Studs and Duds: Week 9

Looks like I’m back to my winning ways, going 15-5-8 with my studs and duds picks last week. LenDale White, Brandon Jacobs and Reggie Brown validated their "stud" designations, but the Brian Griese and DeShaun Wynn picks didn’t work out so well. Vinny Testeverde, Quinn Gray, and most of the Oakland backfield backed up my "duds" argument as well. With most of the focus this week being on the Patriots-Colts game, I have to imagine that nearly all offensive players in that game will have a successful afternoon, but here are some suggestions that incorporate some of the less glorious games of the weekend…

Studs

Kevin Jones (DET): Jones seems to be fully healed from that injury that had him on the bench at the beginning of the season and he appears to be getting better each week. This trend should continue as the Lions play a Broncos defense that continues to prove that they are the worst in the league at stopping the run.

Shaun Alexander (SEA): Apparently it’s not SA’s fault that he’s been bad this year…it’s his offensive line’s. Anyway you spin it, Alexander has been a disappointment so far, but his luck could change this week against the Browns, who are allowing nearly 140 yards a game on the ground.

Marshawn Lynch (BUF): It’s not too often you find two Bills players on the Studs list, but the first to make it is Lynch, who will be running against a Bengals defense nearly as bad as the Browns.

Clinton Portis (WAS): After an expected down week against the Patriots last week, Portis should rebound nicely against another AFC East opponent. The Jets are allowing 130 yards and a touchdown a game to this point…stats you could probably expect from Portis.

Philip Rivers / Chris Chambers / Antonio Gates (SD): Somehow last week all three of these players were able to turn 11 passing attempts and 130 yards into quality fantasy stats (the three touchdowns helped!) This week they play the worst pass defense in the league, with the Vikings allowing 288 passing yards per week, so they should at least equal their production from last week.

Matt Hasselbeck / Wide Receivers (SEA): At this point, it’s still a bit unclear who will be the starting wide receivers for the Seahawks, as Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett are expected to return from injury. Either way though, the starting wide receivers, as well as their quarterback, should prosper against a Browns team that has allowed a league high 18 touchdowns through the air so far.

Jay Cutler / Brandon Marshall (DEN): I’m not exactly sure what transpired on the field last week when the Lions and Bears played, but the ship should be righted this week and the Lions should return to their poor pass defense ways. Cutler and Brandon Marshall at a minimum should be able to capitalize on it…if not Tony Scheffler and Brandon Stokley as well.

Carson Palmer / T.J. Houshmandzadeh / Chad Johnson (CIN): The Bills have been bad against the pass this season, and who better to take advantage of that flaw? Palmer, Housh and Ocho Cinco should have solid games this week.

Lee Evans (BUF): Although the Bengals are tied with the Browns for the most touchdowns allowed through the air, I can’t qualify whatever schmo they run onto the field at the quarterback position a "stud". Evans however, could turn a few opportunities into huge yardage and is a great play this week.

Duds

DeShaun Foster / DeAngelo Williams (CAR): The Titans continue to be a nightmare to run against, and I don’t see this dynamic duo changing that. If 40 yards and no scores work for you, then maybe you would start them…otherwise, keep them benched.

Willis McGahee (BAL): The Steelers have allowed about 80 yards a week and only one rushing touchdown to date. If the Ravens abandon their running game early, this game could get ugly quick!

Adrian Peterson (MIN): Hard to say that Peterson is a "dud" this week, but teams are starting to focus all their energy on stopping him and the quarterback play is doing nothing to prevent that. If Tarvaris Jackson starts this week, Peterson is in for a rough afternoon as the Chargers will stack the box every play.

Kurt Warner / Anquan Boldin / Larry Fitzgerald (ARI): The Buccaneers have been solid against the pass, allowing about 175 yards passing and under a touchdown a game this year. Those stats do not sound promising when spread out between two receivers with an inconsistent quarterback.

Sage Rosenfels / Wide Receivers (HOU): Matt Schaub is not expected to play this week, but it wouldn’t really matter. They’re playing against a Raiders defense that has been solid against the pass. This could be the day Adimchinobi Echemandu breaks out…but don’t expect a whole lot from the passing game.

Steve McNair / Derrick Mason (BAL): McNair will start this week, but unfortunately he’s making his comeback against the Steelers. As I said before, this game could get ugly fast if McNair is forced to carry the load on offense.

Brett Favre / Wide Receivers (GB): Favre got lucky last week, getting most of his stats for the entire game on two passing plays. He goes against another solid pass defense in Kansas City and if he can’t get lucky again, the outcome might not be the same as it was Monday night.

Slightly-biased scoring (Hits-Misses-Pushes)

Week 8: 15-5-8
Season: 40-16-17