Owners Beware gives fantasy football readers a look at a few offensive players who could fail to meet expectations this weekend. Here is the Week 13 edition:
Josh Freeman (vs. Denver Broncos)
Freeman has been a surprise for most of the 2012 season, throwing multiple scores in six of his last seven games. This week the Bucs square off against the Broncos’ fifth-ranked pass defense. Look for All-Pro corner Champ Bailey to shadow Freeman’s go-to-receiver Vincent Jackson all game.
Eli Manning (vs. Washington Redskins)
Manning’s arm didn’t look tired at all in last week’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers, as he threw for 249 yards and three scores. He faces the division-rival Redskins this week who have given Manning a hard time in the past. In eight career games at Washington, Manning has thrown a rather mediocre eight touchdowns and six interceptions.
Colin Kaepernick (vs. St. Louis Rams)
Kaepernick was surgical in picking apart the Bears and New Orleans Saints defenses in the last two weeks. The Bears were excusable since they didn’t know much about the kid nor did they have much film on him to study off of. The Saints are just flat out terrible. The Rams, however, and their secondary in particular, have been one of the most underrated defenses this season. Now that opposing defenses have two full games of Kaepernick to study, as I look into my crystal ball, I see Kaepernick falling back down to earth this week.
Chris Johnson (vs. Houston Texans)
After struggling mightily in the early half of the season, Johnson finally appears to have flipped the light switch and is looking the part of CJ2K. In his last six games, Johnson has posted double-digit fantasy points in each one, while going over 90 rushing yards five times. However, this week he faces J.J. Watt and the Texans’ second-ranked rush defense. He’ll be a low-end RB1.
Marshawn Lynch (vs. Chicago Bears)
After a disappointing effort against the Miami Dolphins‘ seventh-ranked rush defense, Lynch gets ready to square of against the Bears next. Considering how the Bears’ defense has been playing this season, coupled with Lynch’s failure to top 50 rushing yards in his 2010 and 2011 matchups against Chicago, I’d temper expectations a bit. Lynch will be a low-end RB2.
Knowshon Moreno (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Moreno looked solid as he racked up 111 total yards in his first start of the season last week. However, this week might be a different story as he faces the Bucs’ first-ranked rush defense. Moreno appears to be the feature back in Denver, with Willis McGahee sidelined for the remainder of the season. However, Moreno has been a healthy scratch for most of the year, so the team may not have much faith in him as a starter. Not to mention that he has competition in the backfield with backs Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball also on the depth chart. I wouldn’t rush Moreno into my starting lineup this week.
Vincent Jackson (vs. Denver Broncos)
The Broncos’ All-Pro corner Champ Bailey knows a few things about former longtime rival Jackson, from the receiver’s playing days with the San Diego Chargers. This season, the Broncos’ defense is ranked fifth against the pass and ninth against the pass. On top of that, Bailey figures to shadow Jackson all game. Use him out as a low-end WR2 in Week 13.
Dez Bryant (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
With Miles Austin questionable for this week’s matchup against the Eagles, Bryant looks to be the featured star in the Cowboys’ receiving corps. Despite the recent struggles by the Philly defense, look for them to put extra attention on stopping the red-hot Bryant with talented corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Greg Jennings (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
Jennings finally appears on track to suit up this week against the Vikings. On the down side, Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters this week that Jennings’ playing time will be dictated by “flow of the game.” In simpler terms, he’ll most likely perform in a limited role as a rotational receiver. I’d wait another week before trotting him out into my lineup.
Heath Miller (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
With Ben Roethlisberger ruled out for Week 13, I don’t trust any of the Steelers’ offensive players. To add insult to injury, Miller has averaged a disappointing 4.50 points a game, while failing to visit the end zone in his last four contests.
Brandon Myers (vs. Cleveland Browns)
Myers has been on an absolute tear, scoring the second-most fantasy points among tight ends over the last four weeks. That doesn’t change the fact that the Browns have allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends all season. He’ll be a risky TE1 option.
Vernon Davis (vs. St. Louis Rams)
Davis has been one of fantasy’s most inconsistent players at his position, while failing to get on the stat sheet in two contests this season. It looked like his value would catapult back to the top after posting a 6/31/1 stat line against the Bears with newly appointed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but reality struck as he posted a big fat doughnut the following week against the lowly saints. I don’t trust Davis.