So it's Thursday September 7th, and the last drafts will be happening today, right up until the start of the Thursday night opener between the Saints and Packers!
It's an amazing time of year, because for the most part, we all LOVE the fantasy team(s) that we drafted! We all think that we have a good shot at winning our league(s)! Unfortunately, most of us will come crashing down to Earth after week 1, when our team(s) fails to meet our expectations...
We can try to make sure we don’t crash by identifying this week’s STUDS n DUDS! So here it is, my first installment of "Studs n Duds", hopefully if you start the right guys, you can begin the year with a week 1 victory!
STUDS n DUDS
1) Packers named Jennings, Rodgers, and Finley are your Studs. It's not that I don't like Packer's wideouts Nelson, Jones, or Driver in week 1, it's simply that I don't know which one to like. In fact, that'll be a recurring theme for me this year. I only expect fantasy owners to be starting Jennings, Rodgers, and Finley, because the other 3 should prove to be "hit or miss" from week to week. Now, of course one of these guys might break out this week and prove to be a consistent fantasy player, but until then, you can only count on starting Jennings, Rodgers, and Finley. And I like all 3's chances to be Studs in this week 1 shootout with the Saints! I also think Packers Defense is a bit of a dud this week. I’m also not high on either of the RB’s, Grant and Starks are likely to split carries, I’m avoiding both of them until I see what kind of split it is. They’re both duds for now.
2) Saints named Colston, Brees, and Graham are your Studs. It's not that I don't like Saint's wideouts Moore, Henderson, and Meachem in week 1, HEY WAIT A MINUTE!!! This sounds awfully familiar! Well, that's because the situation with the Saints and Packers' is very VERY similar. Just like I stated with the Packers, Moore, Henderson, and Meachem are BYE week fill-ins unless one of them breaks out and proves to be consistent on a weekly basis. Again, much like with the Packers Defense, I’m steering clear of the Saints Defense this week. The running backs I’m also avoiding for now, as it’s hard to tell which one is worth starting (be it Ingram, Thomas, or Sproles).
3) Eagles named Vick, D. Jackson, J. Maclin, and L. McCoy, and the Defense are your Studs. You have to start these guys if you own them, obviously. Will all 4 be studs in week 1? The one that I doubt the most is Maclin, due to the fact that he had that unknown illness. But based on where you had to draft him, I don't know how you sit him this week, UNLESS you drafted deep at the wide receiver position and you have another Stud to replace him with this week.
4) Rams named Steven Jackson and Lance Kendricks are your Studs. Ummmm, in case you didn't know, the Eagles defense of late is atrocious at stopping the run. They signed 2 monster CB's, so throwing on them is another story. But Steven Jackson getting 100 yards and a TD is a no-brainer. Also, based on historical data, Tight Ends often fair very well against the Eagles defense. Kendricks is getting rave reviews, so if somehow you drafted him to be your starter, this is a good week to kick the tires on him! I don’t like any of the Rams wide receivers this week.
5) Falcon's named Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner, and Tony Gonzalez are your Studs. This is one of those situations where I like almost all of the key offensive players for a team. The only exception here is the rookie Julio Jones. I mean, if you drafted him as a starter and you have no better options, that's your problem, roll the dice. But these other guys are locks to produce for you in week 1.
6) Bears named Matt Forte is the lone Stud. What can I say, he's the only Bear that I trust at this point. I hate the wide receiver situation right now, which also kills my confidence in Cutler for now. Matt Forte may be the lone bright spot for the Bears in this game. The rest are duds (especially brick hands Roy Williams!)
7) Bengals named AJ Green and Benson are your Studs.. I mean, I really prefer that you didn’t start either of these guys, but if any Bengals players are going to be Studs in week 1, it’s these 2. I avoid all other Bengals as duds.
8) Browns named P. Hillis is the lone stud. Come on now, it’s not like any of you were going to bench Hillis anyway. And it’s not like any of you drafted any Browns not named Hillis to be a starter on your fantasy team, right? RIGHT!?!? God I hope not! Only Greg Little is worth an own at this point, just in case he emerges as a stud.
9) Bills named Steve Johnson and Fred Jackson are your Studs.. Now, I qualify this by saying that I’m hoping that Fred Jackson isn’t your RB1 or RB2, and that you’d be starting him in a league where you have a Flex player option. He’ll be a Stud in week 1 never-the-less, but just sayin’ that you drafted like a moron if he’s one of your top 2 running backs! Steve Johnson is a Stud by default with no Lee Evans, I have to believe that he’ll get a ton of targets in week 1. It’s worth watching the other WR (Donald Jones) to see if he’s the next Steve Johnson.
