Why A.J. Green Isn’t the Best Fantasy Play in Week 6
Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. You probably have to start A.J. Green this week. Unless you’re in one of those ridiculous 4-team leagues that had half the guys forgetting to sign up for the draft and you’re stacked at wide receiver, you can’t sit Green.
And you can’t play the matchup game, either. I know Antonio Brown might have a good shot at shredding up the Tennessee Titans tonight, but that doesn’t mean you can bench Green to fit him into your starting lineup. As a guy who likes to think he knows a thing or two about this whole “fantasy advice” thing, I can’t feel good about telling you do sit your boy Greeny.
With that said, you may not want to listen to conventional wisdom this week. You may not want to listen to me or any other expert when it comes to A.J. Green and all of his glory.
And the reason why, is because Green is facing stud corner Joe Haden, who is known to shutdown an elite wide receiver here and there.
Green is heavily targeted. Andy Dalton has no one else to throw to, so Green has had a ball tossed his way 56 times, which is good for 5th in the entire league. He hasn’t caught less than 5 balls in a game all year, and has at least seven catches three different times. Overall, he’s pulling a wagon carrying 36 receptions for a whopping 493 yards and four scores on the year.
With all that said, he doesn’t own a multiple score game on the year, and while he’s scored once in four straight games, that’s a streak that is growing more likely by the week to be snapped.
On top of all this, he’s been held somewhat in check before in 2012. Take away the touchdowns, and Green actually has three contests with 70 yards or less (out of five). Not so elite when you strip it down, is it?
The first time Green faced the Browns in 2012 he caught seven balls for 58 yards and a score. And that was without Haden (four game suspension).
Last year, in Green’s rookie year, he faced the Browns twice (as division rivals are known to do). In his first ever game (and first against Cleveland), he caught just one pass for 41 yards. It was a big play and happened to go for a score, but it was still just one reception. In his second game against Haden’s Browns, he racked up 110 yards but didn’t score and did so off of just three receptions.
What do we really learn from all of this?
My take is that Green has been killing it and this week might be that week where the stud receiver goes quiet a bit. That doesn’t mean zero points. But maybe it means he’ll have an outing like last year – 40 yards and a score (10 pts) or 110 yards and no score (11 pts).
Just don’t bank on Green having the huge days you’ve grown accustomed to. Not with Joe Haden back and hungry after a four-game hibernation.