It’s time for your Studs and Duds Week 4 edition and through three weeks we’ve seen a ton of relatively unknowns putting up solid fantasy weeks! This week alone, we saw the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Cameron Brate, Michael Thomas, Trevor Siemian, Adam Humphries, Wendell Smallwood and Orleans Darkwa near the top of their respective positions. Will any of these guys continue the trend going into week 4? Guess you’ll have to read on to find out :).
I’d like to take a moment to credit our own Jeff Donovan for that Jimmy Graham Stud pick last week! I’ll admit, I wasn’t really paying much attention to Graham before Jeff called him out in our TFA Podcast Episode 62. Once I started looking into it, it made a lot of sense, and boy was he right! Graham put up a solid 6 receptions for 100 yards and a score! It’s good to see him get back on track, hopefully, he’ll continue the trend, and hopefully you managed to pick him up!
My worst calls of the week included Dud picks Jeremy Hill and Emmanuel Sanders. While I was happy to see them both have huge bounce-back weeks, I must say I was surprised they did it against each other! Just goes to show this league is hard to predict, but I’ll keep trying just for you!
If you want more from me, (and who wouldn’t) hit me up on Twitter (@the1andonlypz) and come check out our TFA GAMEDAY Podcast each Sunday morning from 11:30AM EST to kickoff and get some instant lineup advice! You could also just come for the entertainment factor, it’s a fun show!
Without further ado, let’s get into my week 4 studs and duds!
Brian Hoyer vs. Detroit Lions
I’ll admit, this is a pretty risky play given his sporadic nature and uncanny ability to implode. The match-up is fantastic though as the Lions give up the most fantasy points/game to the QB so far, allowing two 4-touchdown performances and 10 touchdowns total to opposing signal callers. Hoyer didn’t do too bad himself in his first start for the Bears, putting up 317 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Cowboys.
Kirk Cousins vs. Cleveland Browns
Don’t look now, but Kirk Cousins has back to back 20+ point games (in 6-pt passing TD leagues) and has a great match-up this week vs. the Browns. Despite Terrelle Pryor’s eternal optimism, the fact is, the Browns have allowed multiple passing touchdowns to every QB they’ve faced so far this season.
Trevor Siemian vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What a game there for Siemian in week 3, four passing touchdowns for a guy NOBODY thought would win that job. While I don’t expect another performance quite as great, his match-up vs. the swiss-cheese Bucs defense can’t be overlooked. They’ve allowed two 300+ yard passers and at least 2 touchdowns per game through the air. Better yet, he’s likely available in your league right now… I’m looking at you Rodgers owners.
Eli Manning vs. Minnesota Vikings
How good has that Minnesota Vikings defense been? Holding Cam Newton to 1 score, while forcing 3 turnovers. That following up a dominant performance against Aaron Rodgers which saw him throw for just 213 yards and score less than 20 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Eli Manning hasn’t gotten off to the start he had hoped. He’s thrown for 350+ yards in back to back games but has just 1 touchdown since week 1 against 2 interceptions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Seattle Seahawks
What a horrific game last week, and it doesn’t get any easier in week 4 against a Seahawks defense that’s allowing less than 200 passing yards per game, and has yet to allow a passing touchdown.
Marcus Mariota vs. Houston Texans
Way to blow a prime opportunity vs. a terrible Raiders defense. Mariota’s hot and cold play makes him a hard fantasy QB to trust in general. Despite the loss of JJ Watt to IR, that Houston defense is still top notch, and is likely to give Mariota fits. They’ve allowed just 168 yards/game through the air and 1 touchdown.
Running Back Studs
Ezekiel Elliott vs. San Francisco 49ers
Zeke hasn’t been the dominant force we thought he was going to be, but he continues to improve. After a 30 carry, 140 yard performance in week 3 vs. the Bears, Zeke looks to continue his momentum in a plus matchup against a 49ers defense that was destroyed by Christine Michael last week. If Dez can’t go, we could see his opportunities reach ridiculous levels.
Jeremy Hill vs. Miami Dolphins
What a performance by Hill against the Denver’s “stout” rush defense. This week the match-up is much easier against a Miami team allowing 130 yards/game on the ground. Kevin Steele must be pumped to see Hill in the Studs list for a change.
Theo Riddick vs. Chicago Bears
Don’t let his poor production vs. the league’s best run defense in Green Bay fool you. Riddick is very much the go-to target in the Lions backfield, and this week’s match-up vs. the Chicago Bears is a sweet one. Over the first three weeks of the season, the Bears have allowed two 100-yard rushers and four touchdowns to opposing backs.
Running Back Duds
Jerrick McKinnon vs. New York Giants
The Giants run defense has been dominant this season, allowing just 75 yards/game on the ground and 1 touchdown back in week 1. McKinnon is getting the workload for sure, having 16 carries in week 3, he’s just not getting the matchups… and things don’t get any easier.
