These players don’t have to be benched. Each individual team is different and league context matters. The matchups are more difficult than usual and if possible, seeking a better start is recommended.
QB Matthew Stafford @CHI
Stafford hasn’t been a great Fantasy quarterback this season. He has one Top 12 performance this season. The Lions offensive line was destroyed last week against the Vikings, allowing ten sacks and it doesn’t get easier against the Bears. Stafford passed for 199 yards and no touchdowns last week in the first game without Golden Tate. Stafford is averaging 263.9 passing yards per game and has one game of more than two touchdowns.
RB Kerryon Johnson @CHI
Johnson had 15 touches last week even with the return of Theo Riddick. Johnson had eight targets in Week 8, catching six passes for 69 yards and five targets last week, catching three passes for seven yards. Johnson has one touchdown on the season and still could lose goal line carries to LeGarrette Blount and the involvement in the passing game is lowered with Riddick playing. The concern this week is the matchup against the Bears, who have yet to allow a running back to score a rushing touchdown. They have held running backs to 57 yards or fewer in six of eight games and allowed the fewest Fantasy points to the position.
RB Doug Martin vs. LAC
Martin had 13 carries for 72 yards and two catches for 17 yards in Week 8 against the Colts and then was taken out of the game early in Week 9 when the Raiders were embarrassed on Thursday night against the 49ers. He had 11 carries for 49 yards and a 20-yard catch. The Chargers should control this game and with the Raiders playing from behind, it means more Jalen Richard. Over the last five games, the Chargers have allowed one rushing touchdown to a running back.
WR Corey Davis vs. NE
Davis is getting a huge target share, but has scored one touchdown. He has a safe floor in PPR formats, but has a difficult matchup this week against Stephon Gilmore, who is rated as a Top 5 cornerback by Pro Football Focus this season. Davis had six catches for 56 yards on ten targets last week. From Week 5-7, Davis had tough matchups and had eight catches for 83 yards, so expectations need to be lowered this week.
WR Devin Funchess @PIT
Funchess has seen two of his lowest target totals the last two weeks. Against a tough Ravens’ defense, he had three catches for 27 yards on three targets. Last week in one of the best matchups one could have against the Buccaneers, Funchess had four catches for 44 yards on five targets. The Panthers have a lot of weapons and spread the ball around. His floor has been high with at least eight points in PPR formats in six of eight games. Funchess is likely to see coverage from Joe Haden, lowering his floor.
TE Evan Engram @SF
Engram hasn’t been involved in the offense enough. He missed time with injury, but since he has returned Engram hasn’t been a primary part of the offense. In Week 7 against the Falcons, he had four targets and caught two passes for 16 yards. In Week 8 against the Redskins, Engram had nine targets, most in the final quarter, and caught five passes for 25 yards with a late touchdown. It’s difficult to bench any talented tight end, but Engram is lower down the rankings to where he was before the season.