With injuries and bye weeks taking players like Denver QB Peyton Manning, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and Falcons WR Roddy White out of the mix for the week, I wanted to take a look at a few players who would likely be used as bye week replacements and how they fared in the past against their week seven opponents.
For instance, take Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman, who goes up against the New Orleans Saints. The results have been pretty favorable. In 2010, Freeman threw for an average of 237 yards and tossed 3 touchdown passes, while last season he was even better. In 2011 he averaged 292 yards and another 3 touchdowns. Surprisingly, New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez hasn’t been too bad against the New England Patriots. Looking at him primarily as a bye week replacement, the fact that he averaged 236 passing yards, threw three touchdowns and ran for another score isn’t too shabby. I think most fantasy owners would be delighted with repeat performances from either of the aforementioned players if employed on a bye week!
Conversely, we found a few players not on the bye week who played like they were. The last time Cowboys QB Tony Romo played the Carolina Panthers, the results were less than satisfying. In 2009 Romo was there with the passing yardage completing 22 passes for 255 yards, but not one was completed in the Panthers end zone. Similar results were put up by Giants QB Eli Manning. The last two games against the Washington Redskins, Manning threw for 257 and 268 yards respectively, but couldn’t find the end zone. Mind boggling how one can throw the pigskin for 250+ yards and NOT manage a touchdown.
Despite leading his team to an unexpected victory last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t exactly bring in a stellar history against the Buffalo Bills. Last season, Hasselbeck completed 16 passes for 140 yards and no touchdowns.
I pulled some bigger names in the running back category this week, some underachieving in 2012, but history strongly says some will emerge positively for their teams and their fantasy owners. Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been slow to find the end zone since week one, but could find his way there against the Arizona Cardinals. In 2010 he carried the ball 15 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, and in 2011 he exploded for 123 rushing yards and THREE touchdowns.
Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden has struggled in 2012, hopefully the Jacksonville Jaguars will do the trick. In 2010 McFadden carried the ball 16 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 86 yards and another score. Another player who has caused more than one fantasy owner to pull out a lock of two or hair would be Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson. Coming off a solid game against a stout Steelers squad, he faces a Bills team that he rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns against in 2011.
I’ll close out the running backs with quite the dud performance. The jerseys have changed, hopefully the end result will follow suit. The last time Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvis Green-Ellis played the Pittsburgh Steelers was as a member of the New England Patriots. He underwhelmed, managing only nine yards on five carries. Yikes.
There is a little bit of everything with the wide receivers, a variety ranging from outstanding to hot and cold to the downright futile. Looking at the positive, we can start with Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin. Last season he was quite a force against the Houston Texans, with 205 receiving yards and a touchdown catch. Bengals receiver A.J. Green keeps piling up the solid performances, specifically against this week’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over their past two contests, Green has complied 123 receiving and two touchdowns.
If you recall above, Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck had his problems last go around the Buffalo Bills. Same could be said for his teammate, WR Nate Washington. As Hasselbeck struggled, so did Washington, who managed 40 yards on four receptions.
It’s no surprise that the explosive WR Percy Harvin can be a hit or miss candidate. Against the Arizona Cardinals in 2010 he grabbed nine passes for 126 yards. However last season, he caught one pass for 12 yards and had one carry for 11 yards. More will and should be expected this week if the Vikings are to be successful.
Finally for the always hard to predict tight end position, we’ll look at two studs and two duds.
The last time the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Oakland Raiders, TE Marcedes Lewis was quite a factor, with four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. In a game that will likely have the St. Louis Rams playing from behind and throwing early and often, look for TE Lance Kendricks to look to repeat his 2011 performance when he grabbed 4 passes for 71 yards.
Two tight ends that you may want to steer clear of if history dictates, would be Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels and Pittsburgh Steelers TE Heath Miller. In his two previous games against the Baltimore Ravens, Daniels only managed two receptions for 26 yards and two receptions for 13 yards respectively. Neither time did he find the end zone. For some reason, the normally reliable Heath Miller has been anything but against the Cincinnati Bengals. Last season he grabbed a total of 5 passes for 43 total yards and no touchdowns.
Given the unpredictability of the TE position, past history offers an insight that may prove valuable with the bye weeks in full swing!
Enjoy the games and good luck!
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