Week 14: Start your Studs?

By: Ryan Bigelow (Twitter: @dynastybigz)

It’s the first round of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues this week so I want to start out by saying congrats to everyone that made it! Those of you who didn’t have things go their way this year I wish you the best of luck next season!

For my article this week, I’m going to take a look at five stud players who have most likely been consistently in your lineup all season. All of these players can go off on any given week but I’m going to see which of these studs might not have the best game and which of them are going to help carry teams to the next round.

Dalvin Cook

Last 3 game averages:

25.7 carries, 98.7 rushing yds, .3 rushing TD’s, 6 targets, 5 receptions, 41.7 receiving yds

Week 14 matchup vs Buccaneers- 2nd in Fantasy PPG allowed to opposing RB’s(13.7)

Over the past six weeks of the season, Dalvin Cook has been getting insane usage, playing over 75% of the snaps and averaging 30.3 touches per game.

It seems great for fantasy but since the start of that stretch, it seems like his production has dropped. In the past four games, he’s only averaging 3.7 yards per carry after averaging almost 6 yards per carry over his previous seven games on the season.

If Dalvin wasn’t getting 30 touches a game it would be more noticeable but it’s hard for him not to produce when the ball’s always in your hand.

Another important stat is that Dalvin was able to find the endzone in each of his first seven games of the season but in the past four games he’s only found the endzone once. I’m not sure what the exact correlation is here but his usage during both stretches don’t correlate. 

(First 7 games- 160 touches and 13 TD’s vs Past 4 games- 126 touches and 1 TD)

After starting the season 1-5, the Vikings have won five of the last six and now hold the final wild-card spot and a 6-6 record. This week they face the Buccaneers who happen to be holding the wild card spot right above them with a record of 7-5. This is a super important game for both teams and it should be highly competitive. 

The Buccaneers have a very good run defense allowing a league-low 51.2 rushing yards per game. If Dalvin isn’t producing on his runs like he hasn’t been the past few weeks there’s a good chance he has a bit of a dud for fantasy this week. The Vikings will be forced to throw the ball to keep the game competitive which won’t allow him to have as many touches as he’s been getting.

Dalvin’s fantasy performance will be based on how much work he gets in the receiving game. I believe this is the one area that he really has the chance to shine and make up some of the value he will lose this week on the ground. The Buccaneers allow the 3rd most catches a week to opposing RBs (6.1)–this should help Dalvin have somewhat of a safe floor this week if he can take advantage of the opportunity.

Overall this week I think Dalvin Cook is a player who will definitely disappoint fantasy owners this week. I think he’s safe for a solid 10-12 points but I hope you’re not counting on a 25 bomb this week. 

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