Week 9 Studs & Duds

Welcome to the first edition of Studs & Duds with me, Kari Thomas (@12ozCurlSports).  This article will aim to point out stud and dud performances from players that either overperformed or underperformed based on their matchup during the week.  Any fantasy points in this article are based on 0.5 PPR and 6 points per touchdown.  I should note that following this weeks edition, I will highlight stud and dud performances from those players outside the top 12 at their position.  I hope you enjoy and give me a follow!  I welcome any feedback.


Drew Brees
25/36/346 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, and no sacks; 39.4 Fantasy Points
Coming off a miserable outing against the Vikings in Minnesota, Drew Brees and his Saints returned home to compete against the Rams in what was quite possibly the game of the year.  Brees torched the Rams defense for 346 yards passing (211 of which went to Michael Thomas).  He led the Saints to a victory over the unbeaten Rams with his four-touchdown performance.  The Saints have a road date with the Bengals on Sunday where he should be able to keep his momentum up against Cincinnati’s defense which is giving up the fourth most points to quarterbacks on the season.

Matt Ryan
26/38/350 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 2 sacks; 36 Fantasy Points
Matt Ryan marched into Washington and took on a defense that traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the deadline to bolster their already solid secondary and it looked like Ryan may see some struggles.  He put any doubts to bed with his 350-yard, four-touchdown performance.  Next up is a road date with the Browns who’s defense likely won’t be as forgiving or burnable as Washington’s was on Sunday.

Nick Mullens 16/22/262 3 touchdowns 0 interceptions and no sacks; 28.2 Fantasy Points
Undrafted free agent Nick Mullens got his first NFL start on Thursday night against a Raiders team that seems to simply be competing for the first pick in the draft.  Not to diminish his excellent performance, Mullens was able to pass for three scores and threw no picks while taking no sacks.  It seems most likely that he will get the nod to start next Monday when the Giants come to town before the 49ers have their bye.

Jared Goff 28/40/391 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and no sacks; 35.3 Fantasy Points
Jared Goff’s Rams played in New Orleans against the porous Saints offense which led him to a 391-yard day where he threw for three scores and an interception.  He wasn’t sacked but he did have to air the ball out a lot in this one as Todd Gurley couldn’t find much room to run.  Unfortunately, the Rams took their first loss of the season against the Drew Brees-led Saints.  Things won’t get easier for Goff as his next matchup is against the Seahawks.  They will be playing in L.A. which will benefit them to some degree, but the Seahawks stingy pass defense could lead to problems if Gurley struggles to find running room again.

Ben Roethlisberger 28/47/270 with 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 1 sack; 29.2 Fantasy Points
Big Ben was on the road against his team’s archrival Baltimore Ravens.  Early in the week, it was announced that he would be playing with a broken index finger on his non-throwing hand.  Despite a tough looking week for Ben, he went out and helped lead his team to a solid division win while passing for two touchdowns and running one in himself.  Ben and the Steelers will return home and face the Panthers on Thursday night football which could prove to be tough on a short week after facing a division foe.

Running Back
Kareem Hunt 91 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving, 3 total touchdowns; 32.6 Fantasy Points
Kareem Hunt had himself a day rushing for 91 yards and catching another 50 yards on his way to a three-touchdown day.  He was able to find plenty of room to run and should be able to find more of the same as the Chiefs return home to take on the lowly Cardinals.

Alvin Kamara 82 yards rushing, 34 yards receiving, 3 total touchdowns; 31.6 Fantasy Points
The Saints finally returned to utilizing Kamara the way he deserves to be utilized.  He was on the field for 71.7% of the Saints snaps while Mark Ingram only saw 43.4%.  The Saints likely realized that they’d be in a dogfight with the Rams and leaned heavily on their two best offensive weapons in Kamara and Michael Thomas.  Kamara’s next game is against a Cincinnati defense that gave up over 34 fantasy points to Kareem Hunt just a couple weeks ago.

