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 Jameis Winston @BAL
This is a difficult matchup for Winston. While he has been one of the top Fantasy quarterbacks since taking over as starter in Week 12, the Ravens are No. 4 in pass-defense DVOA and allowed the sixth-fewest Fantasy points to the position. With the Buccaneers being 7.5-point underdogs, they will be passing often, but the Ravens have been controlling the clock by running often with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Winston also banged up his knee last week and wasn’t as good in the second half. There’s also the risk of him making mistakes and getting pulled.
RB Kenyan Drake @MIN
It’s the same story with Drake. He needs more touches and it’s not happening. While Drake scored the miracle touchdown as time expired to beat the Patriots last week, the touches are still too low. If he doesn’t break a long touchdown, it’s likely a disappointing day. In three of the last five games, Drake has failed to get double-digit touches. He has eight receptions over the last three games and his only reception last week was the 55-yard touchdown to end the game. The Dolphins have an implied total of 18.75. While Drake has four touchdowns in the last three games, he has 29 touches.
RB Adrian Peterson @JAX
The Redskins are one of the worst teams in the NFL right now. Josh Johnson will be the quarterback, the offensive line is banged up and they look like a team that has packed it in. Peterson needs a touchdown to come though and it’s difficult envisioning this offense doing much on the road. Peterson had a favorable matchup last week against the Giants and had 10 carries for 16 yards as the Redskins trailed, 40-0. Over the last six games, Peterson is averaging 3.8 yards per carry. While the Jaguars were shredded by Derrick Henry for 238 rushing yards, the Jaguars hadn’t allowed a backfield to top 100 rushing yards since Week 7.
WR Kenny Golladay @BUF
Golladay has done nothing to instill confidence in starting him. He looked like a league-winner getting a ton of targets with the trade of Golden Tate and the season-ending injury to Marvin Jones. Golladay had 13 targets in Week 10 and 14 in Week 11and scored both weeks. He had three catches for 50 yards against the Rams in Week 13 and two catches for five yards on four targets last week against Patrick Peterson. Golladay will see a lot of Tre’Davious White, who has been one of the top cornerbacks this season. The Lions offense has been putrid.
WR Alshon Jeffery @LAR
Jeffery had his best game last week since Week 7 in a tough matchup against the Cowboys. He caught six passes for 50 yards with a touchdown on nine targets. The Eagles will start Nick Foles at quarterback and he didn’t play well in his two starts to open the season. Jeffery could also see a lot of Aqib Talib.
TE Jimmy Graham @CHI
Graham teased us in Week 13 with eight catches for 50 yards on 11 targets, then went back to the low floor lines he has been producing lately last week with two catches for 13 yards on five targets. He has two receptions or fewer in four of the last five games. He hasn’t scored since Week 9. While the Bears haven’t faced many teams that use the tight end often, they haven’t allowed a touchdown to the position since Week 8. Graham had two catches for eight yards against the Bears in Week 1.