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Fantasy Football Studs & Duds: Week 1

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Sep 12, 2016

Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks and the Saints’ offense erupted Week 1

Week 1 is arguably the toughest. Despite months of projections and speculation for this game alone, there’s nothing substantive to truly merit those theories and beliefs.

Finally, after so much anticipation there were transitive outcomes in games that mattered. Some of it was good, some of it was bad.

The Studs and Duds column is meant to recap all of it. Who greatly exceeded expectations, and who was utterly underwhelming?

Here’s a look at the Studs and Duds from Week 1.

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Points listed are from standard scoring leagues

Studs

Andrew Luck (IND) – 35 points (No. 1 QB)
Hello and welcome back, Andrew Luck. He poured in a whopping 35 fantasy points while throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns. The bad news is Luck’s Colts lost, 39-34. The good news is Indianapolis’ defense is so incredibly awful Luck will have to put up similar numbers just to win actual games.

Brandin Cooks (NO) – 27 points (No. 1 WR)
A 98-yard touchdown reception accounted for 15 of those points in a standard format, but Cooks still feasted on what was supposed to be an improved Raiders secondary. Cooks caught six passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and the Saints still found a way to lose.

Alex Smith (KC) – 27 points (No. 3 QB)
Drew Brees was the No. 2 quarterback and his performance shouldn’t be forgotten. But, if you started Smith you got an outstanding return on investment. Smith threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns and the Chiefs were forced to throw early after digging into a 24-3 hole. But, remember; it’s still Alex Smith and these types of explosions probably aren’t sustainable.

Spencer Ware (KC) – 25 points (No. 1 RB)
Tied with C.J. Anderson as the top fantasy running back, Ware made fantasy owners forget about Jamaal Charles. Ware rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown, but wait, there’s more. Ware can apparently catch the ball too, racking up seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs will be in good hands while Charles fully recovers.

A.J. Green (CIN) – 24 points (No. 2 WR)
Green proved that Revis Island has eroded, catching 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. Green is going to be the primary beneficiary of Cincinnati’s lackluster receiving corps and saw 13 targets Sunday. There’s plenty more where that came from.

Willie Snead (NO) – 23 points (No. 3 WR)
Imagine a DFS stream that featured Brees, Cooks and Snead. A guy who wasn’t taken until the later half of drafts, Snead showed he’s the real No. 2 option in New Orleans, reeling in nine passes for 172 yards and a touchdown. Snead could be a sell-high candidate in your season-long leagues.

Theo Riddick (DET) – 22 points (No. 3 RB)
It’s been a heck of a week for Riddick. He got paid last week, then scored a rushing touchdown (gasp), then left the game with a head injury, then came back and scored another touchdown. All in all, Riddick accumulated 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Duds

Tight ends in general
When Jack Doyle is the leading player at your position, you know there’s a problem. Yes, Rob Gronkowski didn’t play, but come on.

Golden Tate (DET) – 4 points
Does Golden Tate realize he was playing against an incredibly banged-up secondary? Granted, none of Detroit’s receivers played particularly well. Marvin Jones put up only eight fantasy points while Riddick and Abdullah both hit double-digits. But still, the matchup was too zesty for Tate to reel in only 41 receiving yards.

Brandon Marshall (NYJ) – 3 points
Marshall was practically invisible against the Bengals, catching only three passes for 32 yards Sunday afternoon. Marshall’s day was better surmised by a crucial drop he had near midfield as the Jets were frantically trying to take the lead. It was a bad day for Gang Green and Marshall was at the forefront of the mess for the offense.

Adrian Peterson (MIN) – 3 points
Running backs who scored more fantasy points in standard leagues than Adrian Peterson: Bilal Powell, Dwayne Washington, Jamize Olawale, Kenjon Barner, Darren Sproles. AP is still a stud, but the power of Shaun Hill is terrifying.

Russell Wilson (SEA) – 11 points
Wilson is playing behind an amateur offensive line and that could drastically harm his fantasy value. Even worse, Wilson hurt his ankle and might not be able to play next week against Los Angeles. Seattle’s horrendous offensive line better shape up.

Who were your studs and duds from the first week of the season? Reach out on to Matt on Twitter @RealMattBarbato.

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