This is it. Time for the rubber to meet the road. Go big or go home. Insert cliché here.
In most fantasy football leagues, Week 13 brings with it the end of the regular season. And much like in the NFL, many, many fantasy squads have no margin for error. Win and they’re in. Lose and they can get an early head start on Christmas shopping next week, because they won’t have any fantasy lineups to set.
All the summer months spent preparing for the draft. All the fall months spent scouring the waiver wire and setting lineups. It all comes down to one game in the first weekend in December.
No pressure though.
So with every lineup decision a potential season-maker (or breaker), it’s time for the Week 13 edition of IDP Studs and Duds at Fantasy Sharks.
Each week during the 2015 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).
(Fantasy points allowed to the position in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring in 2015 listed in parentheses.
LOCK OF THE WEEK
Kwon Alexander – MLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL) (1):
Despite a pending PED suspension, Bucs coach Lovie Smith told ESPN’s Rick Brown he expects the rookie to play Sunday against the Falcons. “Yes, we expect him to be here this week,” Smith said Wednesday. “He practiced. It is short-term from here on out. We’re excited about Kwon playing again. Last time Kwon played Atlanta, he had the game of a lifetime. We’re expecting him to have the same type this week.”
Greg Hardy – DE, Dallas Cowboys (at WAS) (4): After starting off red-hot for the Cowboys Hardy has been ice-cold of late. Dallas may not be playing for a postseason spot, but Hardy is playing for his NFL future.
Linval Joseph – DT, Minnesota Vikings (vs. SEA) (1): It’s happened without much fanfare, but Joseph is having a career season. The Seattle offensive line, on the other hand, is not – unless that career is as a matador.
Rob Ninkovich – DE, New England Patriots (vs. PHI) (3): Nink got off to a slow start in 2015, but it’s been a much different story the past three weeks, to the tune of 16 total tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Stephone Anthony – MLB, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR) (4): The 2015 season has been a disaster for the Saints, but Anthony’s play as a rookie has been solid. So is the Panthers’ offense, especially on the ground.
Perry Riley – ILB, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL) (3): Riley spent most of the first half of the 2015 season on the side of a milk carton, but since Keenan Robinson got hurt Riley’s statistical production has spiked big-time.
Danny Trevathan – ILB, Denver Broncos (at SD) (2): Despite not playing in subpackages Trevathan has remained a viable IDP option this year, and no AFC team allows more fantasy points to linebackers than the bumbling Bolts.
Will Allen – SS, Pittsburgh Steelers (at IND) (1): The Pittsburgh secondary has struggled mightily of late, but in IDP that’s sometimes a good thing, especially headed into the juiciest of juicy matchups.
Kurt Coleman – FS, Carolina Panthers (at NO) (5): There may not be a defensive back I’ve beaten the drum for more over the past month. Possibly because few have been hotter than Coleman from a fantasy perspective.
Landon Collins – SS, New York Giants (vs. NYJ) (4): As rookie defensive backs often do, Collins started slow. Lately though the Alabama star has shown flashes of why the Giants drafted him in the first round last April.