We’ve hit Week 9 of the 2012 NFL season, and as this year’s fantasy football campaign enters the second half every game brings with it added importance, as some Individual Defensive Player (IDP) squads jockey for playoff positioning while others try to keep their fading dreams of championship glory alive.
Last week was a mixed bag for me so far as my recommendations went, as evidenced by my defensive linemen picks. Justin Smith made me look like a fool by posting a goose egg in a great matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, but defensive end Jeremy Mincey bailed me out a bit by grabbing a sack in his second straight game against the Green Bay Packers.
So, it’s with that knowledge that you win some and you lose some that it’s time for another week of IDP studs and duds, where 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).
We’re still in the thick of the bye weeks, so IDPs from the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots and New York Jets will all be taking the week off. That thins the talent pool at linebacker quite a bit, as players such as Patrick Willis, James Laurinaitis and Jerod Mayo aren’t available to fantasy owners this week.
Finally, before we get on with the show, if you have a specific IDP start/sit question you’d like my take on you can email me at email@example.com or post the question in the “Kilroy Krystal Ball” thread in the Fantasy Sharks IDP Forum. I can’t promise I’ll get to
every question, but I’ll do the best I can.
Calais Campbell, DE, Arizona (at Green Bay):
The fifth-year pro had an excellent game last week, racking up six solos and a sack against the San Francisco 49ers. Campbell has an excellent shot at making it two big games in a row against a Green Bay Packers team allowing the third-most fantasy points to defensive linemen so far this year.
Chris Kelsay, DE, Buffalo (at Houston):
Kelsay has tallied nine total tackles and a sack over the past two games filling in for the injured Mark Anderson. The 10th-year veteran should be in for a solid IDP outing in a Top 5 fantasy matchup with the Houston Texans this week.
Charles Johnson, DE, Carolina (at Washington):
Johnson had a huge game with two sacks in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears. The 26-year-old will look to keep his hot streak going on Sunday when the Panthers face the Washington Redskins, who are surrendering the second-most fantasy points to defensive linemen this season.
Jasper Brinkley, MLB, Minnesota (at Seattle):
Even as a three-down 4-3 middle linebacker, Brinkley’s statistical output has been far from overwhelming, but if there was ever a week for the fourth-year pro to breakout it’s in Week 9 in a very favorable IDP matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
Clay Matthews, OLB, Green Bay (vs. Arizona
): The fourth-year pro ranks second in the National Football League with nine sacks, and odds are the Matthews will build on that number this week against a horrible Arizona Cardinals offensive line that has given up 39 sacks in eight games this year.
Jonathan Vilma, OLB, New Orleans (vs. Philadelphia):
30-year-old logged four tackles in his most extensive action of the season last week against the Denver Broncos. Vilma should be able to improve on those numbers Monday night against a Philadelphia Eagles squad that has given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing linebackers in 2012.
Chris Clemons, SS, Miami (at Indianapolis):
Clemons has been on a hot streak of late, averaging more than seven solos a game over the past two weeks, and the fourth-year veteran should keep rolling along this week against an Indianapolis Colts team giving up the third-most fantasy points to defensive backs this year.
Dawan Landry, SS, Jacksonville (vs. Detroit):
Landry makes his second straight appearance on the “studs” list, and while his seven total stops last week against the Green Bay Packers wasn’t what we’d hoped for, the 29-year-old has a chance to redeem himself Sunday in another nice IDP matchup with the Detroit Lions.
William Moore, SS, Atlanta (vs. Dallas):
A forced fumble in last week’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles helped salvage a three-tackle day for Moore’s IDP owners, but the third-year pro should bounceback this week against a Dallas Cowboys club giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to defensive backs this season.