The situation with Frank Gore in fantasy football right now can be epitomized by the phrase "how the mighty have fallen." A former stud, Gore has had an abysmal 2011 season.
Through three games, Gore is averaging just 2.5 yards a carry and has only one touchdown and six receptions. He appears to be only a shell of his former self.
If his poor play wasn't enough for fantasy owners to turn their noses at, he is now dealing with a sprained ankle that is expected to at least limit him in Sunday's contest against the Eagles.
Gore's backup Kendall Hunter has looked good in limited touches this season, and could end up receiving the most carries in the San Francisco backfield in Week 4.
There's almost no reward factor in starting Gore this week. He needs to be avoided at all costs, and if you really need to start a Niners back go with Hunter.
In addition to Gore, there a handful of other players you don't want to have in your lineup this week. Here are five of them.
Boldin is off to a pretty solid start in 2011 after coming off a subpar season in his first one with the Ravens. Don't expect that trend to continue this week against the New York Jets.
The veteran receiver is expected to draw the coverage of Darrelle Revis this week, arguably the best cover corner in the NFL. The Jets defense as a whole should limit the passing game of the Ravens.
Boldin did have 110 catches against New York last year, but Revis sat out that game. He would be a desperation play this week in a standard league due to this rough matchup.
This week represents another change at the quarterback position for the Indiannapolis Colts. Kerry Collins is dealing with a concussion, and Curtis Painter has been named the starter for their contest against Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Painter has yet to throw a touchdown in his NFL career and has only completed one-third of his passes. That is not good news for tight end Dallas Clark, who has barely made any noise this season.
The tight end position is ultra deep in 2011, meaning you should easily be able to find a better option to start this week. Jared Cook would be a nice add if you were counting on Clark, as he should step into the second option in the Titans passing game with Kenny Britt lost for the season.
Jets running back Shonn Greene finally got his 2011 season started last week against the Raiders, but is not expected to repeat that 100 yard game this week against Baltimore.
The Ravens are one of the hardest teams to run on in the NFL, so New York will most likely turn to the passing game early and often. That means more snaps for LaDainian Tomlinson as Greene will find himself on the sidelines.
Greene is averaging just 3.3 yards per rush this year and that will probably be a little bit less after dealing with Baltimore tomorrow night. Look elsewhere for your RB2 or flex position if you own Greene this week.
Sam Bradford has struggled to throw the ball all season long, and don't expect that to change in Week 4. A matchup against the Washington Redskins isn't going to suddenly ignite the Rams passing game.
Eli Manning, Kevin Kolb and Tony Romo have combined to throw two touchdowns in three games against the Redskins this season. All three of those teams have better passing games than Saint Louis right now, so this one could get ugly for Bradford.
The Rams are likely to turn to Steven Jackson on the ground early and often. I'm sure you can find a better quarterback option in Week 4, someone like Jason Campbell.
Owners of Colston are undoubtedly ecstatic that he is expected to make his return to the field this week. They need to be careful to not get overly excited and put him right in their starting lineup, however.
Colston is coming off the major injury to his collarbone, and it's unknown how much he can actually contribute or how many snaps he will play.
The other factor here is that Drew Brees really likes to spread the ball around, making it hard to determine which receivers are going to shine each week.
Fantasy owners need to bench Colston this week and just hope he isn't returning to the field too early. New Orleans needs to exercise caution with its top receiver.