It’s Week 14 of the 2012 NFL season, and that means that in a great many IDP leagues the regular season has concluded and the playoffs have begun, as the best teams in the league lock horns in a tournament that will conclude with the crowning of this season’s champion.
At this point, there’s no point in my re-hashing last week’s recommendations (which contained, as they usually do, both hits and misses). Either you’re in the playoffs and it’s time to focus on the task at hand, this is the last week of the regular season and you’re searching for a badly needed win, or you missed the postseason and just want my address so you can send me a package that ticks.
In any event, the past is the past, and it’s time to move on.
So, with no margin for error and our eyes squarely focused on the task at hand it’s time for another week of 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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Cliff Avril – DE, Detroit Lions (at GB): The fifth-year pro has been on a hot streak of late, notching at least one sack in three straight games, and given that Avril tallied one of those sacks against this same Packers team and that Green Bay has allowed the second-most fantasy points to defensive linemen this season Avril’s a rock-solid start this week.
Chris Clemons – DE, Seattle Seahawks (vs. ARI): Clemons posted two tackles, a sack and a forced fumble when these teams met on Opening Day, and with the Cardinals having allowed more sacks this year than any other team in the NFL there’s no reason not to expect a similarly beefy stat line on Sunday.
Trevor Scott – DE, New England Patriots (vs. HOU): With Chandler Jones nursing an ankle injury and Jermaine Cunningham serving a suspension Scott has seen his playing time increase, and this week the fifth-year veteran draws a Houston Texans team giving up the most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2012.
Kevin Burnett – OLB, Miami Dolphins (at SF): Burnett had one of his best games of the season last week in making 11 tackles in a loss to the Patriots. With a top 10 matchup on tap against the run-heavy San Francisco 49ers there’s an excellent chance that Burnett will make it two big games in a row.
Lavonte David – OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. PHI): With 10 total tackles last week the rookie from Nebraska eclipsed the century mark on the season. This week David gets a very favorable IDP matchup with a Philadelphia Eagles squad surrendering the second-most fantasy points to linebackers this year.
D’Qwell Jackson – MLB, Cleveland Browns (vs. KC): After posting a gaudy 116 solos in 2011 Jackson’s numbers in that category have nosedived this year, but the stage is set for at least a one-week rebound Sunday against a Kansas City Chiefs club allowing the third-most fantasy pointe per game to linebackers in 2012.
Danieal Manning – FS, Houston Texans (at NE): Manning is one of any number of defensive backs who are very matchup-dependent for IDP purposes. But that bodes well in this week’s Monday night showdown with the Patriots, who have been a top 10 fantasy matchup for defensive backs this season.
Jason McCourty – CB, Tennessee Titans (at IND): McCourty posted over 100 tackles last year but is on pace to fall well short of that mark this season. However, for this week at least the fourth-year pro is an excellent play against the Indianapolis Colts, who have been the friendliest fantasy matchup for cornerbacks in 2012.
Antrel Rolle – FS, New York Giants (vs. NO): The seventh-year pro had a solid game in last week’s loss to the Washington Redskins, tallying 11 total stops. Rolle could easily make it two games in a row with double-digit tackles this week in a very favorable IDP matchup with the New Orleans Saints.