FanDuel Studs and Duds of Week 13

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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.

Expensive Studs

RB Melvin Gordon vs TB, $8000, 21.8 pts. 
-4 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 84 rushing yards, 1 TD
After scoring just two games over 10 fantasy points last season, Gordon now has double-digit fantasy points in every single game but one this season (in which he scored 9.4). The Wisconsin product finally has a healthy offensive line and is making a name for himself in the NFL. Gordon is nearly averaging 20 fantasy points per game. Much like I did with Mike Evans last week, I’m here to let you know that it’s only going to get better. The next three weeks Gordon has the Carolina Panthers (who have given up 10 plus fantasy points to RBs in last 3 games without LB Luke Kuechly), the Oakland Raiders (9th worst against RBs) and the Cleveland Browns (2nd worst against RBs). Gordon should have huge weeks moving forward and his $8200 will be worth it.

QB Matthew Stafford vs NO, $8300, 23.8 pts. 
-341 passing yards, 22 rushing yards, 2 passing TDs
It was nice to see the Texas native back near the top of the leader board as he was coming off 5 straight games under 20 fantasy points. Stafford picked apart what New Orleans calls a defense while throwing for a season-high 42 passing attempts. The absence of Marvin Jones didn’t seem to effect Stafford as he completed at least 2 passes to 7 different receivers. Stafford does have the reputation of being boom or bust, but I’d feel comfortable starting him down the stretch. If the weather holds up, Stafford should return his $8500 price tag this week against a depleted Chicago Bears defense.

 RB LeSean McCoy vs OAK, $8400, 22.6 pts. 
-7 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 130 rushing yards 

RB David Johnson vs WAS, $9500, 34 pts. 
-9 receptions, 91 receiving yards, 84  rushing yards, 2 TD

WR Jordy Nelson vs HOU, $7400, 21.8 pts. 
-8 receptions, 118 receiving yards, 1 TD

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Value Studs

RB Michael Crabtree vs BUF, $6400, 16.9 pts.
-7 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 TD
Crabtree has been one of the best value plays of the year. He’s had double-digit fantasy points in every game but 3. He’s only had one performance over 20 so he won’t put you over the top, but he will put your lineup in a position to get over the top week in and week out. He’s had at least 11 targets in 4 of his last 6 games. The Raiders offense is top 5 in passing yards per game and 7th in both passing touchdowns and passing attempts. The way this offense is going, Crabtree is going to have plenty of opportunities. He’s not my favorite this week in a tough matchup on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs at $6200 but love the following two matchups.

WR Golden Tate vs NO, $5900, 24.5 pts. 
-8 receptions, 145 receiving yards, 1 TD
With the news of Marvin Jones being inactive yesterday morning, Tate was a must start for me. He delivered for owners who did the same, getting wide open for a 66-yard touchdown. The former Seahawk led the team in every receiving category, gaining 96 more yards than the second-leading receiver on the team. After a horrendous start, Tate has somewhat bounced back, scoring double-digit fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 games. If Jones is out once again, absolutely get Tate into your lineup at $6300 against the Chicago Bears.

TE Zach Ertz vs CIN, $5300, 18.4 pts. 
-9 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 1 TD
Down 29-0 midway through the third quarter, Ertz had plenty of garbage time to break out for his best fantasy performance of the year. He’s quietly put together a strong second half, scoring double-digit fantasy points in 3 of his last 5 games. He’s averaged just under 12 fantasy points and 9.6 targets per game in that span. With Jordan Matthews out, Ertz becomes the best receiving option on the team. If Matthews misses another week, Ertz is someone to think about at $5700 for a matchup with the 11th worst defense against TEs in the Washington Redskins.

RB Thomas Rawls vs CAR, $6600, 24.3 pts.
-1 reception, 12 receiving yards, 106 rushing yards, 1 TD 

QB Joe Flacco vs MIA, $7300, 29.14 pts. 
-381 passing yards, 4 passing TD, 1 INT

Super Bargain Studs

TE Dennis Pitta vs MIA, $4800, 23.5 pts.
-9 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 2 TD
Pitta seemed to be making up for lost time as he scored not once but twice for the first time since 2013. Pitta was the focal points of Joe Flacco’s big day, getting 11 targets to lead the team. This was much more catching lightning in a bottle than anything as this is just his second double-digit fantasy point performance of the season. He also hasn’t received more than 6 targets since Week 9. This offense played it’s the best game of the year but it’s definitely not a trend. I wouldn’t recommend chasing the points this week, even though he’s still only $4900.

