Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 9: @ Oakland, FantasyPros.com rank: 11, My rank: 9)
JAAAAAAAAASH FREEMAN!!! If you’ve read this article at all this season, you know I love Freeman immensely. And there are some statistical signs that validate that affection. Freeman is second in the league in yards per attempt and as well as second in pro-football-reference.com’s adjusted yards per attempt. The other four guys in the top five of adjusted yards per attempt are Peyton, RG3, Brady and Rodgers. That’s good company.
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts, Week 9: vs. Miami, FantasyPros.com rank: 12, My rank: 18)
Like Freeman, Luck is a regular in this article. But not in a good way. I’m seriously unconvinced that Luck is any good. He’s 29th in NFL QB rating, 25th in adjusted yards per attempt, and 28th in completion percentage. A bad completion percentage and a low yards per attempt average is a bad combination.
And Luck was deceptively bad in choice matchups the last two weeks. Against Cleveland (who allows the 8th most fantasy points per game to QBs) Luck only produced 6 fantasy points with his arm and needed two rushing touchdowns to salvage his day. Against Tennessee (who allows the third most fantasy points per game to QBs) Luck needed overtime to get to 15 points.
Jonathan Dwyer (Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 9: @ New York Giants, FantasyPros.com rank: 23, My rank: 14)
Ummmm Dwyer is kind of good. He’s working with a smaller sample size than most backs, but he’s 6th in yards per attempt (5.2), second in yards after contact (4.07), and third in ProFootballFocus.com’s “elusive rating” which evaluates the skill of a back independent of his offensive line. There is obviously some concern about Dwyer’s health (he missed practice Wednesday) and the potential return of Redman and Mendenhall, but I’d bank on Dwyer having earned himself another start.
Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans, Week 9: vs. Chicago, FantasyPros.com rank: 16, My rank: 23)
I mentioned that elusive rating evaluates the skill of a back independent of his offensive line, and Chris Johnson is 44th out of 50 qualified backs in that category. Adjusted line yards is a stat from footballoutsiders.com that evaluates an offensive line’s run blocking ability. Tennessee’s line ranks 29th in that category. The Bears allow the fewest fantasy points per game to RBs. So to recap: bad back + bad line + bad matchup = sit.
Rashad Jennings (Jacksonville Jaguars, Week 9: vs. Detroit, FantasyPros.com rank: 17, My rank: 22)
The analysis used on Johnson essentially applies to Jennings as well. Jennings is 31st in elusive rating, Jacksonville’s line is 25th in adjusted line yards, and the Lions allow the 7th fewest fantasy points per game to RBS. SIT!
Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs, Week 9: @ San Diego, FantasyPros.com rank: 26, My rank: 19)
Matt Cassel is back under center, so Bowe is back in the top 20.
Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers, Week 9: @ Washington, FantasyPros.com rank: 15, My rank: 22)
So everyone is back in on Smith after his first 100 yard game since Week 2? I’ll admit that the matchup with Washington is good, and Smith is 7th in yards per route run. But let’s see the Panthers offense click before we place Smith so comfortably inside the top 20 each week.
Brandon Myers (Oakland Raiders, Week 9: vs. Tampa Bay, FantasyPros.com rank: 14, My rank: 9)
Myers is 7th among tight ends in receptions and leads all tight ends in catch rate (31 catches in 37 targets). Coby Fleener is the only other tight end who has 20+ catches and no touchdowns. A score or two is coming.
Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers, Week 9: vs. Kansas City, FantasyPros.com rank: 6, My rank: 11)
Antonio Gates’ yards per route run starting in 2009: 2.47, 2.35, 1.62, 1.11. That 1.11 is just a horrendous number. So until everyone realizes that Gates isn’t a top ten option anymore, I’ll continue to list him as a sit in this article.
Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions, Week 9: @ Jacksonville, FantasyPros.com rank: 9, My rank: 13)
What reason do people have to rank Pettigrew in the top 10? He’s 44th out of 50 in DVOA among tight ends with 12+ catches. He’s 21st among tight ends in yards per route run. And it’s not like he’s been a consistent fantasy performer despite some underlying bad signs. He’s just 15th in fantasy points and doesn’t have more than seven fantasy points in any single game. Moreover, his opponent, Jacksonville, allows the second fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. If you have any further questions about this particular topic, feel free to ask him on Twitter (@TheRealTAL) or email him at [email protected].