Welcome back for your Studs and Duds Week 14 edition!
It’s week 14 of the NFL season, time for you to put all your hard work to the test. It’s playoff time! Hours spent studying weekly rankings, contemplating FAAB budget bids, pouring over articles. All that effort has paid off with a trip to the playoffs. Don’t get lazy now though, there’s still work to be done!
This week I focus my attention on reminding readers not to get cute. Stick with the guys who have gotten you this far, and you’ll be fine. You’ll see what I mean as you read on. There’s no more time to waste! Read on for studs and duds week 14 edition.
Philip Rivers vs. Carolina Panthers
Despite 7 interceptions over his last three games, Rivers has still been a viable fantasy option with 20+ points in each of his last four games. This week’s match-up vs. the 6th worst fantasy defense against quarterbacks should open the door for another big week.
Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland Browns
He’s been a huge disappointment this year, but coming off his hottest game this season he get’s a Browns defense that’s allowing nearly 270 yards and over 2 scores a game to opposing signal callers. If you’re a playoff team that streams QB’s, Dalton could be your answer this week.
Russell Wilson vs. Green Bay Packers
Had him here last week and he underwhelmed a bit. This week’s match-up is another juicy one versus a Packers secondary that’s allowed three 30-point performances in their last 6 games. I foresee a shootout in Green Bay.
Tyrod Taylor vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
His legs are keeping him fantasy relevant, but his arm has done nothing of the sort. With just three games with over 200 yards passing, his performance of late has the Bills questioning whether or not they have the right guy. The Steelers have locked down the passing game since week 5, allowing just two 20+ point performances, and holding another two to less than 10.
Bryce Petty vs. San Francisco 49ers
The match-up here is fantastic, which may cause you to try to get cute. Keep in mind, however, that this defense has held lesser quarterbacks like Case Keenum, Drew Stanton and Matt Barkley to lesser points. Don’t get cute, stick with someone else.
Blake Bortles vs. Minnesota Vikings
Second week in a row here for him, but with the Vikings struggling many may think it’s time to give him another shot. First, it’s the playoffs, it’s exactly the WRONG time to do that. Second, the Vikings defense has continued to play well, allowing more than 20 points to an opposing QB just once since week 2.
Running Back Studs
Spencer Ware vs. Oakland Raiders
Yardage wise he was a disaster last week, but he managed to find the endzone twice and is the clear go-to in the redzone. The Raiders are allowing 111 yards per game, and should make for a much easier time on the ground.
Darren Sproles vs. Washington Redskins
The return of Ryan Mathews may hurt a little, but the Redskins defense is ranked 29th against the run, which may allow the Eagles running attack to get going. Sproles is much more dangerous in PPR formats, and I’d consider him a risk play at best in a standard format.
Jonathan Stewart vs. San Diego Chargers
The Panthers offense hasn’t been great as of late, but one constant has been Jonathan Stewart putting up points… against lesser defenses. With three 20-point performances since returning from injury, Stewart’s match-up against the Chargers 4th worst defense against opposing backs makes him an intriguing play.
Running Back Duds
Jay Ajayi vs. Arizona Cardinals
Since his 3-week explosion earlier this season, Ajayi has seen his production steadily worsen. A big reason is the injury-woes of the offensive line. It’s a terrible week to have injuries on the o-line with the Cardinals coming to town. They’ve allowed the fewest points to RB’s, having allowed just one 100-yard rusher back in week 3.
Devontae Booker vs. Tennessee Titans
He’s getting the work-load, and it doesn’t seem to be changing, so he’s a very hard sit. Fact is, his production has been awful, even with a 20-carry a game average. The Titans run defense is no slouch, allowing the 6th fewest points to opposing backs.
Jordan Howard vs. Detroit Lions
I doubt you can, or would want to, sit Jordan Howard. Especially given it’s playoff time! He’s been extremely productive of late, averaging 106 yards per game on the ground with 4 scores in his last 5 games. The main reason he’s on the duds list? The Lions defense has been dominant, making Drew Brees look like a backup, and having held every opposing RB but DeMarco Murray to less than 20 points.
Wide Receiver Studs
Kenny Britt vs. Atlanta Falcons
Even with the switch from Case Keenum to Jared Goff, Kenny Britt has been getting sound production from an otherwise anemic offense. Given the Falcons are allowing 164 yards and more than a score a game to opposing receivers, I like his chances to continue his success.
