Week 13: Sit 'Em
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Coming off a blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Andrew Luck and the Colts will look to rebound against division rivals the Tennessee Titans. Luck has been under pressure all season long, with the Colts offensive line unable to protect the second year star. Luck is not being given enough time in the pocket, leading to a mediocre fantasy season. The former Stanford quarterback is coming off another bad game, and threw for just 232 yards and zero touchdowns against the Titans two weeks ago. Fantasy owners can not expect a huge improvement on those numbers this week, making Luck a risky play in fantasy leagues.
Fantasy owners had high hopes for Ray Rice following his week 11 breakout game -- in which he totaled more than 140 yards and a touchdown --, but those hopes were quickly dashed as Rice turned in yet another dud in week 12. Rice had a grand total of 27 yards on 17 touches against the Jets, disappointing fantasy owners yet again. Rice and the Ravens take on the Steelers this week, a rematch of a Week 7 game in which Rice totaled 72 yards on 19 touches. Similar numbers should be expected this week, leaving fantasy owners with a dilemma on whether to keep him in their lineups.
Ryan Mathews' roller coaster season continued in week 12, with the veteran running back rushing for 55 yards on 14 carries, while adding another 10 yards on two receptions. A mediocre game for Mathews was further complicated by a re-aggrivation of his hamstring injury, a nagging injury that could lead to his time being limited, or missing this week's game entirely. Even if he is able to start this week, there is no telling if the injury may resurface -- potentially knocking him out of yet another game. Fantasy owners should make alternate plans, as Mathews is just too risky to start this week.
Coming off another fumble, Steven Ridley can not be trusted in fantasy leagues. Ridley was benched after fumbling the ball away for the second consecutive game, a trend that will lead to Ridley sitting on the Patriots bench as the playoffs roll around. Ridley did not come back into the game following his week 12 fumble, and with Shane Vereen back for the Patriots, it is hard to imagine Ridley being trusted in key situations. Even if Ridley does get the start this week, it remains to be seen in what situations he will be used. Until he can start hanging onto the ball, Ridley will be an extremely risky play in fantasy leagues.
With three touchdowns in the last three games, Maurice Jones-Drew has somewhat salvaged an awful fantasy season. The former Pro Bowl running back turned in his best performance of the season in week 12, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown, while adding six receptions for 60 yards through the air. I fully expect Jones-Drew to come crashing back down to Earth this week, as the Jaguars take on the Cleveland Browns and their fourth ranked defense. Fantasy owners should not think MJD will be turning in another good performance this week, and should leave him on their benches against the Browns.