We’re in the thick of it now.
With Week 11 underway, the final month of the fantasy football season has begun. In as many leagues as not, just three weeks remain. Before you know it, the IDP playoffs will be here—provided, of course, that you’re invited to the postseason dance.
It’s the final countdown.
We’re heading for Venus, Ve-NUS…
There are some folks for whom the fantasy postseason is already just about a foregone conclusion. They’re sitting at 7-3 or 8-2 and worried more about seeding and a potential first-round bye. But for every fantasy owner sitting pretty, there are two who are 6-4, 5-5 or even 4-6. For them, it’s essentially already the playoffs.
Lose another game, and any hopes of going to the fantasy playoffs could be done. Rather than playing for a title at Christmas, it’ll be weeping into your mashed potatoes as you play out the string at Thanksgiving.
With every week’s contests so important, the matchups within the matchup take on that much more weight. Every lineup decision can be the difference between a win and a loss—between staying alive and the proverbial fat lady taking the stage.
And that, my stressed-out amigos, is where IDP Studs and Duds comes in.
Each week during the 2019 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).
Week 11 is another four-team bye. The Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans are off this week. No Blake Martinez, Antoine Bethea, Bobby Wagner or Jurrell Casey this week.
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2019 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP STUD OF THE WEEK
Jonathan Allen – DE, Washington Redskins (vs. NYJ) (2)
Allen got off to a slow start this season due to an injury sustained in the season opener. However, as Walton Spurlin reported for Fantasy Pros, in the month-plus preceding Washington’s Week 10 bye, the former Alabama standout appeared to really find his groove.
“The third-year DE was hitting his stride in the five games prior to the teams Week 10 bye,” he said. “In those games, he put up 20 total tackles, and four sacks. He was also credited with four QB hits as well as four tackles for a loss in those games. He currently sits just outside the top-24 DL in balanced scoring formats. He has a positive Week 11 matchup against a Jets’ offense that is allowing an average of three sacks per game to DL in their past three games.”
Over that five week span that Spurlin mentioned, Allen ranked sixth among defensive linemen in fantasy points in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring. Allen’s first game post-bye comes against a Jets team that ranks second in both fantasy points allowed to defensive linemen and sacks surrendered in 2019.
WEEK 11 IDP STUDS
Marcus Davenport – DE, New Orleans Saints (at TBB) (4): The Saints are no doubt seething after last week’s lopsided loss, and the pass rush will likely take out their frustrations on a Tampa Bay team that has struggled to protect Jameis Winston this year.
Clelin Ferrell – DE, Oakland Raiders (at CIN) (7): Ferrell had a coming-out party last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, piling up eight stops and 2.5 sacks. The rookie should be able to build on that effort Sunday against Cincinnati’s patchwork offensive line.
Jerry Hughes – DE, Buffalo Bills (at MIA) (9): Hughes effectiveness as an NFL player doesn’t always shine through in his stats. But the veteran defensive end should be able to get some numbers against the Dolphins, who check in ninth in fantasy points allowed to defensive linemen this season.
De’Vondre Campbell – OLB, Atlanta Falcons (at CAR) (2): Campbell’s having arguably the best season of his NFL career, and he logged his first sack of the season last week against the New Orleans Saints. This week he gets an excellent IDP matchup with Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers.
Demario Davis – OLB, New Orleans Saints (at TBB) (3): Davis has been a better NFL player than IDP option most of this season. But the numbers should be there Sunday in a surprisingly good fantasy matchup for linebackers with the Buccaneers.
Myles Jack – ILB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at IND) (5): If you’ve read my work here at Fantasy Sharks you know that I’m no huge fan of Jack—he’s a wildly overrated linebacker. But the numbers should still be there Sunday in a top-five fantasy matchup with the Colts.
Malcolm Jenkins – S, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. NEP) (1): Jenkins is a very good veteran NFL safety, but he’s long been a matchup-dependent fantasy option. Matchups don’t get any better for defensive backs than this week’s big showdown with the defending champs in Philly.
Eric Reid – S, Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL) (2): After tallying eight total tackles a week ago against the Green Bay Packers last week, Reid’s up to sixth in fantasy points among defensive backs for the year. He gets a rock-solid IDP matchup in Week 11.
Tavon Wilson – S, Detroit Lions (vs. DAL) (3): Wilson has seen a bump in snaps of late with Tracy Walker on the shelf, and last week Wilson parlayed that bump in playing time to seven total tackles and a sack in a loss to the Chicago Bears.