For a fantasy owner, the only thing more frustrating than watching one of your early round picks struggle to produce is that moment when you give up on him, park him on your bench, and watch him finally put up the points you originally were expecting. It doesn’t matter if you made the right choice or not. Those points on your bench do you no good. So goes the life of the Amari Cooper owner.

After watching Cooper catch 11 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns Thursday, you can imagine that empty feeling left inside of every owner who either traded him, dropped him or simply left him on the bench. But rather than lament over points you’ll never get back, use this moment to gain some perspective. The cream always rises to the top. Pure talent almost always wins out and there is hope for your other struggling receivers.

After three-straight seasons of 1,400-plus yards and an average of seven touchdowns, Julio Jones has been a veritable disaster for his fantasy owners. A consensus top-five overall pick, Jones is averaging just 73.4 yards per game and has yet to find the end zone.

No one with a lick of sense would ever bench or drop him, but many are shopping him around their league with some even willing to take less in return value than what they paid.

If you’re one of those people, stop. Take a long, hard look at Sunday’s rematch of Super Bowl LI and understand just how bad the Patriots defense is this year. They’ve allowed the most passing yards in the NFL to date and have coughed up a league-high 14 receiving touchdowns.

Despite assertions that Bill Belichick will take away the opposition’s top weapon, his cornerbacks cannot contain Jones. He is primed and ready to claw his way back to the top of the mountain, and this week’s game will be his springboard.

But Jones isn’t alone in his quest to be the best again. Struggling receivers like Michael Thomas, Doug Baldwin and Eric Decker all have fantasy trajectories heading north this week.

Mediocre Packers cornerbacks will have their hands full with Thomas all day. Baldwin can easily shake Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie coming out of the slot, and Decker’s match-up is so soft, the opposing players should just have “marshmallow” written across their jerseys. Even Terrelle Pryor Sr. should see an uptick in production against a porous Eagles secondary.

It’s difficult to be patient when you feel your fantasy season slipping away, but talented wide receivers don’t just forget how to ball. Your patience is vital. If not, maybe petition your league for a Most Bench Points Each Week award.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 4-6 p.m.


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