Welcome back for your Studs and Duds Week 8 edition!
We’re almost half way through the season and here come the bulk of the bye weeks. With 20 teams on a bye over the next four weeks, how your team survives will ultimate decide whether or not you make the playoffs. All that bench building through the draft, free agency and trades will now come to fruition. If you’ve been following along with all of our articles and podcasts, and you’ve been asking us questions on Twitter, you should be ready to go.
Is your team prepared for this brutal stretch?
Hit me up on Twitter (@the1andonlypz) or come chat about it during the TFA GAMEDAY Podcast this Sunday morning from 11:30AM EST to kickoff! You can even get your lineup questions answered if you’re so inclined.
Calls of the Week: Week 7
LeGarrette Blount has to be my best call of the week, especially considering I was so tempted to put James White there instead. Blount went off on the Steelers, in a game that was probably much closer than it should have been. With 24 carries, 127 yards and two touchdowns, Blount made his owners very happy campers.
Honorable mention goes to Mike Wallace here, he’s been on fire, but still makes fantasy players cringe when thinking about starting him. He kept his owners going strong last week, with a beautiful 10 catch, 120 yard performance vs. gang green.
Fails of the Week: Week 7
Well Cameron Meredith ended up being a pretty big fail. With Brian Hoyer going down with a broken arm, the offense was turned over to Matt Barkley, who proceeded to run it straight into the ground. With just 1 catch for 12 yards, it’ll be tough for him to bounce back this week vs. a Vikings unit that’s allowing just 198 yards passing a game.
Without further ado, let’s get into my studs and duds week 8 edition!
Bye Week: Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers
Jameis Winston vs. Oakland Raiders
He’s been streaky this year, for sure. That all should change in the coming weeks, as he enjoys match-ups vs. Oakland, Atlanta, Chicago and Kansas City. This weeks match-up should start it all off. The Raiders defense has struggled mightily, allowing 3+ touchdown passes three times this year.
Josh McCown vs. New York Jets
If he is cleared to play and practices this week, I love his return match-up vs. the Jets. They’re allowing nearly 300 yards passing a game and have allowed double digit fantasy points to the position every week but one. McCown, in his lone start this season, went 20 for 33 with 260 yards, two scores and two interceptions vs. a Baltimore defense that was playing very well at the time. He has plenty of weapons around him too, with Terrelle Pryor, Andrew Hawkins, Gary Barnidge, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. all having success this season.
Russell Wilson vs. New Orleans Saints
Wilson has been considered a borderline drop candidate this season. With just one solid performance all year, he’s been the most frustrating QB in fantasy. If he can’t perform this week vs. a Saints defense that’s allowed 20+ points to opposing QB’s in all but one game this year, he’s as good as cut from any of my rosters. This match-up should be everything he needs to get that offense rolling.
Dak Prescott vs. Philadelphia Eagles
He’s been absolutely amazing this year, far exceeding any expectations anyone had for him or the Cowboys. However, he’s not yet experienced a defense like the Eagles, having faced the Bears, 49ers, Bengals and Packers over the last four weeks. Call it instinct, or call it an Eagles defense that’s allowed just 6 passing touchdowns to their 5 interceptions. I think Prescott struggles in this enormous spot.
Philip Rivers vs. Denver Broncos
Another game vs. the Broncos, his second in just three weeks time, but this time, it’s in Denver. In week 6 the Broncos held him to just 178 yards and 1 score. For the season, they’ve allowed just one 20+ point performance to an opposing QB. Rivers rest-of-season has an amazing schedule and if you snatch him up, do it, just keep him on your bench this week.
Jay Cutler vs. Minnesota Vikings
We joked on the TFA Podcast that Jay Cutler could be the savior of your fantasy season. In all seriousness, Cutler is a turnover machine. This week’s match-up vs. a Vikings defense that has 9 interceptions, 7 fumble recoveries and 2 touchdowns is going to make his return to football very uncomfortable. In no way should he be in your lineups this week.
Running Back Studs
Ty Montgomery vs. Atlanta Falcons
He looked explosive against the Bears last Thursday night, impressing no matter where he lined up. The Packers have officially moved him to RB on the depth chart, and he’s expected to by many to be the go-to back over Knile Davis. This Falcons match-up is perfect for a dual threat like Montgomery, as they’ve allowed the 2nd most receptions to opposing backs. Overall they’re 6th worst against the RB and have allowed at least one score every game this year.
Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Oakland Raiders
Who needs Doug Martin or Charles Sims when you got Jacquizz Rodgers zipping around the field! In his two starts since taking over the job, he’s carried the ball 56 times for 255 yards, but has yet to score. The Raiders have let up a touchdown in every game this season to opposing backs. This has break-out performance written all over it for Rodgers.
Devontae Booker vs. San Diego Chargers
Booker and Anderson split the carries pretty evenly, both enjoying much success vs. the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Congrats to you if you managed to grab Booker in free agency, or better yet, if you’ve had him stashed. Anderson is now out for the year with a torn meniscus, opening up the door for Booker to carry the load. Overall the Chargers have been one of the worst in the league at stopping the run, allowing 140+ total yards per game to the position. Booker could take this job and run with it.
Running Back Duds
Devonta Freeman vs. Green Bay Packers
Many have Freeman as a top play this week with Tevin Coleman likely out with a hamstring injury. I don’t agree with that sentiment. The Packers run defense has been dominant this year, allowing just one touchdown to opposing backs all year. Freeman may be having a solid year overall, but in his one game vs. a solid run defense (@SEA) he managed just 40 yards on 12 carries (3.33 ypc).
