We’ve hit Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season. One month is in the books, and we’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse at not only how the NFL’s pecking order is shaking out this season but also how that pecking order affects the statistical performance of individual defensive players.
We also now have a four-game sample size to examine, which offers valuable information regarding the
fantasy points allowed to each of the IDP positions
. Avail yourself of this information. Knowledge, as they say, is power.
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).
Well, I would. However, I’ve been unable to agree with myself on this week’s recommendations, so I decided that the only rational thing to do is to shut the whole damn thing down out of spite. Sorry.
Wait a second…that would be crazy.
Who would do something that
Anyway, 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).
Finally, the bye weeks are now in full swing, with the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking the week off. No
or Lawrence Timmons in Week 5, kiddies.
Calais Campbell – DE, Arizona Cardinals (vs. CAR):
Campbell is off to a very slow start in 2013, with only 10 tackles and a sack through four games. However, the table would appear to be set for a rebound Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, who have been a top-three IDP matchup for defensive linemen in 2013.
Greg Hardy – DE, Carolina Panthers (at AZ):
This week’s contestant on “Let’s Feast on the Lousy Arizona O-Line!” is Hardy. Mind you, the Cardinals front four already sucked, and they aren’t going to suddenly get better after trading starting left tackle
to the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this week.
Osi Umenyiora – DE, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NYJ):
After a slow start, Umenyiora’s fantasy production has picked up of late. That trend should continue this week against the New York Jets, who are allowing the most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen so far this year.
Jerrell Freeman – ILB, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SEA):
With 30 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles Freeman is off to a solid start in 2013. The second-year pro should keep right on rolling this week against the Seattle Seahawks, who are a very favorable fantasy matchup for linebackers.
Spencer Paysinger – OLB, New York Giants (vs. PHI):
Fantasy owners looking for a spot-start at the linebacker position should look no farther than Paysinger. The 25-year-old is the closest thing to an every-down linebacker the Giants have, and no NFL team has surrendered more fantasy points to linebackers this year than the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philip Wheeler – OLB, Miami Dolphins (vs. BAL):
Wheeler has been quiet the past two weeks, with only seven total stops over that stretch. However, this week has the makings of a bounceback, as the Dolphins play host to a Baltimore Ravens squad that has been a top-five fantasy matchup for linebackers in 2013.
Nate Allen – FS, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG):
The Philadelphia defense has been a hot mess this year, ranking dead last in the NFL. From an IDP perspective that’s a good thing for Allen, who should see plenty of tackle opportunities Sunday in a solid fantasy matchup with the New York Giants.
Glover Quin – SS, Detroit Lions (at GB):
Many IDP pundits (myself included) had Quin pegged as a breakout candidate in his first season in Motown. To this point that hasn’t come to pass, but this week’s matchup with a Green Bay Packers team allowing the third-most fantasy points to defensive backs in 2013 is a tasty one.
Donte Whitner – SS, San Francisco 49ers (vs. HOU):
Whitner, who is in the process of legally changing his last name to “Hitner,” is off to a very nice start in 2013. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue this week against the Houston Texans, who are fantasy football’s friendliest matchup for defensive backs through four games.