10) Chiefs named J. Charles and D. Bowe are your Studs.. Sorry, I know that’s obvious. But I really do think these 2 guys will be Studs in week 1. I would’ve included Cassel here but there’s some uncertainty about whether or not his rib injury will allow him to start and/or finish this game. The other guys are likely duds. The only exception would’ve been Tony Moeaki, but he was lost for the year due to injury.
11) Lions named Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Burleson are your Studs. I think there are enough balls to go around and make both of these wide receivers studs in week 1. And if both WR’s are studs, by default, I’d expect the QB to be a stud as well. I have not bought into the Jahvid Best love, I think he duds it up this week.
12) Bucs named Blount, Freeman, Winslow, and Mike Williams are your Studs. I would think you’d start all of these guys anyway, but now, please start them with confidence. Blount is going to hit 1500 yards rushing this year, so you can’t ever bench that guy. Winslow and Williams are going to get a lot of attention, and I think Freeman scores through the air and on the ground in this game. I think there’s a chance of Benn breaking out in 2011, but I doubt it happens in the first few games.
13) Titans named Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt are your Studs, along with the Defense. Yeah that’s right, you have to start Chris Johnson in week 1. Forget that he just reported to the team a week ago, he’s Chris F%$king Johnson. Kenny Britt is really the only ball-catcher worth starting for the Titans anyway, and chances are he’s your WR2, so you can’t bench him no matter how you slice it. I almost put the tight end Cook as a stud here, but I don’t know that he’ll hit that level in week 1. He’s a dud for week 1 along with the other wide receivers. The defense is a stud for one reason. Luke McCown.
14) Jaguars named Maurice Jones-Drew is the lone Stud. And even that’s pushing your luck. But hey, you likely got a bargain when he dropped to you in round 2 of your draft, so he’s still a guy that you have to start every week, as long as he’s healthy. But the fact that the Jaguars released Garrard and are starting Luke McCown in week 1 just makes me want to stay away from all the other Jaguars.
15) Steelers named Roethlisberger, Wallace, and Mendenhall are your Studs. All 3 will be studs this week, and yeah I know, you were going to start them anyway. This is probably more helpful to you based on who I’ve left OFF of the Stud list. I hear you, Antonio Brown COULD be a Stud in week 1, but I think it’s a big risk starting him until he proves that he’s not just a pre-season mirage. Like the Saints and Packers, the Steelers have a lot of receiver mouths to feed. Steelers still have Miller at Tight End, and don’t forget the other 2 wide receivers (E. Sanders and J. Cotchery) will be stealing some looks as well. I only feel confident starting 1 Steeler wideout right now, and that’s Wallace. The rest are duds until they prove otherwise. Not high on Steelers Defense against the Ravens, but you have to start them anyway.
16) Ravens named Boldin and Rice are your Studs. I know the Steelers Defense is awesome and all, but I also know that Ray Rice is awesome and all. They guy definitely gets a TD and at least 100 yards combined rushing/receiving yards. And make no mistake, Boldin gets at least 6 catches in this game. Boldin is in for a big 2011, he will reward fantasy owners who believe that he will have a bounce-back year. I stay away from the QB and Lee Evans this week.
17) Colts named Addai, Dallas Clark, and Reggie Wayne are your Studs. Well, with or without Manning, these 2 guys will produce. I don’t know how Kerry Collins will perform in week 1, I think you have to assume he’ll be a dud. But I do know that the Colts will lean on the run. I know that Kerry Collins will rely on Clark and Wayne as often as humanly possible. And I know that there’ll be plenty of points scored by both teams. But for god’s sake, I hope you’re not starting duds Collie and Garcon.
18) Texans named Schaub, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and O. Daniels are your Studs. Am I alone in thinking that the Texans are going to score like gangbusters in this one? I love all 4 of these guys against a Manning-less Colts. Heck, I’d even start the Texans defense if my other defense had a tough week 1 matchup.
19) Panthers named DeAngelo Williams is the lone stud. Sorry he’s just the only Panther that I trust right now, I think he’ll do well against the Cardinals. Cam Newton, J. Stewart, S. Smith, both Tight Ends are destined for the dud-zone in week 1.
20) Cardinals named Kolb, Fitzgerald, Wells, and Heap are your Studs, along with the defense. That’s right folks, you drafted Kolb as a backup, but this week he’s a starter! Beanie Wells is worth a flex spot or RB2 this week, because lord knows he’s going to produce against the lowly Panthers. Fitzy is a given. And yes, I said Heap! I think Kolb is going to go to Heap early and often in this game. Funny thing, Heap is probably a free agent in your league! And the Cardinals defense is a good option, seeing as how they play the Panthers and all.