TE Ladarius Green vs NYG, $4500, 20 pts. 
–6 receptions, 110 passing yards, 1 TD
Unlike Pitta, this is a performance that shouldn’t be ignored. After waiting and waiting, Green finally broke out, leading the team in targets and yards. He looked like the legitimate receiving weapon the team had in mind when they signed him. Per Tristan Cockcroft, Green almost had as many targets as he played snaps last week. And it’s only going to get better. The healthier and more comfortable he gets with Ben Roethlisberger, the more he’s going to be involved in one of the best offenses in football. FanDuel has taken notice as well, bumping his price up to $5800. With some great matchups for other TEs around the league, I won’t be playing him everywhere as you can expect a very high ownership percentage next week.

WR Brandon LaFell vs PHI, $4900, 18 pts. 
-5 receptions, 95 receiving yards, 1 TD
LaFell must have visited his local mason to get the bricks removed from his hands because he came to play on Sunday. He achieved his season high in yards while leading the team in targets. LaFell was finding holes in the defense all day, eventually scoring in the third quarter. To put it simply; is Brandon LaFell talented? Eh. Is Brandon LaFell one of the few receiving options on his team? Yes. With A.J. Green out for the foreseeable future and Giovani Bernard out for the year, QB Andy Dalton doesn’t have much else of a choice but to throw to LaFell. With a great matchup against the Cleveland Browns, his price is up by $900 to $5800. Don’t expect 20 plus points, but he could have a similar game as he did last time he faced the Browns, going 4/83/1.

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WR Albert Wilson vs ATL, $4500, 18.3 pts. 
-4 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 55 rushing yards, 1 TD

QB Carson Palmer vs WAS, $7000, 23.9 pts.
-300 passing yards, 3 passing TDs

Duds

QB Drew Brees vs DET, $9300, 7 pts.
-326 yards, 3 INTs
Being the only QB over $9000, Brees’ underwhelming performance cost a lot of people money. He just couldn’t get the offense going after barely seeing the field in the first half. The Detroit Lions dominated time of possession, 36:52 to 23:08. The Saints, a team that averages about 70 plays a game, was only able to get off 57. The Lions came in with a game plan to keep Brees off the field and executed it almost perfectly. The only problem is that not everyone can do that against the future Hall of Famer. He’s this week’s “Don’t Trip Chocolate Chip” as he will bounce back with some great matchups in the following weeks including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice, and the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17. This week he’s the most expensive QB once against at $8700 but should be back to the old Brees.

RB James Starks vs HOU, $5800, .1 pts.
-1 rushing yard
After averaging over 12 fantasy points per game since returning from his injury, Starks seemed to get lost in the snow on Sunday. Starks was nowhere to be seen, getting four carries for just 1 yard. The Packers backfield as a whole is something I would not feel confident in, especially Starks. Newly signed Christine Michael rushed 9 times for 19 yards, Ty Montgomery rushed 6 times for 40 yards, and fullback Aaron Ripkowski rushed 3 times for 14 yards and a score. This is an ugly RBBC. Maybe I throw Montgomery out there as a shot in the dark because of his ability to catch passes but that’s a strong maybe. Avoid anyone on the Packers not named Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, or Aaron Rodgers.

QB Cam Newton vs SEA, $7600, 12.5 pts. 
-182 passing yards, 12 rushing yards, 1 passing TD

TE Martellus Bennett vs LA, $5100, 1.4 pts. 
-2 receptions, 4 yards 

RB Todd Gurley vs NE, $6800, 5.7 pts. 
-38 rushing yards

RB Lamar Miller vs GB, $7300, 2.3 pts. 
-1 reception, -4 receiving yards, 22 rushing yards 

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QB Colin Kaepernick vs CHI, $7800, 2.2 pts.
-4 passing yards, 20 rushing yards 

WR Emmanuel Sanders vs JAX, $6400, 4.7 pts.
-3 receptions, 28 receiving yards, 4 rushing yards 

WR Michael Thomas vs DET, $6900, 6.2 pts.
-4 receptions, 42 receiving yards 

The new prices are already out for Week 14!

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