Welcome to the fifteenth edition of Studs & Duds! Even if you’re out of your league’s championship game, there’s always DFS. 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.
QB Drew Brees vs ARI, $8200, 29.4 pts.
-389 passing yards, 4 passing TDs
Now that’s the Brees we all know and love. After two straight games under 11 fantasy points, Brees picked apart the Arizona Cardinals defense for 4 scores and almost 400 yards. Diving into the numbers, he’s been somewhat boom or bust this year. Scoring over 20 fantasy points 7 times but also failing to get 17 points 5 times. He’ll be one of the most expensive quarterbacks for the rest of the season with two good matchups in indoor stadiums. He will be much more of a boom than bust to end the year, especially in Week 17 in Atlanta. Don’t be afraid to spend $8500 on Brees this week or his higher price the following week.
RB Ezekiel Elliott vs TB, $8500, 26.3 pts.
-3 receptions, 29 receiving yards, 159 rushing yards, 1 TD
RB LeSean McCoy vs CLE, $9000, 30.4 pts.
-3 receptions, 16 receiving yards 153 rushing yards, 2 TDs
RB Devonta Freeman vs SF, $7700, 32.5 pts.
-2 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 139 rushing yards, 3 TDs
WR Odell Beckham Jr. vs DET, $8600, 16.3 pts.
-6 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 TD
WR Brandin Cooks vs ARI, $6300, 34.1 pts.
-7 receptions, 186 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Cooks’ 186 yards and 2 touchdowns were more than his last 4 games combined (176 yards and 0 touchdowns). He exploded against a very tough Arizona Cardinal secondary, breaking loose for touchdowns of 45 and 65 yards. Despite some recent struggles of the Saints offense, I fully expect the Saints’ next two games to be absolute shoot-outs. Especially Week 17 in Atlanta as mentioned above. Although Cooks was 3rd on the team in targets, he proved that he only needs a few catches to put up huge numbers. I’m not chasing his points just yet at $7100 this week against Tampa Bay (don’t blame anyone who does) but I’m waiting to cash in with Cooks in Week 17.
QB Carson Palmer vs NO, $7600, 20.7 pts.
-318 passing yards, 2 TDs
It’s no secret that Palmer has had his struggles this year. His performance on Sunday was only his 3rd 20-plus point performance of the season. Taking advantage of a poor New Orleans defense, Palmer threw for over 300 yards for just the second time in his last 5 games. You don’t need me to tell you to stay away from him next week in Seattle at $7000. However, he’s not a bad play in Week 17 against the Los Angeles Rams.
WR Julian Edelman vs DEN, $6400, 10.5 pts.
-6 receptions, 75 receiving yards
So Edelman might not have had a huge day on Sunday but this is more of a look into how consistent he’s been since Week 11. He’s had double-digit fantasy points in his last 7 games, with at least 6 catches in his last 6 games. He’s finally becoming the target monster he was last season. His highest fantasy game was 18 points so he probably won’t put your team over the top but he most certainly provides you solid production to set your team up for your other studs. He will continue to feast next week against the New York Jets. Because of his insanely high floor, his $6700 doesn’t scare me.
RB Ryan Mathews vs BAL, $5000, 21.8 pts.
-1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 128 rushing yards, 1 TD
TE Cameron Brate vs DAL, $5700, 15.8 pts.
-5 receptions, 73 receiving yards, 1 TD
Super Bargain Studs
TE Ryan Griffin vs JAX, $4500, 12.5 pts.
-8 receptions, 85 receiving yards
His 12.5 points might not seem like much but it was good enough for the fifth-best TE score of the week. With starter C.J. Fiedorowicz out, Griffin caught all 8 of his targets for 85 yards. Eight targets were tied for second on the team and his 85 were by far a season high. With new QB Tom Savage projected to be under center next week, Griffin should once again be heavily involved in the offense. At $4500 again this week, he provides a cheap option. If Fiedorowicz returns, however, stay away from Griffin.