21) Chargers named Rivers, Gates, and V. Jackson are your Studs. Wow is that obvious or what? Sorry but these are the only 3 guys that I trust to be week 1 studs. I’m going with Floyd as a likely Dud, and I don’t dare start the Chargers Defense this week. Matthews or Tolbert will score this week, but I just don’t know which one it will be. I don’t trust Matthews until he proves himself.
22) Vikings named Peterson, McNabb, Harvin, and Rudolph are your Studs. Peterson is obvious, Harvin is a sure bet. I am showing faith in McNabb partially because of my belief that Rudolph will become the Brent Celek that McNabb loved to lean on when he was with the Eagles. I am certain that McNabb gets 2 TD’s and 300 yards passing in this game. Kinda sorta certain. Maybe. And watch Bernard Berrian. I’m tempted to assume he’ll be a dud, but it will take one deep bomb from McNabb to change him into a Stud.
23) Seahawks named Lynch is the lone Stud. Marshawn Lynch is most certainly the only Seahawk that you should start in week 1. And he should only be a Flex option, at that. I mean, none of you were dumb enough to draft him as your RB2, right??? Sidney Rice and Zach Miller are duds. Oh, and obviously Tarvaris Jackson is dud-worthy.
24) 49ers named Gore, V. Davis, and B. Edwards are your Studs. I like Gore and V. Davis due to their history, because I am not high on the 49ers as a whole. You probably expected me to have Gore and V. Davis in the Studs area. But did you expect Braylon in here? Me neither. But hey, Crabtree isn’t healthy, he’s a dud, so somebody has to get it done. And when you’re playing the Seahawks at home, there’s a good chance that you’ll get it done!
25) Giants named Bradshaw, Manningham, and Nicks. I’m not a big believer in Bradshaw, because I honestly don’t like Jacobs sniping away at his carries. But against the Redskins, I like him. And with Boss gone, you have to like Manningham and Nicks. Sorry, LOVE. You have to LOVE Manningham and Nicks! I guess there’s a chance that Manning could be a stud in this one, but if he throws a bunch of interceptions, he’ll be a dud.
26) Redskins named Hightower, Grossman, and Moss are your Studs. Well, let me preface this. In case you missed it, the Giants have had about 5 or 6 key players on their defense get put on IR. So combine that with Hightower’s success in the preseason, and he’s a sure-fire stud in week 1. Santana Moss is a stud he’ll get targeted about 15 times in this game, and he’ll probably have 8 catches for at least 100 yards and a TD. How sick is it that I’m calling Grossman a stud? So sick that I can’t even look at myself in the mirror right now, I’m disgusted. But facts are facts, and the facts are that Grossman is going to light up a injury-riddled Giants defense.
27) Cowboys named J. Witten is the lone Stud. I’m going to have to stop there, hard to be a stud against the Jets Defense. You’re still starting Romo, Austin, and Dez Bryant. But just don’t expect stud level production, they’ll likely be closer to duds this week.
28) Jets named Holmes and S. Green are your Studs. Cowboys have a decent Defense, so temper expectations on these 2, but they have a chance to be studs, no doubt about it. I’m not on the Plaxico bandwagon, you shouldn’t be starting this guy yet.
29) Patriots named Brady, Welker, and Hernandez are your Studs. Take it to the bank! What, you expected the OTHER Pats tight end?? I’m not starting Ochocinco or Gronkowski, I expect them to be duds in week 1.
30) Dolphins named Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall are your Studs. I like both of these guys to produce in week 1, I see the Dolphins needing to play catch-up the whole 2nd half, so both Bush and Marshall should have a lot of catches in this game. Henne and the rookie RB Thomas are duds for sure. Davone Bess is a dud unless you’re in a PPR.
31) Raiders named McFadden and Boss are your Studs. McFadden gets a shot at proving why he was a 1st round draft pick this year, and Boss gets a chance to fill departed Zach Miller’s shoes. I don’t dare start a Raiders QB or WR until I see what they’re working with.
32) Broncos named McGahee, Lloyd, and Orton are your Studs. Yes that’s McGahee as in Willis. 2 TD’s this week, my friends! Moreno will be a dud in week 1, along with Fells and Royal. Royal has a shot at being good in 2011, I just don’t trust him quite yet.
GOT A STUD OR DUD QUESTION FOR WEEK 1? Please TWEET me at http://www.twitter.com/fantasyfbaddict !