Lamar Miller vs. Tennessee Titans
We’ve talked about Miller at length on recent podcasts. While we love his work-load, the production is severely lacking. This week, he get’s a Titans defense that’s held Adrian Peterson, Ameer Abdullah, and Latavius Murray to less than 10 points this season. Given Miller has struggled to reach that “milestone” himself, it may be time to show him the bench.
Jay Ajayi vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I have no confidence in this Dolphins running game, and they’ve shown nothing this season to change my mind. The Bengals struggled against Matt Forte and DeAngelo Williams before shutting down the hottest RB in football last week, holding CJ Anderson to just 37 yards on 14 carries. We haven’t seen much of Ajayi yet, having gotten just 12 carries on the year, but I have a feeling this will be more of a RBBC situation than anything.
Wide Receiver Studs
Tyrell Williams vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense is just awful, if I were them, I’d trade anything for a defensive coordinator worth his salt. That makes a great situation for fantasy, though. In particular, Chargers second-year WR Tyrell Williams, who’s made the most of his opportunities on an injury-plagued Chargers WR core. Through three games, Williams has pulled in 11 of 20 targets for 201 yards and a score, stats he could double in this match-up.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. Atlanta Falcons
I mentioned on the latest TFA Podcast that I thought the Panthers were going to make it a point to get Benjamin the ball this week (ala Dez Bryant week 2). You may be hesitant after the painful goose egg he laid last week, but remember this, the Falcons have allowed four 70+ yard games and 4 TD’s to the position already this season. It’s a great time for a bounce-back game.
DeVante Parker vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on Parker, but through two games he’s been targeted 19 times, pulling in 11 receptions for 157 yards and a score. Other than holding Antonio Brown to a pedestrian day in week 2, the Bengals defense has been beatable, allowing two 100 yard receivers last week vs. the Broncos. Cincinnati is also averaging nearly two touchdowns allowed/game to opposing receivers overall.
Wide Receiver Duds
Mohamed Sanu vs. Carolina Panthers
Despite having a secondary that’s almost entirely made up of rookies, the Panthers defense leads the league with the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. Sanu has also struggled in back to back “easy” match-ups vs. the Raiders and Saints, catching 6 of 9 targets for just 50 yards.
Victor Cruz vs. Minnesota Vikings
He’s been solid so far this season, making the most of his opportunities (3 of 3 for 70 yards last week) in a crowded offense. This week should be a down week, though. Minnesota has been dominant, holding Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin to a big goose egg last week. They’ve allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, allowing around 12 receptions a game for less than 140 yards.
Golden Tate vs. Chicago Bears
This is more of a public service announcement than anything, it’s time to end the hope you had with Tate. Despite being targeted 22 times in 3 games, he’s managed just 13 receptions for 94 yards and no scores. Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, and even Anquan Boldin are all better options for the Lions. I guess it would be fair to mention that the Bears are currently allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing WR’s, for what it’s worth.
Tight End Studs
Zach Miller vs. Detroit Lions
Sticking to the same game, it’s all systems go for a re-emerging Zach Miller this week vs. the Lions. With Brian Hoyer at the helm, Miller doubled his production on the season, pulling in 8 of 9 targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions can’t stop the TE worth a lick either, allowing three 15+ point performances from TE’s in PPR leagues this season.
Jacob Tamme vs. Carolina Panthers
He’s having a surprisingly solid campaign so far this year, pulling in 14 of 20 targets for 154 yards and a score. While last weeks down game against the Saints is a surprise, I wouldn’t shy away from him this week against a Panthers defense that’s allowing the 7th most points to TE’s, including back to back touchdown performances.
Jordan Reed vs. Cleveland Browns
Its time for a bounce back game for everyone’s 2nd ranked TE coming into the season. The Cleveland Browns have yet to allow a single score to an opposing TE, and still have allowed the 11th most points to the position. The TE vs. the Browns has averaged 7 receptions for 80 yards, I like Reed to pull in 10 for 125 and 2 scores.
Tight End Duds
Jesse James vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I called him out last week as a Dud as well, and he caught 2 of 4 targets for just 10 yards. Expect another slow performance this week vs. a Chiefs defense that has yet to allow more than 20 yards to an opposing TE.
Dwayne Allen vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
We all thought Dwayne Allen would finally emerge as a solid TE1 now that Coby Fleener was gone. Well, I guess nobody considered the existence of Jack Doyle, which has left Allen owners fantasy-starved once again. This week’s match-up is no cake-walk either; the Jags have allowed just 86 yards on 11 receptions to opposing TE’s.
Jason Witten vs. San Francisco 49ers
Don’t fall for this juicy match-up. Despite receiving 14 targets in week 1, Witten’s involvement in the offense has plummeted. Receiving just 6 targets in the past two games is a major concern, especially considering both games were wins for the Cowboys. It appears he may be in line for more blocking duty as the Cowboys continue to lean more on the run game spearheaded by rookie Ezekiel Elliott.