Larry Fitzgerald

Falcons' Tandem Flops Versus Weak Saints' Secondary

For many fantasy owners, this past week determined playoff seeding and even playoff spots.  In need of some breakout performances, many owners were let down by these players when they needed it most:

1) Julio Jones & Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

White and Jones, Atlanta’s fearsome wide receiver duo, were expected to have an explosive outing on Thursday against the New Orleans Saints, whose pass defense is amongst the worst in the league.  Instead, both struggled to get much of anything going, combining for a paltry six passes for 68 yards.  Although White and Jones have feasted on opposing defenses and fantasy owners for most of the season, the roles were reversed this week.

2) Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Over the past three weeks, Fitzgerald has hauled in a mere five passes for 65 yards, his lone catch this past week going for twenty three yards. To be fair, he can’t be blamed much for this lack of production, as the Cardinals’ rotating carousel at the quarterback position has failed to provide any kind of offensive spark and has led to eight straight losses.

3) Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets

For those who started Sanchez on Sunday against the Cardinals, I feel for you.  Marky Mark registered negative fantasy points in his latest outing, passing for 97 yards and tossing three interceptions before being benched in the first half to make way for former ‘Bama QB Greg McElroy.

With fantasy contenders beginning to emerge in many leagues, the emphasis now is on staying competitive and not falling behind in the standings. Whether the goal is to remain in first place or climb out of last, it only takes a few key lineup modifications:

Players to start:

1) LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are an anomaly for a number of reasons, one of them being their inability to consistently get the ball to the explosive McCoy. However, with Michael Vick struggling to hold onto the football and the Eagles facing a Lions defense that has allowed over 100 rush yards per game this season, “Shady” McCoy should have a solid week. Expect him to get plenty of touches and reach the end zone.

2) Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
After looking practically invisible the first two weeks of the season, Fitzgerald has emerged as the fantasy stud people thought he would be, averaging just under 90 receiving yards over the past three games. With a weak Buffalo Bills defense coming up Sunday, Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb will be looking in Fitzgerald’s direction any chance he gets.

3) Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
While everyone has been talking about another Redskins rookie, Morris has quietly put together a very solid season. Morris has been the model of consistency, topping 89 yards rushing in all but one game this year, including back-to-back 100-yard games the past two weeks. Whether quarterback Robert Griffin III plays or not Sunday against the Vikings, look for the Redskins’ offense to lean on Morris.

Players to sit:

1) Nate Washington, WR, Tennessee Titans
After a big game against the Detroit Lions three weeks ago, Washington has been held in check and out of the end zone by opposing defenses. Much of this can be attributed to the absence of starting quarterback Jake Locker, who injured his shoulder against Houston in Week 4. With Matt Hasselbeck under center for the Titans and the Steelers defense coming to town, Washington cannot be considered a reliable fantasy threat.

2) Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
After his debacle against the Bears on Monday Night Football a couple of weeks ago, can we really trust Romo again? Yes, he has had dud games like that throughout his career and has been able to bounce back from them, but this year’s Cowboys are much less explosive offensively. With a weak offensive line to protect him from the Ravens’ tenacious defense, Romo will have to improvise early and often, which will lead to some mistakes.

3) Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Prior to last week, Ponder was playing mistake-free football for the Vikings. He faltered Sunday against the Dolphins, however, tossing his first two interceptions of the season. True, he is set to face a Redskins defense which has allowed big games to several quarterbacks this year. However, Washington looked better last week against the Falcons’ high-flying pass attack, and Ponder does not have the offensive weapons Matt Ryan had.

Printed on Thursday, October 11, 2012 as: McCoy a slick pick in fantasy this week