Last week, I profiled five players who faced favorable schedules for the rest of the season. This week, it's time to take a look at some players who have rocky roads ahead, making them nice sell-high candidates - or at the very least, guys to avoid.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati
The rookie has been surprisingly steady, but he's only faced two top-18 pass defenses so far. Things are about to get much tougher for Dalton: Starting in Week 10, the Bengals will play five consecutive games against teams ranked in the top five against the pass. That schedule should also make A.J. Green owners nervous.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland
Hillis owners have been waiting for the "Madden NFL 12" cover boy to get healthy and return to his 2010 form. (Blame the jinx?) They shouldn't hold their breath. Looming for the Browns is an absurdly difficult schedule down the stretch that includes Cincinnati (second against the run), Baltimore twice (third) and Pittsburgh twice (eighth).
Ryan Torain, RB, Washington
If it's not bad enough that Torain owners constantly have to worry that Mike Shanahan will bench the running back, five of Torain's next eight contests are against top-11 run defenses. That's particularly concerning given that Torain has averaged just 1.6 yards per carry over the past three weeks in favorable matchups.
Jackie Battle, RB, Kansas City
The Chiefs' replacement featured running back is averaging 88 yards over his past three games. But five of Battle's next seven games will come against defenses ranked in the top 13 at stopping the run, most notably the Patriots (ninth), Pittsburgh (eighth) and Green Bay (10th).
Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore
Boldin has been a top-15 fantasy wide receiver to date, but look for that to change during the season's second half, when the Ravens take on six top-10 pass defenses. In weeks 15 and 16 - the fantasy playoffs in many leagues - Boldin faces the Chargers (fourth against the pass) and Cleveland (second).
Ryan Chatelain (firstname.lastname@example.org) is amNewYork's fantasy football columnist.