As crunch time approaches, it’s essential to have a well-balanced fantasy diet of sure-fire playmakers and a solid group of complimentary players that will ensure victory each weekend. A vital part in this decision making is cutting the “fat” from your diet and replacing it with something better for you and thus, more effective. Here are some “unhealthy” players that will slow down your team this weekend and some efficient alternatives.
Fattening: Ronnie Brown. Along with the sheer fact that Brown splits carries with the newly energized Rick Williams, Brown has along of other things stacked against him. In the past, Brown has gained a lot of value through his role in the Wildcat formation. As of recently though, Brown is seeing himself being fazed out of that equation. Brown has only taken one snap in the Wildcat in the last eight quarters and his rushing stats alone are not enough to be considered a serviceable back. Brown only has 299 yards rushing with a mere single touchdown to his name. Also going against Brown is the fact he will be facing a Steelers defense this week that is only giving up 63.6 rushing yards per game and is only allowing 12 points per game. Brown is a deadweight play at this point.
Try This Instead: Christopher Ivory. The Saints rookie rushed for 158 yards last week against the Buccaneers and caught a pass for 17 yards. With Pierre Thomas still on the mend, look for the levelheaded rookie to rack up a lot of yards against a Cleveland defense that allows 120 rushing yards a game. Ivory should be effective throughout the game and especially in garbage time when the Saints are crushing the Browns defense into the ground.
Fattening: Tony Romo. This high profile QB normally keeps his name in the news for reasons other than football. Romo has a respectable 10 touchdowns this year but his frantic play has always forced him to throw 7 interceptions. With the pressure mounting on the Copyboys to win, look for Romo to crack against a Giants defense that only allows 172 passing yards a game and only averages 19.7 points against a game.
Try This Instead: Matt Cassel. Cassel may seem like a stretch but he has put together three solid consecutive starts and has gone 102 passes without an interception. Although Cassel has only thrown for 7 touchdowns so far, look for him to feel at ease at home against a Jacksonville defense that allows 27. 8 points a game and gives up 263.7 yards through the air on average.
Fattening: Anquan Boldin. I know what you’re thinking. He has 32 receptions for 426 yards and 4 touchdowns and he’s playing Buffalo, the NFL’s whipping boy. However, three of Boldin’s four touchdowns came against Cleveland in Week 3 and he’s accumulated 5 receptions in the last two games. Granted, Buffalo does allow a league high 32.2 points a game. But, they only allow 200 passing yards a game and give up over 180 yards a game on the ground. Look for the Ravens to run the ball all day and not give Buffalo’s pass defense a chance to keep the Bills in the game.
Try This Instead: Jordan Shipley. Now even I’m willing to say this is a bit of a reach. Nevertheless, Shipley is fresh off the injury list and before he was knocked out, caught 15 balls for 190 yards in four contests. Shipley will be taking over the slot role from Andre Caldwell and could see a lot more targets from Carson Palmer against an Atlanta defense that allows nearly 240 passing yards a game. This would especially be valuable in PPR leagues. Go ahead and try him, you might like it.
About the Author
Written by John Buffone
John was born in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. He attended Clarion University and received a degree in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. He currently hosts "The Sports Zone with John Buffone" on AM 1380 WTYM in Kittanning, PA. John is also a sports columnist for the Kittanning Paper and a contributor to Examiner.com, and CatholicSportsJournal.com.