Studs and Duds – Week 4: Back in the swing of things

Before I go into this week’s “studs” and “duds”, I must apologize for not getting a post up last week. I was en route to San Antonio to meet my girlfriend’s family, so I didn’t really have too much time to sneak off and blog (hopefully you understand!) Anyways, after a quick review of my week two picks though, it appears that I’m off to a pretty solid start this year. While the guy I mentioned in the title of the post, Ryan Grant, had a terrible game somehow (honestly…this was supposed to be a lock against a bad Detroit defense!), big games from Adrian Peterson, the Denver Connection (Cutler to Marshall), and a poor performance from Derek Anderson led the way as I ended up 15-4-3 (correct-incorrect-push). This brings my current season total to 28-11-9, leading me to believe that my picks have some iota of usefulness to them. So without further ado, here are my “stud” and “dud” picks for the upcoming weekend:

Studs

Earnest Graham, RB, TB: Although I recommended starting Clinton Portis and Maurice Jones-Drew over Graham in an Ask the Geeks segment this week, it wasn’t easy. Graham is going against one of the worst run defenses in the league this weekend, as the Packers are letting up a league worst 5.7 yards per carry (they’re also letting up over 150 yards a game on the ground.) Graham should get plenty of chances in this one as it will most likely be a pretty tight game the whole way.

Selvin Young, RB, DEN: Although Young has done nothing special to date, all I want to say is that he’s playing a Kansas City team that is allowing over 200 yards a game on the ground and is the second worst in the NFL in total rushing yards allowed this season with 612 through just three games!

Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB: This weekend Rodgers should give the fans another reason to forget about Favre as he takes on a suspect Buccaneers defense allowed nearly 270 yards and two touchdowns last week to Kyle Orton! Expect Rodgers to at least match those numbers.

Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI: Just like the Bucs, somehow the Bears defense allowed a second rate quarterback (Brian Griese) to throw for over 400 yards and two scores against them last weekend. McNabb won’t throw the ball 60+ times like Griese did, but he won’t need to to rack up similar stats.

DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI: Although in his rookie year he already made one of the most bone-headed plays that I’ve ever seen in the NFL, you can’t deny the talent that Jackson has and the chemistry he’s forming with McNabb. He’ll get plenty of looks in this one, especially if Westbrook doesn’t play.

Greg Jennings, WR, GB: While Earnest Graham is having his way with the Packers defense, Jennings should be doing the same on the other side of the field. I already mentioned that quarterback Aaron Rodgers should have a big game, which means his favorite target Jennings should follow suit.

Jamal Lewis, RB, CLE: Both the Browns and Bengals are hurting going into this game and what better way to fix that than to play a team nearly as bad as yourself. While I can’t see a repeat of last season’s famous barn-burner taking place, there should be a decent amount of offense in this one and Lewis should be leading the way for the Brownies. In case you were curious, the Bengals are giving up almost 175 yards per game on the ground!

Others: J.T. O’Sullivan, QB, SF vs NO, Marshawn Lynch, RB, BUF vs STL, Trent Edwards, QB, BUF vs STL, Jacksonville RB’s vs HOU

Duds

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT: In two games so far this season, the Ravens defense has smothered opposing quarterbacks, allowing just 92 yards per game and only surrendering one measely score through the air. Big Ben is good, but even he is going to have trouble overcoming this one.

Brian Westbrook / Correll Buckhalter, RB, PHI: vs CHI, 71 ypgEven if Westbrook plays in this one, don’t expect a whole lot unless he can make it happen via the receiving game, as the Bears defense is only allowing 71 yards per game on the ground. If Buckhalter gets the start, expect even less from him.

Gus Frerotte, QB, MIN: While Frerotte gives the Vikings passing game the lift they need to be a contender in the NFC, this is not the weekend where he’s going to showcase his skills. When the Vikings play the Titans this weekend, it’s going to be a battle in the trenches, with Adrian Peterson (and maybe Chester Taylor) grinding it out against Chris Johnson and LenDale White of Tennessee. If for some reason the Vikings decide to air it out, they’ll be doing so against a defense allowing just 150 yards per game from the pass and who already have seven interceptions this year.

Matt Forte, RB, CHI: vs PHI 2.4 ypc, 46 ypg, best 137 total and ypc Forte has been a great surprise to owners who took the chance on him in their draft, but this might be a weekend where you tone down the expectations that he’s built up through the first three games. The Bears take on the best rush defense in the NFL this weekend, an Eagles defense that has allowed just 137 rushing yards through three games (46 ypg, 2.4 ypc.) If you have a better option, give Forte some rest on your bench this week.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT: vs BAL 70 ypgAlthough I’m sure he’s stoked to be getting the first start of his short NFL career, Mendenhall can’t be too excited about the opponent. While it’s not as good as their pass defense, the Ravens run defense is only allowing 70 yards per game through their first two games, which is a number I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mendenhall end up with. Maybe he has a breakout game, but the odds are against him.

Trent Green, QB, STL: The Rams offense is struggling mightily and don’t expect Trent Green to roll into town (or the starting role) and be the savior. Buffalo is only allowing around 150 yards per game through the air and have only surrendered two passing touchdowns to date.

Willis McGahee, RB, BAL: vs PIT 2.8 ypc, 64 ypg

Others: Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN vs TEN, David Garrard, QB, JAX vs HOU, Santonio Holmes, WR, PIT vs BAL


Last Week (Week 2): 15-4-3

Total: 28-11-9