By Adam Harris-
(CBS) With so many questions in fantasy football, it’s nice to know that we all can heavily rely on our studs performing to their potential each week, right?READ MORE: Death Investigation Underway After Man Found Unresponsive On CTA Red Line Platform In Old Town
There are a list of fantasy studs out there who have so greatly under performed through the first three weeks that their owners are considering taking action. I will go through these underperforming studs one by one and give advice on what to do with them. Will they turn things around or is selling them right now a good idea? After my intense research on each player, you can take my word as to which fantasy studs are now duds.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB
11th QB / 697 yds / 5 TDs / 1 INT / 50 fantasy points
I feel like I write a “calm down” column each year on this guy. Rodgers has had one really good game in which he threw for 346 yards and three scores, but he has performed horribly the past two weeks, averaging 175 yards and just one touchdown. I ‘m here again to calm every Rodgers owner down, asking each owner to “discount double check” the stats.
When drafting Rodgers, you should have known he often has one-touchdown games. Over the last two seasons, Rodgers has played in 24 full games and threw for one touchdown or zero in nine (38 percent) of those. Throwing for fewer 200 yards is another story, as Rodgers has only done that three times over that same stretch. During Rodgers’ two rough games this year, he faced the stingy Seahawks defense in Seattle and a surprising Lions defense that has given up 180 aerial yards per game so far. Those are both tough matchups, and Rodgers has done more with even less on his team in the past. For example, in 2012, Rodgers was sacked 51 times but was able to put 39 passes in the end zone and throw for just fewer than 4,300 yards. Rodgers will always find a way to compete with the elite fantasy quarterbacks.
Don’tsell Rodgers right now. His value is too low, and he has a history of these type of performances. Rodgers gets to face the Bears and Vikings two times each and the Bucs, Saints, Eagles and Falcons once. There will be a few weeks in there where he wins you your fantasy matchup by himself, and that alone is worth sticking with. This year, the blow-up factor is hard to come by and despite his recent shortcomings, Rodgers still possesses that.
If you aren’t a Rodgers owner, try to buy low on the veteran. Trade your overperforming quarterback like Nick Foles (QB-PHI) or Andrew Luck (QB-IND) and a good RB/WR for Rodgers and a better WR/RB depending on your need.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles RB
17th RB / 239 total yds / 1 TD / 35 fantasy points
Shady mcCoy certainly earned his nickname this past week, as he was a shade of his usual self. McCoy had 19 carries for just 22 yards against the Redskins and saw only two targets in the passing game, catching neither. McCoy left that horrible game briefly with a concussion scare, only to be cleared and return to continue and be bad. I think it’s time to shop McCoy. The Eagles offensive line isn’t blocking well, and the they seem to be going through Foles way more than McCoy. Currently, I believe owners can get a lot back for McCoy on his name alone. McCoy has yet to put an 80 -ard ground game together, but the main reason his arrow is pointing down is the offensive line.
McCoy is amazingly talented but not talented enough to work through an O-line that has three starters and even one backup out. Foles got hit so hard this past Sunday, it’s tough to believe he will be able to stay healthy enough to take some pressure off McCoy. I certainly expect McCoy to finish as a top-20 fantasy running back this year, but I think dealing him and your TE/WR/QB for potential blow-ups like Julius Thomas (TE-DEN), Julio Jones (WR-ATL) and Peyton Manning (QB-DEN) is a worthwhile deal as long as you get a startable running back in return, too.
Matt Forte, Bears RB
10th RB / 281 total yds / 0 TD / 37.5 fantasy points
Forte has yet to find the end zone this year, simply because there are so many better red-zone options for the Bears. The veteran back has only seen 14 rushing attempts per game, ranking 15th in the NFL, eight spots behind Knile Davis (RB-KC), who was a backup for an entire game. Forte is four rushing attempts per game behind last year’s average of 18. As second-year Bears coach Marc Trestman implements his offense more and more, the Bears will continue to shy away from the run.
I believe you can tentatively shop Forte, but don’t do so with panic on your mind. Forte is still alive in the Bears passing game, leading all running backs by far in receptions with 19. The next closest receiving back to him through the first three games is Reggie Bush with 14. This gives me hope for Forte owners as long as they are all right with him not getting in the end zone often. It seems the Bears have figured out how to utilize their large targets such as Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett once they are inside the 20 or even inside the 10. Expect at least 10 points from Forte each week, but no more than 20.READ MORE: Transgender Attorneys Says Judges And Clerks Have Harassed Her; Fights For Change
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs RB
74th RB / 46 total yards / 0 TD / 7.1 fantasy points
Charles has perhaps been the most disappointing running back this year. He has been injured for one and a half games, but he only saw nine carries in the season openerthat he was healthy for. Chiefs coach Andy Reid admitted fault after Week 1 for the lack of touches but didn’t have a chance to right the ship because after just two carries in Week 2, Charles suffered a high ankle sprain. If you own backup Knile Davis, Charles remains untradable. Davis saw 28 touches after Charles left in Week 2 and saw 32 touches last week. Davis gets the goal-line work and has averaged a steady 3.9 yards per carry. Everything I read about the Chiefs offensive line hints at them being dismal in the passing game, but all arrows are pointing up for the rushing attack.
