It happens every year. In just about every league – IDP leagues included.
“The cursed team.”
I’m not talking about injuries. Those spare no one – or at least almost no one. If you’ve managed to make it this far into the season without suffering at least one major loss via injury, then odds are good your IDP squad is in solid shape as we head into the stretch run.
No, I mean a team that just cannot catch a break.
We’ve all been there. Your team is among the top two or three teams in the league in scoring. Maybe the top team in the league. But every week it seems your opponent is the top scorer. Every week they go nuts.
So, for all those points you have, you’re still hovering around the .500 mark. Clinging to playoff hopes by a thread. One more loss could be the last straw. The loss that effectively ends your season.
I’m in that boat as we speak. Have a team that’s outscored the 8-1 squad leading the division by a fair margin – and yet sits three games back thanks to some bad beats.
So, what do you do when faced when these sorts of supernatural forces conspiring to ruin all you love and hold dear (by which I mean your fantasy season)?
Why you get a win, of course – which is what I’m here to help you do with another week of IDP Studs and Duds here at Fantasy Sharks.
Each week during the 2017 season, I’ll point out some Individual Defensive Players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (Studs), as well as some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than normal (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).
We’re not quite out of the bye week woods yet. Four teams are off in Week 10. The Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Philadelphia Eagles> No Khalil Mack, C.J. Mosley or Karl Joseph this week.
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2017 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP STUD OF THE WEEK
Jarrad Davis – ILB, Detroit Lions (vs. CLE) (1)
Per Will Burchfield of CBS Detroit, Davis freely admits that he his level of play in his first NFL season hasn’t been up to his own standards. “It’s kind of so-so right now. I’ve got a lot of stuff I need to do better as a player and a teammate,” Davis said. “It’s so new each and every week that I can get prepared as much as I want but it’s still something I’ve never seen before because I’m still a rookie. And I have to understand that.”
Davis got off to an excellent start to his rookie season, but since then he’s missed some time with injury. He also hasn’t hit the 10-tackle mark in a game since, well…ever at the professional level. That’s going to end this week at home against the hapless Cleveland Browns, who have been a goldmine for opposing fantasy linebackers all season long.
WEEK 10 IDP STUDS
Aaron Donald – DE, Los Angeles Rams (vs. HOU) (1)
You probably don’t need me to tell you to start the red-hot Donald, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate who now has sacks in three straight games. I’ll go ahead and do it anyway – the Texans have allowed the third most sacks in the league (28) and the most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen this season.
Trey Flowers – DE, New England Patriots (at DEN) (2)
Teammate Adam Butler lauded Flowers’ ability while speaking with Adam Gulizia of the Boston Globe. “He’s just one of those guys who is in a class of his own,” Butler said. “Some of the stuff he does, I don’t want to say it’s unorthodox, but it’s unique to him because of his body frame. As soon as the ball is snapped, he’s playing with extension.”
Cameron Heyward – DE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at IND) (3)
With five sacks already on the season, Heyward’s on pace to hit double digits for the first time in his career, and he’s been the same solid IDP DL2 as always this season. He should be able to keep that momentum rolling Sunday in Indy – the Colts have surrendered a staggering 36 sacks in 2017, easily the most in the NFL.
Brandon Marshall – ILB, Denver Broncos (vs. NEP) (6)
Marshall’s coming off a massive outing in last week’s blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, piling up six tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown on his way to a runner-up finish among fantasy linebackers. He may not hit that jackpot again, but this Sunday night’s home tilt with the Pats sets up well for another solid stat line.
Craig Robertson – OLB, New Orleans Saints (at BUF) (2)
The Saints have peeled off six wins in a row thanks in large part to improved play from their defense. That defense will see plenty of tackle opportunities on Sunday in Western New York. Only one team in the NFL runs the ball more times per game and gives up more fantasy points to linebackers than the Bills this season.
Nick Vigil – OLB, Cincinnati Bengals (at TEN) (4)
I talked Vigil up before the season as a potential “sleeper” of sorts – a source of LB3 fantasy production who would likely be available on the cheap. To date the second-year pro has exceeded even those expectations, and Vigil should be able to continue his breakout IDP season in Nashville against a run-heavy Titans team.
Devin McCourty – S, New England Patriots (at DEN) (2)
That McCourty ranks inside the top five defensive backs in 2017 in total tackles and seventh in fantasy points ranks among IDP’s biggest surprises. The veteran safety should be able to continue piling up the fantasy points against the Broncos – only the Detroit Lions have allowed more of them in the secondary so far this season.
Jason McCourty – CB, Cleveland Browns (at DET) (1)
Per Andrew Gribble of the team’s website, head coach Hue Jackson said McCourty should be back in Week 10. “I understand what limited is,” Jackson said, “but he was out there practicing, participating. There were probably some things he didn’t do everything, but he did enough that I feel like he is going to be ready to go come Sunday.”
Glover Quin – S, Detroit Lions (vs. CLE) (3)
The Cleveland Browns certainly aren’t third in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs in 2017 because of a high-octane passing game. They rank that highly because of 17 interceptions thrown as a team – far and away the most in the NFL. That bodes well for Quin – the ball-hawking safety has 24 career picks, including three so far in 2017.