It's not easy to bench good players in fantasy football. But at this point in Week 7 of the season, it sometimes becomes necessary due to injuries, bad matchups, or a lack of production.
As the season progresses, we can get a better perspective on certain players' value and potential. Some early-season studs have faded, and others are banged up.
With all of this in mind, here are five studs who you must keep on your bench this week.
Michael Crabtree vs. Seattle
Crabtree had a breakout game in Week 5, but followed it up with a disappointing three-catch day this past Sunday.
He's shown a lot of promise this season, but has also had a couple disappointing games. This week against a great Seattle pass defense, Crabtree isn't worth the risk.
The Niners have been somewhat inconsistent themselves this season, and I don't fully trust them or Alex Smith against the Seahawks. Smith in particular looked pretty awful in their Week 6 loss to the Giants, throwing three picks and struggling to consistently move the team down the field.
I don't think Smith and his wideouts will be able to establish a connection against Seattle, so you should stick Crabtree on your bench.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Pittsburgh
The Law Firm has been underwhelming in his first year in Cincinnati. Since Week 1, his yards per carry averages have been 3.6, 2.2, 3.2, 1.6 and 3.9. He also has an equal number of fumbles lost and touchdowns with two apiece.
Green-Ellis is also not used much in the passing game, and backup Cedric Peerman is a good pass-catcher who had eight catches last week.
There isn't much upside for Green-Ellis this week against a perennially tough Pittsburgh defense.
Matthew Stafford at Chicago
No matter how you look at it, Stafford has been pretty disappointing this season. After last year's breakout campaign, fans and fantasy owners alike expected big things from him this year.
While he has still put up good numbers, they pale in comparison to his totals from last season. He has yet to throw more than one touchdown pass in a game, and his 4:5 TD:INT ratio is dreadful.
In Week 7, he has to travel to Chicago to play a phenomenal Bears defense that has given up the least fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
It feels strange to have to say it, but keep Stafford on your bench this week.
Rashard Mendenhall at Cincinnati
Opposite Green-Ellis in Week 7 could be Rashard Mendenhall, but the problem with Mendenhall is that his health is always in question.
After returning from a serious knee injury, Mendenhall went and hurt his achilles. While initial reports say that he should be ready for Week 7, it's too hard to trust Mendenhall at this point.
Backup Isaac Redman has also battled the injury bug, but Baron Batch could siphon some carries for himself. At this point it's best to stay away from any Steelers' running back.
Pittsburgh has also lost three straight road games this season, and Cincinnati is a solid team, so the matchup isn't very good anyway.
Pierre Garcon at New York Giants
Like Mendenhall, there are injury concerns surrounding Garcon. He missed Week 2 and 3 due to injury, and is now dealing with foot pain, which caused him to sit out this past week.
He's questionable to play on Sunday, but if he goes, he shouldn't be trusted enough to warrant a start. When Garcon did play in Week 4 and 5, he wasn't very productive, so his potential is pretty low.
In a heated division game against the Giants, I expect RGIII to struggle a bit facing a dominant pass rush, and New York also has some pretty good corners who will look to swamp Garcon.
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