RB Derrick Henry vs KC, $4900, 17.8 pts.
–58 rushing yards, 2 TDs
DeMarco Murray owners certainly didn’t appreciate the vulturing of two touchdowns but the Tennessee Titans are loving what they’re getting out of the rookie Henry. They’re involving him in more of the offense, especially near the goal-line. While his ceiling is obviously capped and his floor isn’t very high being the backup to Murray, Henry’s chances of finding the end zone are increasing. Going up against Jacksonville next week, I like Henry to score once again. If you’re putting up big money for other positions, Henry could be a cheap but touchdown-reliant play at $4900.
QB Matt Moore vs MIA, $6000, 23.4 pts.
-236 passing yards, 4 passing TD, 1 INT
After not throwing a touchdown since the 2012 season, Moore came out of nowhere and threw 4 in a Saturday night matchup against the Jets. Only trailing Drew Brees in points this week, Moore was the ultimate dart throw play. However, this was more of a Jets being bad game than Moore doing well. As mentioned above, the guy hasn’t thrown a touchdown in years and hasn’t had much success in his limited action before Saturday. He should struggle against the Bills on Sunday as I don’t expect a repeat performance. Stay away from him and his $6500 salary.
WR Robby Anderson vs MIA, $4700, 16 pts.
-4 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD
RB Robert Turbin vs MIN, $4500, 18.4 pts.
-2 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 32 rushing yards, 2 TDs
WR Terrelle Pryor vs BUF, $6400, 3.9 pts.
-4 receptions, 19 receiving yards
Pryor has dropped off the map faster than Ted Ginn Jr. drops wide open touchdowns. Over his last 2 games, he has just 4.7 pts. Before his Week 13 bye, Pryor had had double-digit games in 7 of his previous 9 games. The Cleveland Browns are just beyond bad. Most of the time Pryor could make his production in garbage time but the team doesn’t even seem to have that anymore. Pryor can’t be relied on for the rest of the year, especially at $6100.
RB Adrian Peterson vs IND, $ (couldn’t find the price, sorry, Brooks!), .8 pts.
-1 receptions, 1 receiving yard, 22 rushing yards
Respect to all those who had the cojones to start the future Hall of Famer in his return but respect doesn’t give you any fantasy points. Peterson struggled on Sunday, to say the least. He couldn’t get anything going with the horrendous offense of the Minnesota Vikings and he isn’t getting any younger. He also only played 12 snaps and his 1.9 YPC this year is by far the worst of his career. Many rightly avoided him but for those who are still holding out hope for him next week, this is yet another warning to stay away from him. Don’t waste your $6400 this week.
QB Tom Brady vs DEN, $8100, 7.4 pts.
-188 passing yards
I like to imagine Gisele eating chocolate chip pancakes while I write about her husband being my “Don’t Trip Chocolate Chip” of the Week. Brady has been nothing short of Brady-like this season but ran into the Denver defense. The Denver Broncos have only allowed 2 QBs to score over 20 fantasy points, only giving up an average of 13 fantasy points to opposing QBs. He takes on the New York Jets next week who have been embarrassingly bad on defense. Since their bye, they’ve given up an average of over 20 points per games to QBs. Fire up Brady and Gisele’s chocolate chip pancakes at $9000 as he should shred the Jets secondary.
TE Travis Kelce vs TEN, $6900, 5.6 pts.
-3 receptions, 41 receiving yards
RB Matt Forte vs MIA, $6600, 3.3 pts.
-1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 21 rushing yards
RB Todd Gurley vs SEA, $6000, 4.1 pts.
-1 reception, -2 receiving yards, 38 rushing yards
QB Marcus Mariota vs KC, $7700, 5.4 pts.
-241 passing yards
WR T.Y. Hilton vs MIN, $7300, 6 pts.
-3 receptions, 45 receiving yards
WR Amari Cooper vs SD, $7400, 3.3 pts.
-1 reception, 28 receiving yards
The new prices are already out for Week 16!