In the playoffs, it is just as important to know what players to sit as it is to know who to start. In that spirit, we have listed 7 guys who you would be wise to stay away from:
Kyle Orton–Denver Broncos
Now we know that the Denver offense hinges on Orton. The way he’s been playing the last few weeks, you shouldn’t risk your fantasy league playoffs with Orton. Treat it as if he has died. To help the grieving process, we should say a few words. Dear Lloyd, Kyle Orton was a great man and a great quarterback. He played as if he was a man on a mission. His mission was to throw rockets through the thin mile high air. But like Icarus, he flew too close to the sun and his wings melted. He was no god, just a man. He’s a man that put up -3 points last week and lost thousands of first round playoff matchups. Kyle, you will be missed, kind of. In Lloyds name we pray. Amen.
Dwayne Bowe–Kansas City Chiefs
Some people have hot streaks and they gradually fade back into mediocrity, but sometimes the streaks just abruptly end, leaving a fantasy owner with a must-start player putting up zero points week in and week out. The latter is the story of Dwayne Bowe. Much like the next player on the list, he was red hot for a long streak of TDs, but fell flat for owners in playoff time. Will he be able to bounce back? It all depends on the health of Matt Cassel who underwent an emergency appendectomy last week and missed the game. Cassel is expected to start this week; he should be lighter and quicker with that appendix gone, right?
Roddy White–Atlanta Falcons
I can tell you first-hand that Roddy White is falling. I made a huge trade to get him and Philip Rivers in one of my leagues and White has struggled. Putting up 8 points in each of his last matchups isn’t what you expect out of a player that averaged 17 points a game earlier this season. The weird part is that he is getting about the same amount of receptions, but with way less yardage and no TDs. What can we blame this on? White’s injured hamstring? The Falcons’ O-Line? Michael Turner? Matty Ice’s cold streak? The answer is all of the above. White is facing an uphill battle with the run game heating up. He should be able to bounce back, but so far, he’s not getting red zone looks and he hasn’t been coming up with big plays.
LaDainian Tomlinson–New York Jets
I can’t decide if it’s Tomlinson that’s cold or just the Jets in general. The Jets and LT started off so hot, but have cooled off the past few weeks in their back-to-back losses. I can’t even recommend using his backup, Shonn Greene. Greene has been a bust all season long. LT is falling hard right now. If you look at his production since the beginning of the season, you can see his peak was clearly Week 4 and owners have been watching him flounder in his seven-game TD drought. While he will probably make it to the Hall of Fame, he doesn’t look like that caliber of a back right now.
Ben Roethlisberger–Pittsburgh Steelers
When you see his name on this list, you may be confused. Let me clear it up a bit. When you draft one of the 32 starting quarterbacks in this league, what are you looking for? Are you looking for a player that has nagging injuries and averages just 11.2 points per game? If so, Big Ben is perfect for you. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an excellent player, but he isn’t on a very productive offense. In his last three games, he has had 10, 12, and 12 points. These are hardly numbers to write home about. There are a lot better options out there and you have to believe that The Jets are going to be looking to spoil their playoff birth this weekend.
Chicago Bears Defense
I don’t know what to account for last week’s loss. If you look at the Bears before Week 11, they were a Top 5 defense. They were limiting teams to around 17 points and then, all of a sudden, Philadelphia, Detroit and New England all put up huge numbers on them. But worst of all was losing to Tom Brady’s lion mane in the snow, which is traditionally “Bears weather.” Hollywood Tom made the secondary look foolish. But the big question is, is the Bears Defense worth holding on to? If you could stomach the 3 points in three weeks, I’ll say that it’s time to get rid of them. Even though they have favorable matchups against some stalled defenses, there are better defenses out there. Just pick up a defense that plays Carolina, Seattle or whatever lowly offense you can find.
Steve Johnson–Buffalo Bills
Here’s all you really need to know about Johnson: He was a great pickup during the tumultuous times of Randy Moss, but now he has scored just 15 points in three week’s time. Compare that to his 32 point game in Week 11. Now he’s more than cold, he’s “brick city.” (Which is a recent NY phrase that I learned meaning very cold.)