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IDP Studs and Duds – Week 10

It’s Week
10 of the 2012 NFL season, and that means that the push for the playoffs has
begun in earnest, so whether you’re at the helm of an 8-1 juggernaut or trying
to keep your 5-4 IDP squad off the rocks and in the hunt for a spot in the
postseason berth every week’s games bring with them added importance at this
point in the year.

Last week
was fairly kind to me so far as my recommendations went, as while my advice to
sit Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron
Wake
fell flat in the face of his continued hot streak, Minnesota Vikings
middle linebacker Jasper
Brinkley
helped pick me up with one of his best games of the season.

So, as the
stretch run begins and with precious little margin for error it’s time for
another week of Individual Defensive Player (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
almost through the bye weeks but not out of the woods just yet, so IDPs from Arizona,
Green Bay, Washington and Cleveland will all be taking the week off. No
Cardinals linebacker Daryl
Washington
this week, nor can fantasy owners feast on Arizona’s pathetic
offensive line.

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 askgary@fantasysharks.com 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.

STUDS

Jason
Babin
, DE, Philadelphia (at Dallas

): The ninth-year veteran has been a major
disappointment this year, with only 3.5 sacks after racking up 18 a year ago,
but Babin should be able to build on last week’s 4 tackle, sack, forced fumble
performance in a Top 10 fantasy matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

Michael
Bennett
, DE, Tampa Bay (vs. San Diego

): Bennett has already set a
career-high with six sacks so far this season, and the fourth-year pro has a
good shot at building on that number Sunday against a San Diego Chargers team
allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2012.

Julius
Peppers
, DE, Chicago (vs. Houston):

Peppers can be a maddening IDP to own,
capable of a huge game one week and then a vanishing act the next, but the
seven-year Pro Bowler could well post the former in a matchup with a Houston
Texans squad giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing
defensive linemen.

Jo-Lonn
Dunbar
, OLB, St. Louis (at San Francisco):

The fifth-year
veteran has tallied 50 tackles and three sacks eight games into his first
season with the Rams, and Dunbar’s strong 2012 campaign should keep rolling
right along this week in a very favorable IDP matchup with the San Francisco
49ers.

Larry
Foote
, ILB, Pittsburgh (vs. Kansas City):

It’s been veteran Larry
Foote
, and not Lawrence
Timmons
, who has been the top IDP linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers
this year, and the 32-year-old is a very good start this week against a Kansas
City Chiefs team surrendering the most fantasy points to linebackers this
season.

Bobby
Wagner
, MLB, Seattle (vs. New York Jets):

Since moving into a three-down role
the rookie from Utah State has been racking up the tackles, and there’s no
reason to think that that won’t continue this week in an excellent fantasy
matchup with the New York Jets, who have given up the fifth-most fantasy points
to linebackers in 2012.

Ryan Clark, FS, Pittsburgh (vs. Kansas City):
With Troy Polamalu
sidelined for much of the season, free safety Ryan Clark has seen an uptick in
stats. The 11th-year veteran will continue his quest for a second straight 100
tackle season on Monday night against a Kansas City Chiefs club allowing the
fifth-most fantasy points to defensive backs this year.

Chris
Clemons
, SS, Miami (vs. Tennessee):

Clemons has tallied 25 tackles in his last
three starts, and the fourth-year pro is an excellent plug-in matchup play
available on many waiver wires this week in a matchup with the Tennessee
Titans, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to defensive backs
this season.

Antoine
Winfield
, CB, Minnesota (vs. Detroit):

The 35-year-old continues to play
at a very high level, averaging over eight tackles a game so far this
season. Winfield should continue to roll back the clock this week against
a Detroit Lions team giving up the most fantasy points to cornerbacks in 2012.

DUDS

John
Abraham
, DE, Atlanta (at New Orleans):

The 13th-year veteran has tallied
four sacks over the past three weeks. But Abraham will be hard pressed to keep
that hot streak going Sunday against a New Orleans Saints team that has been
the stingiest IDP matchup for defensive linemen this season.

Michael
Johnson
, DE, Cincinnati (vs. New York Giants

): Johnson has
enjoyed something of a breakout in his 4th NFL season. But the chips are
stacked against the Cincinnati Bengals defensive end this week against a New
York Giants team giving up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to
defensive linemen this year.

Chandler
Jones
, DE, New England (vs. Buffalo):

The rookie from Syracuse has had a
very strong start to his NFL career with 33 tackles, six sacks, and three
forced fumbles through his first eight games, but Jones may be in for a down
game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, who haven’t been kind to defensive
linemen from a fantasy standpoint in 2012.

Donald
Butler
, ILB, San Diego (at Tampa Bay):

The third-year pro has been fairly
hot of late, with 20 stops over his past two games, but Butler has also been
largely matchup-dependent, and this week’s tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
isn’t a favorable one from a fantasy perspective.

Stephen
Nicholas
, OLB, Atlanta (at New Orleans):

Much like K.J.
Wright
of the Seattle Seahawks Nicholas has spent much of the 2012 season
showing just how productive a 4-3 SLB can be in IDP leagues, but it may be hard
for the 6th-year pro to post solid numbers this week against a New Orleans
Saints squad that’s nearly as bad an IDP matchup for linebackers as it is for
defensive linemen.

Wesley
Woodyard
, OLB, Denver (at Carolina):

Woodyard has gone from special teams
standout to among the NFL’s leaders in tackles, but fantasy owners may want to
look at alternative options this week given Woodyard’s matchup with the
Carolina Panthers, who have allowed the fewest fantast points to linebackers in
2012.

Kam Chancellor, SS, Seattle (vs. New York
Jets):


With Bobby
Wagner
and K.J.
Wright
racking up tackles in front of him Kam Chancellor’s numbers are down
this season, and that slump isn’t likely to end this week against a New York
Jets squad giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to defensive backs this
season.

LaRon Landry, FS, New York Jets (at Seattle
): It’s been good
to see Landry back on the field and apparently fully recovered from the
Achilles injury that hampered him for well over a year. But this isn’t the week
to start the 28-year-old given that no team in the NFL has allowed fewer
fantasy points to defensive backs than the Seattle Seahawks.

Quintin Mikell, FS, St. Louis (at San
Francisco):


The 10th-year veteran is well off the pace that saw him notch 91 tackles in
2011, and it’s not likely that Mikell will be able to buck that trend this week
against the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up the fourth-fewest fantasy
points to defensive backs this year.

Looking
for more IDP information? Be sure to check out all the other great IDP articles
by the rest of the Fantasy Sharks’ crew, the IDP Forum, IDP Manor, and for the latest injury
news follow @IDPManor on Twitter.

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.