Ahmad Bradshaw: Fantasy Owners Must Bench Giants RB vs. Great 49ers Run Defense

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07:   Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw should be benched on your fantasy football team in Week 6 against the great San Francisco 49ers run defense despite his monster Week 5 performance against the Cleveland Browns.

Bradshaw has averaged 83.25 yards on 16.25 carries per game this season and has only rushed for over 100 yards once in 2012, which was Sunday, when he racked up 200 yards on 30 carries.

While Bradshaw's performance against the Browns was spectacular, Cleveland has the 26th-ranked run defense in the NFL, and the team is 0-5 thus far. It was a very favorable matchup for the Giants running back, but his Week 6 matchup is a terrible one.

The 49ers have the seventh-best run defense in the NFL and allow a stingy 81.4 yards rushing per game. San Francisco has given up over 100 rushing yards just once this season and have only allowed one rushing touchdown through five games.

Over the last two weeks, the 49ers defense has given up just three total points and 134 rush yards. In the NFC Championship game last season, Bradshaw ran the ball 20 times for 74 yards against the 49ers and didn't have a touchdown.

In the likely event that the 49ers get off to a quick start and build a lead, the Giants would have to abandon the running game and let quarterback Eli Manning lead the comeback. Manning has the third-most passing yards in the NFL and ranks fourth in passing attempts.

The Giants will definitely attempt to establish the running game early, but the chances that they are successful aren't great. Linebackers Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis are two of the best run-stopping defensive players in the league and will have a great game plan to limit Bradshaw's production in Week 6.

Bradshaw might not have a terrible performance versus the 49ers, but if you have another running back on your roster with a more favorable matchup, start that player instead. Don't expect Bradshaw to rush for over 100 yards and find the end zone against the phenomenal 49ers run defense.