Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope the holiday treated you and yours well, that the food was good, crazy Uncle Earl didn’t have too much Schnapps and you got that smoking deal on a flat-screen TV you were angling for.
I weep for humanity sometimes.
It’s actually Thanksgiving as I write this. The food’s in the oven (at least as much as I could fit in there), but there’s still a ton of work to be done. Never mind eating. And watching football.
And hard though it may be to believe, apparently my family wants to spend time with me.
It’s weird – I know.
As such, we’re going with a Cliffs Notes version of IDP Studs and Duds this week. I’m still going to list the same number of players and a Stud and Dud of the Week, but we’re going to pare down the blathering this week.
I saw that look. No need to get snarky.
Let’s get to it.
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).
There’s one more thing to be thankful for in Week 12. No more bye weeks – all 32 NFL teams will be in action 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
Benardrick McKinney – ILB, Houston Texans (at BAL) (1)
Earlier this season, Texans’ defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel lauded McKinney’s transition to defensive signal-caller while speaking to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I think that the overall thing, the biggest thing, has just been his leadership, his demeanor out there on the field, his communication, his understanding,” Vrabel said. “It’s not easy going from one position inside to another. It’s a completely different look, completely different side, different calls, different checks. He’s embraced it. But, being a young player, looking at him over the past couple years, his leadership has really skyrocketed and his communication.”
Vrabel may be pleased with McKinney’s play in 2017, but IDP owners haven’t been – his numbers are way down relative to last season. However, the 25-year-old is coming off his best game in weeks (9 total tackles) and draws a Ravens team Monday night that’s allowing the most fantasy points to linebackers this season.
WEEK 12 IDP STUDS
Mario Addison – DE, Carolina Panthers (at NYJ) (5): It’s happened with little fanfare, but Addison has at least one sack in seven of 10 games so far this season.
Jurrell Casey – DE, Tennessee Titans (at IND) (3): Casey only has three sacks on the season, but no team in the NFL has allowed more sacks in 2017 than the Colts’ 39.
Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, New York Jets (vs. CAR) (7): With seven tackles and two sacks over the past two games Wilkerson’s heating up, and this matchup is a favorable one.
Jon Bostic – ILB, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN) (4): Nothing is quite so nice as getting a productive fantasy linebacker back off his bye just in time for a gravy matchup.
Deone Bucannon – ILB, Arizona Cardinals (at JAX) (3): Bucannon’s coming off a big game and faces one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL in the Jaguars in Week 12.
Nick Vigil – OLB, Cincinnati Bengals (vs, CLE) (2): Vigil’s been quite the find for fantasy owners in 2017, and the Browns have been a goldmine for opposing linebackers all year long.
Morgan Burnett – S, Green Bay Packers (at PIT) (6): Burnett is practicing without limitations this week and should be back in the starting lineup for the Packers against the Steelers.
Eric Reid – S, San Francisco 49ers (vs. SEA) (4): Reid’s back to playing as a full-time safety and gets a top-five IDP matchup Sunday with the pass-happy Seahawks. Wilson spy?