Week 12: Fantasy Football Studs and Duds



First off, my apologies to the five of you that have been following my fantasy articles this season here at Daily Norsemen. Last week was quite possibly the busiest week of work in my life thus far, and with the Vikings on a BYE, I decided to take one too. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I won all 5 of my fantasy matchups for the first time all season last week as a result. I’m not sure what that means, but perhaps the rest of you did better without my crazy picks too!

As usual, there were quite a few surprises in week 11. The following All-World Superstars, all scored 15 or more points: Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton, Danario Alexander, Garrett Graham, Bilal Powell, and Brandon LaFell. While the following bench fodder all scored less than 5 points: Jordy Nelson, Reggie Bush, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Gates, Larry Fitzgerald and Mike Wallace. Hopefully you made some good calls during the Vikings BYE week.

As I have mentioned before, these articles consider the ESPN and Yahoo standard scoring projections for players at each offensive position (QB, RB, WR and TE). I’m going to choose 2 players at every position to highlight: one as a "stud" and one as a "dud". A Stud is one who I think will significantly beat their projected total, and a Dud is one who I think will fall short of their projected total. It’s also worth mentioning that generally speaking, I’ll try to avoid players with injuries as it’s too easy to pick them as Duds if they’re unlikely to play. You will also see a list of other players I considered picking as my "notables". I will keep a running tally at the end of the post each week to keep track of the accuracy of my predictions. If I can do better than 50% by season’s end, I’ll call it a success. So read on … to see who my picks are for Week 12.

QB Stud: Josh Freeman vs ATL

Guess who has averaged 22.3 fantasy points over the past 6 weeks? Yep, Josh Freeman. Sure, he’s faced some pretty bad defenses during that stretch (NO, OAK, KC), but he’s also faced some decent ones (MIN, CAR , SD). Atlanta has a good defense this year, although I’m not sure how the loss of Ray Edwards will impact the pass rush (probably not much), and it’s a home game for the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s offense is clicking on all cylinders right now, and even though Atlanta is allowing an average of 13.6 points to QBs, that number is skewed a bit since they’ve faced the following QBs: Ryan Lindley, Philip Rivers during a slump and rusty Peyton Manning week 2. I think Freeman is capable of posting big numbers once again.

ESPN Projection: 15.7
Yahoo Projection: 18.69
CCNorsemen: Beats ESPN by at least 3 points

Other too low notables: Russell Wilson, Chad Henne

QB Dud: Mark Sanchez vs NE

There is always the possibility of the game against NE turning into a shootout, but does anyone think Sanchez is up to the task even if there is? His best offensive weapon is maybe Dustin Keller, and that’s not saying much. And this week, his only other quasi-weapon, Jeremy Kerley, is banged up and a game-time decision. The fact is, Sanchez has only performed better than 13.1 fantasy points once the entire year, and that was week 1 with all of his offensive weapons at his disposal. Even with that good week 1 performance, he’s still only averaging a mere 10 points per game on the year. It’s a plus matchup, but based on The Sanchize’s ceiling, let’s not go overboard.

ESPN Projection: 15.9
Yahoo Projection: 12.85
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 4 points or more.

Other too high notables: RGIII, Michael Vick

RB Stud: Marcel Reese vs CIN

With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both still out, Reece is the lone wolf in Oakland. Since Week 9, when McFadden and Goodson went down with injuries, Reece has averaged 15.1 fantasy points per game. That’s obscene. This week he faces the 24th worst run defense in fantasy. The Bengals allow an average of 19.7 points to running backs. That alone should be enough to convince anyone of Reese’s potential to go nuts. Yes, the Raiders are on the road, and Palmer likes to throw it a lot, but Reece has caught 19 passes from Palmer the past 3 weeks, so that bodes well too.

ESPN Projection: 9.4
Yahoo Projection: 7.8
CCNorsemen: Beats Yahoo by at least 4 points.

Other too low notables: Trent Richardson, Bryce Brown

RB Dud: Jamaal Charles vs DEN

I expect two things to happen in this game. First, Manning will light up a terrible Chief defense. Second, the Chiefs will be forced to throw a lot to try to play catch up, thus limiting Charles carries. Charles is always capable of putting up huge numbers, but Denver has a sound defense, and I expect them to shut down the Chiefs run game (and offense as a whole).

ESPN Projection: 17.3
Yahoo Projection: 11.92
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 4 points or more.

