Fantasy football: Don’t be afraid to sit your studs

Danny Woodhead
You can feel free to sit Danny Woodhead with Ryan Mathews getting a bigger look.
Credit: Getty Images

Now that the playoffs are here, a lot of fantasy advice out there will tell you to “ride your studs,” no matter what. I can’t think of worse advice.

We’re not going to get any points for what guys have done in the past. Dancing with the girl you brought to the party might be the honorable play, but it doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get lucky. There are guys trending downward right now that can be sat for less proven options.

The Woodman

Danny Woodhead was the everyman kind of hero early in the season as he dominated point-per reception formats. Between Weeks 2-8, he averaged 14.2 touches per game and 36.7 snaps. In Weeks 9-13, he’s at just 9.0 touches and 29.0 snaps. The reduced role is a result of Ryan Mathews’ increasingly impressive play and the perhaps the coach’s perception that Woodhead is wearing down. Despite a plus matchup at home against the Giants this week, the Woodman can be put on the shelf.

Air Jordan

Our favorite preseason sleeper has hit the skids. Thanks in large part to mostly inept quarterback play and Josh Gordon dominating targets, Jordan Cameron has just 14 catches for 108 yards with no touchdowns over the last four weeks. Now he has to go to a tough spot at New England and might be catching passes from Alex Tanney or Caleb Hanie. Ladarius Green is a better play right now.

Jordy boy

We knew that the entire Packers offense would take a hit with Aaron Rodgers down. But we didn’t know it would be this bad. Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn have been so inept that one of the best receivers in football, Jordy Nelson, has just 20 catches for 245 yards with no touchdowns over the last four weeks. If Rodgers’ collarbone isn’t ready to rock by Sunday, Nelson will be more of a top-35 play than the top-10 option he’d normally be.

NFL news …

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Ladarius Green is blocked by Antonio Gates. Last week, Green played on 61-of-67 snaps and Gates was in for 62-of-67. The Chargers are using the two-tight end set as their base, making a concerted effort to unleash the massive potential of Green. He’s a legit top-12 tight end play against the Giants Sunday.

Make sure to get these borderline wideouts in your lineups this week …

1. Torrey Smith, Ravens – It might be cold in Baltimore, but Smith will run wide open all day vs. the NFL’s No. 30 secondary.

2. Julian Edelman, Patriots – Edelman has moved ahead of Danny Amendola and plays all over the field. Joe Haden won’t follow him.

3. Riley Cooper, Eagles – Cooper’s box scores have been quiet, but he’s still getting tons of red-zone chances. The Lions’ secondary is a disaster.

NFL pickups …

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks – Percy Harvin’s hip is a mess, locking Baldwin into an every-down role opposite Golden Tate.

Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers – Played 63 percent of snaps in 2013 debut. That number should gradually rise.

Raiders D/ST – Streamers can bank on Geno Smith committing a turnover or six against this underrated unit.

Follow Metro and Rotoworld fantasy sports writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.


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