Loyalty might be a great characteristic in a friend, spouse or cocker spaniel. In fantasy football, it's not always the best policy.
Especially as trade deadlines near, it's wise to put your roster under a microscope. Take a look at the remaining schedules for your players. If any of your guys face a tough road, you might consider trading them – or at least make sure you have viable options on your bench.
These big-name players have some of the toughest schedules through Week 16, the championship in many fantasy leagues:
Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati
The Bengals running back has averaged 3.5 yards per carry or worse in five of his seven games this season. Don’t expect Benson to turn things around. Four of the Bengals’ next eight games come against top-four run defenses -- Pittsburgh twice, the Jets and San Diego.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City
Bowe has caught five touchdowns in his last three games, but he should cool down soon. Upcoming foes Oakland (twice), Denver (twice) and San Diego all have top-10 pass defenses.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati
Surprisingly, Palmer ranks sixth in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks. But the declining Palmer has several tough matchups ahead, including tilts against Indianapolis (seventh vs. the pass), Buffalo (sixth), New Orleans (third) and San Diego (first).
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta
Ryan, meanwhile, currently is fantasy football’s seventh-best quarterback. To date, the Falcons have faced just one top-10 pass defenses, but seven of their next nine remaining games are against pass D’s ranked in the top half of the league – four in the top 10.
Miles Austin, WR, Dallas
Austin has been inconsistent this lately and struggled mightily in tough matchups against the Giants and Vikings. Still looming for Austin and the Cowboys are a rematch against Big Blue and games against the Saints, Colts and Eagles twice – all are ranked in the top 11 vs. the pass.
Ryan Chatelain (email@example.com) is amNY's fantasy football columnist.