As expected, fantasy production from some of the NFL's top stars has been unpredictable through four weeks.
Perhaps no star player summarizes this notion better than Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin, who rushed for over 1,400 yards a year ago but has disappeared since, including a 27 carries for 45 yards line a week ago.
Fortunately for Martin, he's headed into a favorable matchup against Philadelphia coming out of the bye week. The same cannot be said for others stars who have disappointed to date.
Avoid the following names at all cost. They're just that—names.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans
Yes, Colin Kaepernick is the man who torched Green Bay for 412 yards through the air in Week 1. Since then, Kaepernick has only thrown for 444 yards—in three games.
Kaepernick has struggled against solid defenses whether San Francisco is winning or not, and defenses don't get better than the NFL's No. 1-ranked unit from Houston. The Texans excel in all phases, but especially so against the pass, as the unit only surrenders 141 yards per game.
Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab summarized Kaepernick's play as of late perfectly:
Colin Kaepernick has 288 passing yards over his last nine-plus quarters of football. 288! What has happened to him?— Frank Schwab (@YahooSchwab) September 27, 2013
The aura of Kaepernick defeating teams with his feet is exaggerated considering he's only gained 140 yards on the ground through four games. To expect significant production in that regard to suddenly appear is erroneous.
Against a stout defensive front Kaepernick will continue to struggle. He's completed less than 50 percent of his passes in two games and the elite Houston unit will make it three. Kaepernick is a bench player at best in Week 5.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns
C.J. Spiller is another big name disappointing owners left and right this season. After gaining 103 yards on 16 carries in Week 2, the common thought was Spiller would produce more with a heavier load.
Which of these stars is most worthy of a bench in Week 5?
Instead Spiller fell flat on his face in Week 4 with just 77 yards on 23 attempts. Even worse, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports, Spiller has an injury that will limit him on Thursday Night Football against Cleveland.
Spiller is also involved in a timeshare with backup Fred Jackson, who has received 48 carries and scored twice, giving fantasy owners a collective headache.
If all that is not enough, Spiller is also tasked with going against the Browns, a team with the No. 4 overall rush defense as it surrenders just 79 yards per game.
Anything other than Spiller on the bench in Week 5, regardless of where he was drafted, is an easy way to throw in the towel.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets
Here we go again.
Atlanta's Roddy White has been hobbled all year with a bum ankle and shows no signs of turning things around, being used exclusively as a decoy to keep pressure off fellow receiver Julio Jones.
Through four games White has caught just 10 passes for 84 yards and no scores. In years past that was a solid line through three quarters for White, but with an injured ankle it's his production through a month of football.
Joe Bussell details the injury in an adequate manner:
The weapons ATL has will always be an advantage. They really miss a healthy Roddy White. He forces teams to respect both WR positions.— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) September 30, 2013
According to Ray Glier of The Boston Globe, White's ankle is still an issue. While there is a nice layover until the Falcons take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, that's no excuse to give White a start.
Rex Ryan's defense gives up just over 200 passing yards per game and the Falcons have struggled all year to move the ball against sound units. Until White can prove he is healthy and productive, he needs to take a sit.
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