Well folks, this is it. Unless you’re one of the weirdos who plays their fantasy football title game in Week 17, if you’re reading this that means you are one of two teams remaining in your Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league.
Congratulations, and fear not Week 17 weirdos. I am an accepting sort, so we’ll be back next week with a final “Studs and Duds” for you folks.
However, before you can worry about Week 17 this week must be dealt with, because title game or no, it’s win or go home in Week 16. Every lineup decision is incredibly important.
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).
Best of luck in your league’s championship game, and have a very Merry Christmas!
Cliff Avril, DE, Seattle (vs. Arizona):
The rotation up front in Seattle has made Avril a hit-and-miss IDP option this year. However, the 27-year-old has at least half a sack in seven of his past eight games, and Arizona has been a top-5 IDP matchup for defensive linemen this season.
Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo (vs. Miami):
With 63 tackles and 7.5 sacks this year, Dareus ranks second among defensive tackles in
Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring
. There’s an excellent chance Dareus ends the season strong this week against a Miami team that has allowed the most sacks in the NFL this year.
Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (at Buffalo):
Vernon has been as hot as any defensive lineman out there over the past month, ranking inside the top-5 defensive linemen since Week 10. There’s no reason to think the fun will stop this week against Buffalo, who have surrendered the most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2013.
Nick Roach, MLB, Oakland (at San Diego):
After Roach laid an egg last week, it may be hard to stomach the idea of starting him in a championship game. However, the Chargers are a top-5 fantasy matchup for linebackers, and Roach had 13 total tackles the first time these teams met this season.
Danny Trevathan, OLB, Denver (at Houston):
Houston may be a five-alarm dumpster fire this year, but that hasn’t stopped the team from giving up the most fantasy points to linebackers. This week, the beneficiaries of that generosity are
and the Denver Broncos.
Paul Worrilow, MLB, Atlanta (at San Francisco):
The undrafted rookie is one of the waiver wire stars of 2013, rising from nowhere to top 100 tackles for the Falcons. Toss in a favorable matchup and the fact Worrilow hasn’t logged fewer than nine stops since Week 8, and you have a title week must-start.
Bernard Pollard, SS, Tennessee (at Jacksonville):
It’s been another successful IDP campaign for Pollard, who ranks 10th among defensive backs this season. Pollard should cap the year with a solid game against the Jaguars, who are giving up the third-most fantasy points to defensive backs in 2013.
Antrel Rolle, SS, New York Giants (at Detroit):
It wasn’t that long ago that Rolle was languishing on the waiver wire of many IDP leagues. Now there isn’t a hotter defensive back in fantasy football, and this week Rolle and the Giants draw a very favorable matchup in Detroit.
Harrison Smith, FS, Minnesota (at Cincinnati):
Smith’s long layoff due to a toe injury adds a measure of risk to starting the second-year pro in IDP leagues. With that said though, Smith looked pretty good in his return to action last week, and the Bengals have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to defensive backs this year.