Week 16: Fantasy Football Studs and Duds


(I just had to include this one, because not only does it involve our next opponent, it also involves a division rival).

This is it. This is my last set of picks for the 2012 fantasy season. My goal has been to do better than 50% by the end of the year, and while that goal is still attainable, much like our beloved Vikings, it seems very far out of reach. I will have to go 7-1 or better in my picks this week to do better than 50% on the year. Anything is possible, but based on how things have gone thus far; I’m thinking I’ll fall just short. In any case, this week is Championship week in the vast majority of leagues. Thankfully, I pulled out a nail-biter in the DN "Just For Fun" Yahoo league and lucked into the championship match. This past Monday night, I was down by about 12 points with team Go Purple Jesus Go having no players remaining. All I had left was Chris Johnson. Based on his up and down season, anything was possible, and I’m glad he managed to score 18 fantasy points against the Jets to give me the win by a mere 6 points. In my other two friend leagues, my teams imploded thanks to lackluster performances by Josh Freeman, Doug Martin and Reggie Wayne, who I had in both leagues! Those three guys combined for a total of 6.9 fantasy points and I lost the semi-final matches and am out of the playoffs in both of those leagues…just brutal. To make matters worse, both of those teams faced Adrian Peterson, which was its own special kind of hell. Watching the Vikings game was a combination of pure joy and bittersweet heartache. But hey, at least I’ve got one team still alive and in the championship game! Go Death Star Vikings!

It’s been a lot of fun putting these articles together every week, so thanks if you’ve stayed on board and read them all. And if you’ve made it to your league championships, then congratulations, and good luck this week! If you advanced, then perhaps you were smart enough to start one of the following players, because they all scored 15 or more points last week: Dennis Pitta, Kirk Cousins, Danny Woodhead, and Leonard Hankerson. And hopefully you did better than I did by avoiding these players, because they all scored less than 5 points last week: Ray Rice, Matthew Stafford, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, Eli Manning, Josh Freeman, Roddy White, Reggie Wayne, and Demaryius Thomas.

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. 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 (which is after this week’s games!), then I’ll call it a success. So read on … to see who my final picks are for Week 16.

QB Stud: Ben Roethlisberger vs CIN

Roethlisberger has looked like his old self since returning to action after his rib injury. He scored 22.5 and 19.1 points the past 2 weeks since his return, so any concern about his health getting in the way of production can be tossed aside. The last time Big Ben faced Cincinnati, he only scored 13 fantasy points, so there is some cause for concern here. But, he’s got his full complement of receiving options now with a healthy Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller. With the ground game still struggling somewhat, I expect the Steelers to lean on the passing game in this one. Cincinnati still has a decent defense, and is 6th best against the QB in fantasy only allowing an average of 13.1 points per game. But, this is a big divisional game for both teams with playoff hopes on the line, and I expect Roethlisberger to play well, at home, as a result.

ESPN Projection: 12
Yahoo Projection: 18
CCNorsemen: Beats ESPN by at least 3 points

QB Dud: Colin Kaepernick vs SEA

This is about paying respect to the Seattle defense. They are legit, and as the 3rd best defense in fantasy against QBs, they are only allowing an average of 10.7 points per game to the position. It’s true that Kaepernick looked pretty good against New England last week, and it’s also true that he’s averaging 19 points per game since he took over as starter after the BYE week. But he also hasn’t faced a good defense, with the exception of maybe Chicago in week 11. His rushing yards and ground TDs are helping inflate his value in fantasy, which is never a bad thing, so I think his fantasy success or failure largely hinges on what he can do on the ground. I expect the Seahawks to shut down the 49ers passing game as they play lights out at home. The last time the 49ers faced the Seahawks, Alex Smith was the starting QB and he only managed 8.7 fantasy points. So, it’s anyone’s guess as to how well Mr. Kaepernick can do. I’ll take the Seahawks at home.

ESPN Projection: 11.2
Yahoo Projection: 17.57
CCNorsemen: Falls short of Yahoo by 3 points or more

RB Stud: DeAngelo Williams vs OAK

I present to you D-Will, fantasy zombie. Check out this curious statistic: In the first 12 games, DeAngelo Williams averaged 7.7 carries and 0.5 receptions per game, and as a result averaged just 4.2 fantasy points per game. With Jonathan Stewart sidelined, and Cam Newton on fire the past 3 weeks, DeAngelo Williams has averaged 17 carries and 1.7 receptions, more than double the workload earlier in the season. The result? An average of 14.1 fantasy points per game. And he did it against ok defenses: Kansas City, Atlanta and San Diego. This week he gets the 3rd worst run defense in the league, allowing an average of 22.6 points per game to running backs. Even if Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert steal the goal line carries (as they are wont to do), I still like D-Will’s chances to top 100 yards from scrimmage and continue his fantasy-zombie-ness.

