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 Carson Wentz @DAL
The Eagles offense hasn’t been the same as last season. The play calling isn’t as creative without Frank Reich as offensive coordinator. Wentz has five touchdowns over the last four games and the Eagles have been more committed to the run the last few weeks. While Wentz passed for 360 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys in Week 10, that game was at home and the Cowboys play better at home. Wentz also had 44 pass attempts in that game and if the Cowboys play their game, they will control the clock. No quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game this season against the Cowboys and they limited Drew Brees to 127 passing yards last week.
RB Marlon Mack @HOU
Mack didn’t play in the first matchup against the Texans and is coming off a game in which the Colts gave up on the run early, leading to more looks for Nyheim Hines in the passing game. Mack had eight carries for 27 yards and a six-yard catch last week against the Jaguars. The Texans allowed the third fewest rushing yards to running backs, allowing 840. Only two running backs have topped 70 rushing yards against the Texans. Mack has one touchdown in the last four games and hasn’t had more than two receptions in a game.
RB Jordan Howard vs. LAR
If Howard doesn’t score a touchdown, he’s not helping. His season-high in rushing yards of 82 came in Week 1. He has five receptions over the last nine games and hasn’t scored in the last four games. Howard had a great matchup against the Giants last week and failed to deliver with 16 carries for 76 yards and a four-yard catch. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was given the carry and scored. The floor and ceiling are low.
WR Alshon Jeffery @DAL
Jeffery looked as if he would be a difference maker when he came off the injured reserve in Week 4. He had 39 targets in the first four games and scored four touchdowns. He hasn’t found the end zone since. The addition of Golden Tate hasn’t helped the volume for Jeffery. Since Tate arrived, Jeffery has 21 targets in four games. Jeffery hasn’t reached double-digit points in PPR formats since Week 7. The Cowboys have allowed the fewest Fantasy points to wide receivers and allowed nine touchdowns to wide receivers in 12 games. Jeffery had four catches for 48 yards on eight targets against the Cowboys in Week 10.
WR Jordy Nelson vs. PIT
Some might be inclined to think Nelson is back after last week. Nelson had 11 targets and caught 10 passes for 97 yards. Nelson had five receptions over his last seven games. While the Steelers defense has been inconsistent, they can take advantage of a weak offense and that’s what the Raiders are.
TE Kyle Rudolph @Seahawks
Rudolph provided a glimpse of hope for his owners with seven catches for 63 yards on seven targets against the Packers in Week 12. He had one other game of seven receptions this season, and it was also against the Packers. Rudolph had three catches for 38 yards last week against the Patriots. He hasn’t scored since Week 3 and has 39 yards receiving or fewer in six of the last seven games. The Seahawks have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends.
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