New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees gave fantasy owners a full game worth of production from his first half alone.
Brees threw for 313 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the first half against the Bucs. That production is worth 28 fantasy points in standard formats.
Fortunately for fantasy owners, that was enough, since Brees did virtually nothing else from a fantasy perspective in the second half.
In the second half, he added 64 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception. With a total of 377 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception for the game, he finished with 29 fantasy points for the week.
Going into the Monday Night Football matchup, his 29 fantasy points are the most by a quarterback this week and one point more than my "stud" of the week.
Looking back at all of the Week 7 games up to this point, I have selected five "studs" of the week and will do the same with "duds."
Here are the studs of the week:
QB - Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Freeman appeared on the start'em side of my Start'em, Sit'em column in Week 7, and he led all quarterbacks in passing yards (420) through Sunday's games. Helped by a 95-yard reception to Vincent Jackson, Freeman's 420 yards beat his previous career high (342) by almost 80 yards.
Although he completed only 24 of 42 pass attempts (57.1 percent), he threw three touchdowns and had no interceptions. He just missed two more passing touchdowns. Malcolm Jenkins chased Jackson down on the 95-yard reception to save a touchdown, and Mike Williams caught a touchdown pass on the final play of the game that was negated by a penalty.
Freeman has thrown three touchdowns in back-to-back games and has only one interception during that span.
RB - Chris Johnson, Titans
Not only did CJ2K have his best performance of the season, by far, his 195 rushing yards this week was the third-highest total of his career. The top two performances both occurred during his 2,000-yard campaign (2009). In addition, Johnson scored his first two touchdowns of the season.
While Jamie Harper also scored two touchdowns, the Bills are atrocious against the run and have now allowed 13 rushing touchdowns this season. Too bad CJ2K can't face the Bills, who are on bye in Week 8, every week. Fortunately for fantasy owners, however, the Titans face the Colts, who rank No. 26 in the NFL in rushing and have allowed eight rushing touchdowns.
WR - Vincent Jackson, Bucs
As noted above, Jackson had a 95-yard reception, which helped him set a new career high in receiving yards with his 216-yard performance and one touchdown on Sunday.
It was the fourth 100-yard game allowed to a receiver by the Saints in six games this season. While the matchup was clearly favorable, Jackson would have still had more than the previous high (109 yards, Pierre Garcon) allowed by the Saints even if you excluded his 95-yard reception.
TE - Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
After his record-setting season last year, Gronkowski has not exactly lived up to the turbo-charged expectations that were created by his unprecedented success last year. Despite dealing with an ailing hip, however, Gronk delivered for fantasy owners in Week 7 by scoring for the first time in three weeks. Two times! Gronkowski now has five touchdowns through seven games.
Although he had three single-digit fantasy performances in the previous four weeks, he leads all tight ends in fantasy points (19) this week going into Monday Night Football. Sunday was his fourth double-digit performance of the season.
Flex - LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals
An early fumble in the game on a return by Willam Powell, who led the team in rushing last week, allowed Stephens-Howling to capitalize on the opportunity against the generally stingy Vikings rush defense. LSH rushed for a career-high 104 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown. In addition, he caught four passes for 45 yards in the loss. While a few other players may have had better performances in Week 7, few had lower expectations going into the week than Stephens-Howling.
Agree with my picks for the five studs of the week? If you disagree with any of them, which one(s) and who would you substitute for him (them)?
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