Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 5

October 6, 2021

Welp, I swung and missed last week with my predictions of big days from Brady and Gronk…Brady didn’t do much – in terms of fantasy – and Gronk didn’t even play (sorry about that)! Is it too late in the season for me to take a mulligan? Breakfast ball? Ok, enough golf references, let’s get to the business of this weeks ‘Studs, Duds, and Sleepers’!

My promise to you this week is that I will not call for a big day from a guy with broken ribs – baby steps!




Josh Allen, Buf:

After a slow start to the season, Allen has seven touchdowns and more than 600 yards in his last two games and he gets a porous Chiefs defense this week. Don’t be surprised if this turns into a shootout…which would be a good thing for Allen owners.

Kyler Murray, AZ:

Murray is top three in almost every statistical category and has accounted for 12 touchdowns in four games. The 49ers, in terms of yards allowed, are a top ten defense, but in terms of points allowed, are bottom 11. I think Murray stays on his MVP pace this week. 

Others receiving votes:

Dak Prescott, Dal:

Not surprising, since coming back off the gruesome leg injury, Dak has done little in terms of running, but it hasn’t mattered, his passing game is on an MVP level. He is completing more than 75% of his passes and has 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions. I think he and the Cowboys offense has a field day against the Giants this week.


Running backs:

Alvin Kamar, NO:

What has been most surprising, and frustrating for Kamara owners this season, is that his involvement in the passing game seems to have disappeared. Despite two receiving touchdowns, he has just 10 catches and 62 yards. That being said, he is coming off his best rushing game of the season (120 yards) and will be going up against a Football Team defense that has been incredibly disappointing this season. Look for Karmara to get his second 100+ yard rushing game of the season this week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal:

Zeke heard he was on my ‘Duds’ list last week and he decided to show me up with his best performance – in terms of yards and yards per carry – since November 11…2018! As a result, I am eating my crow and moving him to the ‘Studs’ list this week!  

Others receiving votes:

Nick Chubb, Cle:

Chubb is averaging more than 90 yards per game, better than five yards per carry, and gets a Chargers defense which is surrendering nearly 140 yards per game at a 5.3 ypc clip…translation? Expect Chubb to have a big game.


Pass Catchers:

Cooper Kupp, LAR:

Kupp leads the NFL in targets (46) and receiving touchdowns (5), ranks second in receptions (30) and third in yards (431). He an Stafford are clearly clicking and should keep their role going against a Seahawks defense which ranks in the bottom five in terms of passing yards allowed.

Justin Jefferson, Min:

Thus far, Jefferson is avoiding the sophomore slump and has established himself as a top ten receiver. Jefferson has scored in three straight games and is averaging 9+ targets, 6+ catches and 80+ yards per game. I like the matchup this week against a mediocre Lions defense.

Others receiving votes:

Stefon Diggs, Buf:

Diggs has had a slow start to the season – especially in terms of touchdowns (1) – but he is coming off his first 100-yard game of the season and should keep it going this week against a weak Chiefs defense. 




Justin Herbert, LAC:

Herbert is building off his impressive rookie season and has seven touchdowns and no interceptions over his last two games, big wins over the Raiders and Chiefs, but the Browns defense will be the first good defense he has faced all season. The Browns rank 2nd in terms of sacks (14) and are top five in both the run and pass. 

Derek Carr, LV:

Carr leads the league in terms of passing yards, but ranks tied for 21st in terms of completion percentage and is likely to struggle this week against a good Bears defense which leads the NFL with 15 sacks.  

Others receiving votes:
Jalen Hurts, Phi:

Hurts has surprised me so far this year, but, the only good defense he has faced – the 49ers – held him to 190 yards, 52.2% completion percentage and zero touchdowns. The Panthers defense is by far the best defense he will have faced thus far and I don’t see him fairing well.


Running backs:

Mark Ingram, Hou:

In Week 1, Ingram had 26 carries, 85 yards and a touchdown. In the three games since, Ingram has totaled just 26 carries for 86 yards and zero touchdowns. At this point, no one in the Texans backfield is worthy of a starting roster spot in fantasy football.

Antonio Gibson, Was:

Gibson has been disappointing this year, reaching 70 yards only once (Week 1). If not for a 73 yard receiving touchdown in Week three, Gibson would only have one week of 100+ all-purpose yards. 

Others receiving votes:

Any Dolphins Running backs:

If you are still starting a Dolphins running back, it is time to stop. We are four weeks deep and not a single Dolphins running back has surpassed 65 yards rushing in a game, and in three of their four games, their leading rusher had under 50 yards rushing.


Pass Catchers:

Brandin Cooks, Hou:

Cooks has been a pleasant surprise this year, but for the second week in a row, he finds himself on the ‘Duds’ list. Last week, he put up just 47 yards and I don’t see things looking much better this week when he will be relying on a third round rookie quarterback to get him the ball against a Bill Belichick defense.

Henry Ruggs III, LV: 

Ruggs has been good for one deep ball per game thus far. In fact, more than half of Ruggs’ yards (172) have come on four catches. His other 10 catches have resulted in 125 yards. It is hard to rely on the deep ball and I don’t see Carr having the time to hit him deep this week against the Bears.  

Others receiving votes:

DeAndre Hopkins, AZ:

Through four games, Hopkins ranks third on the 4-0 Cardinals in terms of receiving yards, has yet to reach 85 yards, has one game of 21 yards receiving, and if not for his touchdowns in Weeks 1 and 2, would likely be the biggest disappointment in fantasy in 2021. . 




Jameis Winston, NO:

Winston is only throwing for about 150 yards per game, but he has thrown eight touchdowns to only two interceptions. While five of those came in a surprising Week 1 blowout of the Packers, I like his matchup this week against a Washington defense which is giving up 299 yards per game in the air and more than 30 points per game.

Kirk Cousins, Min:

I said last week that Cousins could just live on this list…so I may just leave him here every week, because it seems like no one wants to actually put him in their starting lineup. Yet, he is top 10 in terms of yards per game and has nine touchdowns to just one interception. Sure he is coming off his worst game of the year, but Cleveland will do that to a lot of quarterbacks. Look for a nice bounceback this week against the Lions.


Running backs:

Damien Harris, NE:

As a Harris owner myself, I am well aware of the frustrations with Harris this season, especially coming off a four carry, -4 yard performance on Sunday night, but I like the matchup this week against the Texans and I could see the Patriots leaning heavy on the run this week. 

Cordarelle Patterson, Atl:

Patterson is averaging nearly 90 all-purpose yards per game and is coming off a three touchdown performance last week. Over the last three weeks, he has averaged nearly 6 receptions and 70+ yards receiving as well. 



Pass Catchers:

A.J. Green, AZ:

Maybe he does have something left in the tank! Through four games, it is Green – not Hopkins – leading the Cardinals in yards and yards per catch. Green has seen six targets four straight weeks now and pulled in 15 of those 24 targets, including two touchdowns. 

Jakobi Meyers, NE:

Over the last two weeks, Meyers has seen 26 targets, pulling in 17 of those targets for 164 yards. He and Mac Jones seem to have found a connection and I would expect him to stay busy this week against the Texans.  


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