Each week, I’ll take a look at some of the top fantasy players that have been struggling lately. This week, we’re talking about Tom Brady and C.J. Spiller among others. I’ll go deep into the tape and stats to let you know why they are struggling, what they need to improve on and what the chances are your fantasy star picks up his play in the coming weeks.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
I think it’s about time that we show Tom Brady some love (if that’s what you want to call it) in this article. Through the first four weeks, he wasn’t necessarily struggling. He wasn’t putting up typical Brady numbers, but we could contribute that to Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski being out. However, the last three weeks, he’s gone straight backwards. What gives with oh-so-reliable Brady?
Well, let’s start things off a few weeks ago in Cincinnati. In that game, Brady was constantly under pressure and field conditions were less than ideal, with the rain starting to downpour as the fourth quarter wound down to a close. Against the Saints, Brady actually had a decent game, but was sacked a whopping 5 times. Against the Jets, he got decked another four times and showed clear signs of playing favorites by forcing the ball to Gronk, tossing it his way 17 times.
Don’t worry, I hear you. This is Brady! He should be able to overcome these speed bumps! Surely, something else has to be wrong! You are certainly correct my friend. Brady is showing signs of age, clearly. He has missed numerous throws that he should’ve made and has been able to make in the past. Ironically enough, some of the glaring issues he’s had came against the Saints, a game they won anyway. It’s time to downgrade Brady, folks. His arm just isn’t the same anymore and with this shoddy offensive line, he could continue to have problems through the rest of the season. I’m very concerned and Brady clearly is no longer a must-start fantasy QB (I always wondered when I would finally say that.)
CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Frankly, I’m not sure why the Bills keep sending him out there. Last week, he turned in a 6 carry, 11 yard performance. It’s nothing against Spiller, but he’s clearly not 100% or anywhere close. Word out of Bills camp is that his injury isn’t getting much better either. Why not just give the guy a week of rest to help him get over the hump?
I mean, Tashard Choice had as many carries as Spiller last week, surely that’s an indication of, “Hey, we better sit this guy for a week or two.” It looks like he’ll be a game-time decision this week. I know they want Spiller’s big play ability, but is it really that much better right now than Fred Jackson‘s? The Bills are one of the rare teams that can afford to sit their best offensive player and not miss a beat; mainly because he hasn’t been their best player so far.
Looking at the tape, it looks like he doesn’t have the ability to make sharp cuts quite yet and while Spiller was probably overrated slightly coming off last year’s campaign, he should be running the ball much better than he is. I still like Spiller down the road this year, but he is the type of guy that will make a run come fantasy playoffs time. He’s a guy that is hard to buy low with, because you won’t get much production for at least a couple more weeks, but hard to retain as well, for the same reason. Best thing you can do is hold onto him and hope for the best.
Other Players to Monitor
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Pipe down! I know I’ve told you he was ready to take the reigns and become a must start every week after his week 6 performance, when he put up a 5-140-2 peformance. Hilton is still the man in Indianapolis, leading the team in targets last week with 11 of them, yet hauling in just 2, unfortunately.
Hilton is the man going forward with Wayne done for the year, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the Colts use him. Will they make an effort to get him the ball more in more sure situations and let him try and do something with the ball or do they just stick Darrius Heyward-Bey in Wayne’s shoes and let him fill the void himself? Something tells me the former is the correct answer and I think you’re safe to start Hilton after their bye this week.
Other Players to Monitor
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI – Honestly, last week’s sit call by many of us on the site was one of the easiest sits ever. He was playing on one leg and going against a couple of the best corners in the league on a short week. He’s fine with a good match up this week, so feel free to roll with him.
No significant fantasy players are struggling.
Other Players to Monitor
Brandon Myers, NYG – Just throwing this out there, because I don’t think most people have gotten this yet: Myers is totally droppable, it’s time to stop thinking he just might get back to his days with Carson Palmer. Stop. Seriously.