Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Star Players at Each Position Worth Benching

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIDecember 1, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of  the San Diego Chargers looks on from the sidelines after having to kick the ball to the Denver Broncos during their NFL Game on November 27, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Broncos won 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Sometimes, we just need to focus on the negatives. Looking at the percentage owned and/or percentage started totals in ESPN fantasy leagues, I can tell that too many people are depending too much on these players.

So, let's take a look at one player from each position that belongs on your bench. The names are big, but the performances won't be.


QB: Philip Rivers

Rivers is having a terrible season. Still, he's owned in 100 percent of ESPN leagues and starting in more than two-thirds of them. 

This is not the same quarterback that torched the NFL last season. He's in the midst of a terrible season. In addition to that, the Jaguars have done quite well against opposing quarterbacks.

Unless you're in a deep league or one that requires multiple QBs, keep Rivers on the bench. Bye weeks are over, it's not hard to find a good spot-starter at the position.

RB: Steven Jackson

This one is all about the matchup. The 49ers defense has crushed every running back that it's come up against this season. There isn't one exception to that. They haven't allowed a 100-yard rushing game to a player or team in 2011. Additionally, they haven't allowed one touchdown on the ground.

The Rams are better suited to look for Brandon Lloyd to take them to the upset. On top of all of that, the 49ers are heavily favored here. The Rams will spend a lot of time behind, which means they'll be throwing. 


WR: A.J. Green

Green did have a big play against the Steelers when they played earlier this season. That big play did lead to a touchdown. But there's a rub to that. 

That long touchdown pass was his only catch of the game. 

Against Pittsburgh's defense, you can't rely on too much to happen. Unless he has another big play, Green is not a good play.


TE: Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez is going to the Hall of Fame five years after he retires, but that's not going to help him this week. The Texans defense has done quite well against opposing tight ends all season long.

The Falcons have plenty of other weapons to take them to victory in this one. Given the Texans success against tight ends this year, look for them to use those weapons.


K: Josh Brown

It's a little hard to define anyone as a "top" kicker. So, I looked at the ones who are owned by the most fantasy owners in ESPN. Brown qualifies.

He encounters a similar problem to what Jackson is dealing with. The opposing defense is just stellar, and the their offense is not very good.

For a kicker to thrive, he needs to be in position to kick field goals and extra points. That's just not reliable this week for Brown. 

On top of all of that, Candlestick Park is not traditionally a good place to kick field goals. Look for other guys to get your fantasy points. There's no shortage of kickers on waiver wires.


DEF: Detroit Lions

On Monday, the Saints hosted a team that has a strong defensive line, but with a weak group of linebackers and a secondary that leaves a lot to be desired. The Saints put up 49 points on them.

Now, the situation is similar. The Lions do have a strong defensive line (even without Ndamukong Suh), but not much else. 

If the Lions manage a win this week, it will be in a shootout. Their defense is not a good play.


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