Sunday Studs and Duds – Week 3

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This “Studs & Duds” segment highlights fantasy football players who either exceeded, met, or failed to meet expectations in week 3 of the NFL 2017 season.

It’s a crazy time to be a fan of the NFL because while it’s usually the center of our world on Sundays regardless of the political climate this Sunday felt different. As much as all of us would love to “stick to sports” and have football be an escape from our daily worries and fears it was impossible due to comments from the president. I’m not here to preach or turn anyone’s opinion or shoot anyone’s ideas down. If you’ve listened to my podcast you would know that I think there is nothing more American than fantasy football and in this crazy world of rhetoric and division I still believe that.

Yes, it’s a silly little game among friends that we create ritual around and make idols out of trophies, but in my adult life I’ve never had anything keep a group of people closer than my fantasy football leagues. As I’m sure a lot of you can relate to, my main home league is made up of friends that I’ve had for years who now live all over the country and lead very different lives. Many of us in the league voted differently, have different beliefs, and feel differently about what’s happening in our country at the moment too. Despite that, I can say that personally nothing is more exciting than when I get that call in June to start booking flights and figuring out where we’re all going to get together for our draft each year. Fantasy football gives us that medium to keep our friendship going despite what’s happening in the world around us. Hell, when one of our league mates was married this summer 4/5 of his groomsmen were guys in our league with the only other one being his brother! That’s what this silly little game gives us. An excuse to stay close with people who might otherwise fall out of our lives. It’s done that for me and I know that it has for other people as well.

In the grand scheme, I understand that this whole thing is bigger than fantasy football, TV ratings, the NFL, our ideas of entertainment, patriotism, you name it. It’s bigger and I’m not here to solve anything, but it’s hard to escape the rhetoric when you feel as if you’re forced to pick one side or the other. I just hope that regardless of how you feel about what’s happening that maybe for one second you can take a breath, step outside of your politics and try to realize that it’s not personal. Whether someone is sitting, standing, or kneeling during a song they aren’t attacking you personally. They’re expressing a thought. Take that in, process it, move on, and continue to try to be the best person you can be. We can only control a few things in this world and being better individuals is a one of them. It all starts with us.

Now, as a fantasy football writer, there is nothing more I would like to do than “stick to sports” when it comes to this stuff. That’s why I got into it. To talk about something I love and enjoy and meet other people who love and enjoy it as well. So for the rest of this article that’s what I’m going to do. Here are your Sunday Week 3 Studs and Duds…

Sunday Week 3 Studs of the Week

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Russell Wilson, QB – SEA – 373 passing yards, 4 TDs, and 27 rushing yards…
Between Blake Bortles turning the Ravens defense into blood pudding in London, Case Keenum sinking the Bucs hype ship, and Tom Brady being Tom Brady, there were plenty of big performances as the QB position this weekend. The one that can give the fantasy community a major sigh of relief though was the Russell Wilson show. Previously a dud on this list just two weeks ago, he looked to be back in command of the high flying offense that we expected comping into the year. He was still having to run for his life while being pressured on almost half of his drop backs, but he got the ball out of his hands quicker and helped justify his draft price. Going forward I’m hoping we get more performances like this than what we’ve previously seen.

Brandin Cooks, WR – NE – 5 receptions, 131 yards, 2 TDs, 1 two point conversion…
Another player on the list who has been less than stellar the first two weeks came out to show why the Patriots traded a first round pick for him during the off season. Not only did he burn the Texans defense for multiple 40 yard catches, but he also caught the game winning touchdown with 23 seconds to go. He’s always been a boom or bust type player through out his career, but when he’s booming he’s booming. This offense has found it’s rhythm and I’d expect more of these type games ahead.

Chris Thompson, RB – WAS – 38 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 150 receiving yards, and 1 TD…
Scoring touchdowns at an insane rate right now, Chris Thompson put on a show for Sunday night football. He was only the 9th RB to have a 150 receiving yards in a game since 1999. Am I saying this is unsustainable? A little bit. Though, he’s definitely been the best running back for the Redskins thus far this season. I expect him to get more touches going forward not only because of his production, but especially with injuries to Rob Kelly and Samaje Perine. Plus, Perine fumbled which most likely means he’ll be getting the Matt Jones treatment and riding the pine. I will say though, that coming off a nationally televised game in which he dominated that he is a prime ‘sell high’ candidate if you’re into that kind of thing.

