In the vast majority of IDP leagues, the sun has set. Week 16 brought with it the title game, a champion has been crowned and the season is over.
However, there are some leagues that wait until Week 17 to hold their championship. It can be problematic, due mostly to teams who have clinched resting players, but who am I to judge?
Especially since I’m playing in one myself.
With one more game to be played there are folks out there looking for help, and that’s where this week’s abbreviated version of 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!
Justin Smith – DE, San Francisco 49ers (at ARI):
Smith had one of his better games of the season in last week’s playoff clincher against Atlanta, the 34-year-old has a sack in two straight games, and the Cardinals have been a top-10 IDP matchup for defensive linemen this season.
Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, New York Jets (at MIA):
Wilkerson has enjoyed a breakout third season, but hasn’t logged a full sack in a month. Look for that dry spell to end this week against a Dolphins team that has surrendered the most sacks in the NFL in 2013.
Joplo Bartu – OLB, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR):
back on the shelf, Bartu is back in a three down role for the floundering Falcons. It led to a big game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, and there’s little reason to think it won’t again Sunday in another favorable IDP matchup with the Carolina Panthers.
Moise Fokou – MLB, Tennessee Titans (vs. HOU):
Fokou may well be the least impressive three-down MIKE in the NFL, but that doesn’t change the fact that even in a train-wreck season the Houston Texans have still been kind to opposing linebackers from an IDP perspective.
Roman Harper – SS, New Orleans Saints (vs. TB):
The season-ending ankle injury suffered by rookie Kenny Vacarro thrusts Harper back into a full-time role at strong safety for the Saints in a must-win game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making the veteran a solid IDP option in Week 17.
Jim Leonhard – SS, Buffalo Bills (at NE):
Leonhard drew the start in place of Aaron Williams last week. If that’s the case again Sunday, then Leonhard will be a fine IDP plug-and-play against a New England Patriots team allowing the most fantasy points to safeties this season.