Christian McCaffrey 79 yards rushing, 78 yards receiving, 2 rushing touchdowns; 30.2 Fantasy Points
Christian McCaffrey showed off his rushing and receiving skills against a porous Tampa Bay defense that struggled to keep up with the Panthers for much of the day.  He did have a touchdown vultured by Alex Armah as the Panthers did utilize some of their other rushing pieces.  He was out there for 98.46% of snaps and that isn’t something that’s likely to change.  He’s unlikely to have as big a day as the Panthers take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Tevin Coleman 88 yards rushing, 68 yards receiving, 2 touchdown receptions; 30.1 Fantasy Points
Tevin Coleman went off against a Redskins defense that has done pretty well at squashing the run game (they held Ezekiel Elliott to just 33 yards a few weeks ago and Saquon Barkley to 37 yards last week).  Coleman and Ito Smith have been splitting duties (57.4% to 41.2%, respectively) but Coleman made the most of his touches on Sunday.  We will see if he can duplicate his efforts as the Falcons take on the Browns who were just torched by Kareem Hunt this past weekend.

Duke Johnson, Jr. 8 yards rushing, 78 yards receiving, 2 touchdown receptions; 25.1 Fantasy Points

From what we saw out of Duke Johnson Jr. on Sunday, no one could’ve been happier to see Hue Jackson and Todd Haley get canned last week.  Yes, the Chiefs defense sucks but that doesn’t mean we can look at Johnson’s day and ignore what happened.  He and Nick Chubb both had solid fantasy days with Chubb seeing more of the rushing work and Johnson seeing more of the passing down work.  I expect the Browns to utilize the tandem similarly week in and week out.  Johnson gets to face the depleted Falcons secondary this week.

Wide Receiver
Michael Thomas 211 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 33.1 Fantasy Points
Michael. Freaking. Thomas.  Yes, he’s an every week starter but he finally got back to double-digit receptions for the first time since week 3 and reached 211 yards receiving against one of the best defenses in the league.  Thomas heads to Cincinnati to take on their putrid secondary on Sunday where he should see another solid fantasy day.

Josh Gordon 130 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 21.5 Fantasy Points
Josh Gordon has been working on returning to fantasy relevance since his move over to the Patriots offense.  He had a 100-yard game two weeks ago when the team went against the Bills but eclipsed the 100-yard mark to reach 130 yards receiving with a touchdown.  He’s best in your lineup when Gronk is out since the targets are spread a little thinner when Gronk is available but Gordon deserves a starting spot in every lineup with Tom Brady throwing to him.  The Pats head to Tennessee to take on the Titans this week.

Maurice Harris 124 yards receiving; 17.4 Fantasy Points
Maurice Harris is a name everyone should know going forward in the fantasy season.  The Redskins have a very banged up wide receiver corps and have just lost Paul Richardson Jr for the season with an AC Joint issue.  Harris will likely see more and more targets if Josh Doctson continues with his butterfingery ways.  He can be fired up with confidence if Crowder remains out again this week when the Redskins face the anemic Tampa Bay defense.

Adam Humphries 7 yards rushing, 82 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns; 24.9 Fantasy Points
Adam Humphries has risen to fantasy relevance over the last two weeks with seven catches against the Bengals and eight catches against the Panthers.  It’s an interesting transition seen as how the Bucs have a very solid receiving corps in Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and Chris Godwin.  Humphries is a worth a pick up in most leagues as the Bucs have a stretch of decent games coming up against some of the weaker secondaries in the league.  I expect Humphries catches to fall a bit against the Redskins secondary coming into town this week, though.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 101 yards receiving; 11.6 Fantasy Points
Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second time in his young career in a game that saw the Green Bay Packers trailing or tied nearly the entire game.  Rodgers and Valdes-Scantling have built a solid rapport over the last few weeks since Geronimo Allison got hurt.  It doesn’t sound likely that Allison will be able to return to form any time soon so I’d expect Valdes-Scantling to continue his ways despite some tougher matchups coming up after this week’s game against Miami.

Honorable Mentions: Julio Jones scored his first touchdown of 2018...finally.  Keenan Allen will find the end zone again.  He’s got some great matchups coming up.

Tight End
O.J. Howard 53 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns; 19.3 Fantasy Points
O.J. Howard put up a solid fantasy line on Sunday with his 19.3 fantasy points.  He’s become a big-time red-zone target for Ryan Fitzpatrick and with a game coming up against the Washington secondary that’s allowing over 10 points to tight ends per game, that sets up for another solid outing for Howard.  Keep firing him up comfortably as he has a very inviting stretch through week 14.