Terrelle Pryor vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This stud call-out is a reminder not to forget about Terrelle Pryor! The Bengals defense has been solid against opposing receivers, but Pryor has been virtually match-up proof. With only two performances of less than 10 points since week 2 (PPR), Pryor is a must-start option in the playoffs.
Jamison Crowder vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I thought he’d be a solid fantasy play this year, but in no way did I think that 13 weeks into the season, he’d have just one game of less than 10 fantasy points in PPR leagues. He’s been a model of consistency on a team where the receiver position has been anything but consistent. In this division match-up vs. the Eagles 8th worst defense against receivers, I like his chances at a for 100 yards and a score.
Wide Receiver Duds
Sammy Watkins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I really thought he’d be a lot more productive, but with reports out there that he’s playing with a broken bone in his foot, Watkins simply isn’t trustworthy enough for fantasy playoff action. The Steelers’ defense has held their own vs. opposing receivers, sporting the 6th best defense against the position.
Stefon Diggs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Had a decent game last week vs. the Cowboys, pulling in 8 of 8 targets for 59 yards, for a decent outing in PPR leagues. The Jaguars defense, lead by rookie corner Jalen Ramsey, has been rock-solid against opposing receivers. Our own Ryan Williams pointed out to me on the Gameday show that Ramsey has locked down opposing #1 receivers time and time again. I don’t see why that would change now.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. San Diego Chargers
A red-hot start to the season quickly fizzled away for Benjamin and the Panthers offense. With just one 100 yard game and 1 touchdown since week 4, Benjamin is a big name, with little production. The Chargers defense, despite all their injuries, has continued to be very productive. They’ve allowed just 3 receiving touchdowns to opposing wide-outs since week 6.
Tight End Studs
Antonio Gates vs. Carolina Panthers
This game seems to be a favorite of mine this week. Gates production over the past two weeks has been lacking, which will make him an easy target to avoid. Considering the Panthers defense has allowed 9 touchdowns to opposing TE’s, I think that would be a mistake.
Travis Kelce vs. Oakland Raiders
There’s some concern that the return of Jeremy Maclin could temper his production going forward. Perhaps that will be true, but considering he’s riding three-straight 100 yard games, I love his chances to keep it going this week. While this call may seem obvious, I feel the need to continue pressing the fact that you can’t over-think things just because it’s playoff time.
Cameron Brate vs. New Orleans Saints
Kevin Steele called out Brate as one of his favorite TE options for the fantasy playoffs. With plus match-ups vs. the Saints twice, and the Cowboys inbetween, it’s easy to see why he thinks that. Brate is extremely touchdown dependent, but given he’s scored in 4 of his last 6 games, it’s clear he’s had no problem finding the ball in the endzone.
Tight End Duds
Martellus Bennett vs. Baltimore Ravens
Bennett’s situation seems ideal, with Gronkowski out and the Patriots sporting a TE-heavy offense, you’d think he’d be topping the charts with ease. Unfortunately, it’s been just the opposite. Over the last three weeks, he’s managed just 6 receptions for 40 yards. The Ravens have been rock-solid against the TE, allowing just two touchdowns and more than 50 yards just twice this year.
Jack Doyle vs. Houston Texans
How quickly things change. Having once been the darling waiver TE we all dream of, Doyle has crashed back down to earth over the last 6 weeks. He’s managed more than 50 yards just once since week 7, and hasn’t found the endzone since then either. In fact, it was Dwayne Allen who saw 3 touchdowns this past Monday Night, not Doyle. His name has become recognizable, but his production has become too little to trust.
Delanie Walker vs. Denver Broncos
He’s a must-start option no matter the circumstances, there simply aren’t enough TE’s scoring points for me to say otherwise. He has been solid all year as well, but the Broncos effectiveness against the TE worries me. They’ve allowed just two touchdowns to the position all year and 75 yards or more just twice as well.
That’s all for your Studs and Duds Week 14 edition!
Whether you agree or disagree, reach out on Twitter @the1andonlypz and let’s discuss! As always, enjoy another week of great football action, and best of luck to you in your fantasy match-ups!