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IDP Studs and Duds – Week 3

It’s Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season, and if there’s one mantra IDP owners need to follow in the last week before the bye weeks begin, it’s this:

Don’t panic.

Yes, an 0-2 start is far from ideal. However, in the vast majority of IDP leagues it also isn’t the end of the world, so don’t go blowing that roster up just yet. There’s still plenty of time to right the ship.

At least, I hope there is, because most of my IDP teams decided that getting the snot kicked out of them would be a fun way to start the year.

It’s also too early to start freaking out and dropping underperforming IDP studs. Every year there are several prominent individual defensive players who get off to a slow start. Most of them end up getting their acts together and returning to the level of productivity we expected (or at least close to it).

This isn’t to say that there isn’t cause for concern with players like Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker
Sean Lee

, whose fantasy production appears to have been negatively impacted by the new scheme in Dallas. The leash gets shorter the shallower the league, but panic drops will come back to bite you in the butt as often as not.

Through two games last year, Miami Dolphins defensive end
Cameron Wake

had four tackles and no sacks. He ended the year with 15 sacks. Just saying.

Now, onto this week’s recommendations.

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).

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).

Let’s get this show on the road!


Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati (vs. Green Bay):
The talented trio of Johnson, defensive tackle
Geno Atkins

and fellow end
Carlos Dunlap

have gotten off to a sluggish start in 2013. However, the stage would appear to be set for them to pick up the pace in Week 3, as no quarterback in the NFL was sacked more last year than Aaron Rodgers

Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans (vs. Arizona):
The Arizona Cardinals allowed an eye-popping 58 sacks in 2012. The more things change, the more they stay the same it would appear, as through two games the Cardinals are allowing the most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen. That bodes very well for Jordan’s IDP prospects this week.

Brian Robison, DE, Minnesota (vs. Cleveland):
Robison quietly had a nice season last year, and last week Robison made his IDP owners very happy with a fumble return for a touchdown. It should be smiles all around for the second week in a row with Robison, who squares off this week against a Browns squad starting
Brian Hoyer

at quarterback.

Akeem Dent, MLB, Atlanta (at Miami):
The Falcons have been ravaged by injuries on both sides of the ball. Weak side linebacker Sean Weatherspoon’s injured foot landed him on short-term Injured Reserve, which should mean more tackle chances for Dent against a Miami Dolphins team surrendering the most fantasy points to linebackers so far in 2013.

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