Welcome to the thirteenth edition of Studs & Duds! You may be familiar with The Fantasy Footballers’ Studs and Duds segment. This will take a closer look at who shined and who disappointed specifically in pricing and scoring the week before. If you’re new to DFS all together, read The Beginner’s Guide To FanDuel DFS. First, we’ll take a look at the Expensive Studs; guys who were worth the big bucks. Second, the Value Studs; guys you got at a decent price, good value. Third, I’ll highlight the Super Bargain Studs; guys who were studs in a big way at little cost to you. Then, last and least, we’ll look at the Duds; guys who really disappointed relative to their cost.
All prices and point totals are from FanDuel.
RB Le’Veon Bell vs BUF, $9000, 49.8 pts.
-4 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 236 rushing yards, 3 TD
Now you might be thinking, “Bell, again? I’m tired of hearing about him.” Well, too bad. You’re going to read more about him because Bell’s performance on Sunday was one that will be talked about for years to come. The former 2nd round pick got 42 freaking touches, 38 of them being rushing attempts. His 298 yards from scrimmage were more than the total yards of 12 other teams in the NFL this week. He outgained almost half the league by himself. You would have had to royally screw up to not win money if you had Bell in your lineup. He proved once again that’s one of the most talented backs in the NFL and his $9400 salary doesn’t scare me this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
QB Matt Ryan vs LA, $8300, 21.5 pts.
-237 passing yards, 3 passing TDs
In a week where only 3 quarterbacks finished with 20 or more fantasy points, Ryan finally broke his streak of 4 straight games under 19 fantasy points. Even though both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were on the sidelines, he still found a way to get Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher fired. Ryan’s statistically having the best season of his career, throwing for at least 30 touchdowns for the first time since 2012. It’s no surprise he’s the most expensive quarterback next week at $8500 against an embarrassingly bad San Francisco 49ers team. I’m confident enough to put him in some lineups despite my worry of game flow hurting his stats.
TE Tyler Eifert vs CLE, $6700, 19.3 pts.
-5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Eifert was actually one of the only TEs I liked this week. This was his third game in a row with a touchdown and 5th game over 9 fantasy points in his last 6 games. The guy is a touchdown machine. Since he started playing a full amount of snaps he’s had a score in 4 of his 6 games. With Rob Gronkowski on the shelf and Jordan Reed battling injury, Eifert has risen to be the top TE, averaging the most fantasy points per game for TEs since Week 8. He gets a price bump at $7200 this week but I like him to score for the fourth straight game. The Bengals will be forced to play catch up against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Eifert should benefit from it.
RB LeSean McCoy vs PIT, $8300, 19.8 pts.
-6 receptions, 81 receiving yards, 27 rushing yards, 1 TD
WR T.Y. Hilton vs HOU, $7600, 22 pts.
-9 receptions, 115 receiving yards, 1 TD
RB Bilal Powell vs SF, $5600, 32.4 pts.
-5 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 145 rushing yards, 2 TDs
If Powell had done this any other week, he would have been the headline. But what does he do? He picks the same week Bell goes for almost 50 fantasy points. Nonetheless, Powell shined in the absence of starting running back Matt Forte, racking up 34 touches. Many are doubtful that Forte suits up next week and FanDuel is one of them, boosting Powell’s price up to $6600. The offense isn’t anything to get excited about but Powell will be a full workhorse if Forte can’t go. The Miami Dolphins have failed to keep a running back under 10 points since before their bye in Week 8. I don’t think he’ll repeat the ridiculous numbers he had this week but I’ll always be intrigued in a new workhorse back.
WR DeSean Jackson vs PHI, $5800, 17.7 pts.
-3 receptions, 102 receiving yards, 1 TD
I don’t know about you all but I love a revenge game narrative. Those who also believed in it were rewarded when he connected with Kirk Cousins for an 80-yard score in the second half against his former team. As I’ve called him before, Jackson is the Mayor of “Boom or Bust Town.” He’s had 6 games under 7 fantasy points and 5 games over 13 fantasy points. He also has been noticeably hot lately, catching long touchdowns in 3 of his last 4 games. Unfortunately, analysis only goes so far as you know what you’re paying for. He’s either going to propel your team over the top or laugh as it crumbles to the ground. At $6000 this week I like him to stay hot against a suspect Carolina Panther secondary.
RB Tevin Coleman vs LA, $5400, 18.5 pts.
-2 receptions, 19 receiving yards, 36 rushing yards, 2 TD
Coleman really seems to make the most of his touches, scoring twice on just 10 touches in a blowout of the Los Angeles Rams. He’s just about averaging a touchdown for every 12 touches so far this season and I guarantee he gets at least 12 touches against the San Francisco 49ers next week. There’s a lot to like about the Indiana product. One, he’s $1200 cheaper than Devonta Freeman. Two, he’s on the best offense in football. Three, he out-touched both Freeman and Terron Ward on Sunday. Four, he takes on the worst run defense in the NFL. His $1100 increase to $6500 is steep but his upside is just too much for me to pass up.
WR Emmanuel Sanders vs TEN, $5900, 21.5 pts.
-11 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 TD
TE Kyle Rudolph vs JAX, $5500, 14 pts.
