NFL Fantasy Football Studs & Duds
Fantasy Football is right around the corner. The time of the year where everybody and their mother is an expert on the National Football League and all of it’s players. We aren’t claiming to be experts but hopefully our list of studs & duds will come in handy when making your fantasy football picks.
Stud: WR, Devin Aromoshodu
Aromoshodu emerged late in the season and looks to be the most promising of Chicago’s Wrs. Addition of pass happy Mike Martz as offensive coordinator could bring a lot of passes his way this season.
Dud: TE, Greg Olson
Olson had a less then stellar season last year. Addition of Mike Martz and signing of TE Brandon Manumaleuna will hinder the amount of times he’ll be thrown to. Martz hasn’t utilized TE’s like Olson much in his past offensive systems.
Stud: TE, Jermichael Finley
Coming off a great performance in the playoffs (159 yards), Finley will is starting to become Rodgers’ go-to-guy. Donald Lee will most likely find himself odd man out in Green Bay at the TE position.
Dud: WR, Donald Driver
Although he led the team in receptions, the pecking order in Green Bay is starting to change. The emergence of Finley as an option and Greg Jennings improvement, Jordy Nelson/James Jones in the 3 spot, Driver will see less passes thrown his way.
Stud: WR, Sidney Rice
Sidney Rice had a monster season last year with 1,300 yards and established himself as Favre’s go-to-guy in the passing game. Should Favre return this upcoming season, Rice will most likely be his #1 option.
Dud: WR, Bernard Berrian
Berrian’s tenure in Minnesota hasn’t lived up to what Viking fans thought they were getting. His production fell off by a couple hundred yards this past season. With Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe all lining up, Berrian’s production should continue to decline. Usually health is a concern with Berrian as well.
Stud: WR, Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson is the most reliable player in the Detroit organization. Calvin Johnson is impossible to guard one-one-one and the defense usually sends extra coverage his way. With the signing of WR Nate Burleson, this should free up some “extra” coverage Calvin may have been receiving. Stafford’s play will be much improved going into his sophomore season, making Johnson a very great fantasy pick.
Dud: RB, Kevin Smith
Coming off a serious knee injury last season, Kevin Smith will not be a reliable RB pick-up for fantasy owners. Even if he is healthy by the start of the season, his workload will decrease heavily since the Lions drafted RB Jahvid Best in the 1st round. Best brings the outside speed to the table that Smith lacks.
Stud: WR, Robert Meachem
Drew Brees is going to find Meachem a lot this upcoming season. Meachem led the team with 9 TD’s this past season and is the deep threat for this high powered offense. Personnel wise the offense is nearly identical so Meachem is a solid pick-up.
Dud: TE, Jeremy Shockey
Shockey’s production should take a hit with back-up David Thomas emerging near the end of the season. The Saints also drafted TE Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round out of Florida. We could see all 3 of them getting looks at TE.
Stud: WR, Roddy White
Roddy White has continued his great play with 1,100 yards and 11 TD’s. A lot of White’s success will depend upon Matt Ryan who last year had some problems from a turf toe injury. With Ryan completely healthy, look to see his production increase.
Dud: RB, Jerious Norwood
Jerious Norwood is a fantasy sleeper year in and year out. This season we are labeling him as a dud. His past with injuries makes him an unreliable back. He only had 76 carries while splitting time with Jason Snelling during Michael Turner’s injury.
Stud: K, John Kasey/Jonathan Stewart
With a young quarterback, the Carolina offense could falter in the red zone, so John Kasey is a great option to pick up needed points from your kicker. Stewart is going to be one of the top choices for most fantasy owners at the RB position. His numbers were very similar to DeAngelo Williams yet he had 4 more touchdowns total. This gives him the edge over DeAngelo.
Dud: QB, Matt Moore
Not to discredit Matt Moore, but fantasy wise you may want to pass on the young quarterback. He showed promise filling in for Jake Delhomme last season throwing 8 TD’s, 2 INT’s. However as a starter from Week 1 onward, his 8 career starts will catch up to him as he lacks experience. Jimmy Clausen could push for the job as well.
Stud: WR, Arrelious Benn
Benn has all the ability in the world to become a great fantasy WR. The only thing holding him back is QB Josh Freeman. Benn should serve as a great option for the young QB on the outside. Expect Benn to put up quality numbers and be a good contributor to this Tampa offense.
