We have seen enough NFL action thus far to determine which players are having phenomenal seasons and which players are stinking up the joint.
It is time to give a shout out to the contenders and expose the pretenders here as we discuss this season’s biggest studs and duds heading into Week 10 of the campaign.
Stud: Christian McCaffrey, running back, Carolina Panthers
Without a doubt, McCaffrey crushes it on game day. Through eight matchups, he leads the league with 10 rushing touchdowns in addition to the 110.1 rushing yards per game. This has all been accomplished with McCaffrey toting the rock at a turbo speed of 5.3 yards per carry. Aside from all of this awesomeness, McCaffrey is on pace to run up over 700-plus receiving yards and six scores through the air. This is why McCaffrey is currently in the conversation for NFL MVP.
Dud: Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, Chicago Bears
Tossing five touchdowns in seven games is absolutely atrocious for any NFL starting quarterback. During this stretch, the Bears have lost more games than they have won and Trubisky has painstakingly averaged just 174 passing yards on average per outing. Is it too late for Trubisky to salvage his season? Might Chase Daniel take center stage? Desperate times may call for desperate measures.
Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
About as studly as studly gets, Jackson has been dazzling when he takes to the field. The second-year sign caller has managed 17 total touchdowns and leads all quarterbacks with 637 rushing yards. Currently, the Ravens sit with a comfortable two-game lead in the AFC North. And, Jackson comes fresh off helping hand Tom Brady and the New England Patriots their first loss of the season.
Dud: JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Smith-Schuster is not having the productive No. 1 receiver year many folks thought when they drafted him for 2019 fantasy football. Instead, inconsistency at the quarterback position has impacted Smith-Schuster’s numbers. He is on course for 102 targets and just 918 yards after being targeted 166 times for 1,436 yards in 2018. And, that was as a No. 2 wideout. It would be awesome if Smith-Schuster was able to drastically turn things around for the second half of the year. Though, we are not holding our breath.
Stud: Joey Bosa, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have had a bumpy season, but that does not mean that Bosa has not looked incredible on the field. He is scary as heck to face and is on target to record a personal-best 15 sacks. On top of that, Bosa has posted a league-high 11 tackles for loss. As for his last opponent, ask Aaron Rodgers how he was feeling after taking four quarterback hits from Bosa in Week 9. Bosa will next square off against Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders Thursday night.
Dud: Baker Mayfield, quarterback, Cleveland Browns
Living out his sophomore slump to its fullest, Mayfield — along with his Browns’ teammates — typically eat crow after each game. The struggles are for real and Mayfield’s pass completion rate has dropped five percent from last year. This should not be the case with a handy guy such as Odell Beckham Jr. at Mayfield’s disposal. To date, Mayfield has thrown a dismal seven touchdowns compared to a glaring and league-high 12 interceptions. Sadly, it is becoming a weekly routine to see Mayfield pouting and grumbling his way through his post-game pressers.
Stud: Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
Since landing with the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has made quite an impact for his new team. Through six games, Fitzpatrick has already racked up four interceptions. And, he last just destroyed the Colts with a gorgeous 96-yard pick-six. To date, Fitzpatrick has managed 41 combined tackles and 10 defended passes on the season. These numbers will only continue to climb as Fitzpatrick tries his best to help the Steelers win games on the defensive end of the field.
Dud: Joe Mixon, running back, Cincinnati Bengals
For a healthy running back who has played in eight games so far in 2019, Mixon sports a lowly 320 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. His 110 receiving yards and three catching touchdowns help pad his stat line a little, but overall, this is not a good year for Mixon. Unfortunately for young running back, the Bengals’ offense has been a wreck. The team has constantly played from behind in an attempt to win one single game. Those who took a flyer on Mixon in fantasy football are surely at their wits’ end.
Stud: Michael Thomas, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
On a sunnier side of things, Thomas has been having an exceptional season. The talented receiver has not missed a beat playing the majority of the year with backup Teddy Bridgewater under center. He currently leads all receivers with a healthy average of 109.4 yards per game. His 73 targets in eight games also represent an NFL best. Thomas’ catch rate of 82 percent has not gone unnoticed, either. The only thing that would sweeten the pot more would be Thomas adding to his four touchdowns.
Dud: Todd Gurley, running back, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams prepared fans this past offseason in announcing Gurley may receive a lighter workload in 2019. Though, lighter seems to be an understatement. Gurley is averaging only 50.7 rushing yards per game, a number that’s 40 less on average from 2018. What is also concerning is that Gurley’s yards per carry have dropped from 4.9 from last season to 3.9 this year. He does have nine total touchdowns on record. To offset this positive note though, Gurley is on pace to finish 2019 with just 185 receiving yards compared to the 580 he managed in 2018. Something is definitely off.
Stud: Matthew Stafford quarterback, Detroit Lions
While the Lions are nowhere near to first place in the NFC North with just three wins, Stafford has still been playing some pretty amazing football. He boasts a league-best average of 312.4 passing yards per game, which accompanies a personal-best 106 quarterback rating. Plus at this point of the season, Stafford has only two less passing touchdowns on record than he finished the entire 2018 season with. Personally, he is performing like a rock star! Unfortunately he is saddled to the rest of his band who is struggling to keep a beat.
Dud: Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Over-hyped at the start of the season, Ridley is not exactly on track to top his rookie year output. If things continue as is, Ridley will finish 2019 with 886 yards and eight touchdowns. This would be two short from his 10 scores from 2018. Overall, the Falcons are having a brutal season which is a huge morale hit. Perhaps a bye week off to regroup does Ridley and his team wonders starting in Week 10.