Sometimes the most important thing in fantasy football is simply not playing a guy. You know those annoying weekly Start and Sit columns? Yeah, they tend not to be so annoying when they save you from using a guy who is destined to be a dud. This isn’t a start/sit preach session, though. I’m just force-feeding logic when it comes to brutal matchups you may want to stay away from.
Last week Eddie Lacy was a sorry sack and fantasy owners were none too pleased. But Lacy had a good excuse – he was on the road and the Miami Dolphins aren’t necessarily the easiest team to run on. Perhaps it’s possible we could have seen Lacy’s week six demise coming. This week, on the other hand, he’s at home against the sorry Panthers. The balance can shift in just a week, and it really can go either way.
Let’s just take a look at some matchups you may want to consider avoiding this week in fantasy football:
Detroit Lions Entire Defense
I know Drew Brees is invincible and all that, but he’s actually not. Not only do the Saints tend to suck on the road, but this is also a very good Lions defense. You know, like “best damn defense in the entire league”, kind of good. They may not be a unit to be messed with. They destroyed Teddy Bridgewater a week ago and in week three they made Aaron Rodgers look rather pedestrian. If Brees enters this one with Jimmy Graham out or even limited, he might have some issues. Of course, Brees probably needs to be played if you drafted him in season long leagues. The Saints’ running backs don’t, though. Detroit is 7th in terms of points allowed to fantasy backs on the year. That’s not good news for a committee attack.
Buffalo Bills Run Defense
As if you could trust Matt Asiata or Jerick McKinnon, anyways. Asiata’s role evaporated last week and McKinnon has been very touch and go. Minnesota’s offense in general has been spotty this year, having scored 10 or fewer points four freaking times. That’s not exactly encouraging as the Vikes head to Buffalo this week. The Bills are the toughest run defense in the league, that’s why.
Browns, Chiefs and Broncos Against Tight Ends
I’m sure you have to stick with Julius Thomas in regular leagues, but if Patrick Willis plays you may want to shy away from him in daily leagues. After all, the Niners are giving up less than 8 fantasy points per game to tight ends and you’d think Thomas would actually not score in a game at some point. Again, stay with him in normal leagues, but a high price may have him a bit too rich in daily formats. Cleveland and Kansas City are probably the only other tight end stoppers you need to worry about, as most of the top defenses against TE’s are facing scrubs. Clay Harbor is a scrub, too, but after breaking out a bit last week, some might want to get cute with him. That’s ill advised against the Browns, who are stopping tight ends better than anyone right now. Kansas City isn’t far behind, making the already hit or miss Antonio Gates a shaky play in week seven.
Washington Redskins Run Defense
The ‘Skins are a real son of a bitch to run on. Facing Marshawn Lynch two weeks ago cut into their average a bit, but they’re still a top-10 unit over the past four weeks and rank 3rd overall on the year still. As if you felt good about rolling with Bishop Sankey or Shonn Greene, anyways, right?
Denver Broncos Pass Defense
The hell? The formerly leaky Denver pass defense has really tightened up the past four weeks, as they’re pacing fantasy defenses against the ball throwing method via just 32 receptions allowed during that span. Needless to say, they’ve grown tired of teams passing all over them and they are looking like a tougher play for fantasy wide receivers these days. Considering it was hard to trust the likes of Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson already, this is the extra push you need to steer clear of those guys this week.