There are certain constants in life this time of year. Everyone ate too much this week. You can’t go 45 seconds without hearing Christmas music somewhere. And rational adults went Lord of the Flies this week in an effort to save a few bucks.
On freaking bath towels, of all things. Bath towels!
There’s another constant that’s of a bit more interest to fantasy owners in IDP leagues – the New Orleans Saints allowing fantasy points in the secondary. Only the Arizona Cardinals have allowed more fantasy points to defensive backs this year than the Saints in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring. New Orleans is third in fantasy points allowed to cornerbacks. And Rams corner E.J. Gaines sounded like a man who knew he was going to be busy Sunday while talking to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.
Actually, he sounded a little star-struck as well.
We’ll see if he still feels the same way afterward. Veteran quarterbacks like Brees are experts at finding the weak link in a secondary and targeting it over and over. And the weak link at the back of the Rams defense certainly isn’t Trumaine Johnson.
Of course, a nightmarish day for Gaines could translate to a fine IDP outing, and he’s shown the potential to have those from time to time. Perhaps Week 12 will be one of those occasions – the IDP equivalent of a Black Friday Bonanza.
Here are a few other streaming options to consider at cornerback this week.
James Bradberry, Carolina Panthers (at OAK)
Per Connor Keith of the Panthers’ website, Bradberry has made a believer of head coach Ron Rivera. “He’s a physical, aggressive young man,” Rivera said Monday evening when he and Bradberry took part in the first Panther Talk of the regular season. “He plays very well with his hands, and he uses his arms very nicely. He tackles, which is one thing we love to get out of our corners because if a corner is a good tackler, that’s a huge plus for your defense. He has the right mental makeup. If something crazy happens, he’s on to the next thing. He doesn’t let it beat him down.”
Last week’s matchup with the Saints was a microcosm for Bradberry’s season. There were some good moments and some bad ones. But at game’s end the rookie had posted seven total tackles, the second straight game in which he’s had at least that many stops. With another highly favorable matchup on tap with the Silver and Black, a third consecutive solid stat line is a very real possibility.
Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. GB)
Carroll is a complicated man. Or at least, per Enrico Campitelli of CSN Philadelphia, how he came about his current jersey number is. “For me,” Carroll said, “my first varsity football jersey was 4. So I’ve got a history. In college, I couldn’t get 4, so I got 14. When I got into the league, I couldn’t get 24, so I got 28 because 2 divided into 8 is 4. When I came here, I got 23 and I wanted 24, but I couldn’t. When 22 opened up, 22 was 2 plus 2 is 4 – 4 is my number.”
What does that have to do with IDP? Absolutely nothing – that’s what. The only numbers fantasy owners care about is tackle stats and fantasy points allowed. In the former regard, Carroll’s six stops last week against the Seattle Seahawks were a season-high. And over the past month, with their run game in full-blown hibernation mode, the Packers have ranked fifth in fantasy points allowed to cornerbacks. Carroll will likely be locked up with Jordy Nelson Monday night, which in turn should provide IDP owners with an interesting wild card in the week’s last game.
Jeremy Lane, Seattle Seahawks (at TB)
As Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News-Tribune reported, in addition to being without the services of safety Earl Thomas Sunday in Tampa the Seahawks may also be short a cornerback. “Carroll had said earlier in the week Thomas and starting cornerback DeShawn Shead had similar hamstring injuries that normally take 10-14 days to heal,” Bell said. “The Seahawks list Shead as questionable. Carroll said Shead looked good in a test of his leg on Friday and will be a game-time decision. If he can’t start usual nickel back Jeremy Lane would start at cornerback with Neiko Thorpe likely to play there when Lane moves back inside to nickel on passing downs.”
If Shead sits, then Lane will shoot up the CB rankings for Week 12 like a rocket. Shead is only the latest cornerback to reap the statistical whirlwind of playing opposite Richard Sherman. Shead is the 12th-most targeted cornerback in the NFL, and through 11 weeks he ranks third at the position in fantasy points. Add to that potential for production a matchup with a Buccaneers team that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to cornerbacks in 2016, and the table is set for Jeremy to be in the fast Lane to IDP success this weekend.