Each week during the 2016 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).
There are four teams on a bye in Week 10 – Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Oakland. Just as Khalil Mack starts well and truly Mack-ing, it’s off week time.
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2015 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP START OF THE WEEK
Bobby Wagner – ILB, Seattle Seahawks (at NE) (2)
OK, I’ll admit it. Last week Wagner was on my “Duds” list. He had a rotten fantasy matchup with the Buffalo Bills in front of the assist-heavy stat crew in Seattle. Blah blah blah other assorted logic and stuff. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Wagner responded with 16 total tackles and half a sack –his second straight game with over 15 stops. And at this point in the season only three linebackers have more fantasy points than the fifth year pro.
Well, fool me once, shame on you and all that jazz, because I’m onboard the Wagner Wagon in Week 10. A top five fantasy option playing in a more solo-friendly stadium against a team allowing the second-most fantasy points to his position. I’ll buy that.
WEEK 10 IDP STUDS
DeForest Buckner – DE, San Francisco 49ers (at AZ) (1): San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim O’ Neill told the team’s website he’s been impressed by the rookie’s play in 2016. “I think DeForest is doing a great job for us,” O’Neil said. “Are there some plays that he wishes he could have back? Sure. He’s a rookie. Are there things we can do to put him in a better position? Yeah. I’m not down on what we drafted him to do for us.”
Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, New York Giants (vs. CIN) (2): Pierre-Paul has only 1.5 sacks on the season, and his future with the Giants after this season is looking pretty cloudy. Still, his present doesn’t appear too bad – no team the AFC has allowed more fantasy points per game to defensive linemen in 2016 than the Bengals.
Sheldon Richardson – DE, New York Jets (at LA) (5): It’s been a weird year for the Jets D-Line. Leonard Williams has emerged as a star, while Muhammad Wilkerson has apparently taken leave of his damn mind. Richardson is somewhere here in the middle, but his top-five matchup with the Rams on Sunday is an interesting one.
Mark Barron – OLB, Los Angeles Rams (vs. NYJ) (5): As Rotowire wrote, Barron’s become an every-week start coming off last week’s big game against the Panthers. “Barron is averaging 7.5 tackles per game and has six pass defenses, two interceptions and a sack thus far,” they said. “He’s proving to be a set-and-forget fantasy asset with a high weekly floor.”
David Harris – ILB, New York Jets (at LA) (7): Harris hasn’t had the best 2016 – including having a streak of well over 100 consecutive starts snapped earlier this season. Still, the old man has at least one or two more big games left in the tank, and just about the only offense the Rams have right now is Todd Gurley. The have to try to run the ball.
Benardrick McKinney – ILB, Houston Texans (at JAX) (4): Texans DC Romeo Crennel told CBS Houston he’s a big fan of what McKinney’s accomplished this season. “He’s picked up the system,” Crennel said. “I think he understands where he needs to fit, and as a result of it, he’s putting himself in a position to make plays, and he’s making a lot of plays.”
Antoine Bethea – S, San Francisco 49ers (at ARI) (2): Bethea hasn’t been bad this year (he’s a top-10 fantasy safety), but he hasn’t really taken full advantage of a spite of gravy matchups of late. Still, when the gravy boat is passed around as it is this week at Arizona, it’s hard to pass. Potatoes with nothing on them are yucky.
Harold Jones-Quartey – S, Chicago Bears (vs. TB): Jones-Quartey is very typical of a young defensive back, in that his numbers tend to fluctuate quite a bit depending on the matchup. In that regard this week sets up well for him – the Buccaneers have consistently been friendly to fantasy owners on the back end so far this year.
Bradley Roby – CB, Denver Broncos (at NO) (1): Roby was taken to the woodshed by Derek Carr in last week’s loss to the Raiders, which was bad for the Broncos but good for Roby’s fantasy owners. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Drew Brees has seen that game film – which means another trip to the woodshed for Roby.