Other too high notables: Daniel Thomas, Shonn Greene

WR Stud: Danario Alexander vs BAL

What does a guy have to do to get some respect? Danario Alexander was signed off the street by the Chargers, and played in his first game of the year 3 weeks ago. Since emerging week 9 and starting the last 2 games, he has done nothing but catch 15 passes for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns on 21 targets. I watched the SD game last week, and Rivers was clearly looking his way often getting targeted 11 times. It’s clear to me that Alexander has taken over the #1 role from the departed Vincent Jackson in the Chargers offense that Vincent Brown (and then Robert Meachem) was supposed to have at the beginning of the year. It’s no coincidence that Rivers’ numbers have escalated over the past 3 weeks as well.

ESPN Projection: 12.1
Yahoo Projection: 5.77
CCNorsemen: Beats the Yahoo projection by at least 4 points.

Other too low notables: Sidney Rice, Harry Douglas, Ryan Broyles

WR Dud: DeSean Jackson vs CAR

I’m pretty sure I’ve had D-Jax in both the Stud and Dud categories at least once already this season. Such is the life of this speedy receiver. With the Eagles team reeling, and shouts becoming deafening for the ousting of Andy Reid, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles shut it down. It doesn’t help that D-Jax is up against the 8th best defense against WR in fantasy this week. Carolina is allowing an average of only 19.7 points to WR, and he’s only put up double-digit fantasy points once in the past 6 games. My expectations are pretty low this week, even if he is playing at home on Monday Night Football.

ESPN Projection: 13
Yahoo Projection: 7.26
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 4 points or more.

Other too high notables: Marques Colston, Mike Williams

TE Stud: Marcedes Lewis vs TEN

Was it a fluke that Chad Henne targeted Lewis only 4 times, which lead to 3 catches for 40 yards and 2 TDs last week? I don’t think so. While Anthony Fasano has never been an elite TE in Miami, he saw his highest usage in 2010 when Henne was the full-time starter, catching 39 passes for 528 yards and 4 TDs. In other words, we can expect Lewis’ usage to increase from not at all, to at least a little bit with the change at QB. He also has a great matchup this week against Tennessee. Basically teams that utilize the TE like a receiver have torched the Titans, and teams that don’t utilize the TE much haven’t. This pick is a gamble, but I liked the redzone usage last week, and Lewis will get a few targets. IMO, if there’s any week he could potentially score again, it’s this week.

ESPN Projection: 3.3
Yahoo Projection: 5.27
CCNorsemen: Beats ESPN by at least 3 points

Other too low notables: Brandon Myers, Brent Celek

TE Dud: Scott Chandler vs IND

I don’t know what ESPN see’s in this guy, but they always have him overprojected. The fact is, he’s averaging only 6.6 fantasy points per game this season. He hasn’t broken 65 yards all year, and has only found the end zone once since week 5. This week he faces the Colts and their 7th best defense against the TE, allowing an average of…drum roll….6.6 points.

ESPN Projection: 9
Yahoo Projection: 5.03
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 3 points or more.

Other too high notables: Heath Miller, Ben Watson

Week 10

Correct Calls
QB Dud: Cam Newton (Yahoo Projection: 22.37, My Call: 18.37 or less, Actual: 14.3)
RB Dud: Matt Forte (ESPN Projection: 20.9, My Call: 16.9 or less, Actual: 3.6)
WR Dud: Jeremy Kerley (ESPN Projection: 11.4, My Call: 7.4 or less, Actual: 4.2)
TE Dud: Dwayne Allen (Yahoo Projection: 7.13, My Call: 4.13 or less, Actual: 3.1)

Incorrect Calls
QB Stud: Ryan Tannehill (Yahoo Projection: 13.36, My Call: 17.36+, Actual: 2.6)
RB Stud: Mikel Leshoure (Yahoo Projection: 8.92, My Call: 12.92+, Actual: 4.8)
WR Stud: Nate Washington (Yahoo Projection: 4.47, My Call: 8.47+, Actual: 0.5)
TE Stud: Martellus Bennett (ESPN Projection: 2.7, My Call: 6.7+, Actual: 3.7)

Overall Record: 39-41 (49% Accurate)

Daily Norsemen Fantasy Teams
Death Star Vikings 8-3 (2nd out of 12)
Team CCNorsemen 7-4 (2nd out of 10)
Blair Walsh Project 4-7 (7th out of 8)

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Daily Norseman

You must be a member of Daily Norseman to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Daily Norseman. You should read them.

Join Daily Norseman

You must be a member of Daily Norseman to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Daily Norseman. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.