It’s go time people.
In more IDP leagues than not, Week 13 marks the end of the regular season. If you’re lucky, you have already sewn up a postseason berth. If you’re really lucky, you have already secured a first-round bye. If you aren’t even a little bit lucky, then the playoffs are a pipe dream and all that’s left is one more game before your season ends.
Sorry about that.
But for a great many IDP managers, Week 13 is the most important week of the 2020 season. Either you are playing for seeding (and a week of well-earned rest) or the playoffs have essentially already begun.
Win this week, and the season moves on. Lose, and that’s that—the season is over.
Like I said, it’s go time.
Of course, this is 2020—so nothing can be easy. Injuries continue to mount across the NFL. Outbreaks of COVID-19 across the league have caused games to be postponed and any number of players to be sidelined.
In a week where making the right lineup decisions are more critical than ever, there are any number of circumstances making those decisions that much more difficult.
It’s quite the conundrum.
Fortunately, here at IDP Studs and Duds, conundrums are our specialty. Well, that and day-drinking.
Each week during the 2020 season, I’ll point out some Individual Defensive Players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (Studs), as well as some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than normal (Duds).
This 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). I also tend to avoid obvious start recommendations—I would hope you don’t need me to tell you that Cleveland Browns edge-rusher Myles Garrett should be in lineups Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
The NFL, in its infinite wisdom, scheduled two teams for a Week 13 bye—the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, no Jason Pierre-Paul this week. Or Devin White. Or Lavonte David. Or Jeremy Chinn.
Ain’t that just lovely?
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2020 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP STUD OF THE WEEK
Deion Jones – OLB, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NOS) (3)
For much of the 2020 season, Jones was out-pointed by batterymate Foyesade Oluokun. But after notching a pick-six last week against the Raiders, Jones has climbed his way into the top-10 among linebackers. Per Deen Worley of Falcons Wire, Jones said after that game that he hopes both player and team can build of last week’s blowout victory.
“It was great,” Jones said. “As a defense and a team, we put it all together. We played well together. We finally put one on film. We have one to look at and to grow from. We got it on film, so we got a standard and that is the standard. We set the bar and we got to keep reaching it.”
Two weeks ago, against the same Saints team the Falcons play host to on Sunday, Jones had six total tackles and added a sack of quarterback Taysom Hill. It has taken much of the season, but Jones appears to finally be rounding into the fantasy LB1 many IDP managers expected him to be when drafting the 26-year-old this past summer.
WEEK 13 IDP STUDS
Kenny Clark – DT, Green Bay Packers (vs. PHI) (1): Clark was quiet against the Bears last week, but the week before he tallied six total tackles and a sack in Week 11 against the Colts. The Eagles have given up a staggering 46 sacks so far this season.
Emmanuel Ogbah – DE, Miami Dolphins (vs. CIN) (4): Ogbah hasn’t had a sack in a couple of games, but this week should bring a rebound—No team in the AFC has surrendered more sacks in 2020 than the 38 the Bengals have given up through 12 weeks.
Quinnen Williams – DE, New York Jets (vs. LVR) (5): Williams had a huge Week 12 against the Dolphins, piling up seven total tackles and 1.5 sacks. It marked the third time in four games that Williams has notched at least half a sack ahead of a favorable matchup with the Raiders.
Robert Spillane – ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. WAS) (1): Spillane’s numbers have been underwhelming of late—15 total stops and a sack over the past three weeks combined. But as matchups for linebackers go, it doesn’t get any better this season than Washington.
Danny Trevathan – ILB, Chicago Bears (vs. DET) (8): Trevathan is coming of a game in which he tied a season-high with 10 total stops—including a season best eight solos. This week, the veteran linebacker gets a surprisingly good IDP matchup for linebackers with the Lions.
Vander Esch has been up and down the past few weeks, but this sets up as an “up” game—no team in the AFC has given up more fantasy points per game to linebackers this season than the Baltimore Ravens.
Chuck Clark – S, Baltimore Ravens (at DAL) (6): Clark’s fantasy value has depended quite a bit this season on matchup. But the fourth-year veteran get a Dallas Cowboys team in Week 13 that has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to defensive backs in 2020.
Malcolm Jenkins – S, New Orleans Saints (at ATL) (9): The Atlanta Falcons have been kind to defensive backs most of the 2020 season, and while Jenkins didn’t do much in the first meeting between these teams he still has DB1 upside in the rematch.
Daniel Sorensen – S, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. DEN) (1): Sorensen had a huge game last time against the Broncos, amassing nine total tackles and adding a pick-six. No team in the league has allowed more fantasy points to defensive backs in 2020 than Denver.