Two types of outcasts exist in fantasy football leagues: those who don’t pay, and those who don’t set their lineups.
Earlier this year, I made a plea for people to pay their league fee. Don’t make your commissioner chase you. Now, as we approach the season’s midpoint, it’s worth pointing out those who stop paying attention and leave inactive players in their lineups.
What’s the point of doing this? Presumably, you paid to be in the league. Everyone else did, too, and they’re taking it seriously. If you’re giving away wins, this affects the teams that win legitimately.
I benefited from someone’s indifference during Week 7. My opponent left Philadelphia’s defense active, even though it was on a bye. I ended up beating him by less than a point. I’ll take the win, but it was bad for the league. Watch your lineups.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit: A rookie who was terrific at Oklahoma, Broyles is getting a chance with the Lions because Nate Burleson has a broken leg. Burleson’s injury also provides an opportunity for Titus Young, whose inconsistency this season was unexpected.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis: Givens is averaging just under 70 receiving yards per game in the Rams’ last four contests, he is available in most leagues, and he is matched up against New England.
Cleveland Browns defense: The Texans and Ravens have byes. Why not use the Browns as a replacement defense? Cornerback Joe Haden recently returned, and Cleveland responded with a two-week total of 24 fantasy points. The Browns play at home against the Chargers, who are always capable of producing mind-bending turnovers.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina: The Panthers finally named a starting running back: Stewart. Carolina is too dysfunctional and Chicago too good defensively for this to matter, though.
Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants: Bennett began the year with three strong games but has been dinged up and inconsistent ever since. Bennett possesses incredible athleticism but never put together a solid full season in Dallas. Don’t expect that trend to change in New York.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina: Like Bennett, Smith started the season strong but has been pedestrian during the last month. Temper your expectations this weekend, too: Smith is facing the only NFL defense (Chicago’s) that has not allowed a pass play of 40 yards.
Ed Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan.