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NFL Week 8 Fantasy Studs & Duds

by Tanner Munroe

Each week Studs & Duds will take a look at the best and worst match-ups from around the NFL and choose four players that could mean the difference between fantasy success and failure.

Based on the scoring system established by Yahoo!’s Flames and Lames, Studs and Duds continued to struggle last week. After going 4-4 in the picks last week, S&D’s season record now stands at 28-28. Do you have some of your own Studs and Duds in mind? If so, put your picks and predictions (no explanation for picks necessary) in the comment section below and see if you can beat us at our own game.

Studs

David Garrard / QB / Jacksonville Jaguars - (vs. Titans) The Titans have by far the worst pass defense in the NFL, so it’s almost guaranteed that Garrard will put up big numbers this week. Tennessee allows over 310 passing yards per game, and has given up 19 touchdowns through the air. The main reason it’s easy to assume that Garrard will dominate in this game, is that he’s already dominated the Titans this year. In the last match-up he had 323 passing yards to go along with three touchdown passes. Make sure to plug him into your lineups, as the numbers he’s likely to put up could easily carry you to a victory.
Prediction: 28-41, 280 passing yards, 2 total touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 21 rushing yards

Steve Smith / WR / Carolina Panthers - (vs. Cardinals) Smith finally showed signs of life last week against a pretty solid pass D in Buffalo. He could easily carry over his success into his match-up against the Cardinals. As I said last week, Arizona currently has the top ranked rush D in the league. That means the Panthers will have to stick to the air. With Arizona currently sporting the 29th ranked pass defense in the league, a very productive game out of Smith is likely. Smith has been far too inconsistent this year for his talent level, but you can be sure that this week will be the start of a string of solid games for the receiver.
Prediction: 9 receptions, 98 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Matt Forte / RB / Chicago Bears - (vs. Browns) Forte has been one of the biggest disappointments of the year so far, but he should put a smile on his owners' faces after this weeks match-up against Cleveland. The Browns are allowing over 170 rushing yards per game and have also given up 10 rushing scores. Look for Forte to reestablish himself as one of the top backs in the NFL, as he should easily take advantage of this very favorable match-up.
Prediction: 26 carries, 110 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 2 total touchdowns

Jason Witten / TE / Dallas Cowboys - (vs. Seahawks) The Cowboys will face-off against the Seahawks this week as they try to continue their winning ways that has them nipping at the heels of the New York Giants in the NFC East. Witten has been quite the disappointment so far this year, and is coming off three dud-worthy games in a row. Although Seattle has done pretty well against opposing tight ends through their first six games, Witten is due for a break-out performance. You can expect QB Tony Romo to look his way quite a bit as he tries to get his star TE more involved in the passing game. He’ll likely see plenty of check-down passes and don’t be surprised if he uses his strength to turn some short gains into a few scores.
Prediction: 8 receptions, 97 yards, 1 touchdown

Duds

Brett Favre / QB / Minnesota Vikings - (vs. Packers) All the talk this week has been about Brett Favre going back to Lambeau to play his old team. Some experts are saying he’ll be welcomed back with open arms, while others say the Packer fans won’t be as nice. Either way, Favre will not have one of his better games of the year come Sunday. Green Bay has the 4th ranked pass D in the league, and has also reeled in 11 interceptions. That means Brett will have to avoid making mistakes, and that just doesn’t seem likely. Whether it’s because he wants to make a big play in front of his old fans or because he’s trying too hard to win the game all by himself, Favre will likely throw one too many picks. If Brad Childress is smart and wants to win this game he’ll let Adrian Peterson get at least 30 carries. If not, the Vikings could easily suffer their second loss of the season at the hands of their division rival.
Prediction: 16-39, 187 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, -7 rushing yards

DeSean Jackson / WR / Philadelphia Eagles - (vs. Giants) Jackson had a monster game last week against the struggling Redskins, but his owners shouldn’t count on that same kind of production this week. Jackson has tremendous speed that helps him get open, but he’s still young and can make mistakes. He’s unlikely to catch many balls against a Giants pass D that is due for a strong rebound game. Jackson is more of a big play threat, and the Giants don’t allow that many big plays. That means fantasy owners should give the Philly WR a rest this week, and roll with someone else.
Prediction: 2 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Brandon Jacobs / RB / New York Giants - (vs. Eagles) Jacobs has yet to rush for over 100 yards, and he’s managed just two touchdowns on the year. Although he put up stud-worthy numbers against Arizona’s top ranked rush D last week, he will likely have more trouble against Philly. Although RB Ahmad Bradshaw is struggling with an injury this week, it’s unlikely Jacobs will see his workload increase much. This divisional match-up will be a defensive battle, and fantasy owners should temper expectations for any player that will be a part of it, especially Jacobs.
Prediction: 15 carries, 46 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Vernon Davis / TE / San Francisco 49ers - (vs. Colts) Davis went absolutely bananas last week after Alex Smith replaced Shaun Hill for the second half of the Niners games against Houston. He reeled in three touchdowns, and showed why San Fran made him the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft. He’s a talented TE with great size and hands, but he’s likely to struggle against Indy’s extremely strong pass D. San Francisco won’t be able to get much of anything going against one of the last three remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL. Expect the Indy offense to control the tempo of this game, and the offensive starters for the Niners will likely suffer for it.
Prediction: 1 reception, 15 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns