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It’s the 11th week of the 2012 fantasy football campaign, and as Thanksgiving draws near so does the fantasy playoffs. For some IDP squads there’s no margin of error at this point in the year, as one more defeat could well spell the end for any hopes they had of advancing to fantasy football’s second season.
Rather than talk about how well I did (or didn’t do) with last week’s recommendations this week I have a word of advice for IDP owners. Even if you’ve been eliminated from the playoffs make every effort to field the most competitive lineup you can the rest of the way. Whether it’s tanking for a draft pick or just giving up on a lost season taking a dive not only makes you look like an ass but it throws the competitive balance of the league out of whack, and that’s bad juju.
Now that I’ve climbed down off my soapbox 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).
This week brings with it the last of the byes, so IDPs from the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, and Seattle Seahawks will all be taking the week off. That makes for a much shallower pool of IDP talent up front, since Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings, Jason Pierre-Paul of the Minnesota Vikings, and Chris Clemons of the Seattle Seahawks are all on siesta.
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 email@example.com 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.
John Abraham – DE, Atlanta Falcons (vs. ARI): As I predicted, old man Abraham pulled a disappearing act in last week’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, but this week Abraham goes from the worst fantasy match-up in the NFL for defensive linemen to the best when the Falcons host an Arizona Cardinals team that has allowed the most sacks in the league this year.
Trent Cole – DE, Philadelphia Eagles (at WAS): After reaching double digits in sacks each of the last three seasons 2012 has been an absolute disaster for Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole, but if there was ever a week for a rebound from the 30-year-old this is it against a Washington Redskins squad allowing the third-most fantasy points to defensive linemen this season.
Kyle Vanden Bosch – DE, Detroit Lions (vs. GB): The playing status of fellow end Cliff Avril is up in the air this week due to a concussion, and that could equate to added snaps and opportunities for IDP production Sunday in a favorable pass rush matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Vontaze Burfict – OLB, Cincinnati Bengals (at KC): The undrafted rookie has averaged ten tackles a game over the past three weeks, and the table is set for another strong showing from Burfict this week against a Kansas City Chiefs club surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing linebackers in 2012.
Paul Posluszny – MLB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Posluszny has tallied 15 solos over the past two weeks, and the sixth-year veteran has an excellent shot at recording double-digit stops Sunday against a Houston Texans squad allowing the second-most tackle opportunities in the NFL this season.
Brian Urlacher – MLB, Chicago Bears (at SF): After a slow start to the season Urlacher’s play has picked up as he’s gotten healthy, and the 34-year-old should continue his hot streak Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, who are giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to linebackers this year.
Ronald Bartell – CB, Oakland Raiders (vs. NO): The eighth-year veteran returned to action last week after missing most of the season with a shoulder injury, but Bartell isn’t to be able to ease back into action given how busy New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees keeps opposing cornerbacks.
Morgan Burnett – FS, Green Bay Packers (at DET): Burnett has posted 18 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble over the past two games, and Burnett should post another fat stat line this week in a NFC North showdown in Motown with a Detroit Lions squad that has been very kind to opposing defensive backs from a fantasy perspective this season.
Devin McCourty – FS, New England Patriots (vs. IND): The Patriots flipped the third-year pro to safety in an effort to help patch a leaky secondary, and after posting eight tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble in last week’s win over the Bills it appears that McCourty is adjusting well, which is a good sign heading into a very favorable IDP matchup with the Indianapolis Colts this week.
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