Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Forecasting Production from Disappointing Stars

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls out from under center in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Have you ever gone to a movie starring one of your favorite actors and the movie bombs so bad it completely changes the way you look at that performer? Stinks, right?

Well, it's not much different from an NFL star suddenly losing all fantasy football relevance, completely changing how you analyze them moving forward. That first-round pick who has totally bombed leaves the same sinking feeling in your stomach as watching your favorite actor stumble through an atrocious flick. 

Here is a look at three incredibly disappointing former stars in fantasy football and a forecast of whether they will be worth starting this week or not.


Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-U
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup: The Denver Broncos, allowing 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (22nd in the NFL).

Analysis: Brady hasn't been very good this year for fantasy owners and managed just 13 fantasy points on Monday night after going off for 33 before the bye, but owners should absolutely be starting Brady this week.

For one thing, 13 points against an excellent Carolina defense (he threw for 296 yards, a touchdown and an interception) is nothing to sneeze at. For another, he finally has his best weapons—Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen—healthy. 

The matchup is excellent too, as this game will almost assuredly be a shootout. The Broncos have been quite friendly to opposing quarterbacks and are also giving up 279 passing yards per game (28th in the NFL).

Brady will be good to owners this week. Don't hesitate to get him in those lineups. 

Verdict: Start


Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 17, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matchup: The New York Jets, allowing 11 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week (second in the NFL).

Analysis: Finally, Rice produced. And I'm about to throw a bucket of cold water all over the warm feelings his fantasy owners are feeling after he rushed 25 times for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears.

Yes, Rice registered 20 points on Sundayjust the third time he's reached double-digit points this season—but his matchup this weekend is absolutely brutal, as the Jets give up a league-low 73.2 rushing yards per game. 

In years past, I would be telling you to start Rice regardless, as he used to be a threat in the receiving game, but he has just 178 receiving yards on the season.

Rice simply hasn't been consistent enough to trust him against the league's best run defense.

Verdict: Sit


Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 10:  Byron Maxwell #41 of the Seattle Seahawks breaks up this touchdown reception intended for Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 10, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Matchup: The New Orleans Saints, allowing 16.9 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers per week (ninth in the NFL).

Analysis: At some point, White is going to be healthy enough to trust, right? At some point, one of fantasy's consistent performers at the wideout position in years past will produce, right?

You would think the answer to both of those questions is "Yes," but not this week. 

The Saints have been excellent against the pass, allowing just 191 passing yards per game (third in the NFL), and have only given up eight touchdowns this season to wide receivers. 

White finally scored a touchdown this past week, but still only managed seven fantasy points.

At some point, White should be better than he has been thus far this season, but don't bet on that game coming against a revitalized New Orleans defense. 

Verdict: Sit


All points against stats via ESPN.com. Point totals are for standard-scoring leagues. The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks are on bye. 

Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, tweet random fantasy musings and lament Ray Rice producing the week I finally benched him. 

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