George Kittle 108 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 18.8 Fantasy Points
When the fantasy community saw that an undrafted free agent was starting at quarterback for the 49ers, it appeared as though Kittle was set up for a potential disaster rest of season.  The fact that Nick Mullens was able to come in and play well bodes well for Kittle and his rest of season value.  Regardless of which quarterback starts this week, Kittle is an every week tight end for fantasy purposes and should have another solid week against the Giants at home.
Jeff Heuerman 83 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 19.3 Fantasy Points
Jeff Heuerman was the top target for Case Keenum as the Broncos face the Texans on Sunday.  He was targeted 11 times and caught 10 of those for 83 yards and a touchdown.  It was an interesting change of pace for the Broncos as they have capable wideouts but they utilized the tight end heavily in this one.  We will see if Vance Joseph continues with this or realizes it works and stops because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

Benjamin Watson 62 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 13.7 Fantasy Points
Benjamin Watson had a solid fantasy day with 62 receiving yards and a touchdown.  He’s averaging 11.2 yards per reception and has a catch percentage of 81.25%.  It’s pretty impressive for a guy in a high-octane offense with weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.  He’ll look to keep up the momentum against the Bengals on Sunday.  Also, congrats on the twins, big man!


Sam Darnold 21/39/229 with no touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and 4 sacks; 1.2 Fantasy Points
Sam Darnold put himself into the “Nathan Peterman” section of the duds this week.  He finished his day with 1.2 fantasy points after throwing four interceptions.  Darnold told the media that he’s playing “stupid football” and that’s what happened on Sunday.  To be fair, Miami’s defense has been pretty stingy to some other quarterbacks so far this season but it was a pretty atrocious game.  It wasn’t fun to watch and I’m sure it was far less fun to play in.  Darnold will return home to take on the Bills in what should be a better matchup for him.

Joe Flacco 23/37/206 with no touchdowns, no interceptions, and 2 sacks; 8.2 Fantasy Points
Joe Flacco was a recommendation from many of the great minds in fantasy football this week with many other quarterbacks on bye.  He shit all over that notion by only passing for 206 yards against the 28th ranked Steelers offense at home.  Flacco is notoriously hard to trust and despite having a good receiving corps this year, he’s surpassed 300 yards passing only twice this season.  The Ravens have their bye this week and then get to take on Cincinnati at home which should be a better matchup for him.

Matthew Stafford 25/36/199 with no touchdowns, no interceptions, 10 sacks and 1 fumble lost; 6.6 Fantasy Points
Matthew Stafford faced off against the stingy Minnesota defense in Minnesota where he was sacked 10 times and lost a fumble.  Despite getting beat up all over the field, Stafford was able to throw for 199 yards and come away with 6.6 fantasy points.  It’s unlikely to get any better for Stafford as he has to travel to Chicago to take on the Bears defense this week.  It will be hard to trust him, Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay this week.

Kirk Cousins 18/22/164 with 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 1 sack and 1 fumble lost; 8.9 Fantasy Points
Kirk Cousins did not look like the number eight quarterback in the Vikings win over the Lions Sunday.  He threw for just 164 yards against a defense that had been pretty generous in giving up yards to the quarterback position.  Fantasy owners and the Vikings alike will be thankful that they’re on a bye this week before coming back and facing the Bears defense that could have Kalil Mack back in week 11.

Derek Carr 16/21/171 with no touchdowns, no interceptions, and 7 sacks; 7.3 Fantasy Points
Derek Carr looked atrocious against a 49ers defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns in every game but one this season.  As noted by the seven sacks he took, Carr’s offensive line isn’t doing much to help him.  He’s had a horrible season so far and the team seems to just be playing for a first-round draft pick this season.  I don’t trust Carr in any format and would avoid him the way you’d avoid Nathan Peterman.

Running Back
Kerryon Johnson 37 yards rushing, 7 yards receiving; 5.9 Fantasy Points
Theo Riddick’s return to the field cut into Kerryon’s playing time and caused a poor performance.  Overall it was a bad day for the Lions as Matthew Stafford took 10 sacks which can show you why Johnson may have had some issues getting the ball anywhere on the ground.  Riddick was used in the passing game which could cut into some of Kerryon’s numbers going forward but he’s so talented it will be hard to bench him.  The Lions take on the Bears in Chicago next which will be another tough matchup for him.

Lamar Miller 21 yards rushing, 27 yards receiving; 5.8 Fantasy Points
Just when you think we’ve got the Lamar Miller of old Miami, he has a day like he did on Sunday where he rushes 12 times for just 21 yards.  His 27 receiving yards did help his fantasy value out some but not enough to warrant starting him like his numbers against Jacksonville or Miami showed (both 100+ yard performances).  Miller and the Texans have their bye this week before they travel to Washington to take on the Redskins who were burned big time by Atlanta’s running game.

