Week 17: Sit 'Em
Sit'em articles can vary widely across fantasy websites. Some weeks you might see consistency among experts and other weeks you might not find one match between articles. Sit'em picks are focused on selecting usually solid players that are not worth starting in any given week. Circumstances might include match-up, injury watch, RBBC approach, passing vs. rushing focus, past performance, etc.
Sit'ems include some tough calls. We all have doubts each week and have to consider our options. It is a difficult decision to sit your stud or solid player, but occaisonally you must in order to win that match-up.
The fantasy playoffs are likely over for most leagues, but for those of you playing until the bitter end, it is more important than ever to make sure your line-up is in order. Now is the time to consider your options and make the best possible roster decisions, considering players who might not get their normal playing time since they have locked their playoff spot or those who might surprise in the late season games.
In Week 16, Sam Bradford successfully completed less than 50% of his passes for less than 200 yards with two TDs and one INT vs. a weaker opponent in Tampa Bay. This week he faces a stout Seattle defense that is giving up the least fantasy points to QBs this season. Bradford will be throwing in this match-up, but I am thinking we might see a similar performance to his Week 4 outing vs. them where he threw for 221 yards and one INT. Seattle at home is an extremely dangerous opponent if you are figuring for big fantasy numbers. Keep Bradford on your bench.
Vick Ballard faces a tough opponent in Houston this week. This defense has allowed the second fewest fantasy points to RBs this season. Ballard was expected to put up some decent and maybe even big fantasy numbers last week vs. Kansas City. He turned out to be a disappointment when he only mangaed about seven points. Ballard is going to have to put up a similar performance to his Week 15 outing vs. Houston with 105 rushing yards to make him fantasy-worhty this week. Even then, if he does not make it into the end zone, he is a flex RB at best. Ten points is not going to do it for most RB #1 and #2 options in playoffs. Look for 60-70 rushing yards on 15-17 carries this week.
Steven Jackson faces a solid and consistent Seattle defense at home this week. In Week 4 he gained 55 rushing yards and grabbed one short yardage reception against them. Seattle has ranked in the top five defenses limiting the run this season. Jackson had a long streak where he was scoreless this sesason, but of late he has found the end zone in two of this last three games. With Jackson scoring double-digit fantasy points in each of his last five games, it is hard to sit him; but given the match-up this week and the fact that Bradford will be limited too, Jackson is not looking good. Look for 40-50 rushing yards, but not much more.
Mikel Leshoure has had a pretty solid fantasy run since Week 9 (except for his low weeks in 10 vs. Minnesota and 14 vs. Green Bay). This week he faces a Chicago defense that does have some injuries, so it might be a difficult decision to keep him benched (but consider that Chicago allows the second fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season and they held Leshoure to a low scoring affair in Week 7 with 63 yards). He did post solid receptions in that Week 7 game and could be viable in PPR formats, but I think he will be limited this week on the ground and gain 50 yards rushing tops and Chicago will figure out how to limit him in passing schemes.
Larry Fitzgerald finally came around again and scored some solid fantasy points for his owners in Week 16. The surprsie was that Ryan Lindley was benched for Brian Hoyer. Hoyer made sure to throw the ball Fitz's way and it paid off. My caution this week surrounds the match-up vs. San Fancisco and the fact that this defense gives up the third fewest points to wide outs. Facing San Fran on their home turf is not appealing. Just beacsue Hoyer and Fitz connected this past week does not mean they are going to connect for over 100 yards this week nor find pay dirt. I suspect we will see 40-50 receiving yards and no score. Keep him on your bench.