Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 9

November 4, 2021

With eight weeks and the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, we are heading down the home stretch in the fantasy football season, meaning you can’t afford any roster mishaps from hear on out. Lucky for you, the ‘Studs, Duds, and Sleepers’ staff has put together our ninth straight ironclad, full proof list of players to target – or avoid! 



Jalen Hurts, Phi: 

Hurts only completed nine passes last week for 103 yards and no touchdowns, but that’s because the Eagles lit up the Lions for 236 yards on the ground – including 71 on seven carries for Hurts. He is likely to have another big day on the ground again this week as he gets the league’s worst rush defense in the Chargers. 

Lamar Jackson, Bal:  

The Vikings defense is in the bottom half of the league against both the pass and run and that is a recipe for disaster when facing Lamar Jackson. Jackson is unlikely to be shut down for a second game in a row. 

Others receiving votes:

Josh Allen, Buf: 

Allen accounted for 304 total yards last week and three total touchdowns against a bad Dolphins defense. The Jaguars defense he gets this week isn’t much better, so I expect similar results from Allen. 


Running backs:

Aaron Jones, GB:

With Rodgers out this week and Jordan Love making his first start of the year, I look for a lot of work for Jones and A.J. Dillon. Look for Jones to get even more than his 22 touches and 100+ all-purpose yards last week. 

Alvin Kamara, NO: 

With Jameis Winston out and Michael Thomas still out, the Saints are likely to lean heavily on Kamara and newly acquired Mark Ingram, especially against a bottom ten rush defense like the Falcons. 

Others receiving votes:

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal: 

For the second week in a row, Elliott finds himself on the ‘Studs’ list. The Broncos have the 10th ranked rush defense, but that was with Von Miller. I expect the departure of Miller to have a huge impact on the way the Broncos defense performs this week…and not in a good way.  


Pass Catchers:

Amari Cooper, Dal: 

The Cowboys get a Broncos defense that is going to be reeling from the loss of Von Miller this week and I expect Cooper and Dak to have numbers like they did last week when Cooper put up 122 yards and a touchdown on eight catches.  

Adam Thielen, Min: 

Thielen is tied for the Vikings team lead with Justin Jefferson with 43 catches, but he has twice as many touchdowns as Jefferson. Statistically, the Ravens have the league’s worst pass defense, and while I expect both Jefferson and Thielen to have a big days against the Ravens, I like the veteran to have the biggest day.

Others receiving votes:

Travis Kelce, KC: 

Coming off his worst performance of the season, I expect Kelce to bounce back this week against the Packers. 




Mike White, NYJ: 

I was wrong on my grim prediction for the Jets players last week, but I am chalking that up to Bengals having a bad game plan for an unknown quarterback. The Colts will learn from what the Bengals did, or didn’t, do last week. Don’t expect another big day from White and crew this week. 

Justin Fields, Chi:

Fields had his best game of the season last week, but it was nothing great. He gets a Pittsburgh defense this week that is likely to give him a ton of trouble and unlikely to let him hurt them with his legs like he did to the 49ers last week. 

Others receiving votes:
Patrick Mahomes, KC: 

Mahomes and the Chiefs offense are out of sync right now. He leads the NFL in interceptions (10) and is completing a lower percentage of passes than Davis Mills and Jared Goff. The Packers defense isn’t great, but it is a lot better than the Giants defense Mahomes struggled against last week.


Running backs:

Titans Running Backs: 

Derrick Henry has almost 300 more yards and about 80 more carries than the next closest running backs, so you would think whoever replaces him will step in and at least put up solid numbers. Not so fast my friend. 

Michael Carter, NYJ 

Carter had his best game of his young career last week, pulling in nine passes for 95 yards, on his way to putting up 172 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. I expect the Colts to see what the Jets did last week – with dump downs to Carter and crew – and shut it down this week.

Others receiving votes:

Joe Mixon, Cin: 

Mixon’s three worst games this year have been against the Bears, Packers and last week against the Jets. The common theme? Strong defensive lines. That is what the Browns have. 


Pass Catchers:

Julio Jones/A.J. Brown, Ten:

With Derrick Henry out, I expect the Titans to lean heavy on Tannehill, Brown and their big offseason acquisition, Jones, to carry the load. I think both receivers could be borderline WR1s the rest of the way. 

Any Bears Pass Catchers: 

For the second week in a row, the entire Bears receiving corps find themselves on my ‘Duds’ list. The Steelers defense is too much for a young quarterback, and that means no Bears pass catcher is starter worthy this week. 

Others receiving votes:

A.J. Green, AZ: 

After being the subject of one of the most confusing and embarrassing plays of recent memory, Green could go one of two ways – have a big redemption game, or disappear. Against a good 49ers pass defense, I am predicting the latter. 




Carson Wentz, Ind: 

With 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions, Wentz is quietly having a solid comeback season. The Jets have a good defensive front, but coming off a huge win and playing on the road in a super short week, I expect the Jets to struggle and Wentz and company to have a good week. 

Matt Ryan, Atl:

Against the Panthers and Bucs – two of the best defenses in the league – Ryan has thrown five of his six interceptions. In the rest of the games, he has 10 touchdowns and just one pick. New Orleans has a strong run defense, but their pass defense is in the bottom third of the league. 

Derek Carr, Oak: 

The Raiders have had a rough season off the field and this week has been their worst. The Henry Ruggs situation not only takes away Carr’s top deep threat, but is going to serve as a huge distraction. If you don’t have to start Carr this week, I wouldn’t. 


Running backs:

Boston Scott/Jordan Howard, Phi: 

Each had 12 carries last week, each averaged about five yards per carry, and each had two touchdowns. The Eagles put up 236 rushing yards against the Lions…and now they get the league’s worst rush defense. The Chargers are giving up nearly 160 yards per game. I think both running backs are RB2 worthy this week.

Myles Gaskin, Mia: 

If Gaskin is ever going to provide some value, it would be this week against the Texans and their 31st ranked run defense. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but…

Others receiving votes:

Mark Ingram, NO: 

In his first game back with his old team and old backfield buddy, Ingram put up 52 all-purpose yards, including two catches for 25 yards and nearly five yards per carry. With Winston out, I expect a heavy reliance on the run game, meaning lots of touches for both Kamara and Ingram. Ingram, in my opinion, is Flex worthy this wee.



Pass Catchers:

Cole Beasley, Buf:

Over the last two weeks, Beasley has seen 22 targets, pulling in 17 of those for 198 yards and a touchdown. He has another friendly matchup this week against a bad Jaguars defense. 

Jaylen Waddle, Mia:

Since Tua returned, Waddle is averaging more than 10 targets a game. Last week he only pulled in four of his 11 targets for 29 yards, but the opportunities are there. 

Hunter Renfrow, Oak:

Renfrow leads the Raiders in receptions (38), is second in targets (51) and now without Ruggs, he also leads the team in receiving yards. Ruggs was seeing almost five targets a game, and some of those are going to be going Renfrow’s way, meaning more opportunities. 


  • Categories: NFL

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