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Second Half Studs & Duds (Fantasy Football)

by Clinton Ho
Nov 5, 2015

Ryan Tannehill has had an up and down first half, but the second half could be a fresh start for the QB

Ryan Tannehill has had an up and down first half, but the second half could be a fresh start for the QB

We’ve reached the halfway point of the fantasy season and the clock is ticking to make a final push to secure a playoff spot. Around three months ago, it was all about sleepers and who you didn’t like for the upcoming season. The story doesn’t change much at this point, with players that you’ve drafted, traded for and/or claimed, all producing above or below expectations. After all, players like Eddie Lacy and Aaron Rodgers seem to be hibernating through 8 weeks, while Tom Brady and Carson Palmer are scoffing at “mobile” quarterbacks.

The point is, every season seems to have a figurative reset button. If you’re in first place, great, hopefully nothing changes for you and your players continue to produce. If you’re in the lower half of the standings, you sure hope some players turn it around. Whatever your situation, we’ve asked our featured experts who they feel are surprise studs/duds for the rest of the way. If you own one of the duds, perhaps it’s finally time to move on.

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Q1. Who will be a surprise stud in the second half of the season?

Ryan Tannehill(QB – MIA)
“Tannehill has showed flashes of brilliance, but overall has disappointed as fantasy’s 20th best quarterback. But many of his remaining matchups are favorable, and the only team he faces with a significant pass rush over the next eight games is the Baltimore Ravens, who despite being sixth in the NFL in sacks (21), have allowed the second most fantasy points to the position. With time to throw, he can be a top 5 fantasy QB the rest of the season.”
Sablich Brothers (The NY Times)

Dorial Green-Beckham (WR – TEN)
“With ham-handed Ken Whisenhunt relieved of his mismanagement duties, and Kendall Wright on the shelf with a sprained MCL, Dorial Green-Beckham should finally get a chance to fully apply his considerable raw talent. The Titans have already been starting to work him in, putting Green-Beckham on the field for about 60% of their snaps over the last two games, but the shortcomings of backup QB Zach Mettenberger temporarily postponed a DGB breakthrough. Expect it to happen in the coming weeks with Marcus Mariota back at QB for the Titans. The 6-5, 237-pound Green-Beckham is an incredible physical specimen with soft hands and terrific ball skills. Ability like DGB’s can only be suppressed for so long.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Crockett Gillmore (TE – BAL)
“For a guy who’s still on waivers, I’m going with Gillmore in PPR leagues. He’s averaging 40 receiving yards per game, and Joe Flacco needs somebody to rely on with Steve Smith Sr. out for the year. Flacco’s averaged 43.33 passing attempts the past three games, which means there is plenty of work for Gilmore to be successful.”
Jack Delaney (SoCalledFanEx)

Brandon LaFell (WR – NE)/Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE – TB)
“Despite a six-drop debut in Week 7, LaFell appears to have wasted little time becoming one of Tom Brady’s top most trusted options with 15 targets in his only two games. That is right in line with the attention he received last year when he finished as the WR22 in PPR. Seferian-Jenkins has become a bit of a forgotten man following his Week 2 ankle injury; he’s a big and athletic target in an offense run by OC Dirk Koetter, who has coaxed a few quality seasons out of Mercedes Lewis as well as an aging Tony Gonzalez.”
Doug Orth (FFToday)

Q2. Who will be a surprise dud in the second half of the season?

Darren McFadden (RB – DAL)
“Would a Darren McFadden breakdown count as a “surprise,” or would we have to feign astonishment like the guest of honor at a surprise party who notices that 10 of his friends’ cars are parked in front of his house and that there are a dozen shadows moving around on the other side of his living-room window? McFadden’s straight-line style is working due in large part to the dominance of the Dallas O-line, and he’s displaying long-dormant receiving ability. So far, so good. There’s no chance, however, that his body can survive this sort of workload. McFadden, 28, has had myriad injuries over his career, and the next one is just around the corner. Buying into McFadden now is like buying stock on margin in early October of 1929.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Larry Fitzgerald (WR – ARI)
“He’s a Carson Palmer injury away from reverting back to WR3 status. Should Palmer stay on the field, the schedule still does not favor either player, with unfavorable matchups remaining against the Seahawks, Rams, Vikings, Eagles and Packers.”
Sablich Brothers (The NY Times)

James Jones (WR – GB)
“We already got a small taste of this in Week 8 when Denver shut down Green Bay, but his current catch-to-touchdown (22:6) rate is unsustainable, even for a receiver as in tune with his quarterback as Jones is. Mike Wallace was the best high-profile example of this phenomenon last year and his second half was mostly disappointing. Although I don’t expect the falloff to be as dramatic as Wallace’s, I suspect the same thing will happen to Jones as Randall Cobb and Davante Adams continue to get healthier.”
Doug Orth (FFToday)

Stefon Diggs (WR – MIN)
“This is a tough one, but I think Diggs is really going to start cooling down. That’s more on Teddy Bridgewater than it is on Diggs. Bridgewater only has six touchdown passes on the season and is averaging just 218 .6 passing yards per game. You can’t deny what he has done over the last several weeks, but he can’t keep up this pace forever.”
Jack Delaney (SoCalledFanEx)

Thank you to the experts for naming their surprise studs/duds. For more from the experts, be sure to give them a follow on Twitter.

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