Dud: RB, Derrick Ward
Since coming over from the New York Giants last season, he hasn’t producd much. He had 409 yards off 114 carries and 1 TD. Seems as if he has lost some luster now that he is without Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. The return of Cardillac Williams will take away a lot of playing time from Ward.
Stud: WR, Miles Austin
Miles Austin was dominating opposing fantasy players all season long last year. He had 1,320 yards and 11 TD’s. If Austin doesn’t turn out to be a one-year wonder, his production will remain steady. Between himself, Jason Witten, Roy Williams, and Patrick Crayton, and the addition of WR Dez Bryant it’ll be hard to cover all of them. He will be seeing coverage from most teams’ #1 CB.
Dud: RB, Marion Barber
Barber is a great RB but Dallas has a 3-headed monster in their backfield. Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice. It will be hard for Barber to get the number of carries to be a quality 1st choice at the RB position. If you can get him in the later rounds, give him a chance. Avoid picking him early on.
New York (NYG)
Stud: WR, Steve Smith
Steve Smith was the most productive part of the NYG offense last season. Racking up 1,200 yards and 7 TD’s, barring injury he should put up similar numbers for fantasy owners. With Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham alongside of him, defenses will find difficulty in giving Steve Smith adequate coverage.
Dud: RB, Brandon Jacobs
His production last season was limited by a knee injury and only averaged 3.7 yards a carry. Jacobs is not running with the same power and not picking up a lot of short yardage situations. Ahmad Bradshaw will be sharing the work load as well. Much like Marion Barber, if you can catch Jacobs in the middle to late rounds, pull the trigger.
Stud: TE, Brent Celek
Celek led the team in receptions with 76 and racked in 8 TD’s. Celek is a great pick-up at the TE position for fantasy owners. Whoever is at QB Vick or Kolb, will find Celek to be the perfect safety valve.
Dud: RB, Mike Bell
LeSean McCoy will see the brunt of the carries in this backfield. Freshly acquired from New Orleans Mike Bell, he’ll see a lot of short yardage situations and goal line carries. Mike Bell has the potential to be a solid contributor but don’t expect him to out due himself from last season in NO.
Stud: WR, Santana Moss
The acquisition of Donovan McNabb raises Santana’s fantasy stock tenfold. McNabb knows how to find a deep threat well (DeSean Jackson) so expect Moss to get a lot more looks deep down the field. He put up quality numbers with Jason Campbell at QB last season, look for a big rise.
Dud: RB, Clinton Portis
Portis was plagued by injuries last season and only racked up 494 yards off 124 carries (1 TD). The Redskins signed RB Willie Parker from Pittsburgh and RB Larry Johnson from Kansas City. With 3 great backs in the backfield, I don’t foresee Portis having the same production from a couple seasons ago.
Stud: TE, Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis had a stellar season last year for the 49ers. QB Alex Smith is improving and found him 78 times for 965 yards and 13 TD’s. Vernon Davis is a top choice for fantasy owners at the TE position. Grab him while you can.
Dud: WR, Ted Ginn Jr.
Ted Ginn Jr. is a name that Dolphin fans loathe. With cement hands, he was thrown out of Miami and landed in San Francisco. Between Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and Josh Morgan I don’t foresee Ginn putting up any sort of numbers to warrant picking him up.
Stud: TE, John Carlson
Carlson was a bright spot in the Seahawks season last year. The TE racked up 574 yards and 7 TD’s, and his production will only go up with a healthy Matt Hassellbeck. He should see a lot more looks with Pete Carrol as the head coach from the University of Southern California.
Dud: RB, Julius Jones
Julius Jones has never screamed “draft me!” in fantasy football. He only put up 663 yards off 177 carries with 2 TD’s. This isn’t the productivity you want out of your starting RB in fantasy.
Stud: RB, Steven Jackson
Jackson is a great RB because he picks up rushing yards and receiving yards. He had 1400 yards but only 4 TD’s. With Sam Bradford at QB, adding some sort of a passing game will make Jackson that much more of a threat. He had 51 catches out of the backfield as well.
Dud: QB, Sam Bradford
While Bradford may have a very bright future, being thrust into the starting job his first year won’t yield great results for fantasy owners. You may want to pick him early in your draft…in the next couple of seasons. However for 2010-2011, you may want to pass on him.
Stud: WR, Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald puts up great fantasy numbers every season. Even without Kurt Warner, he’ll be the first option for whoever winds up playing QB for the Red birds.
