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Fantasy football: Larry Fitzgerald, Colin Kaepernick on the never-again team

Larry Fitzgerald has found the end zone just twice all season.Getty Images

If you’ve reached the promised land and are playing in the fantasy Super Bowl this weekend, congratulations are in order. If not, there’s a good chance some players are now your enemy.

As we begin to review what went wrong, it’s important to understand why a player busted. Guys that got hurt or were set up to fail by teammates’ ineptitude shouldn’t be written off. But guys that flopped for different reasons find themselves in the “never again” category.

Over the Hill

Everyone knows to avoid running backs as they approach 30-years-old. In hindsight, we should have applied that thinking at the wideout spot as well. Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson no longer threaten defenses deep, capping their upside as possession-type receivers while youngsters Michael Floyd and DeAndre Hopkins go long. Brandon Marshall, Roddy White, Marques Colston and Reggie Wayne are more examples of older receivers nearing the end of the line.

Running in mud

The running back position is volatile because it’s replaceable. The fact that Montee Ball struggled badly yet Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson excelled is a monster red flag. Bishop Sankey was among the most unimpressive rookies, lacking vision, explosion and pass-game chops. Toby Gerhart, proving too slow to be effective, embarrassingly lost his job to college quarterback Denard Robinson. Doug Martin has been among worst running backs in the NFL the last two seasons in terms of both running and pass protection. I’m done with all these backs.

Tip of the Kaep

Colin Kaepernick has the arm and the athletic ability. He’s shown that’s not enough. An overly conservative scheme that lacks creativity certainly hasn’t helped, but Kaep consistently flops in plus spots. We can blame the receivers, the scheme and the NFC West defenses all we want, but enough is enough. Given the depth at the quarterback spot, there’s just little reason to gamble on the position. Guys like Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger were Round 10 picks this season.

Pickups of the Week

Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys – If DeMarco Murray (hand) ends up sitting, Randle will get 15-plus carries against a bad Colts run defense.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins – The Eagles bleed fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. RG3 can hit them with his legs and arm.

Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers — With Keenan Allen out, expect an every-down role and plenty of underneath targets for Royal.

NFL Matchups

Fire up these borderline pass-catchers in Week 16

1. DeSean Jackson vs. PHL – Perfect revenge spot for the ex-Eagles “gangster.” Expect a fistful of deep shots.

2. Brandon LaFell at NYJ – Look for the Patriots to feature the pass game, exploiting the Jets’ awful corners while avoiding their stout run defense.

3. Jarvis Landry vs. MIN – Plus weather and matchups against Josh Robinson/Captain Munnerlyn? Yes please. Landry has at least six catches in four straight games.

NFL News

Hue Jackson wasn’t kidding when he said it was time to ride one back. Giovani Bernard accepted his bench role, getting out-snapped by Jeremy Hill, 47-28. Now the clear-cut feature back – and a very good one at that – Hill is a borderline RB1 even in a tough matchup like the one against the Broncos Monday night.

 
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