ESPN Projection: 7.8
Yahoo Projection: 9.71
CCNorsemen: Beats ESPN by at least 3 points

RB Dud: Beanie Wells vs CHI

This pick is more about the dumpster fire that is the Cardinals offense than anything. There are a couple considerations to make. First, the bears no longer have Brian Urlacher, and their defense isn’t the same without him (I’ve said this several times in past articles). So, the elite RBs, like your Adrian Peterson’s, Arian Fosters and Marshawn Lynch’s of the world will do fine against the Bears (and they have this year). But, they still have held lesser talent at bay, even recently (Green Bay, Carolina and Detroit). Beanie Wells actually had a good fantasy day last week, scoring 22 points, however, it was largely due to getting three TDs on the ground. His YPC average is abysmal, and the Arizona offense still can’t move the ball very well. There is the potential for garbage-time stats in this one, but seeing as how Wells scored 4 fantasy points combined against the Jets and Seahawks the two weeks prior, I’m just not seeing how he manages to do much in this game.

ESPN Projection: 10.7
Yahoo Projection: 6.79
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 3 points or more

WR Stud: Cecil Shorts vs NE

If Cecil Shorts hasn’t been on your fantasy radar this season, then you haven’t been paying attention (and as Vikings fans, we know damn well what he can do). While he is only ranked 17th at the position, in the games that he has played this season, he is averaging 11 fantasy points per game. Projected over a full season, he would be in the top 10 for fantasy WR this season. With Blaine Gabbert, Shorts averaged 8.7 pts per game in the games he played, but with Chad Henne he’s seen a definite uptick in production, averaging 13.6. The Patriots pass defense isn’t very good, ranked 26th in fantasy allowing an average of 24.8 points per game. Justin Blackmon is emerging as another weapon in the Jaguars passing offense too, but even so, I like Shorts chances for double digit points this week.

ESPN Projection: 15.3
Yahoo Projection: 8.09
CCNorsemen: Beats Yahoo be at least 3 points

WR Dud: Josh Gordon vs DEN

His talent is undeniable, and in some ways, I wish the Vikings had put a bid in on him in the supplemental draft. But alas, he’s doomed in the Browns horrible offense. As such, his production is pretty spotty and dependent on matchup. His best games have come against defenses like Oakland, Kansas City, Indianapolis and the Giants. His worst games have come against Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. He’s facing a very good Denver defense that should not only give Brandon Weedon fits, but should have Champ Bailey draped all over him. Stop me if you’ve heard this refrain before, but the Broncos allow an average of only 18.8 points per game to wide receivers. There is a distinct chance that this is a blowout, and there will be garbage time stats to be had, but I wouldn’t count on it. While Gordon is the clear #1 receiver on the Browns, at the end of the day, Josh Gordon is still ranked 32nd at the position, averaging a mere 7.6 points per game.

ESPN Projection: 12.7
Yahoo Projection: 7.86
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 3 points or more

TE Stud: Heath Miller vs CIN

Miller has been something of a fantasy surprise this season, ranked as the 3rd highest scoring TE on the year. Believe it or not, but he’s averaging 9.1 fantasy points per game, even including the games where Roethlisberger was out. The Bengals haven’t been great at stopping the TE position, but they also haven’t allowed a TD to a TE in 6 weeks. I have a hunch that changes this week, since the last time the Steelers and Bengals met in week 7, Miller had 6 catches for 53 yards and a score.

ESPN Projection: 4.8
Yahoo Projection: 7.65
CCNorsemen: Beats ESPN by at least 3 points

TE Dud: Jermaine Gresham vs PIT

And in something of a battle pick, I’m going with Miller’s opponent Jermaine Gresham as my Dud pick. While it’s true that the Cowboys tight ends destroyed the Steelers 3rd ranked fantasy defense against the TE last week for 88 yards and a touchdown, Jason Witten happens to be a focal point of the offense and frequent target of Tony Romo. The same cant’ be said of Jermaine Gresham. Sure, he gets his targets, and averages 7 points per game. But, even including last week against the Cowboys, the Steelers are still allowing only 6.4 points to TE. I think at best, Gresham meets his weekly average as Dalton’s check down option.

ESPN Projection: 10.6
Yahoo Projection: 6.21
CCNorsemen: Falls short of ESPN by 3 points or more

Week 15

Correct Calls
RB Stud Darren McFadden (ESPN Projection: 5.9, My Call: 8.9+, Actual: 12.9)
WR Dud Torrey Smith (ESPN Projection: 12, My Call: 9 or less, Actual: 1.4)
TE Dud Scott Chandler (ESPN Projection: 10.2, My Call: 7.2 or less, Actual: 5.8)

Incorrect Calls
QB Stud Matthew Stafford (ESPN Projection: 13.9, My Call: 16.9+, Actual: 3.8)
QB Dud Tony Romo (Yahoo Projection: 17.1, My Call: 14.1 or less, Actual: 21.2)
RB Dud Michael Turner (ESPN Projection: 11.8, My Call: 7.8 or less, Actual: 12.1)
WR Stud Danario Alexander (Yahoo Projection: 8.01, My Call: 11.01+, Actual: 0)
TE Stud Martellus Bennett (Yahoo Projection: 4.96, My Call: 7.96+, Actual: 1.5)

Overall Record 54 – 58 (48% Accurate)

Daily Norsemen Fantasy Teams
Death Star Vikings: 10-4, 1st place in Regular Season (1-0 in Playoffs, made it to Championship)
Team CCNorsemen: 9-4, 1st place in Regular Season (0-1 in Playoffs, 1-0 in Consolation Ladder)
Blair Walsh Project: 5-9, 6th place in Regular Season (0-1 in Consolation Ladder)

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.