Dud: QB, Matt Leinart/Derek Anderson
Replacing Kurt Warner will be difficult especially when you have Leinart and Anderson. Both QB’s lack consistency and in fantasy football a consistent QB wins you games. Don’t expect either of them to put up good enough numbers to warrant picking them up.
Stud: WR, Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace is a great WR for the 3rd WR spot on your fantasy team. He had 39 catches for 756 yards and 6 TD’s. He put up those numbers as a rookie, so we can only expect him to get better.
Dud: WR, Hines Ward
Hines Ward had his best year stat-wise since 2003. At the age of 34, it’s hard to say how he will follow that type of season up. Most fantasy analysts are saying you may want to pass on Hines Ward.
Stud: WR, Josh Cribbs
Josh Cribbs give Browns fans a reason to be excited. His multi-dimensional talent is entertaining to watch and hits different point categories in fantasy. He can catch a TD, run a TD, or return a TD in the return game. He can score in several facets of the game. After a great season, expect the Browns to find more ways to utilize him in their offense.
Dud: QB, Jake Delhomme
Jake Delhomme left Carolina after a season ending injury. Now in Cleveland, he is older and still turnover prone as a QB. Without overwhelming help on offense, don’t expect to see different results for Delhomme as a Brown. Don’t be surprised to see 3rd round draft pick Colt McCoy get some playing time
Stud: RB, Cedric Benson
When Benson left Chicago, most people thought his career would fizzle out. It did the opposite. Benson had a great season and racked up 1,251 yards and 6 TD’s. Benson will remain as Cinci’s workhorse in the running game.
Dud: WR, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson
Ochocinco didn’t have too bad of a season last year with 1,000+ yards and 9 TD’s but he is aging and his productivity is starting to dip as the seasons go by. Without another proven WR across from him, he’ll receive the best coverage the other team has to offer.
Stud: RB, Ray Rice
Ray Rice had a great season for the Ravens with nearly 1,400 yards rushing and 7 TD’s. He also led the team in receptions with 78 catches and 702 yards. Rice is the ideal RB to have in fantasy, draft him early…that is if he’s still available. He is a true stud.
Dud: RB, Willis McGahee
With Rice’s emergence last season, McGahee saw a decline in the number of carries. He was great in short yardage situations picking up 12 TD’s but he only had 544 yards. Following that performance up might be difficult.
Stud: WR, Reggie Wayne
Reggie Wayne has proven himself as a great fantasy WR and this season shall be no different. Coming off a super bowl loss to the Saints, Peyton Manning is going to be firing on all cylinders to get his team back. Wayne put up great numbers with nearly 1,300 yards receiving and 10 TD’s. No question in my mind, that he puts up those numbers again.
Dud: WR, Austin Collie
Austin Collie made a name for himself during the Colts super bowl run. With 700 yards receiving and 7 TD’s, defenses (and many fans) now know who he is and to target him better. It’s hard to label a Colts WR as a “dud” but all this means is that he won’t follow up his numbers from last season. He may seem like a reliable 2nd option at WR but be weary.
Stud: QB, Matt Schaub
This guy can put up numbers. He had 4,700 yards passing and 29 TD’s. With Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels as targets, it’s hard to not go all out to get Shaub as your fantasy QB. The only better choice at the position is Drew Brees. 1st pick material? Definitely.
Dud: RB, Steve Slaton
Steve Slaton following his awesome rookie year by ran for 437 yards and 3 TD’s. Houston drafted RB Ben Tate from Auburn in the 2nd round, so his workload will see a decline.
Stud: RB Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson will be the #1 overall pick in most fantasy leagues. He had over 2,000 yards rushing and 14 TD’s. He also had 500 yards receiving, you can’t beat that production out of your fantasy RB. If he’s available, you draft him. Regardless of the situation.
Dud: QB, Vince Young
Vince Young is a playmaker, most definitely. Is he a good fantasy football quarterback? Not at all. He has never put up astonishing stats to keep you in a fantasy game (if you were boneheaded enough to pick him, you deserve the loss). Also the teams’ RB led the team in receptions, this is usually an indicator to pass on the team’s QB for fantasy purposes.
Stud: WR, Mike Sims-Walker
Mike Sims-Walker had a break out season last year with 870 yards and 7 TD’s. As a Jacksonville WR that is great. There is nothing indicating that he should have a bad season this year so don’t be afraid to pick him up.
