and Jackson is a part of this. The Seahawks held him to 42 yards in Week 11, and will once again be held under 100 yards on Monday night.
The Dolphins have been one of the hottest teams as of late, the only problem being that they lost their first seven games. Matt Moore has turned the team around, but Brandon Marshall has not had a major impact.
Marshall only has three touchdowns on the year, even though he is the Dolphins leading receiver. He has only had at least 100 yards in two of his last seven games, and he is going up against the Eagles secondary this week. I understand that the Eagles are playing well below their expectations, but the talent in their secondary is capable of shutting down talent like Marshall.
Under-the-Radar Players to Consider
In the past, I have always listed one quarterback in this category. This week I decided to leave out a quarterback because, with playoffs being underway, most teams already have a quarterback in place. Saying that Matt Moore could have a good game would not change someone’s mind about whether to start Moore over someone like Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
Now that Fred Jackson is on IR, Spiller has taken over as the main running back for the Buffalo Bills. In his last two games, he has rushed for a combine 138 yards with a touchdown.
The Bills are going up San Diego and their 26th ranked rush defense, who allow over 131 yards on average. Spiller is also a threat as a receiver, and should be able to find the endzone one way or another.
Barber is in a similar situation to Spiller, as his team’s leading rusher, Matt Forte, is injured. Barber is likely going to get the majority of the carries wtih Forte out, and will get a decent amount of points as a result.
Barber and the Bears are facing the Broncos, who own the 20th ranked rush defense in the league. The Broncos have been playing great defense as of late, but the Bears will be trying to establish a ground game due to Caleb Hanie being the quarterback. Giving Marion Barber a chance would be a safe bet this week.
Thomas was the main beneficiary of Tim Tebow primarily throwing the ball last week, as he had four catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
The Broncos seem to be trying to get Tebow throwing the ball more often, and Thomas is his most likely target. It also seems that Tebow has a few long passes per game, which was evident last week as Thomas caught one of these for a touchdown. Look for Thomas to have a big day, given that Tebow looks to throw more than run.