Fantasy
What to do with your underachievers
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's the age-old question for fantasy owners: a talented player who for one reason or another is not living up to expectations.

Do we "buy" into the theory that he'll improve to a reasonable level of production and hold on to him? Or do we try to find another owner who still believes in him and "sell" the player at his current value?

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City - Bowe is just third on the team in targets behind running back Jamaal Charles and No. 2 wideout Donnie Avery. Coach Andy Reid is a spread-it-around guy and quarterback Alex Smith isn't looking down field too often, instead opting for the shorter pass. Sell.

Arian Foster, Houston - Foster missed almost all of training camp and wasn't really ready for the start of the season. It showed. Meanwhile, backup Ben Tate has run well when given the opportunity (6.7 ypc). We still believe in Foster and with quarterback Matt Schaub struggling think the offense will turn to the running game. Tate's 10 carries per game won't hurt Foster's fantasy totals all that much (he averaged six per game last season, so it's not really a big increase). Buy.

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco - The Michael Crabtree Achilles injury along with a hamstring injury which has left tight end Vernon Davis at less than 100 percent has put a serious dent into Kaepernick's production. Throw out his 412 yard game in Week 1 against Green Bay and Kaepernick is averaging 148 ypg through the air and 39 yards rushing over the past three weeks. That's not start-worthy in any fantasy league. We don't see it getting much better as the 49ers have gone back to the ground game with Frank Gore. Sell now.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay - If you are a defensive coordinator, who do you think has a better chance of beating your team, a second-year running back who totaled 1,926 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, or a third-round rookie quarterback who wasn't even a 60-percent passer his senior year at North Carolina State? Exactly. It's going to be a tough for Martin to find running room the rest of the way and he is only averaging 3.4 ypc over the first four games to begin with. Sell now.

Ray Rice, Baltimore - Thirty carries and 89 rushing yards over three games is unheard of for a back of his caliber. Even coach John Harbaugh said this week the team had to commit to getting Rice back as the focal point of the offense. We're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. We're buying the Ravens returning to the run game this week and down the road. Buy.

Stevan Ridley, New England - Ridley (1,263 yards rushing, 12 TDs in 2012) isn't likely to play this week due to a knee and thigh injury and looking at the bigger picture we don't like where he's headed. The Patriots have been using LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden on first and second downs instead of Ridley and by Week 11 Shane Vereen is going to be back in the mix. Sell now.

Steve Smith, Carolina - With the other Panthers' wideout options being Ted Ginn Jr. and Brandon LaFell, every defense is focused on stopping Smith. Meanwhile, quarterback Cam Newton hasn't thrown for more than 250 yards in six games dating back to last season. While Smith will have his moments, he's just not getting into the end zone often enough to be a WR1 anymore. At the moment tight end Greg Olsen is a better fantasy option. Sell immediately after his next 100-yard game to get maximum value.

Mike Wallace, Miami - After the first week Wallace complained about his target total and quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked his way for most of the game against Indianapolis (11 targets, 9 catches, 115 yards 1 TD). But in the next two contests he saw a total of 12 looks and it just seems that quarterback and receiver aren't on the same page. Wallace also draws the opponent's top defender. We like Brian Hartline better than Wallace and if you can find an owner who will give you value for Wallace - take it. Sell.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.