Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 4: Top Players Who Must Remain on Your Bench

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 9, 2013 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

While fantasy football owners want to find the underrated players to put in their lineups and have a big game, it is just as important to recognize when a bad performance is coming.

Even the best players in the league will have at least a week or two over the course of the season where they do not live up to expectations. This could end up being devastating to your hopes of winning in fantasy.

Therefore, it is vital to make sure you keep certain players out of the lineup and find a good replacement for the upcoming week. If you do not put these guys on the bench, you will end up being sorry.

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 22:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In his performance in Week 1, Eli Manning showed that you do not have to have a good game to be productive in fantasy football. Despite three interceptions, he finished with 28 points in standard leagues. 

While he numbers have dropped, he still remains a decent fantasy option overall due to the great weapons around him and the fact he is averaging 38 pass attempts per game.

Unfortunately, the last game showed that he does not deserve to be in a starting lineup for the immediate future. Not only is he still making mistakes with the football, but the offensive line has regressed, giving him little time to throw the ball.

Against the Kansas City Chiefs—who lead the NFL with 15 sacks—Manning will be under pressure all game long. This means that Manning will likely struggle to put up big numbers, as well as Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After getting 18 and 19 rushing attempts in the first two games, Arian Foster only managed 13 touches in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

While the score played into the lack of carries, fellow running back Ben Tate earned 12 touches in the game thanks in part to three receptions out of the backfield.

This is concerning for Foster's fantasy value, as he is not getting the opportunities to succeed like he had over the past few seasons.

To make matters worse, the Texans will face one of the league's top defenses in the Seattle Seahawks next game. Counting only running backs, the Seahawks have allowed only 51.7 rushing yards per game this year.

If Foster is not getting carries, it is hard to imagine him putting together a strong showing in this one.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the football after a reception against the Detroit Lions during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Glendale, Arizon
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just like usual, Larry Fitzgerald's struggles have little to do with him. This time, it's not just the quarterback, but the entire offensive line.

Carson Palmer has a strong enough arm to find Fitzgerald down the field, but he does not have enough time in the pocket to throw the ball. This means that while the receiver could grab a touchdown or two, he is unlikely to have too many 100-yard games.

Of course this week, there is a low probability that he gets either. Darrelle Revis will make it his mission to shut down Fitzgerald in this matchup, and he still has the talent to accomplish that feat.

A year ago, fantasy owners would be able to plug any receiver against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and expect a good day. That is no longer the case, and the Cardinals player will struggle.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22:  Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers scores a 73-yard toucdown reception against the New York Giants in the first quarter during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

After missing last week's game with a hamstring injury, Vernon Davis only has a short week to get healthy. The 49ers will travel to face the St. Louis Rams in a divisional battle on Thursday night.

Even if the tight end plays, it is clear that he will not be 100 percent. This will not bode well for the struggling San Francisco offense that only has 10 points in the last two games combined.

Additionally, the Rams have actually done a good job of at least slowing down opposing tight ends this season. Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez combined for 100 yards and no touchdowns in the past two weeks.

Davis himself only managed 45 receiving yards in two games against St. Louis in 2012.

It would be smarter for fantasy owners to find an alternative at the position this week.

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