Fantasy Football Studs and Duds – Week 5

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This “Studs & Duds” segment highlights fantasy football players who either exceeded, met, or failed to meet expectations in week 5 of the NFL 2017 season.

We’re in the mist of a youth/rookie take over of the NFL. I’m not sure if it’s the injuries bringing opportunity, less hitting in practice making defenses softer, or college football is catching up to the NFL in style, but these young bucks coming into the league are putting up numbers like we haven’t seen before. Between Deshaun Watson, Kareem Hunt, and Leonard Fournette already being top 10 maybe even 5 guys at their position it’s pretty incredible. Plus you have contributing players like Cooper Kupp who has become the best WR on his offense. The youth is taking over just as soon as the old regimes wheels are falling off. In a league that is in desperate need of new stars and guys we can follow this is a breath of fresh air.

This season has been one of the more frustrating that I can remember injury wise and having players just not perform up to par. It’s been more of a crap shoot than I can ever remember in fantasy football. Studs going down weekly on offense and defense. Any weekend you lose both Odell Beckham and JJ Watt to season ending injuries your league has a problem. Things are shakier than they’ve ever been. Hopefully the injuries slow down a bit, but I’m not counting on it. At least this youth is coming up and putting up numbers.

That’s where we start this weeks Studs and Duds. The youth is bringing it in and the old heads need to be put on retirement watch… Here we go. Let’s get into it…

Sunday Week 5 Studs of the Week

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Deshaun Watson, QB – HOU – 261 passing yards, 5 TDs, 31 rushing yards, 1 two-point conversion…
After writing him off a couple of weeks ago and declaring him droppable, I wanted to make my QB stud into Cam Newton this week. Deshaun Watson had other plans for us though. For the second week in a row he is by far the most impressive QB in the league. The way he moves in the pocket and resets his feet to throw it long is incredible. He’s 2010 Eagles Mike Vick already 4 games into his career. His ceiling is higher than any QB that I can remember. He’s say from all the games he played in college and Bill O’Brien smartly has tailored the play calling to his strengths. I hope you picked him up in your league cause these types of games are going to be become the normal. Plus, he plays Cleveland this week. He could be the first player to get the turkey with Stud of the Week honor three weeks in a row. I’m completely sold.

Davante Adams, WR – GB – 7 receptions, 66 yards, 2 TDs…
Just one week ago Devante Adams was in the hospital after taking one of the nastiest hits the head I’ve ever seen. Now he’s not only catching TDs, but catching game winners. This guy showed pure guts to be able to go out there and perform the way that he did. I’m not sure what this says about the NFL’s concussion protocol, but hopefully you started him anyways. Total stud.

Leonard Fournette, RB – JAC – 181 rushing yards, 2 TDs…
The rookie takeover continues with the top running back drafted in this year’s draft. He continues to get incredible volume and paired with that defense the Jags are just pummeling teams into the ground. At one point during the game he even waived on the hit of a safety just to blow him up. He looks for the contact and embraces his role as a bruiser. At RB the volume alone would be enough, but his mind set is what takes him to the next level. More of these games to come no doubt. Jaguars got a good one.

Ed Dickson, TE – CAR – 5 receptions, 175 receiving yards…
The Greg Olsen replacement continues the random TE blowing up each week theme of this NFL season. Every week it seems like a guy who most people would never think of starting has a game of his life at the position. Can he continue this production? Who knows? If anything, next week just start some old guy you’d never think of starting and maybe you’ll get lucky. That’s what this position is this season. Anyway, congrats to Ed Dickson who out did his previous career high in yards by 96 yards (it was 79 yards previously for us English Majors). Keep taking advantage of your position and get yourself a contract!

Miami Dolphins Defense – 10 points allowed, 6 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 TD…
This defense has actually looked pretty great the last few weeks. They’re the only reason the Dolphins are even anywhere close to winning these games and being .500. They keep the offense who has been terrible in these matches. That’s one thing this team can hang their hat on after this scandal with their O-Line coach broke last night. Let’s be real, that guy was living the Miami lifestyle to the max and then he recorded himself doing it. What an idiot! Congrats to the defense though, ya’ll are the real MVPs.

