Fantasy Doctor: Time to bench Rodgers?

The Fantasy Doctor
October 10, 2012
MVP Meter: Rodgers building case to repeat

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy-football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to


For Week Six, just wondering if I should pick up Christian Ponder and BENCH Aaron Rodgers against the Texans' defense? Rodgers has struggled all year against top-ranked defenses!

Also, in the same sense, should I bench Jordy Nelson? My QB/WR combo hasn't played out so well. I am starting Reggie Wayne with Jordy but I could also start Jerome Simpson, Andrew Hawkins or anyone else off the waiver wire. Need some help. Appreciate it!

— Clas

Clas, the Doctor appreciates that you are thinking about the matchups. And Ponder, indeed, has a very good one in Week Six.

However, I can’t recommend benching Rodgers. Yes, Rodgers hasn’t matched his 2011 production. Certainly, the Texans’ defense is strong.

Nevertheless, Rodgers is just tough to sit. So is Nelson, whom I would play over your other listed options at wideout in Week Six. 

The Texans have been strong against the pass this season, but they have had a slew of favorable matchups. With the exception of Peyton Manning in Week Three, the Texans have yet to face a top-tier passer.

Rodgers very, very much fits that bill. He has thrown seven TD passes in the last two games (albeit against weaker competition). However, I believe he's capable of vexing any defense on his best. 

And you don't want him on the bench if he does that. 

Greetings Fantasy Doc!

Could use some help setting my lineup, mostly at RB, in a standard-scoring league. I'm pretty much set at RB1 and RB2 with Ray Rice and Rashard Mendenhall. I'm debating on Donald Brown, Doug Martin and DeMarco Murray as my flex. I know Murray is usually a given, but his performance to date and Dallas playing at Baltimore concerns me. Any help would be appreciated.

— Kris

Your starters are solid, Kris, and your RB depth looks like a strength. With Brown (knee) out for Week Six, your choices are Murray and Martin, and both are enviable flex plays.

If you go strictly by the matchups, Martin, who faces the Chiefs, has a slight edge. Kansas City has allowed 121.0 rushing yards per contest.

However, I slightly prefer Murray, even with the Dallas running game being rather underwhelming in the first quarter of the season. While the Ravens have a stout run defense, they did allow Jamaal Charles to rack up 140 yards on 30 carries on Sunday. Also, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Dallas emphasized the run a little more after attempting 161 passes and just 79 rushes in the first four weeks. Murray’s playmaking ability, coupled with the fact he’s the clear-cut No. 1 back in Dallas, pushes him over the top.

I was offered RB Marshawn Lynch and WR Torrey Smith for WR A.J. Green and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Is it a good trade?

— Peter

To me, Green is the best player of the four listed, and as a general rule, I like to be acquiring the best player, not trading him away. However, Smith is a valuable, upside-laden receiver, and Lynch is a productive, rugged tailback in a ground-and-pound scheme.

I don’t know all of the specifics about your roster, so it’s hard for me to vote “yea” or “neh” with great gusto. I will say this, though — if I felt like I had to trade Green, this would be the sort of package I would want in return. This seems like a reasonably constructed deal.

Hi Doc,

My league is standard scoring, non-PPR. I'm pretty solid at RB, with Rice, Lynch, Ridley, Morris and Leshoure. I have two inconsistent TEs in Heath Miller and Greg Olsen. I have been offered Aaron Hernandez for Stevan Ridley. Ridley's stock is likely at the highest it will ever be. Should I pull the trigger?

— Kerry

It’s an interesting trade. Hernandez practiced Wednesday, so his return to the field could be soon, and perhaps as soon as Sunday. When healthy, he’s one of the top playmakers at his position.

Ridley, meanwhile, is the featured back in an offense that’s running significantly more than it did a season ago. There are only so many backs that get the volume work he’s receiving. While I’d agree that his stock is an all-time high, the question you must ask is this: Considering his production and the way the Patriots’ offense appears to have changed, is he a player I’m comfortable trading?

You do have very good RB depth, which certainly helps in the efforts to strengthen other positions on your roster. I’m generally leery of trading featured backs, but you have several of them. I can understand why you would make the trade. The major risk, though, is that Ridley continues to pile up the carries, yards and TDs.