Fantasy Football Week 11: Cam Newton and 4 Other Starters to Bench

Cedric Hopkins@FieldandCourtContributor INovember 20, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 11: Cam Newton and 4 Other Starters to Bench

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    The players in this article, like Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, are top talents in the NFL. No question. But your fantasy football team doesn't get any points just because a guy has talent. If that were the case, then Dwayne Bowe and Reggie Wayne wouldn't have disappointed you last week.

    Talent isn't enough; the circumstances surrounding the player can matter just as much as his ability to make plays.

    This week, I'll show you five starters that need to be benched, because, no matter their talent, they will flat out suck this week.

    Bang it below to save your fantasy football team.

Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice to Be Chased by Bengals

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    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice found himself in this spot last week. I donned the "Bench" mark on him when he squared up against Seattle Seahawk's tough run defense and received tremendous flack over the call. 

    In fact, staunch Bleacher Report commentator Durrell Cotton equated me with a Sith Lord, attempting to poison young minds of inexperienced fantasy football managers everywhere. After the dust settled in Seattle, I went from being "insane" to receiving reluctant props on the call.

    This week, surely I'll be held by the thinnest of threads over the fantasy cliff for urging you to bench Rice. But folks, listen to reason.

    If you didn't like what you saw out of Rice in Seattle, you're going to hate what you see this week when he runs into the brick wall called the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals defense is giving up a mere 86.8 yards per game to running backs. Only the San Francisco 49ers give up fewer yards.

    The Bengals held the new and improved Fred Jackson to 66 yards on 17 carries. And Frank Gore got the same amount of carries (17) against Cincinnati and dashed for a whopping 42 yards. All things called Maurice Jones-Drew was held to 85 yards, as well. 

    In the majority of Rice's games this season (five out of nine), he's averaged 3.5 yards per carry or less. That's mediocre. Expect a same mediocre stat line from him on Sunday, unless, of course, you expect Rice to throw another touchdown to tight end Ed Dickson again.

    Guys to start over Rice: Kendall Hunter (SF), James Starks (GB), Reggie Bush (Mia)

Philip to Cry a River in Chicago

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    The San Diego Chargers travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. At first glance, this appears to be a decent matchup for quarterback Philip Rivers

    After all, the Bears are 29th in the league against the pass giving up 269.7 yards per game. The Bears' more recent history, however, suggests that Rivers will waffle even more so than he has all season. 

    Chicago has been turning it on in the secondary. Over the past month, the combined stats for the quarterbacks facing the Bears defense is dismal: 111-of-194 passing (57.2 percent), 1082 yards for 5.58 yards per attempt with a combined three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    Those stats are dismal, and Rivers will be the same this Sunday. Hopefully, you've already traded the flailing quarterback and received more than a pack of Skittles. If not, don't make a bad thing worse, sit him.

Cam Newton to Put on a Repeat Performance

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    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ranks third among all quarterbacks in fantasy points in standard leagues over the past nine games. If you have him on your team, you're probably starting him. But I know after last week's clunker, doubt has started to creep into your mind about playing him.

    Against the Tennessee Titans, Newton failed to score and tossed an interception. When Newton goes under center against the Detroit Lions' No. 4 pass defense at Ford Field, he'll toss up another clunker. One shot from Ndamukong Suh like the one he delivered to Jay Cutler in the video, and Newton will be rethinking taking another snap.

    The Lions give up 184.0 passing yards per game, good for fourth in the league. Throw in the fact that teams aren't scoring many points on the Lions (20 points per game), and you'd be wise to toss Newton on the bench.

    Other quarterbacks to start: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buf), Matthew Stafford (Det)

LeGarrette Blount Will Be Packed in Against Green Bay

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    Those of you who had preseason dreams of the massive yards and limitless touchdowns Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount was going to get, this is your wake-up call.

    Blount is averaging 9.5 touches for 48.5 yards and zero touchdowns when Tampa Bay is trailing at the buzzer. On the flip side, he's getting 21 touches and 102 yards average when the Bucs win.

    In other words, he's this year's BenJarvis Green-Ellis, a lead back. If the Bucs take the lead and carry it into the final ticks of the game, then Blount's a fantasy dream. If they are losing, well, then the alarm clock will be buzzing in your ear for four quarters.

    The Bucs travel to Lambeau Field to have the battle of the Bays with the Green Bay Packers. Vegas has the Bucs as 14 point underdogs; I find that to be oddly kind by the odds-makers in Nevada. Either way, Blount will be helmet-in-hand on the sideline in the second half while quarterback Josh Freeman tries to beat the spread. Give Blount the sideline treatment on your team.

Dwayne Bowe Will Get Palko'd

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    Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is as good as it gets as far as pass catchers in the league. He's got my respect. Hence the highlight clip.

    But this week, the Chiefs battle the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The guy leading the attack is Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko. The retreat flag could be raised as soon as the first quarter.

    Palko gets tossed into a Monday Night Football matchup that will give him plenty of opportunities. The former undrafted free agent will have to throw all night long in a game where the Chiefs will be playing catchup to an explosive Patriots offense.

    Bowe, despite the talent that oozes from his pores, will watch balls fly over his head and short, to his feet all night. The Patriots defenders have just as much of a chance to catch Palko's throws as Bowe will. The interceptions will be aplenty; Bowe's receptions won't be.

    Other wide receivers to play: David Nelson (Buf), Mario Manningham (NYG)