Quarterback Alex Smith has been sacked 11 times in three games, which screams for quicker passes and screen passes for when Charles returns from his injury. Charles is practicing but is expected to sit this week and will most likely return the following week. The only person I would trade Charles to is the Davis owner. You can possibly get the edge in the trade with an owner who has gotten used to Davis but sees that domination coming to an end. Charles can be that owner’s answer. You can ask for a stud tight end such as New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham or Denver’s Julius Thomas or a stud receiver and an average running back like Buffalo’s Fred Jackson in return. Normally, I don’t promote being on the two-player end of a two-for-one trade, but this case makes sense.
Jimmy Graham, Saints TE
3rd TE / 18th Overall / 24 receptions / 254 yds / 2 TDs / 49.5 fantasy points
I’m not panicked about Graham at all. Graham owners haven’t seen the explosive game from their first-round tight end yet, and they have to sit back and watch Julius Thomas go off in two of the first three weeks despite Thomas often being drafted two rounds after Graham. Yes that is frustrating, but it is temporary.
Graham is still the most targeted tight end in the NFL with five more targets than Martellus Bennett and is the 18th-ranked player overall. He hasn’t won fantasy weeks by himself yet, which is why Graham owners drafted him so high, but the potential is still there. As Drew Brees continues to spread the ball around, Graham continues to lead the team in receptions, yards, targets and touchdowns. Graham owners just need to wait for the Saints offense to spring up.
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos WR
38th WR / 13 receptions / 141 yds / 1 TD / 28.5 fantasy points
Thomas has scored fewer fantasy points than Miles Austin (WR-CLE), Jordan Matthews (WR-PHI) and even Jeremy Kerley (WR-NYJ). While Thomas is more talented than all three of those receivers combined, the reality is he has underperformed so far this season. Thomas is tied for the lead in the NFL in drops with four, which puts him on pace to more than double his total from last year of eight.
We know Peyton Manning is a perfectionist. He doesn’t think highly of mistakes, and he will make that adamant either by yelling at you on the sideline or by not giving you the football. Thomas doesn’t seem to fall into either category, as Manning continues to targets his star like a star with 27 targets so far this year. That’s equal to the targets Dez Bryant (WR-DAL) has seen and is one more than the targets Brandon Marshall (WR-CHI) has seen. The issue is that Thomas hasn’t converted those targets into fantasy points just yet, as he’s been outperformed by nearly 20 points by those two counterparts mentioned in the previous sentence. I don’t expect this trend to continue. The targets will continue to go his way, which means Manning will figure out a comfortable way to get his star receiver the football in space and let him work. Don’t trade Thomas.
Eddie Lacy, Packers RB
51st RB / 151 total yards / 0 TD / 1 fumble lost / 16 Fantasy Points
Can you say sophomore slump? Lacy is both a buy-low and sell-low candidate, but my main advice is to run as fast as you can and pick up teammate James Starks. While I haven’t seen the amount of Starks carries that worries me that Lacy’s job is in immediate jeopardy, I think if this week isn’t a bounce-back week for Lacy, then rumblings will start. Lacy has a surprisingly tough matchup this week against the Bears, who have played solid run defense the last two weeks against the 49ers and Jets.
So don’t expect a breakout performance. Lacy owners should be ecstatic with a 100 total yards and a score, and they should be happy with 70 total yards if his yards per carry is at least 3.5. The jury remains out for me on Lacy, but I didn’t want to exclude him from this article because he is a dud right now. Just grab Starks and hope for the best with Lacy. See what kind of offers he brings in as well. If there is a stud receiver in the mix or a stud tight end on the market, go for it.
Some of these fantasy studs just need some time, and some require immediate action. The last piece of advice I will give you is to not make a move or a decision based on your heart or your emotions toward a particular stud-turned-dud. Take a breath and read up on each of these players before you make a move. After my research, I came to all the previous conclusions.MORE NEWS: Food Delivery Driver Shot And Killed While Sitting In Car In Little Italy
Adam Harris is a producer for 670 The Score. He co-hosts the Fantasy Nerd Herd every Friday night with Joe Ostrowski. Follow him on Twitter @aharris670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.