Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Players That Need To Put Up Or Shut Up

Matt Kartozian USATODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian USATODAY Sports

Every season, fantasy football owners hold onto players that they spent a high draft pick on far too long, costing them fall short of their leagues playoffs.

Don’t be that person!

Here’s a player at every position that needs to produce like the player you thought you were getting. It’s a last call. If they don’t do it this week, I’m highly considering cutting ties or parting ways for 50 cents on the dollar and cutting my losses.

Cam Newton (@ Minnesota Vikings): “Superman”? For fantasy owners, he’s been “Super disappointing, Man”. The third year quarterback has battled inconsistencies during his career, but he came into this season with high expectations in fantasy circles. He has completed less than 56 percent of his passes in three straight, tossing as many interceptions as touchdown passes over that stretch.

He faces the Vikings this week, a pass defense that is allowing nearly 340 yards through the air per game. Newton is loaded with weapons, but Brian Hoyer and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t exactly loaded with great players and they totaled 704 pass yards on these Vikings in Minnesota’s last two games. If he’s a top five fantasy QB going forward, he proves it this weekend.

Trent Richardson (@ San Diego Chargers): We loved what we saw in the former Alabama star last year when he totaled nice counting numbers on an awful Cleveland Browns team, resulting in Richardson being selected in the late first or early second round of most fantasy drafts.

After being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, we assumed Richardson would prosper in an offense that features plenty of young talent. He’s been the featured back in Indy and is averaging less than 3.0 yards per carry. The Chargers’ run defense has been solid this season, but they’ve been gashed through the air, so there is a good chance Richardson won’t see loaded fronts on Monday night.

Even if he does, his soft hands resulted in 51 catches last season on 70 targets, so he should be able to produce a nice fantasy stat line in this game. The Colts have stayed committed to the run, making a 20-25 touch effort well within reach.

Should he struggle this week, I’m elevating Alfred Morris over him in standard leagues and Matt Forte/Darren Sproles over him in a PPR format. Fantasy first-rounders takes advantage of a heavy workload … show me something TRich.

Dwayne Bowe (vs. Oakland Raiders): It wasn’t that long ago that we labeled Bowe as an elite receiver, and while I understand that Alex Smith doesn’t throw the ball down field much, elite receivers are supposed to be more than simply field stretches.

Know what Smith does do? He takes care of the ball and takes calculated risks. The fact that Bowe hasn’t been a featured target tells me that he simply isn’t winning his one-on-one battles. He should have some success against the Raiders, a pass defense that has been gashed routinely by the opponent’s top wide receiver (38 catches for 457 yards and three touchdowns in five weeks).

The schedule toughens up after this week, so if Bowe doesn’t show some game breaking ability this week, I’m selling him to the highest bidder (I’d take Tavon Austin or Mike Wallace should he struggle this week).

Brandon Pettigrew (@ Cleveland Browns): Is he even good? He caught an underwhelming 59 passes for 567 yards last year while Matthew Stafford threw a league record 727 passes, and while he has the physical tools, he is once again on a very disappointing trajectory (16-151-0).

Calvin Johnson could miss a second consecutive game, and with Joe Haden on the opposite side, it is hard to imagine the Lions getting much production from their wide receivers. That being said, they will continue to throw the ball with regularity, so if Pettigrew is truly worth owning in any fantasy league (he’s 38 percent owned in Yahoo leagues and 32.9 percent owned in ESPN leagues), he gives you top 12 production this week.

No tight end has found pay dirt against the Browns this season, but none of their opponents have had tight ends with high fantasy expectations. If he delivers another dud this week, I’m looking at the lesser-owned Jordan Reed, Dallas Clark or Tyler Eifert for the rest of the season.

Need fantasy help or want an article written based on your situation? I’m always fielding questions @unSOPable23

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