We’ve hit Week 10 of the 2013 NFL season. My how time flies. It feels like the season only just started, with every Individual Defensive Player (IDP) team a blank slate and all fantasy owners entertaining dreams of hoisting their league’s trophy.
That’s far from the case now, of course. In many fantasy leagues, only four games remain until the playoffs begin. That makes it stretch run time, where every week’s matchups take on added importance.
Whether you’re 7-2 and aiming for a first-round bye or 4-5 and hoping to crash the postseason party, every point counts at this time of year. Each lineup decision becomes more and more important, as the next loss could be the one that effectively wrecks the season.
That’s where “IDP Studs and Duds” comes in.
Every week during the 2013 season, 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).
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).
We also have four teams on a bye to contend with, as Cleveland, the New York Jets, Kansas City and New England all taking Week 10 off. No
, D’Qwell Jackson or Eric Berry this week, folks.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Tampa Bay (vs. Miami):
Clayborn has become a fixture on the “studs” list (with mixed results), mostly due to a nice string of favorable matchups. That string of matchups rolls on this week against a Miami club who has stormed into the lead in the battle to be the NFL’s most dysfunctional team.
Antonio Smith, DE, Houston (at Arizona):
IDP owners in need of a Week 10 spot-start may want to give Smith a look. The 32-year-old is coming off a two-sack performance against Indianapolis, and the Cardinals have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to defensive linemen in
Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Manor Scoring
Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo (at Pittsburgh):
Williams has taken Julius Peppers’ title as king of the boom/bust IDP plays at his position. With that said, though, this has the makings of a “boom” week, with the Bills traveling to face a Pittsburgh squad having all sorts of problems with pass protection in 2013.
Jon Beason, MLB, New York Giants (vs. Oakland):
Since breaking out against Chicago in Week 6, Beason’s numbers have slid in two straight games. That skid should stop this week against Oakland, who has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to linebackers this season.
Vincent Rey, MLB, Cincinnati (at Baltimore):
The injuries that have beset Cincinnati on defense have thrust Rey into a three-down role at middle linebacker. That bodes well for IDP teams in need of a plug-and-play linebacker in Week 10, as this week Cincinnati faces Baltimore in a top-five fantasy matchup.
Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Pittsburgh (vs. Buffalo):
Timmons has been on something of a hot streak of late, with 36 total tackles in his last three games. With the 27-year-old heading into a very favorable matchup with Buffalo, the sizzle should continue for at least one more week.
Morgan Burnett, FS, Green Bay (vs. Philadelphia):
IDP owners rejoice. Burnett finally looked like his old self last Monday night against Chicago, and with a strong IDP matchup with Philadelphia on tap, the fourth-year pro is locked back in as a high-end IDP DB1.
Tyrann Mathieu, FS, Arizona (vs. Houston):
The talented rookie has officially moved past Rashad Johnson as the starter at free safety for Arizona, and that’s good news going up against a Houston team that has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to defensive backs so far this year.
Lardarius Webb, CB, Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati):
Webb hasn’t posted big numbers this year. However, not only does Cincinnati allow the sixth-most fantasy points to defensive backs, but Webb will also be covering the NFL’s most targeted wide receiver in Cincinnati’s
. Solid matchup play, especially in cornerback-required IDP leagues.