There’s something that happens every year without fail in IDP leagues. And not even the insanity of 2020 could stop it from occurring again.
Every year, there are prominent players (especially on the defensive line) who come out of the gate slowly—and fantasy managers lose their collective grips because of it.
Against the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns defensive end managed just one solo tackle—although he did recover a fumble. Linebackers Jordan Hicks of the Arizona Cardinals and Cory Littleton of the Las Vegas Raiders both managed just six tackles each. Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp barely played, watching from the sidelines as rookie Jordan Fuller manned his spot.
Rapp was injured in camp, and given the uncertainty regarding his role moving forward he can’t be started now. Fantasy managers in shallower formats would be well-advised to move on. Such is life in IDP leagues with defensive backs.
But knee-jerk lineup and roster decisions on the defensive line and linebacker backfire more often than not. In most cases, elite IDPs find their footing within the first few weeks of the season, and by mid-October they are right where we thought they would be.
After just one game, it’s still too early to consider sitting IDP studs just yet. Roll them back out in Week 2, and hope for a rebound.
With that in mind, it’s time for the second edition of IDP Studs and Duds here at Fantasy Sharks.
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).
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
Danny Trevathan – ILB, Chicago Bears (vs. NYG) (3)
After an injury-marred 2019 season and with a new contract in hand, Trevathan made his first start in quite a while last week against the Detroit Lions. As Parker Hurley wrote for Bear Goggles, from an NFL perspective the results were—not great.
“Trevathan looked slow,” he said. “He turned slow, ran slow, and even processed slow, which may be the worst part. T.J. Hockenson, a second-year tight end blazed by him throughout the day. Trevathan missed an easy tackle on Marvin Jones that led to yards after the catch. This was a poor angle. Beyond that, the Chicago Bears almost lost solely because of him. DeAndre Swift dropped a wide-open touchdown to win the game after he ran by, you guessed it, Danny Trevathan.”
Things went better from an IDP standpoint, as Trevathan tied for the team lead with seven total tackles in a less-than-great IDP matchup. This week’s tilt with the New York Giants is much more favorable, and double-digit tackles are well within the realm of reason.
WEEK 2 IDP STUDS
Mario Addison – DE, Buffalo Bills (at MIA) (6):
Addison repaid any confidence placed in him in Week1, notching three tackles and a sack in a win over the New York Jets. Now the veteran edge-rusher draws a similarly favorable matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Who’s up for two in a row?
Josh Allen – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (at TEN) (1):
Allen was all but invisible in last week’s loss to the Colts, managing just two assists. He’ll turn things around Sunday (provided he plays) against a Titans team that allowed the most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2019.
Calais Campbell – DE, Baltimore Ravens (at HOU) (5):
Campbell’s Ravens debut was quiet—one solo tackle and three passes defensed against the Cleveland Browns. The veteran will get it going Sunday against a Texans line that had trouble protecting Deshaun Watson against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jon Bostic – ILB, Washington Football Team (at ARZ) (7):
Given the injuries at linebacker for the WFT, Bostic is essentially the team’s only every-down linebacker. That should mean good things Sunday against a Cardinals team that was surprisingly generous to linebackers last season.
Lavonte David – ILB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CAR) (1):
Both David and second-year pro Devin White are essentially every-week starters regardless of matchup. But the duo could both finish well inside LB1 territory in this week’s gravy matchup with Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers.
Shaq Thompson – OLB, Carolina Panthers (at TBB) (2):
Thompson has a big 2020 debut, piling up a dozen stops in last week’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Both he and veteran Tahir Whitehead should keep the good times rolling this week in Tampa against the Bucs.
Jeremy Chinn – S, Carolina Panthers (at TBB) (1):
Chinn had a good debut for the Panthers, racking up seven solos and an assist against the Raiders. This week, the rookie safety gets a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that led the NFL in fantasy points given up to defensive backs in 2019.
Adrian Phillips – S, New England Patriots (at SEA):
Among the box safeties for the Patriots, Phillips tallied the most snaps for the Patriots in Week 1. Assuming that continues Sunday night in Seattle, he should have a second straight big game for fantasy managers.
Darian Thompson – S, Dallas Cowboys (vs. ATL):
Thompson was one of the surprise stars of Week 1, posting double-digit tackles against the Los Angeles Rams. There’s a good chance he backs that line up Sunday against the Falcons in a contest with more than a little shootout potential.