Week 7 is an important benchmark for IDP leagues. Whether your league plays a 13-week or 14-week regular season, this is essentially (or actually) the halfway point. It’s time to take stock—both of the things that turned out as planned and those that (so far, at least) have not.
We figured that players like Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Carolina Panthers inside linebacker Luke Kuechly and Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins would be fantasy studs. Sure enough—they haven’t disappointed.
However, some things haven’t gone as planned. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is off to a slow start, although he broke out with two sacks in Week 6 . Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard has been injured. New York Jets safety Jamal Adams has been quiet.
There have also been surprise standouts. Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard has been a top-five IDP option in his second season. New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins has experienced a career renaissance in 2019. Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker is this year’s poster child for waiting to draft defensive backs.
There’s a lot of new information to process when making weekly start/sit decisions.
Good thing I built a robot out of an old toaster oven and a PlayStation 3. His name’s Karl.
Now it’s time to unleash Karl for another edition of IDP Studs and Duds at Fantasy Sharks.
Each week during the 2019 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).
Week 7 brings with it the first four-team bye week. The Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all sitting out this week. That hits the linebackers especially hard—Kuechly, Devin Bush, Joe Schobert and Lavonte David are all out this week.
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2019 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP STUD OF THE WEEK
K.J. Wright – OLB, Seattle Seahawks (vs. BAL) (7)
Whether it’s in the NFL or in IDP leagues, Wright has long toiled in the shadow of Bobby Wagner in Seattle. However, as ESPN 710 Radio in Seattle pointed out, there are those in the Pacific Northwest who believe that the 30-year-old is having the best season of his NFL career.
“The 30-year-old outside linebacker has 50 tackles, an interception and three passes defensed so far this season,” they said, “and to the eyes of Dave Wyman, the Seahawks’ radio color commentator and a former NFL linebacker himself, Wright is off to the best start of a season in his career.”
Those numbers rank Wright inside the top 20 fantasy linebackers for the season, and that hot first half should be capped off quite nicely Sunday at home against a Ravens team that ranks inside the top-10 in fantasy points allowed to linebackers and leads the NFL by a sizable margin with 223 rushing attempts for the season.
WEEK 7 IDP STUDS
Jerry Hughes – DE, Buffalo Bills (vs. MIA) (5): Hughes has been mostly invisible since logging 1.5 sacks in Week 1. But the veteran edge-rusher will get back after it Sunday against a Miami Dolphins team that’s fixing all that ails their opponents this season.
Jabaal Sheard – DE, Indianapolis Colts (vs. HOU) (6): Sheard’s had that much more time for his sore knee to heal, and while the Texans offensive line is better it still ain’t good. Houston has averaged five sacks allowed in their last three meetings with the rival Colts.
John Simon – DE, New England Patriots (at NYJ) (3): Over the last three weeks, Simon has piled up 8 tackles, a sack and an interception. He’s a great spot-start against a Jets team that’s averaging five sacks allowed per game in 2019.
Jerome Baker – OLB, Miami Dolphins (at BUF) (2): The Miami Dolphins are an absolute catastrophe in 2019, and Baker hasn’t been as productive to this point in the season as many had hoped. Still, matchups don’t get much better than this week’s trip to Buffalo to face the Bills.
Neville Hewitt – ILB, New York Jets (vs. NEP): It’s not yet known whether C.J. Mosley will be able to make his return to the field in Week 7, but whether he does or not batterymate Neville Hewitt and the Jets get a top-five fantasy matchup with the undefeated Patriots.
Alec Ogletree – ILB, New York Giants (vs. ARZ) (4): Both Ogletree and David Mayo had big games last week against the New England Patriots, and this week’s visit from the Arizona Cardinals brings a surprisingly favorable IDP matchup.
Jamal Adams – S, New York Jets (vs. NEP) (2): That Adams even has to be mentioned here is testament to just how far he’s fallen in 2019. But if ever there was a week for the young safety to get right, this week’s home tilt with the Patriots is it.
Marqui Christian – S, Los Angeles Rams (at ATL) (1): It appears that Christian will step into the Starting lineup at strong safety for the Rams in Week 7. This week’s matchup is as good as it gets for defensive backs this season—by a pretty good margin.
Malcolm Jenkins – S, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL) (3): Jenkins has long been a safety capable of a big stat line when the matchup is right. This week’s big NFC East showdown on Sunday night with the Cowboys is just such a matchup.