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IDP Studs and Duds – Week 15 (Start/Sit)

The fantasy playoffs are here.

It seem almost surreal to type that sentence. After all, it seems like only yesterday that we were drafting teams. Wondering whether Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was worthy of the first overall pick in IDP leagues. Setting lineups for Week 1.

Now here we are. The postseason. Win or go home. In the vast majority of leagues, only four teams remain standing.

And every lineup decision is critical. Every point is crucial. Every blah blah blah…

Aw c’mon Gary, just make some recommendations already!

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

Kenny Vaccaro – SS, New Orleans Saints (vs. DET) (1): Vaccaro told Nick Underhill of Black and Gold headed into a juicy Monday night matchup he’s tired of hearing about the Saints’ glory days of 2009. “This is our team, this is a new era,” Vaccaro said. “People need to stop talking about ’09 and all that stuff because this is a completely different locker room.” Well, Kenny, how about one more glorious night for IDP owners? Please?

 

STUDS

Calais Campbell – DE, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI) (4): Campbell had a huge game last week against the Vikings, but his “down” stats in 2015 don’t reflect the impact he continues to make for the 11-2 Cardinals.

Jerry Hughes – DE, Buffalo Bills (at WAS) (6): A Buffalo pass rush that looked like a lion on paper before the season has been mostly a lamb on the field this year, but this week’s matchup with Washington is solid.

Rob Ninkovich – DE, New England Patriots (vs. TEN) (3): With 11 tackles and two sacks over the past three weeks, Nink’s been hot. Look for that to keep going this week against a Titans team that’s been kind to DL in 2015.

Jasper Brinkley – MLB, New York Giants (vs. CAR) (4): From an NFL perspective, Brinkley is, um, what’s the word…OK, so he kinda sucks. But he’s plating 70+% of the Giants’ snaps and draws the run-heavy Panthers in Week 15. A decent desperation play.

David Harris – ILB, New York Jets (at DAL) (3): Head coach Todd Bowles said to Dom Cosentino of NJ.com of Harris, “David’s probably the most underrated guy over there. He’s the glue that keeps everybody together over there. He does everything.”

Jelani Jenkins – OLB, Miami Dolphins (vs. SD) (1): Jenkins has been a major disappointment for IDP owners in his sophomore season, but the Chargers have been a goldmine for linebackers from an IDP perspective this season.

Will Allen – SS, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DEN) (4): Allen’s no Troy Polamalu, but he’s been decent for a Steelers team that’s locked in a three-team dogfight for a pair of Wild Card spots in the AFC.

Barry Church – SS, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYJ) (3): The Jets have flipped the script in several ways in 2015. Not only are they a favorable matchup for defensive backs this year, but they’re actually winning football games. It’s unsettling.

Byron Maxwell – CB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. AZ) (8): Despite a bum ankle, Maxwell told Reuben Frank of CSN Philadelphia he expects to play vs, the Cardinals. “I’m good to go,” Maxwell said. “I’m good. I’m fine.”

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an eight-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last three years. He won the honor in 2017. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.