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We’ve hit Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season, which means that by week’s end we’ll have reached the halfway point of this year’s fantasy football campaign, with some IDP teams chewing up the competition while others flounder as a result of mounting injuries, poor performances, or an unfortunate combination of the two.
So far as last week’s recommendations go frankly I don’t know how I fared, as between the shellacking I took in my IDP leagues and the havoc wreaked on them by the season-ending injuries suffered by linebackers Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens and D.J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers I have blocked Week 6 from my mind in an effort to retain what’s left of my sanity.
So, with a healthy dose of selective amnesia 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).
We’re also hit one of the dreaded six team bye weeks, so IDPs from the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers will all be taking the week off. Keep them on your bench.
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.
Robert Quinn – DE, St. Louis Rams (vs. GB): The second-year pro was shutout of the stat sheet last week against the Miami Dolphins, but Quinn has already racked up six sacks this season and faces a Green Bay Packers team on Sunday that has allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL this season.
Brian Robison – DE, Minnesota Vikings (vs. ARI): Robison is off to something of a slow start this year, with only one sack in six games, but the table is set for a rebound this week against an Arizona Cardinals squad that has been the friendliest fantasy matchup for opposing defensive linemen in 2012.
Matt Shaughnessy – DE, Oakland Raiders (vs. JAX): Shaughnessy had his best game of the season last week with five tackles and a sack against the Atlanta Falcons, and the fifth-year pro should make it two solid outings in a row this week in a favorable IDP matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
David Harris – ILB, New York Jets (vs. NE): The former Michigan standout was a non-factor last week against the Indianapolis Colts, but this week’s matchup with the New England Patriots is conducive to a much better IDP outing given that the Patriots have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to linebackers this year.
Luke Kuechly – MLB, Carolina Panthers (vs. DAL): Jon Beason’s knee injury forced the Panthers to move Kuechly inside two weeks ago against the Seattle Seahawks, and with Beason likely to sit again this week the rookie could be in for his second big game in a row Sunday when Carolina hosts the Dallas Cowboys.
Jameel McClain – ILB, Baltimore Ravens (at HOU): The season-ending triceps injury suffered by Ray Lewis thrusts McClain into a three-down role for the Ravens, and that should equate to a good game this week against a Houston Texans team that will pound away on the ground with running back Arian Foster.
Mark Barron – SS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NO): The rookie makes his second straight appearance on the “Studs” list on the heels of an eight tackle performance with a pick against the Kansas City Chiefs, and with another nice matchup on tap with the pass-happy New Orleans Saints it’s not very difficult to see why.
Ryan Clark – FS, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN): The 11th-year veteran has put up strong numbers for IDP owners with Troy Polamalu sidelined by a calf injury, and that should continue Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to defensive backs this season.
LaRon Landry – FS, New York Jets (vs. NE): The 28-year-old appears to finally be healthy and has racked up eight tackles in each of his past two games, and Landry should have ample opportunities for fantasy production this week against a New England Patriots team surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to his position in 2012.
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