Mercedes Lewis, TE – JAC – 4 receptions, 62 yards, 3 TDs…
The recipient of the Blake Bortles London annihilation of the Ravens, Mercedes Lewis put up a hat trick. I’m not thinking that he was in anyone’s line ups this week unless you’re in an insanely deep league where you start two or three TEs, but three TDs is impossible to ignore. I still wouldn’t pick him up and start him going forward. We all missed the boat on this one, but it was still a lot of fun to watch while drinking a cup of coffee and eating eggs Sunday morning. Congrats Stud.

New York Jets Defense – 6 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 INT…
Yes. The New York Jets accidentally went out and won a game this year. In classic Jets fashion I’m assuming this will come back to bite them and they’ll miss out on the first pick because of this. When you sign up to tank you have to tank the whole way. In the players credit though, they made the Dolphins offense look like a college team out there. Shutting down every aspect of their game, it wasn’t until late late garbage time that they even put up those 6 points. It should have been a shut out. Oh well. Doesn’t really matter. This team is really bad at football and I wouldn’t expect much going forward. This week though, you’re all so studdly!

Sunday Week 3 Duds of the Week

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Philip Rivers, QB – LAC – 237 passing yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs…
As much as I wanted to repeat the section of the column with Cam Newton I can’t stand to say anything more about him. He’s so past droppable it makes me sick. That’s why I had to move onto Mr. Bolo who was a no go from the get go. Right out of the gates, he came out slinging multiple interceptions, plus nearly throwing forth that was overturned because the ball hit the ground. I don’t think this is indicative of anything other than this just wasn’t his day, but still. If you started him this week you were at a deep disadvantage. He should be alright going forward, but yikes. This week you are a dud sir.

Terrell Pryor, WR – WAS – 2 receptions, 19 receiving yards…
The former Oakland Raiders QB couldn’t seem to find his was receiving versus his old team Sunday night. In a game where Cousins played pretty much perfect football it’s pretty disconcerting to see that Pryor couldn’t do much at all. He was hyped through the roof coming into the year with Garcon and Desean Jackson leaving plenty of targets to go his way so it’s been very disappointing to own him up to this point. He still has out of this world athleticism and is definitely a ‘buy low’ guy. Though I could totally see trying to sell him if I owned him as well just out of ‘player suck fatigue’. It’s a tough spot to be in. I’m not losing full hope yet, but we need to see something very soon.

Jay Ajayi, RB – MIA – 25 total yards, 2 receptions…
A guy who was at the top of most people’s weekly rankings for week 3 he came out, like the rest of the Dolphins offense, and really put up a dud. He left with injury for a little bit, but he came back only to continue to do nothing. His boom or bust nature has been a problem since he’s been the workhorse in Miami, but I expect him to bounce back this coming week versus New Orleans. Regardless of this performance, keep riding the J-Train my friends.

Kyle Rudolph, TE – MIN – 1 reception, 4 yards…
Case Keenum through for 369 yards yesterday, but forgot to invite Rudolph the End Zone Reindeer out to play. While the WRs of the offense continued to be featured heavily he was the forgotten man. He has yet to surpass 50 yards in a game this year which isn’t great news for him, but I feel like he should get right soon. He’s a talented guy and with the way Diggs and Theilen are playing for them on the outside right now defenses should start to game plan to try to take them away which will open up opportunities. Stay the course with this one.

Baltimore Ravens Offense – 7 (garbage time) points, 52 passing yards, 134 rushing yards, 3 TOs…
Yiiikkesssss. That’s all I can really say about this offense this week. Was it the time difference? Is Flacco still hurt? Are they just not that good? I’m not sure. The Jaguars really put a hurting on them though. If I have anyone in this offense I’m trying to get out. Things aren’t looking great for them at this point and this last week was a prime example. Say it with me, “I will play their players nevermore. Nevermore.”

BONUS: Monday Night Stud and Dud Predictions

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Stud: Chris Johnson, RB – ARZ – 17 rushes, 77 yards, 1 TD…
The Dallas defense was shredded by another CJ just last week in Denver and I expect it to happen once again. A guy who was cut and out of the league just two weeks ago, the injury to David Johnson has given him another opportunity. He’s not the flashy player he once was and hasn’t been for a long time, but I believe that he can be a productive RB3 for your fantasy team. He’s not going to blow up the stat sheets, but we just need him to be serviceable to live up to being a FA pick up. Start him up tonight in your flex if need be. You could do a lot worse.

Dud: Dez Bryant, WR – DAL – 3 receptions, 22 yards, 0 TDs…
Most likely to be shadowed by Patrick Peterson and taken out of the game, I’m not expecting him to be throwing up the X this week. Dak will be looking elsewhere in this one and I think they also ride Zeke into the ground. If you have to start him, you have to start him. He’s definitely a red zone threat, but I’m just not seeing it for this match up.

 

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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.