Jerrick McKinnon vs. Chicago Bears
I went over the numbers in greater detail on the latest TFA Podcast, but overall McKinnon has not been a very impressive back this season. Taking over the starting job in week 3, he’s managed just 3.2 ypc with one score. Meanwhile, the Bears run defense has been dominant outside of last Thursday Night’s game, allowing the 5th fewest fantasy points to RBs.
Mark Ingram vs. Seattle Seahawks
Dynasty Frank chose Ingram as his sell candidate on the TFA Podcast’s Buy, Sell or Cut segment this past week. It’s a tough call, but given Ingram has just one touchdown and is losing receiving game targets to Travaris Cadet, it’s really not hard to see why he feels that way. This week’s match-up vs. the Seahawks is a brutal one, with them allowing just two total touchdowns to opposing backs, and that was in week 3.
Wide Receiver Studs
Terrelle Pryor vs. New York Jets
Last week I had Mike Wallace in this spot vs. the same Jets defense, and he finished with 10 receptions for 120 yards, his best performance of the year! Pryor is the life-blood of this Cleveland offense and get’s a huge boost with Josh McCown expected to return. I like Pryor to bounce back BIG from a poor showing with Kevin Hogan at the helm last week.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Carolina Panthers
With Jaron Brown out for the year, Michael Floyd battling a hamstring injury and John Brown dealing with complications from his sickle cell trait, the Cardinals receiving core is suddenly quite thin. The ageless wonder is still going strong though! Fitz has been fantasy gold this year, with 480 yards and 5 scores through 7 weeks. Now he gets a Panthers secondary that’s struggled mightily against #1 WR’s the past three weeks. Julio Jones (12/300/1), Mike Evans (6/89/1) and Brandin Cooks (7/173/1) all enjoyed enormous success, and I bet Fitzgerald gets a piece of that pie too.
Randall Cobb vs. Atlanta Falcons
Talk about a tale of two seasons. In the first three weeks before the bye, Cobb had just 12 receptions, 132 yards and no scores. These past three weeks, the complete opposite, 27 receptions, 256 yards and two touchdowns! The Falcons defense has been no stranger to big games from opposing receivers, having allowed double digit performances to 9 different receivers this season (ppr). Cobb should continue his success in what could be one hell of a shoot-out.
Wide Receiver Duds
Travis Benjamin vs. Denver Broncos
We expected spotty play from Travis Benjamin this year, and that’s exactly what we’ve gotten so far. Despite two 100 yard games this year, he’s been underwhelming overall, receiving 10 or more receptions just once this year. So is it really a surprise to see him here against a Broncos unit that hasn’t allowed a double digit fantasy performance to an opposing receiver since week 3? With 6-teams on a bye this week, Benjamin may look tempting, but take a chance elsewhere because this is a lost cause.
Jeremy Maclin vs. Indianapolis Colts
He’s been a pretty big disappointment this year, having yet to record a 100 yard game and only receiving 10+ targets once. This despite Alex Smith throwing the ball 35x a game. This weeks match-up may look juicy at first-glance, but consider this. The Colts defense has allowed just one 100 yard performance and 3 total touchdowns to opposing receivers this year.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Panthers offense went into the bye week red hot after a tough shoot-out loss to the Saints. Benjamin was no slouch himself, pulling in 8 receptions for 86 yards, so I’m sure his owners aren’t too happy seeing him in the dud list! Sorry Benjamin owners, but I’ve got no faith in him finding success vs. one of the leagues best corners in Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals defense has allowed the 9th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, allowing just one 100 yard performance and three total touchdowns to the position this year.
Tight End Studs
C.J. Fiedorowicz vs. Detroit Lions
Surprise, surprise, the Houston Texans have been getting the TE involved, giving CJ at least 5 targets in each of their last four games. With Detroit giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing TE’s, I love Fiedorowicz chance at success in this match-up.
Julius Thomas vs. Tennessee Titans
He’s been nursing a shoulder injury, but it’s looking pretty good for him to play. He started the season off pretty hot before getting injured in week 3. He’s been back for two weeks now and seems to be getting back into the swing of things, re-developing that rapport with Bortles. This game will be a great opportunity for him to keep that trend going, with the Titans allowing the 10th most points to opposing TE’s.
Jack Doyle vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Who’d have thought Jack Doyle would be the Colts TE to take the fantasy world by storm. With a combined 13 catches, 131 yards and two scores over his past two games, he’s one of the hottest TE’s in fantasy. While the Chiefs haven’t let up a great performance to a TE yet, their pass defense has been awful, leaving the door open for plenty of opportunities.
Tight End Duds
Delanie Walker vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
While his counterpart (Julius Thomas) has a great match-up, Walker does not. The Jaguars young defense may be a disappointment overall this year, but vs. the TE position, they’ve been lights out. They’ve yet to allow a double digit fantasy performance to an opposing TE. In fact, they’ve yet to allow more than 42 yards receiving to an opposing TE, and haven’t allowed a touchdown to the position since week 2.
Coby Fleener vs. Seattle Seahawks
He’s been way too streaky to be a dependable starter, but its very easy to get caught-up in his upside (see my Studs & Duds week 7). The Seahawks dominant pass defense has been just that vs. opposing TE’s, allowing just one touchdown to the position this season. With the Saints offense struggling on the road, and opposing offenses struggling in Seattle in general, I’m avoiding a Fleener start this week if I can help it.
Zach Miller vs. Minnesota Vikings
Second week in a row for Zach Miller on the duds list. He’s got a tough schedule going, and while most of his owners will struggle to find an alternative, his upside is severely limited again this week. The Vikings defense may be the best all-around defense in the league, and it shows vs. the TE position as well. They haven’t allowed a touchdown to the position this year, and have held both Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen to minimal performances.
That’s all for your Studs and Duds Week 8 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!