This weekend I traveled to New York City's Comic Con, one of my favorite events of the year. While I enjoy the artist panels and walking the extensive floor, looking for deals on comic books and clever T-shirts, it's the people in costumes that often are the most entertaining.
Chances are, if you are a fan of something, there is someone at Comic Con dressed up as a character from that show, movie or comic. Many of the costumes are unbelievably realistic. Of course, these people aren't actually superheroes, much as they might resemble them.
Which brings me to fantasy football. Walking around the Comic Con floor, I couldn't help but wonder which of Week 6's fantasy stars were actually superheroes, and which were simply players who had decided to dress up as one for the weekend.
In this week's version of "Studs versus Duds," I decided to find out. Some players are simply heroes making a cameo appearance, like Wolverine smoking a cigar in a bar during X-Men: First Class. Some are legitimate studs. And some, well, let's just say they're Ben Kingsley's version of Mandarin.
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles exploded in relief duty against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, throwing for 296 yards, three touchdowns and 29 fantasy points for owners smart enough to start him.
And that was against a Bucs defense that, to that point, hadn't allowed a single quarterback to accumulate more than 15 fantasy points. Now, Foles will face a Dallas Cowboys defense that is giving up 22.7 points to opposing quarterbacks, worst in the NFL, and 308.7 passing yards per contest, 30th in the league.
If you are worried about Michael Vick this week, don't be. Here's Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly:
Drills are same as last week: Foles first, Barkley second, Vick third. #EaglesTalk— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) October 15, 2013
And here's Reuben Frank of CSN Philly:
MIchael Vick: "It was a pretty bad pull." Said he feels it whenever he tries to burst.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 15, 2013
Foles probably won't have any value beyond this week once Vick returns, but he'll do big things this week. He's currently No. 6 on my quarterback rankings, so don't be afraid to give him another start this week.
Verdict: Stud (this week).
Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants
In his first four games, Jacobs rushed averaged 1.8 yards per carry. In Week 5 relief of David Wilson, he managed just 11 rushes for 37 yards. He looked the part of an in-season free agent pickup.
And then, against the Chicago Bears in Week 6, he suddenly morphed into Earl Campbell, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns as the starter. What the heck?
I'm as confused as you are, but the truth is, Jacobs has a pretty promising slate of games on the horizon, facing the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders in the next four weeks. And no, I'm not worried about Peyton Hillis eating into his production.
Yes, Peyton Hillis. From Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports:
Giants to sign RB Peyton Hillis, per sources.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 16, 2013
When did the Giants' backfield suddenly become the NFL's version of Last Vegas?
With Wilson likely out for a few weeks, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Jacobs remains a viable flex option for fantasy owner.
Verdict: More stud than dud (at least until David Wilson returns).
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
In his last nine games, Justin Blackmon has registered double-digit fantasy points six times. He now has back-to-back weeks with 19 fantasy points, and Chad Henne has already been named the starter for Week 7, via Jessica Blaylock:
Chad Henne will start again this Sunday vs Chargers as Blaine Gabbert continues to heal from hamstring strain. #Jaguars— Jessica Blaylock (@JessBlaylock) October 14, 2013
In the two weeks since Blackmon returned from suspension, the Jaguars have scored 39 points. In the first four games without him, they managed just 31. If you think that is a coincidence, I have a few designer watches inside of my jacket here that I'd love to sell you for a discounted rate.
The Jaguars aren't very good, but Blackmon is.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
He was a dud. Then he was a stud. Does anyone have any clue what Ridley represents as a fantasy commodity this year?
In his first four games, Ridley managed a total of 16 fantasy points. Last week alone, he scored 22. Ridley is out of the doghouse after his Week 1 fumble—and he's a much better runner than anyone else on this roster—but it's probably wise to play the matchups with him.
For instance, this week against a New York Jets' defense allowing just 11 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week, second-best in the NFL, you probably want to sit him. But most weeks, he's returned to RB2 status.
Verdict: Stud in good matchups, dud this week.
Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions
No. No, no, no, no, no. Don't do it. Stay away. Turn around. Do not pass "Go." Danger, Will Robinson! Warning: Contents are hot. Danger: Hazardous Chemicals! Do not enter.
Do I have your attention? Good. You just can't trust a player that has seven receptions for 66 yards and five touchdowns on nine targets this season, meaning that 82 percent of his fantasy value is directly tied to touchdowns. Folks, that type of production isn't sustainable.
Besides, once Calvin Johnson gets healthy Fauria's red-zone targets will disappear. Don't you dare add him or start him unless you are in a crazy deep league and hurting at tight end.
Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions and commiserate with you over underachieving players. You bring the beer.