Here we are, officially halfway through the NFL season with all teams having played at least 8 games. As we all know, each week has its own sets of surprises and disappointment, which I just love to highlight. Low and behold your Week 9 Studs and Duds
What a difference Big Ben makes for Antonio. Those two have chemistry unlike any other QB/WR pair in all of the NFL. With Roethlisberger freelancing and Brown knowing exactly what his QB wants him to do it’s a match made in heaven. Antonio Brown blew up this week to the tune of 17 receptions for 284 yards and 2 carries for 22 yards. That works out to 30.6 standard points and 47.6 in PPR. The only thing holding him back from having the best performance of the season by any player was that he unfortunately did not find the endzone. With Ben going down for multiple weeks, I do not expect Antonio to have the ability to put up these types of numbers again this season, but as he is so damn good he will continue to keep his WR1 status.
This is the game I have been waiting to see for years out of the Michigan graduate. His entire career he has shown flashes of brilliance, but that’s all they were – flashes. He played a huge part in the win against Dallas with 7 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Those are game changing statistics right there. He should continue to be a borderline LB2/LB3 with LB1 upside for the remainder of the season as he is finally starting to feel comfortable in his role as a rush linebacker.
I don’t know if you guys realize this, but Cam Newton is currently and very quietly the #2 fantasy QB. With the ability to turn trash heap WR’s into viable options as well as make plays on his own with his legs, Cam continues to be among the best. All of these things were on showcase against the Packers. With a passing slash line of 297/3/1 and a rushing slash of 9/57/1 you got QB1 and RB1 numbers with a single player. I actually believe he might be the most underrated player in all of fantasy football. He is a prime buy low candidate for that reason and is worth the investment if you can get your hands on him as he is only 26 years old.
As much as I would like to go with Eddie Lacy here, I think we all know that the FatBack can no longer really be considered elite. I’m gonna go with his teammate who has been having a great season thus far. After moving to the MLB spot in Don Capers defense, Clay has been nothing short of stellar. He is free to roam the field and create opportunities to make plays on his own. Unfortunately this week it didn’t work out. Matthews finished the game with only 2 solo tackles and 3 assists with no sacks or other big plays recorded. In a season where he routinely hits double digits in points, this was a pretty big disappointment. The good news is that his next game is against the lowly Lions in Green Bay whose offensive line is a huge dumpster fire right now. I would be surprised if he didn’t finish with at least 2 sacks in week 10.
A solid LB1 for almost a decade, Jackson had a poor week for the first time in recent history. It’s actually strange to see his stat line with only 1 tackle, which was an assist, and a pass defended. This dude hasn’t finished a season with less than 119 tackles since his injury shortened 2009 meaning he averages almost 7 1/2 tackles every single game. That’s for 6 straight years! I think that it’s pretty obvious that he will continue to be a LB1 for the remainder of the season, but if you are out of playoff contention it would be a great time to move him as he is a 32 year old player
Usually a stat line of 4 receptions and 47 yards will not land a TE on my Dud’s list, but this is Gronk we are talking about here. He is counted on to put up WR1 numbers in your TE slot, but did not get that done this week against a porous Washington secondary in a blowout. I’m not gonna spend too much time here as there is no trade value – no one is gonna trade this guy – and he will be back to the tier of his own the next time he steps on the field.