Welcome to the twelfth 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 LeSean McCoy vs Jax, $8100, 28.4 pts.
-2 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 103 rushing yards, 2 TD
Owners experienced the same mood swings that McCoy did when he earned the nickname “Shady” from his mother. Owners went from concern in the first half to joy when he took the first play of the second half 75-yards for the touchdown. Overshadowed by some of the other big-name running backs, McCoy has quietly put together a great 2016 campaign. He’s third among running backs in YPC and fourth in touchdowns. I expect him to run wild in Oakland this weekend, a run defense that has given up a touchdown to a running back in each of their last 4 games. Don’t be afraid to spend the big bucks at $8400 this week.
WR Mike Evans vs SEA, $7400, 26.4 pts.
-8 receptions, 104 receiving yards, 2 TD
Evans was like “Legion of Whom?” on Sunday as he roasted the Seattle Seahawks for his fourth 100 plus yard and third 2-touchdown game. The number of targets Evans is receiving is absurd. He has at least 11 targets in all but two games this season, including three games over 14. He’s only 14 targets behind his career high through 11 games. If you were wondering if it could get any better, well, it absolutely does. Evans has the San Diego Chargers (ranked 26th against the pass) this week and then the New Orleans Saints (27th against the pass) twice in three weeks! In the games against the Saints, he is an absolute must start. Rightfully so, he’s priced as the third most expensive receiver at $8500 this week and there’s no reason to avoid him.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. vs CLE, $9000, 24.6 pts.
-6 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 2 TD
RB David Johnson vs ATL, $9500, 26.1 pts.
-8 receptions, 55 receiving yards, 146 rushing yards, 1 TD
QB Drew Brees vs LA, $8600, 32.5 pts.
-310 passing yards, 4 passing TD
New Orleans Running Backs
RB Mark Ingram vs LA, $6000, 29.2 pts.
-1 reception, 21 receiving yards, 146 rushing yards, 2 TD
RB Tim Hightower vs LA, $6500, 17.5 pts.
-2 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 51 rushing yards 1 TD
When your team scores 49 points in a game there’s going to be plenty to go around. Hightower found his touchdown on a trick play late in the game while Ingram found one each in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. The Saints love for Hightower isn’t translating to the numbers. Per Football Focus, Ingram broke 7 tackles on 14 carries on Sunday, but the team still gave Hightower more carries in which he broke one tackle. Per Matthew Berry, Hightower has 1 rush TD in his 9 carries from 5 yards or closer. It’s a great story that Hightower is back and relevant but the Saints need to realize that Ingram is clearly the better back. There are going to be a lot of points scored this Sunday against the Detroit Lions and these backs will be in the thick of it once again. I much prefer Ingram at $7000 but wouldn’t fault anyone using Hightower at $6300.
WR Tyreek Hill vs DEN, $6000, 15.3 pts.
-9 receptions, 3 rushing yards, 52 receiving yards, 2 TD, 1 RET TD
Just like the Southwest commercial, anyway the Kansas City Chiefs wanted touchdowns, Hill gave them exactly what they needed. Hill scored three different ways on his way to finishing second on the team in targets and leading the team in receptions. His yard total seemed low for a guy that caught 9 passes but no one is going to complain about the volume. With Jeremy Maclin hurt/irrelevant, Hill seems to be separating himself from the other receivers. I like Hill a lot this week at $5800, especially against the 3rd worst pass defense in the Atlanta Falcons. His only downside his ownership percentage will be on the rise after his performance on national TV.
WR Emmanuel Sanders vs KC, $6600, 28 pts.
-7 receptions, 162 receiving yards, 1 TD
As our fellow writer and self-proclaimed “Sanders Fanboy”, Ben Cummins has been saying all offseason, Sanders is the No.1 receiver in this offense. He leads the Broncos in receptions, targets, yards, and is only 1 TD behind Demaryius Thomas. Those who have been spending $7000 or more on Thomas all season have been missing the bargain of Sanders. Admittedly he’s been in somewhat of a slump, recording only his second double-digit performance in 6 games but this one definitely won people money. The team tends to throw more on the road where Sanders has two nice matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. At $6400, he won’t lose you your week based on volume and provides the opportunity of a huge game.
WR Michael Thomas vs LA, $6400, 24.9 pts.
-9 receptions, 108 receiving yards, 2 TD
QB Colin Kaepernick vs MIA, $7200, 33.14 pts.
-296 passing yards, 113 rushing yards, 3 passing TD, 1 INT
Super Bargain Studs
WR Taylor Gabriel vs ARI, $5100, 24.2 pts.
