Start Em Sit Em Week 2: Top Players Who Should Remain on Fantasy Bench

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12:  Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after he scored a 32-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

No matter how good your fantasy football team is, you will likely lose if you simply keep the same team in there every week. It is important to look at the matchup and adjust accordingly.

Fans were already able to see what happens when top players faced tough defenses in Week 1. Cam Newton was bottled by the Seattle Seahawks, while Trent Richardson could not do much against the Miami Dolphins and their stout run defense.

These types of situations should have caused fantasy owners to sit their top players in favor of those with better matchups in order to get the best possible week.

This week, there are a number of other examples of players who are unlikely to post big numbers despite having high expectations. If you have better alternatives, keep these guys on your bench.


Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

Although Russell Wilson did not put up huge numbers in Week 1, he still passed for 320 yards with a touchdown and proved that he is a legitimate fantasy option at quarterback.

However, he is unlikely to be a top scorer in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers. 

Last season, Wilson had two very different games against the division rival. He had no touchdowns with an interception in a loss earlier in the year and then had four touchdowns in a win in Week 16. Still, the one similarity in the two games was that the Seahawks worked to establish the run.

Wilson only totaled 44 pass attempts in the two games combined, and this should be expected one more time. Marshawn Lynch has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games against the 49ers, and Seattle will try to do that again to control the clock.

The second-year quarterback will try to remain efficient, but a huge fantasy day is unlikely. 


Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Houston Texans

The Houston Texans had one of the toughest run defenses in the league last season, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. 

This has continued in 2013, as San Diego Chargers starting running back Ryan Mathews only managed 33 yards on 13 carries in Week 1.

Meanwhile, Chris Johnson could not get going against the Steelers despite every opportunity to succeed. He received 25 rushing attempts but only averaged 2.8 yards per carry.

To make matters worse, Jackie Battle vultured a short touchdown, which is something that could continue this season. This hurts Johnson's value on a weekly basis.

Although there will be better days ahead for the veteran running back when he faces weaker opposing defenses, this game will not be a good one.


Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: Cleveland Browns

Last week, Joe Haden showed why he is among the top cornerbacks in the league when he completely shut down Mike Wallace. The Miami Dolphins receiver only managed to secure one catch for 15 yards.

This time around, Haden will match up against a similar type of receiver in Torrey Smith. Both Smith and Wallace are known as deep threats who can struggle to make things happen in other ways. That does not bode well for Smith in the upcoming game.

The Ravens receiver also only grabbed four catches in Week 1 despite Joe Flacco throwing 62 passes in the loss. Ray Rice, Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley were all targeted more often than Smith in the first game as the quarterback tried to spread the ball around.

With Haden likely marking Smith all game, Flacco will have to find these other targets more often.


Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: San Diego Chargers

Unlike the other players on this list, the matchup is actually pretty good for Brent Celek. The San Diego Chargers allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the last game against the Texans.

However, the problem with Celek is that you cannot trust his role in the offense.

The Eagles tight end appeared to put up good numbers in his first game, totaling 56 receiving yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he only had three targets, the same number as rookie Zach Ertz.

Under Chip Kelly, Philadelphia will be a run-heavy team that only succeeds through the air on play-action passes. Although Celek got a couple of big plays in Week 1, he is unlikely to replicate that success too often throughout the season.

Considering he scored only a single touchdown last season, it is clear there are better options at the position each week.


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