Adrian Peterson 17 yards rushing, 16 yards receiving; 4.8 Fantasy Points
Adrian Peterson had an incredibly disappointing day against a very burnable Falcons defense.  He finished the day with 17 yards rushing and 16 yards receiving which is hard to swallow following three 90+ scrimmage yard performances.  In his defense, he was sort of fazed out of the game since the Redskins were playing catch up all afternoon so it’s highly likely that Peterson gets back on track this week in Tampa.

Kenyan Drake 9 yards rushing, 26 yards receiving; 5.5 Fantasy Points
Kenyan Drake continued his inconsistent ways on Sunday by rushing for 9 yards and catching four passes for 26 yards.  Frank Gore seems to be the preferred back in Miami for right now but that changes quickly.  It will be hard to trust Drake or Gore going forward as Miami can’t decide who they want to roll out there more.  It seems to be sort of a “hot-hand” approach to the backfield which is hard to read.

Wide Receiver
Mike Evans 16 yards receiving; 2.1 Fantasy Points
One reception on 10 targets…that’s damn pathetic.  It does also point to poor quarterback play but Evans and FitzMagic were definitely on the same page to begin the season.  I don’t expect this kind of performance from Evans again.  He will be playing some more tough corners when the Redskins come into town but after his dismal performance against Carolina, I think he will be ready and working hard to get back on track.

Adam Thielen 5 yards rushing, 22 yards receiving, 1 touchdown; 10.7 Fantasy Points
Adam Thielen’s 100+ yard receiving game streak came to a screeching halt on Sunday where his quarterback struggled mightily.  The Vikings head into their bye week in second in the division behind the Bears.  When they return, they will head to Chicago to take them on in what will set up as another very tough matchup for Cousins.  If Cousins can figure things out, Thielen will be just fine.

Courtland Sutton (57) & Emmanuel Sanders (47) yards receiving; 7.2 and 7.7 Fantasy Points
So the Broncos shipped Demaryius Thomas to Houston which obviously meant that Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders were going to eat on Sunday, right?  Wrong.  Both underwhelmed and while I chalk that up to shitty coaching and quarterback play, it makes it a bit hard to trust either at the moment.  Thankfully the Broncos head into their bye week where they will hopefully be able to find some answers.  They come out of their bye to some inviting matchups once they get past the Chargers in week 11.

Jarvis Landry 50 yards receiving; 8 Fantasy Points
Better days are ahead for Jarvis Landry with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley out of Cleveland.  I did expect to see him put up better numbers against a pretty bad Kansas City defense but he gets another inviting matchup against the Falcons this week.  Duke Johnson Jr and Nick Chubb were the focal points of the offense in this one and there’s no way that the team can lead on just those two players the remainder of the season.

Tight End
Jordan Reed 34 yards receiving; 5.4 Fantasy Points
Jordan Reed has not been his usual, dominant self since suffering injury after injury over the last few seasons.  Many expected a resurgence from the tight end this season with Alex Smith coming into town but he’s mostly underwhelmed.  Perhaps he will turn it around this week as the Redskins travel to Tampa to take on the Bucs.

Kyle Rudolph 28 yards receiving; 3.8 Fantasy Points
Kyle Rudolph fell victim to Kirk Cousins’ miserable quarterback play on Sunday.  He’s a touchdown-dependent option that hasn’t found the end zone since week 3.  The Vikings head into their bye hoping to come out on the other side with a rejuvenated offense.

Jared Cook 20 yards receiving; 3 Fantasy Points
Jared Cook continued his menacing boom-bust ways as the Raiders fell hard to the 49ers on Thursday night.  With the tight end position so scarce, it’s hard to try to find someone on the waiver wire that has the same ceiling as a guy like Cook.  He’s a (miserable) every week option in a terrible offense that doesn’t have a ton of passing options for Derek Carr.

Austin Hooper 41 yards receiving; 5.6 Fantasy Points
Austin Hooper is part of a Falcons offense that seems to be figuring it out at the halfway point of the season.  There are a ton of other offensive options for Matt Ryan so it’s possible that Hooper’s chances continue to decrease as Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley have proven themselves beyond capable along with Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith.

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