-4 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD
Super Bargain Studs
WR Robby Anderson vs SF, $4700, 14.1 pts.
-6 receptions, 99 receiving yards, 12 rushing yards
I never thought I’d use “target monster” and “Robby Anderson” in the same sentence but in a way, that’s the beauty of fantasy football. For those of you wondering, Anderson is a rookie out of Temple who has become New York Jets QB Bryce Petty’s best friend. The last two games Anderson has had 14 fantasy points and double-digit targets in both games. Per Evan Silva, Petty has had 94 pass attempts this year and has targeted Anderson on 29 of them, good enough for a league-high 31% of targets. Sure, it’s a small sample size but targets are an incredibly important fantasy stat and Anderson is getting them in bunches. He’s still just $4700 this week against a middle-of-the-road Miami Dolphins defense. He won’t light up the scoreboard but his volume makes him a great floor play with the possibility of a touchdown.
RB Ty Montgomery vs SEA, $4800, 16.1 pts.
–3 receptions, 45 receiving yards, 41 rushing yards, 1 TD
Remember last week when I said I might play Montgomery but it’d be a strong maybe? Well, opinions change, right? Montgomery shined just a little brighter than teammate Christine Michael on Sunday. Montgomery led the team in RB snaps and found pay dirt close to the goal line. He was also third on the team in targets with 4. All the right things are being said for Montgomery to get a bigger role as head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Montgomery hasn’t attended a receiver meeting in months. At $5000, I think he’s a great gamble against the struggling Chicago Bears.
QB Trevor Siemian vs JAX, $7000, 17.4 pts.
-334 passing yards, 1 passing TD
Since coming off his bye, Siemian has had two straight 300 passing yard games with 4 touchdowns in those two games. He seems to have found a rhythm with one of the best WR duos in football in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. A possible reason for a jump in his passing numbers could be the Bronco’s struggling run game. Rookie Devontae Booker has hit the rookie wall, fellow rookie Kapri Bibbs is done for the year, and well, Justin Forsett is Justin Forsett. The team is going to have to rely on his arm if they want to make the playoffs. He’s only $6600 this week against the New England Patriots who have given up over 20 fantasy points per game to QBs not named Jared Goff since their Week 9 bye. I like him this week in a game he’ll be forced to keep up with Tom Brady.
WR J.J. Nelson vs MIA, $4900, 18.9 pts.
-1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 56 rushing yards, 2 TDs
RB Kenneth Dixon vs NE, $5000, 18.1 pts.
-8 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 39 rushing yards, 1 TD
WR Dez Bryant vs NYG, $7800, -.5 pts.
-1 reception, 10 yards, 1 FUM
Players that outscored Bryant on Sunday; Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, and yourself, sitting on your couch crying about his awful performance. Jokes aside, Bryant took a trip to the Janoris Jenkins island and was not treated well. When guarded by Jenkins, Bryant had 7 targets, 5 incomplete passes, and 2 turnovers (fumble and INT). It was an ugly game all around for the Cowboys and Dak Prescott. Bryant is my “Don’t Trip Chocolate Chip” of the week. He’s been great up to this point, averaging 15 fantasy points per game in his last 6 games. Fire him up once again on Sunday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at $7500.
RB Devonta Freeman vs LA, $7500, 2.8 pts.
-2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 6 rushing yards
A lot went wrong for Freeman on Sunday. First, was game flow. The Falcons scored twice from the defensive side of the ball, limiting possessions for the offense. Second was the aforementioned Tevin Coleman. Coleman scored twice on Sunday, once through the air and once on the ground. Third, was his YPC. Freeman had 6 rushing yards on 6 carries. The only good news is that he has the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. However, that’s not enough good news for me to want to spend $7700 to hope he rebounds. As I was saying before, the upside of Coleman is far more appealing to me than the risk of Freeman.
QB Ben Roethlisberger vs BUF, $8100, 5.6 pts.
-220 passing yards, 3 INT
Oh, you were looking for your Roethlisberger points? Just like the Grinch stole Christmas, Le’Veon Bell stole them all. Handing the ball off 38 times must have been tiring as Big Ben struggled, getting picked off 3 times in the snow. This is his second performance with less than 10 fantasy points in the last 4 games. In both of those games, Bell stole the show on the ground. With Bell ripping through defenses, it’s hard to trust Roethlisberger to get the opportunity to throw. He also struggled on the road. Throwing for 8 TDs and 8 INTs away from Heinz Field compared to a 17:3 ratio at home. There are plenty of matchups I like better than him at $8000.
TE Jimmy Graham vs GB, $6600, 2.1 pts.
-1 reception, 16 yards
RB Terrance West vs NE, $6200, 4.6 pts.
-4 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 2 rushing yards
RB Mark Ingram vs TB, $7100, 2.8 pts.
-1 reception, 9 receiving yards, 14 rushing yards
QB Russell Wilson vs GB, $7800, 5.5 pts.
-240 passing yards, 19 rushing yards, 1 TD, 5 INT
WR Kelvin Benjamin vs SD, $6800, 1.6 pts.
-3 receptions, 28 receiving yards, 4 rushing yards
WR Larry Fitzgerald vs MIA, $6800, 2.7 pts.
-3 receptions, 12 receiving yards
The new prices are already out for Week 15!