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It’s Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, and by the time this week’s games have concluded we’ll be nearing the halfway point of the fantasy football campaign, with some IDP teams humming right along and others scrambling to salvage their season before their championship dreams go up in smoke.
Last week wasn’t exactly my best ever where IDP recommendations are concerned, as although I correctly predicted that Carolina Panthers strong safety Charles Godfrey would struggle linebacker Nick Barnett of the Buffalo Bills disappointed in a very favorable matchup and D. J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers had a very solid showing in a bad one with the Indianapolis Colts.
These things happen though, especially with IDPs, so after shaking off the beating I took 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 smack dab in the middle of the bye weeks, so IDPs from the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars 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 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.
Michael Bennett – DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. KC): The fourth-year pro comes out of his bye week on a hot streak, with three sacks in his past two games, and Bennett should have every opportunity to keep that momentum going against a Kansas City Chiefs team giving up the second most points to opposing defensive lineman this year.
Everson Griffen – DE, Minnesota Vikings (at WAS): Griffen has seen his playing time increase and has made the most of it, and the third-year pro could be a sneaky play this week for IDP owners in a pinch up front in a very favorable fantasy matchup with the Washington Redskins.
Mario Williams – DE, Buffalo Bills (at ARI): IDP owners who spent a high draft pick on Williams have to be tearing their hair out over his slow start, but if there was ever a game for the seventh-year pro to breakout it’s against an Arizona Cardinals squad that has allowed 17 sacks in the past two games.
Michael Boley – OLB, New York Giants (at SF): Boley has been decent but not great of late, with five solos in each of his past three games, but the 30-year old should top that easily this week against a San Francisco 49ers club surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing linebackers.
Lavonte David – OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. KC): The rookie had his best game of the season in Week 4, racking up 12 solos against the Washington Redskins, and David should have an excellent shot at a similarly beefy stat line in a top-five IDP matchup with running back Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City Chiefs
Stephen Tulloch – MLB, Detroit Lions (at PHI): The 27-year-old has been somewhat disappointing this year, failing to record double-digit tackles in any one game, but Tulloch could post his best stat line of the 2012 season this week against a Philadelphia Eagles team giving up the most fantasy points to opposing linebackers this season.
Mark Barron – SS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. KC): With three Buccaneers on the “Studs” list this week you may be realizing that the Kansas City Chiefs are a very favorable matchup for opposing IDPs, and that extends to defensive backs such as Barron, with the Chiefs allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position.
Earl Thomas – FS, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NE): The third-year pro has been a major letdown in 2012, with only 17 tackles so far this season. But the stage is set for Thomas to right the ship this week in a favorable matchup with the New England Patriots. Thomas will likely spend much of the day covering one of New England’s star tight ends.
Eric Weddle – FS, San Diego Chargers (vs. DEN): Weddle was solid in last week’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, with seven total tackles and a strip-sack of Drew Brees. The sixth-year ballhawk should make it two big games in a row Monday night against the Denver Broncos, who are surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to defensive backs in 2012.
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