Bench Warfare – Week 5 | October 5, 2012
The last couple of weeks for NFL fantasy owners have been crazy with people coming from nowhere to get huge scores only to disappear off the face of the earth seemingly the next week and as infuriating as that can be it is why we love the NFL and fantasy football so much. Of course there are studs who are still performing week in week out such as Arian Foster and AJ Green but there are also high draft picks who have got off to a slow start and need to be given more time by owners as proven by Lesean McCoy and Tom Brady this week. The talent is there they just need the chance to produce so have faith in your studs. Obviously though you cannot have a whole team of studs and the way you win week in week out is by playing the match ups and seeing what is most likely to happen and that is what I try to achieve each week with this article by helping you decide to stick someone in your team and take a chance or bench someone in anticipation of a poor game.
Joe Flacco @ Kansas City Chiefs:
The new Ravens offence and the emergence of an explosive Torrey Smith this season have given Flacco a real chance in his contract year to show just how good he is and so far he has done just that. The Chiefs have not been good this season and Flacco’s high flying offence will be desperate to get the points on the board. A warning though; this could get ugly quick and the Ravens could be running the clock by the start of the 4th.
Christian Ponder vs Tennessee Titans
The Titans have been fairly rotten this season with them giving up 41 points to Lions in week 3 and 38 points to Houston last week so for Ponder this is a matchup fantasy owners should relish. Ponder has shown real flashes of what he can do this season but has had some down weeks so he is still a match up play and this is a match up to take advantage of.
Ryan Tannehill @ Cincinnati Bengals
Tannehill threw for over 400 yards and a TD last week against the Cardinals although his day was spoiled slightly by two costly picks he still have a good connection with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess and Anthony Fasano are serviceable receivers to give him solid targets to throw too. On the other side the Bengals defence made Blaine Gabbert look good early on and if Gabbert can look good anyone can.
Cam Newton vs Seattle Seahawks
Newton played a strong game both running and passing last week but his fumble, although recovered by his team, cost the Panthers the game and he didn’t react well afterwards. He has a tough matchup in the Seahawks defence who will be aggressive all game and have a great secondary to go with a tough front seven meaning this could be a tough one for Newton.
Ben Roethlisberger vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Steelers offensive line has definitely been better than some thought it would be but the Eagles have a great pass rush and even if Big Ben can escape them they have a great secondary who will be looking to hawk on the ball as much as possible.
Andrew Luck vs Green Bay Packers
The Colts offensive line is not very good and the last time the Packers played a team with a bad offensive line they gave Jay Cutler and horrific time. Luck could be in for a very similar day under pressure from Matthews and co. which could lead to a lot of mistakes.
Ryan Matthews @ New Orleans Saints
Ok so Jackie Battle got the start and the touchdowns last week but Ryan Matthews is the man for the Chargers in my opinion and this week against the Saints terrible run defence is the week to put your faith in Matthews and hope for a big day.
Marshawn Lynch vs Carolina Panthers
The Panthers got slashed by Andre Brown and Michael Turner the last two weeks and Lynch is arguably better than either of them. Do not be shocked if Lynch runs all over the Panthers this week especially with Russell Wilson seeming to struggle and the Panthers having a good pass rush.
Cedric Benson @ Indianapolis Colts
The signing of Benson is looking to be an inspired move by the Packers he is running hard and providing the perfect foil to the explosive passing game. Had a good week last week against a poor run defence and he has another one to take on this week.
Fred Jackson @ San Francisco
Jackson was back last week but he saw a three way split of his carries with Spiller and Choice getting involved. San Fran have a superb run defence and Jackson will be lucky to get anything against a team who completely dominated on defence last week
Chris Johnson @ Minnesota Vikings
Johnson exploding back into fantasy relevance last week with 141 yards but that does not mean he is back to his old self. The Vikings have a good run defence and Johnson will have to earn every single yard. Last week the Vikings shut down LeShoure coming off a 100 yard game and they will likely do the same again.
Willis McGahee @ New England Patriots
The Patriots have been strong against the run this year so far limiting all the teams they have played and I don’t expect that to change this week. Don’t be shocked if Belichick makes Manning beat them through the air.
Malcolm Floyd @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints defence as I say every week is a mess and Floyd is the number one receiver on this team at least until Brown gets back. Should see a lot of targets in a shootout in the Superdome.
James Jones @ Indianapolis Colts
With Jennings injured again Jones is once again a big part of the offence and he has to take advantage of this if he wants to keep getting the ball. Rodgers will be wanting to get back to form and this seems like an ideal game to show everyone his good week last week is what he is about this year after some tough weeks to start the season.
Eric Decker @ New England Patriots
This is another potential shoot out game with the Patriots scoring heavily in the 4th quarter last week they will be desperate to keep that going and Denver will need to keep up. Decker is becoming more and more part of the offence and that will continue to happen.
Leonard Hankerson vs Atlanta Falcons
Hankerson has more involved the last couple of weeks with Garcon’s injury but don’t be surprised if Hankerson’s snaps decrease now and even when he was getting the majority he wasn’t putting up stellar numbers so with less snaps it doesn’t look good for his fantasy production.
Justin Blackmon vs Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears’ defensive line is going to cause mayhem for Blaine Gabbert this week and that is going to impact the performance of the team’s receivers. Last week was a good week for Blackmon with him getting 60 yards on 4 catches but with the Bears defence it is likely he will struggle to hit that again.
Steve Johnson vs San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have probably the defence in the league and their secondary is superb. If this game stays close then Johnson is going to have a long day in double coverage with the other receivers, tight ends and running backs getting the majority of the looks with Fitzpatrick having a limited time to get rid of the ball.
Kyle Rudolph vs Tennessee Titans
The Titans have been terrible against tight ends this year conceding nearly double the amount of the 2nd worst team. Ponder has been good this year and Rudolph is one of his biggest redzone targets so don’t be surprised if he catches a TD or two.
Tony Gonzalez @Washington Redskins
At the start of the season people felt that maybe Tony Gonzalez was going to be phased out of this offensive in what was is expected to be his last season. That is most definitely not the case and if Gonzalez is available or on your waiver wire make sure you get him in your starting line-up this week and pretty much every week.
Jacob Tamme @ New England Patriots
Tamme has been relatively quiet in the last two weeks but against the 2nd worst team against tight ends this is the chance to take a chance on him. Manning has historically looked for his tight end when playing the Patriots and this should be no different. Joel Dreessen is another potential deep league play.
Jermichael Finley @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have been one of the best teams against the tight end this year and that will be tested by playing one of the better tight ends in the league and one of Aaron Rodgers favourite targets. Finley is a very hit and miss player who drops balls under pressure and combined with the tough defence the Colts play vs TE’s he may be worth benching this week.
Martellus Bennett vs New York Giants
Bennett has been superb this year but the Browns secondary is such a mess at the moment that Manning will have his pick of receiver to throw to and Bennett may end up being used more as a decoy or in the blocking game.
Dustin Keller vs Houston Texans
Keller has been missing in action throughout most of the season and against the Texans is not the matchup that is going to kick start his season. HE is borderline droppable unless the Jets improve and Sanchez starts looking his way.
As always if the player you are having trouble making a decision about is not here feel free to get in contact with me @1amsports or @brolfe1507