The Fantasy Football season is finally upon us. Which also means every week there will be studs and duds. Here are the top studs and duds heading into Week 1 action.
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Aug 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) walks the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Rams 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Every week from here until the end of the regular season, fantasy football owners will be working the waiver wire, trying to trade for sleeper picks, and above all else try to earn bragging rights all throughout the day.
Each week, the true studs and duds of fantasy football will literally come out of nowhere. Players that fantasy owners thought would shine will put up terrible games and those that analysts predicted to do bad will act like future Pro Football Hall of Famers.
Either way, it’s important to understand that while it takes a lot of skill to master fantasy football, there is also the common factor that anything can truly happen come game day. Upsets, injuries, and red hot players fizzling out will happen this upcoming season.
Without further ado, here are the top studs and duds heading into Week 1 fantasy football action.
Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is tackled by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Ben Heeney (50) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
At first, I wasn’t expecting much and I thought AP was ranked way too high this season. He is also an older running back now. Then Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down for the entire season and Peterson’s stock just took a huge jump. If you have an opportunity to get him and he’s the best available, pounce on him.
Todd Gurley had a breakout rookie campaign and was a great steal last year. This year he looks great once again and he will do better than he did in 2015. The Rams also have a run heavy offense which is also very impressive. The Los Angeles Rams also don’t have great receivers which should make owners really confident about him for the rest of the year. Start him weekly.
Brown had a tremendous campaign in 2015 and there is no reason to believe he can’t repeat that or even do better. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s No. 2 target Martavis Bryant is out for the year which leaves the perfect window for Brown to have another tremendous year. Easily a stud for this week as he’s going to start the season off with a bang.
Beckham had a great second season last year and don’t be surprised if he can repeat that once again. The New York Giants drafted Sterling Shepard in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft so he should be a good No. 2 target. If Victor Cruz can return to form, he’d be a good No 3 target. Either way, expect him to have a huge week against the Dallas Cowboys and make some new highlights to start the opening NFL weekend on a great note.
In 2015, Devonta Freeman had a great season. In my opinion, that year could have been a fluke. The Falcons have Julio Jones who we know takes up lots of the plays. Last year they found room to include Freeman and he thrived. He is not going to be able to repeat that season and is not worth starting this week.
In 2015, David Johnson had an alright year. His ranking is way too high and it’s an assumption that he’s going to have another good year. The Arizona Cardinals have lots of receiving talent with John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, and Michael Floyd. Johnson is a high risk but if everything works out he will be high reward, for this week, however, that won’t be the case.
Before Tony Romo went down with an injury, many fantasy owners should not have taken Dez Bryant. Bryant hasn’t been the same the previous two years, especially with Ezekiel Elliott coming to town. The Dallas Cowboys will be running the football much more. In fact, even in my own fantasy football league, Bryant is a bench player. Bryant is another high risk, low reward player this season and it’s best to stay away from him this week.
While Jordy Nelson is on his way to a decent season, it’s not fair to call him a total dud but it’s best to stay away from him this week. Coming off a torn ACL injury in 2015, owners shouldn’t trust him for WR1 production this season. However, Nelson is better suited as a solid WR2 who should get better over time but not in Week 1.
Gronkowski has been the best tight end in the NFL for multiple years and the same goes for fantasy football. Even with Tom Brady being suspended for four games, he will be a great tight end and will be even better once Brady returns. This week, however, he didn’t even fly out with the New England Patriots as he will more than likely not play. Could it be the start of his decline? Time will tell but by the looks of it, he could end up being a dud in fantasy football this season.
Eifert had a breakout 2015 campaign but is injured and may take a few weeks to recover. When he returns he is no better than a waiver wire pick up, while he probably won’t play against the New York Jets this week, he has dud written all over him this week regardless.