-4 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 27 rushing yards, 2 TD
It was deja vu for Gabriel after he scored two different times on the same exact screen-play. He looked electric, weaving in between his blockers and dodging defenders. The undrafted receiver has scored double digits in his last four games while averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game in that span. He’s purely a big-play as he’s only averaged 3.7 touches in those four games. Between his speed and being on the best offense in football, I’m convinced he can boom more than he can bust. He takes on a Kansas City defense who just gave up over 300 passing yards to the Denver Broncos on Sunday and at $5700, I like him to round out your receiving core.
QB Matt Barkley vs TEN, $6000, 20.6 pts.
–316 passing yards, 3 passing TD, 2 INT
It was “Drop City”, population Chicago Bears wide receivers on Sunday. In Barkley’s first NFL start he was hitting receivers in the chest only to see his passes slip right through their fingers. Despite little help from his teammates, he still finished with a decent fantasy day. He should definitely be on you radar moving forward for two reasons. One, he has some great matchups, and two, even in the tough matchups he will have garbage time to make up for it. He stays the same price this weekend going up the San Francisco 49ers who are giving up just under 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. If you need a dart throw QB option, Barkley could be your guy.
WR Malcolm Mitchell vs NYJ, $4500, 18.7 pts.
-5 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 2 TD
The rookie out of Georgia came up clutch for the Patriots on Sunday, catching both of Tom Brady’s touchdown passes. He was also third on the team in targets and the second most targeted receiver behind Julian Edelman. This is Mitchell’s second straight game over 17 fantasy points as he finally seems to be building rapport with Brady. It seems pretty simple to me, if Brady is throwing you the ball, he’s going to put you in a position to make a play. With Gronkowski absent, Mitchell seems to be the one benefitting. FanDuel has taken notice too, bumping up his price to $5600 against a normally stout Los Angeles Rams’ defense that was shredded by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. If there are reports that Gronkowski will be out or limited, Mitchell could be a nice play.
WR Marquess Wilson vs TEN, $4500, 22.5 pts.
-8 receptions, 125 receiving yards, 1 TD
WR Dontrelle Inman vs HOU, $5000, 20.9 pts.
-6 receptions, 119 receiving yards, 1 TD
WR Julio Jones vs ARI, $8700, 5.5 pts.
-4 receptions, 35 receiving yards
Jones learned first hand what it felt like to be Patrick Peterson-ed. Peterson followed Jones step for step all over the field, only allowing 4 catches on 7 targets. This is my “Don’t Trip Chocolate Chip” of the Week. Peterson has been fantastic this season, allowing two or fewer receptions in six games this season. Looking ahead Jones has some juicy matchups that include the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. This could very well be his last dud of the season and I like him to bounce back at $8300.
TE Rob Gronkowski vs NYJ, $8500, 0 pts.
-0 receptions, 2 targets
There’s always risk starting a player who’s playing status is up in the air all week. Just like I am with donuts, Gronkowski is all too familiar with injuries. Early reports have been positive and many expect him to suit up next week. To touch upon what I talked about last week, head coach Bill Belichick hates your fantasy team. The Patriots are pretty banged up right now and the last thing they want is their best offensive weapon to suffer a setback. It’s way too risky to use Gronkowski until we see him take a full workload of snaps. No way am I spending $7300 to hope he’s back to normal.
WR Brandin Cooks vs LA, $7300, 0 pts.
-0 receptions, 0 targets
Speaking of donuts, Cooks suffered his first 0-point performance of the year. The Saints had over 550 yards of offense and Cooks was nowhere to be seen. Not that it needs to be said but this is extremely concerning. With the emergence of Michael Thomas and Willie Snead and new targets like Coby Fleener and Tim Hightower, Cooks seems to be the odd man out. There’s no way I can trust him the rest of the year. Despite an easy matchup with the Detroit Lions, he’s no more than a hope and prayer that he catches a deep ball at $6800.
TE Greg Olsen vs OAK, $7000, 6.5 pts.
-4 receptions, 45 yards
RB Thomas Rawls vs TB $7000, 3.8 pts.
-38 rushing yards
RB Matt Forte vs NE, $6800, 6.5 pts.
-3 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 27 rushing yards
QB Russell Wilson vs TB, $7500, 10.04 pts.
-151 passing yards, 80 rushing yards, 2 INT
WR Allen Robinson vs BUF, $7400, 2.4 pts.
-2 receptions, 24 receiving yards
WR Larry Fitzgerald vs ATL, $7200, 7.3 pts.
-4 receptions, 52 receiving yards
The new prices are already out for Week 13!