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It’s Week 8 of the 2012 NFL season, and as we head into the second half of fantasy football’s regular season some IDP teams are sitting pretty, others are struggling mightily, and some are just trying to figure out where to find three healthy linebackers to put in their starting lineup.
Last week was actually pretty kind to me so far as my recommendations went, as while Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain let fantasy owners down, defensive end Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings made me look like Nostradamus by single-handedly winning many IDP squads their games with his three sack explosion against the Arizona Cardinals.
However, just as I shake off my losses I don’t waste time basking in my wins, and with both eyes squarely focused towards the future it’s time for another week of IDP Studs and Duds, where I’ll point out some Individual Defensive Players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (Studs) and some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than usual (Duds).
That isn’t necessarily to say that every “Stud” is a must-start (it depends on your other options) or that every “Dud” should be glued to your bench (just that the odds of a letdown week are greater than usual).
Don’t forget that we’re still smack in the middle of the bye weeks, so IDPs from the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans will all be taking the week off.
Finally, before we get on with the show, if you have a specific IDP Start/Sit question you’d like my take on you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post the question in the “Kilroy Krystal Ball” thread in the Fantasy Sharks IDP Forum. I can’t promise I’ll get to every question, but I’ll do the best I can.
Jeremy Mincey – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (at GB): After racking up eight sacks last year the fifth-year pro didn’t get his first of 2012 until last week. Mincey should make it two weeks in a row with a sack against a Green Bay Packers team giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to defensive linemen this year.
Jabaal Sheard – DE, Cleveland Browns (vs. SD): Sheard is experiencing the dreaded sophomore slump, with only one sack in seven games. The youngster could be in for a rebound game against a San Diego Chargers club that has been a top-five fantasy matchup for defensive linemen this season.
Justin Smith – DE, San Francisco 49ers (at AZ): Smith has tallied an impressive 17 tackles over his past two games but still hasn’t recorded a sack this year. That should change this week against a terrible Arizona Cardinals offensive line that has given up both the most sacks and fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2012.
Ahmad Brooks – OLB, San Francisco 49ers (at AZ): If you’re an IDP owner in a deeper league whose linebacker corps has been decimated by the recent rash of injuries at the position consider rolling out Ahmad Brooks this week against the Cardinals, who have allowed five sacks a game so far this season.
Bruce Carter – ILB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG): With Sean Lee now on injured reserve the second-year pro takes over as the defensive signal-caller in Big D. Carter will get his first chance to show that he’s up to the task Sunday in a Top 10 IDP matchup with the rival New York Giants
Stephen Tulloch – MLB, Detroit Lions (vs. SEA): The seventh-year veteran has averaged six solos a game over the past three weeks, but Tulloch should be able to do better than that in Week 8 against a Seattle Seahawks club that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing linebackers in 2012.
Dawan Landry – SS, Jacksonville Jaguars (at GB): Landry has been pretty quiet this season, ranking outside the top 50 at his position in Default IDP Manor Scoring. However, the seventh-year pro is an excellent matchup play this week against a Green Bay Packers team allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to defensive backs this season.
Quintin Mikell – FS, St. Louis Rams (vs. NE): Mikell and the Rams face the New England Patriots in the annual abomination that is the regular season game in London. Given how generous the Patriots have been to opposing defensive backs this year the 10th-year pro should be in for a jolly good game.
Tracy Porter/Chris Harris – CB, Denver Broncos (vs. NO): I’m including these players as a duo, as Porter’s status for Sunday night’s tilt with the Saints is up in the air. Whoever draws the start should be in for a strong showing against a New Orleans team surrendering the third-most fantasy points to defensive backs.
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