The Dud Zone – Week 6
Matt Stein takes a look at last week's top fantasy football dud and a look forward to potential duds in Week 6.
The Dud Zone – Week 6
Week 5 of the NFL season brought us another week of struggling players. Whether it was from injury (see Calvin Johnson) or just poor play (see Victor Cruz), Week 5 of fantasy football was filled with duds.
However, one specific player stood above the rest. That player was New York Giants’ tight end Larry Donnell. A week after catching three touchdowns, Donnell was a major dud in Week 5.
Today we’ll take an in-depth look at Donnell and predict some potential Week 6 duds.
Dud of the Week, Week 5
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants
After posting three touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in Week 4, everyone was expecting Donnell to put up similar numbers against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, that wasn’t even close to happening.
Donnell wasn’t just slowed down; he was completely stopped. He played 55 of the 71 offensive snaps for New York and recorded zero receptions for zero yards and zero touchdowns. What’s even worse is that quarterback Eli Manning didn’t even target him once.
His negative 1.4 grade on Sunday was easily his worst grade of the season, and it was one of the worst grades for any tight end in Week 5.
The ultimate problem for Donnell was that he completely came out of nowhere to take fantasy football by storm. So, seeing him completely disappear for a week really shouldn’t be a surprise, even if it’s after a three-touchdown effort.
While Donnell is still a must-start player from here out, don’t be surprised if there are a few more dud weeks spread out over the remainder of the season.
Potential Week 6 Duds
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
It may sound absurd to call Rodgers a potential dud, especially with the way he’s been playing the past two weeks. However, his matchup against the Miami Dolphins is a terrible one for Rodgers.
Remember three weeks ago when the Detroit Lions completely stopped Rodgers and the Packers offense? The way they did that was by creating pressure with only four defensive linemen. Well, the Dolphins happen to be the third-best defense in the NFL at creating a pass rush. Cameron Wake’s 14.6 rush grade is the best in the league for a 4-3 defensive end.
Simply put, if the Dolphins can get consistent pressure on Rodgers with only four defenders, it could be a long game for one of the league’s best quarterbacks.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
On paper, Brown’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns seems like an ideal one for one of the better receivers in the league.
For starters, Brown will likely be matched up against cornerback Joe Haden, who currently has the fourth-worst grade of any cornerback in the league. When quarterbacks throw Haden’s way, they are posting a 138.4 quarterback rating.
Here’s the thing though: Haden isn’t this bad of a cornerback, and he’s going to turn it around sometime. What better time than against a division rival and an elite receiver?
While Brown may keep his streak of five-reception games alive, it won’t be with a huge amount of yards or numerous touchdowns.