Dud: QB, David Garrard
Garrard isn’t a solid fantasy choice and back up Luke McCown could push for the job should Garrard’s performance start to falter.
Stud: WR, Julian Edelman
Is that Wes Welker? No, it’s Julian Edelman. Edelman came in relief when Welker was injured and put up solid numbers for the Patriots. Welker might not be ready at the beginning of the season, so Edelman will be seeing a lot more passes thrown his way. Edelman could have a break out season.
Dud: RB, Lawrence Maroney
Maroney had a solid season last year with 750 yards and 9 TD’s . However the Patriots have 5 RB’s who contribute to the workload…Maroney, Fred Taylor, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Sammy Morris, and Kevin Faulk. This makes it hard to start Maroney in fantasy football. It’s hit or miss depending on who gets the most carried on a given day.
New York (NYJ)
Stud: RB, Shonn Greene
Shonn Greene will become the feature back in this offense with Thomas Jones departure to Kansas City. He had 540 yards and 2 TD’s, if he can stay healthy we believe he’ll put up good fantasy numbers.
Dud: WR, Jericho Cotchery
Cotchery is a good WR but fantasy wise, you may want to pass. Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller might see the same amount of passes thrown their way from Sanchez. Last season he had 800 yards and 3 TD’s, which isn’t bad but you may want to on Jericho.
Stud: RB, C.J. Spiller
Spiller possesses the rare ability to be able to score on any given play. Whether it’s a run, pass out of the backfield, or return for touchdown, this guy is fast. Expect the Bills to find many different ways to get him the ball.
Dud: WR, Lee Evans
Lee Evans saw a big decline in production last season with a career low in receiving yards (602). With the departure of Terrell Owens, he could see a lot more passes thrown his way but his QB is still Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Stud: WR, Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall steps into Miami as the #1 option for QB Chad Henne. Henne really started to improve near the end of the year last season, so Marshall will have a solid QB throwing him the ball. He will see the ball a lot in Miami.
Dud: TE, Anthony Fasano
Miami didn’t utilize their TE much in the offense last season. With 31 catches, Anthony Fasano lacks the statistics to make him a solid TE pick.
Stud: QB, Phillip Rivers
Rivers puts in quality fantasy numbers every single season, expect this one to be no different. He had 4,200 yards and 28 TD’s, following up those numbers shouldn’t be difficult for Rivers. Rivers has good options including one of the top TEs in the league in Antonio Gates.
Dud: WR, Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson had a great season last year however he seems to be upset with his contract and is looking for a way out of San Diego. San Diego isn’t open to trading him at this point. Look for an “upset” Jackson to not play up to his potential. Talent wise he is not a dud at all.
Stud: WR, Eddie Royal
With the departure of Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal should be seeing a lot more passes thrown his way. He also returns kicks and punts, so he can score points for your fantasy team in that area as well. This makes him a great player fantasy wise to pick-up in the middle rounds.
Dud: RB, Knowshon Moreno
Moreno had 950 yards rushing and 7 TD’s for Denver however at times lacked effort when running the ball. His inconsistent play and butter fingers make him a fantasy risk to have at the RB position.
Stud: TE, Zach Miller
When there isn’t much to be optimistic about, Zach Miller really reminds you why you can be a Raiders fan. He had 800 yards receiving and 3 TD’s which isn’t bad for the production of a TE on the Raiders. With Jason Campbell at QB, expect him to do much better. Campbell used Chris Cooley in Washington a good amount. Miller will be more involved then he already is.
Dud: RB Darren McFadden
McFadden hasn’t put up the numbers he has been expected to. He will be asked to do a lot more then he has this season then he has in the past. Many say McFadden isn’t durable enough to be a feature back in the NFL. Couple that with Michael Bush receiving a portion of the workload, McFadden may not be a solid fantasy RB.
Stud: RB, Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones was sent packing from the Jets despite rushing for over 1,400 yards last season. Going up against teams in the AFC West, don’t be surprised if he tops those numbers of last season. Jones is a very tough runner and will pick up the tough yards.
Dud: QB, Matt Cassell
Matt Cassell put up 3,000 yards last season with 16 TD’s and 16 INT’s. Cassell is a fantasy QB you want to pass on because he turns the ball over. If Cassel had more talent surrounding him, his stats might improve. Adding in Thomas Jones won’t be enough to convince fantasy owners to pick him up as their QB.