Week 10 of the 2013 NFL regular season is already upon us, and the focus for fantasy owners has shifted to which stars will fail to live up to the high expectations placed on them.
All of the following players are coming off monster statistical days or have earned the reputation as consistent starters, but this week will be an anomaly that features big names faltering and failing.
*All stats via NFL.com.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy owners were warned before the season about the possibility that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could have a down season, but a 2.7 yards-per-carry average has proven that he is the ultimate bust.
The struggles will continue in Week 10 against the tough Cincinnati Bengals.
Rice and the Ravens’ rushing attack have been abysmal overall, ranking 29th in the NFL with only 71.6 yards per game, and the task will only get tougher against the 10th-ranked Bengals run defense (allowing just 103.9 yards per game).
Owners have been holding out hope and starting Rice as a flex for weeks, but it is finally time to sit the veteran on the bench if you have a better option and keep him there until he proves you wrong. Rice is not worth a start in Week 10.
Predicted Stat Line: 13 carries for 40 yards and zero touchdowns; three receptions for 15 yards and zero touchdowns.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
After watching Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson catch nine passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, fantasy owners all over the world are clamoring to get Johnson into their lineups any way possible.
Not so fast.
Johnson came into Week 10 without a touchdown all season. While he had two games over 100 yards, he was not a difference-maker outside of point-per-reception leagues. Rookie quarterback Case Keenum was great in the first half against Indianapolis, but defenses will begin to decipher his style and stop Johnson’s deep threat.
With the Arizona Cardinals secondary stars Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu focusing their attention on Johnson this week, Houston will have a tough time making this connection work two weeks in a row.
Predicted Stat Line: Four Receptions for 50 yards and zero touchdowns.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco
The San Francisco 49ers lean heavily on their receiving tight end Vernon Davis, but the Carolina Panthers and their elite defensive group will inhibit that game plan Sunday.
Fantasy owners should be ready for a dud performance from Davis.
The veteran tight end has seven touchdowns this season but has only amassed over 100 yards one time. Add in that Davis has caught three or fewer passes in four of the team’s seven games, and the inconsistency has been maddening.
Davis may have the size and speed to beat most defenses, but the second-ranked run defense and 10th-ranked pass defense will be focused on the tight end all day. If he has a big fantasy outing Sunday, he will earn it through double and triple coverage.
Predicted Stat Line: Four receptions for 40 yards and zero touchdowns.