Sunday Week 5 Duds of the Week

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Ben Roethlisberger, QB – PIT – 312 passing yards, 5 interceptions…
Big Ben was quoted saying that he was contemplating retirement this last off season and maybe that’s where his head is still at right now. The last few years he’s been known for having bad road/home splits, being terrible on the road and being amazing at home, but not he’s just looking bad overall. He threw 5 picks this last weekend at home against a good Jags defense. They aren’t a push over, but this performance is inexcusable. Hopefully he pulls it together here soon. The team and his teammates need it.

Sammy Watkins, WR – LAR – 0 receptions, 0 yards…
One of the biggest disappointments this year in a much improved Rams offense is Sammy Watkins. Rarely getting targets, he’s way down on the totem poll of importance on this offense. As good as everyone else has looked, besides that week 3 blow up versus the 49ers, he’s been missing in action. Certainly droppable in all formats until the Goff starts to target him. His absence from game plans is inexplicable, but that’s how this year has felt on many fronts.

Carlos Hyde, RB – SF – 18 total yards, 1 reception…
One of the better running backs in the league this year, Hyde didn’t do much at all in a plus match up yesterday. Shannahan was quoted saying that it nothing to do with a lingering hip injury either. He just want to go with Matt Brieda because he was the hot hand. That’s certainly not great going forward. Hopefully Hyde can get some more opportunities as he’s definitely the most talented back on the roster. If you can buy him in your league after this bad performance I suggest doing so.

Evan Engram, TE – NYG – 0 receptions, 0 yards…
Another donut performer here. One that is almost as surprising as can be too. In a game where the Giants were down and lost their top 4 WRs he didn’t get one reception. This team is completely done this year obviously. Engram should be alright going forward. This week seems more fluky than anything and now he’s the top receiving target in an offense that should be playing from behind every week. Fire him up going forward.

Seattle Seahawks Running Backs – 25 carries, 62 yards collectively…
This situation is ugly. The line is straight up terrible. The three running backs the used in Eddie Lacey, Thomas Rawls, and JD McKissic didn’t do anything Sunday. Then you add a guy like CJ Prosise who should be coming back here soon and you’ve got a four way that I do not want any part of fantasy wise. All of these players are droppable in my book. Let someone else play running back roulette with them. Get out while you can. There are better battles to fight.

Bonus: Monday Night Studs and Duds Predictions

Stud: Tarik Cohen, RB – CHI – 40 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD…
It’s been a few weeks since Sproles 2.0 went into effect fully, but I expect him to have a really nice game tonight. He was not used much last week when they played the Packers on Thursday Night Football, but I expect that to be rectified tonight. He’s one of their only play makers and when you’re starting a rookie QB for his first game the best thing you can do for him is get the ball in the hands of guys that can make things happen with yards after the catch using simple throws. Cohen is going to look good tonight.

Dud: Latavius Murray, RB – MIN – 37 rushing yards, 0 TDs…
The number one waiver claim this last week is going to come out with a thud in his first week as starter. He’s still not the same after having ankle surgery in the off season and I believe this will be more of a committee than the workhorse situation it was with Dalvin Cook. Jerick McKinnon will eat into his workload and most likely be used more based on his explosiveness. To anyone who needs to start Murray because of injuries, I get that, but if you have another option tonight I’d maybe look elsewhere.

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Frank grew up in the swamps of Florida, but moved to the ice dungeon known as Chicago back in 2013. He’s become a huge fan of the Bears, polish sausages and giardiniera. He hosts of the ‘Calling It Now’ Fantasy Football Podcast which you can find on both iTunes and Soundcloud. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheFrankCalhoun to yell at him about why he’s wrong about all his takes on fantasy football.