NFL Studs and Duds for Week 6
Often in the NFL, fantasy football matchups come down to the surprise performances. The players who busted out with huge games or the players who disappointed with no-show performances. Those are the ones who make the difference.
And like every other week, Week 6 had plenty of these. Heavily relied-upon players failed to show up, and others put up huge numbers, propelling many an owner to victory.
Here are the players who showed up on each extreme end of the spectrum this week, affecting all of our fantasy football games and forever changing the course of history.
Stud: Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets
I will freely admit that I expect almost nothing from Shonn Greene. So a performance like his in Week 6 is especially surprising. After all, 32-carry, 161-yard, three-touchdown performances aren't too common.
Greene ran at will against the Colts, putting up every owner's dream fantasy performance. If you were one of the likely few owners starting Greene, you were met with a rather pleasant surprise.
Dud: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Prior to suffering an Achilles injury, Rashard Mendenhall was completely ineffective, gaining just six yards on six carries. A catch for 11 yards barely made his game less awful.
The injury wasn't Mendenhall's fault, but it's hard to predict that he would have been much better had he not left the game. This simply wasn't a good week for Mendenhall.
Stud: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Even with Joe Haden back playing for the Browns, A.J. Green put up a dominant performance. His seven catches, 135 yards and two touchdowns likely made the difference in many games.
Owners are accustomed to huge performances by Green, but that doesn't make this game any less impactful. Points are points, after all.
Dud: Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
At one point, Jamaal Charles left the game with an injury, but he was largely just ineffective. Twelve carries for 40 yards isn't impressive for even the least impressive of running backs.
Two catches helped Charles' cause a little, but it was still a bad game from a top running back. Owners got almost nothing here.
Stud: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
After getting off to a somewhat lackluster start to the 2012 season, Aaron Rodgers busted out in a big way against an excellent Houston defense. His 338 yards and six touchdowns make up an otherworldly performance.
Rodgers' huge game was a nice change of pace for his owners, and he carried numerous teams this week. It isn't possible for a quarterback to have a much better performance.
Dud: Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn getting the start wasn't a good pregame sign for Dwayne Bowe's performance. And the pregame signs were accurate, as Bowe caught just three passes for 21 yards.
It's hard for a starting wideout to be much less productive than this. Bowe isn't just a starting wideout either, though. He has been a star all year long, but in Week 6 he offered owners almost nothing.
Stud: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
At first glance, Robert Griffin's 182 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception don't look impressive. Then you look at his rushing stats and see an additional 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Griffin demonstrated his dual-threat ability against the Vikings, putting up points both on the ground and through the air. Thus far, RG3 has been a superb fantasy player, and he continued to be one in Week 6.
Dud: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks barely edged out New England, securing a surprise victory. Marshawn Lynch had little impact on the end result, however.
Lynch's 15 carries for 41 yards was distinctly unimpressive, as he struggled to gain yards. Lynch had chances but was unable to capitalize off them.
Stud: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Along with Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson dominated the Texans. Nelson was unstoppable as he caught nine passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
Even without the touchdowns, this is a great performance, but the three scores put it over the edge. There won't be many better wide receiver fantasy performances this year.
Dud: San Francisco 49ers Defense/Special Teams
Against the Giants, San Francisco allowed 26 points and failed to produce a turnover. That's not a good sign for a fantasy football defense lacking special teams ability.
The 49ers' usually-dominant defense simply didn't do its job, and, as a result, it let down many owners expecting big points.
Stud: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has struggled some early in 2012, but he rebounded with a 293-yard, three-touchdown performance. On the off chance you were forced into starting Wilson, he was an extremely pleasant surprise.
Wilson's performance came out of nowhere, and certainly no owners were expecting much production from him. This game completely changed matchups for all of Wilson's owners.
Dud: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons squeaked out with a victory, but Matt Ryan struggled to produce fantasy points for the first time in 2012. His three interceptions to one touchdown didn't help matters.
Ryan threw for 249 yards, which, while not terrible, isn't going to make up for three interceptions either. Owners are getting used to big games from Ryan, and he failed to produce one in Week 6.
Stud: Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman needed the Chiefs to finally break out with a big performance. Owners who took late-round fliers on Freeman had to date been disappointed, but he showed up in Week 6.
Freeman threw for 328 yards and thee touchdowns, though he did also toss one interception. That's a big game from a backup fantasy football quarterback.
Dud: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Thus far, Julio Jones has had a pretty disappointing season, and this continued in Week 6. Four catches for 63 yards isn't going to impress anyone.
This isn't necessarily an awful game, but it offers little fantasy value. For a wideout drafted as high as Jones was, this is especially disappointing.
Stud: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Though he scored just one touchdown, Sam Bradford had a big fantasy performance in Week 6. His 349 total yards were enough to ensure that.
Not many owners were starting Bradford, but those who did certainly weren't disappointed as he put up a much bigger game than expected. There's no denying the impact of a big game from a low-end starting quarterback.
Dud: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
With just four catches and 20 yards, Antonio Brown made almost no fantasy impact in Week 6. Owners looking for a big game were left hanging by the star wideout.
Brown's game wasn't quite as bad in a points-per-reception league, but it was bad no matter what. He simply failed to show up on the stat sheet.
Stud: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant had a big game regardless of the scoring system, but he was especially dominant in points-per-reception leagues. Thirteen catches, 95 yards and two touchdowns will do that.
Despite the lack of extreme yardage, Bryant's sheer volume of catches and, more importantly, two touchdowns made him a huge Week 6 scorer. At this point, many owners weren't expecting much from Bryant, but he came up huge here.
Dud: Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
Forced to leave the game with a rib injury, Trent Richardson didn't have many opportunities to make a true fantasy impact. Even before the injury, though, Richardson was struggling to make much happen on the ground.
Richardson's offensive line has severely hindered his stats, and this was no different in week six. By now, owners know better than to consistently expect big games, but Richardson did even less than expected here.
Stud: Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Christian Ponder continued to be a surprisingly valuable fantasy player as he threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. His two interceptions did set him back, however.
Ponder's performance against Washington wasn't exactly shocking, but it was still a good game from a non-elite quarterback. If a Ponder owner lost, it wasn't because of his quarterback.
Dud: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Completing 22 of his 44 passes for 280 yards, Andrew Luck failed to score a touchdown and threw two interceptions. After doing quite well thus far in fantasy, Luck had his first truly disappointing performance.
There were actually quite a few owners starting Luck by this point, and he let them down in Week 6. It wasn't a good game for the young quarterback.