There are a few big name fantasy football players that will likely be duds this week. We examine three players that you should consider sitting and looking to your backups.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots, QB vs. Baltimore Ravens
Of course this sit depends on if you drafted a quality backup quarterback to go with what was likely a very early selection of Tom Brady.
Here’s what he’s done in 2012: 552 yards passing with three scores and one interception — or 19 fantasy points per game against Tennessee and Arizona.
Here’s his history against the Ravens in four meetings since 2009: 235.8 yards passing per game with four touchdowns and seven interceptions — or 11.9 fantasy points per game.
The Ravens allowed Michael Vick to throw for 371 with a passing TD and rushing TD last week. That 371 is the most allowed since Andy Dalton threw for 373 in Week 11 last season. In the seven games in between, Baltimore has allowed an average of 191.1 yards passing with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
Until Vick last week, the Ravens had a 19-game streak of not allowing a QB to have a multi-touchdown game.
Add in a road game, no Aaron Hernandez, not in sync with Brandon Lloyd yet and whatever’s going on with Wes Welker, and if you have a better matchup than Brady’s go with it.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, RB vs. San Francisco 49ers
In his “snap-limited” debut against Jacksonville in Week 1, Adrian Peterson carried 17 times for 84 yards and two scores. We thought he was a safe start in Week 2 against a run defense ranked 29th last year, and he posted a 16-for-60 day with no scores.
Now he gets the NFL’s top-ranked rush defense from a year ago and currently ranked sixth at 63.5 yards allowed per game.
Just a quick history on what the 49ers have done to opposing running backs in the last 18 regular-season games: Only one back has gained over 100 yards, only two backs have gained over 75 yards. Those backs are Marshawn Lynch and Cadillac Williams, who also had the only two TDs San Francisco allowed running backs to score on the ground last season.
And now a quick history on what Peterson has done against top-five rush defenses the last three seasons: There have been seven such games. Peterson averaged 66 yards rushing per game with three scores. The saving grace has been his 13 catches for 167 yards. That comes out to 13.4 fantasy points on average in PPR league, 11.6 in non-PPR.
I would take 13.4 or 11.6 from Peterson in a heartbeat, but that is averaging the top five rush defenses over the last three years. This is the 49ers, who have only allowed double-digit fantasy days four times the last 18 regular-season games and that was thanks in large part to a combined 28 catches for 236 yards.
Play AP at your own risk.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, WR vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Larry Fitzgerald may have lit Philadelphia up the last time he played the Eagles, but a couple of things have changed. Kevin Kolb is Arizona’s quarterback and Philadelphia’s pass defense has become much stingier.
Since Tom Brady threw for three scores and 361 yards against Philadelphia in Week 12 last season, the Eagles have allowed just seven touchdown passes in the last seven games. Yes, they faced the likes of Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Moore, J.P. Losman, Mark Sanchez, Stephen McGee and Red Grossman to end last season and Brandon Weeden and Joe Flacco to start this season. But where do you rank Kevin Kolb among that list of quarterbacks?
And no receiver has eclipsed six catches of 62 yards since Week 12 (Dez Bryant) against Philly.
Fitzgerald torched the Eagles last season to the tune of seven catches on 13 targets for 146 yards and two scores. But that was via the arm of John Skelton, who threw for 315 yards and three scores on 40 attempts.
Kolb and Fitzgerald have played in 10 games together and have two touchdowns to show for it.
Don’t let the reason of “what better option do you have” sway you from not starting a guy with the better matchup. You always hear “that’s why you drafted them this high,” well it’s also why you draft other players. Use them.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter