Right about now, fantasy football fanatics across the land are trying their best to shake off a food coma and go about setting lineups for one of the most important weeks of the season. With just two weeks left in the regular season in many IDP leagues, it’s put up or shut up time—for many teams a loss this week means the end of the road. No postseason dessert.
And this time of year is all about dessert.
I’m not going to bore you this week with a long intro—as I’m writing this the ham is in the oven, the turkey will join him soon, and my wonderful better half and stepdaughter (the people I’m most thankful for this or any other day) are downstairs prepping some of the other sides.
As much as I love my job (and I do love it), I’d also rather like to spend a little time with the family on Thanksgiving. Gather round the table for a good meal and some together time.
And hopefully not that.
With that in mind, let’s get down to business with an abbreviated holiday version of IDP Studs and Duds. Don’t worry—it still has the same amount of wrong-ness in it—it’s just crammed into a smaller package this week.
Each week during the 2018 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).
Numbers in parentheses denote ranking in fantasy points allowed to that position in 2018 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP STUD OF THE WEEK
Myles Jack – ILB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF) (1)
Mike Tagliere of Fantasy Pros thinks this could be the week Jack breaks out of his season-long funk. “He’s been let’s just say “not very good” this year when it comes to fantasy,” Tagliere said, “as he’s totaled more than six tackles just once over the last eight games, and has just one sack on the season. Fortunately, a matchup with the Bills tends to cure that for a lot of linebackers, as they’ve averaged 26.2 total tackles per game against them, including 1.85 sacks per game as well. This could be one game where he jumps back on the fantasy radar.”
Everything Tagliere said is spot-on. I’m well aware that it’s hard to trust Jack in a must-win week—drafted as an upside LB2, he’s been a complete non-factor this season. But if ever there was a week for Jack to snap out of it this is that week—the Bills have consistently been an excellent matchup for the linebacker position this year.
WEEK 12 IDP STUDS
Jurrell Casey – DE, Tennessee Titans (at HOU) (4): Casey is in a good position to be a stretch-run difference-maker in IDP leagues, with a pair of favorable matchups over the next two weeks.
Trey Flowers – DE, New England Patriots (at NYJ) (3): The Patriots are no doubt seething after getting rolled by the Titans two weeks ago. They’ll take it out on the Jets Sunday.
Brandon Graham – DE, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. NYG) (2): Graham’s had a quiet season, but no team in the NFL has allowed more sacks than the 36 the Giants have surrendered.
Thomas Davis – OLB, Carolina Panthers (vs. SEA) (3): Davis played 100 percent of the defensive snaps last week. If he does that again against the Seahawks, he’ll post a good stat line.
Tremaine Edmunds – ILB, Buffalo Bills (vs. JAX) (4): This is a game that’s going to feature a lot of running the ball. That’s going to benefit the linebackers for both teams
Josh Jones – S, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN) (3): Injuries have forced Jones back into a starting role, and he’s proven to be a productive IDP in the past in such situations.
Jalen Ramsey – CB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF) (2): I’m calling my shot here—Ramsey’s logs a pick-six Sunday against the turnover-prone Bills and the Jags snap their six-game skid.
Jaquiski Tartt – S, San Francisco 49ers (at TBB) (1): Tartt’s back from his shoulder injury just in time for a Buccaneers team that leads the league in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs.