For the past six years and 13 weeks, I have waxed poetic in this article about individual defensive players to consider starting and/or sitting on a weekly basis here at Fantasy Sharks. I’ve offered recommendations on well over a thousand players.
I’ve also posted things that had very little to do with fantasy football. There have been movie clips.
Figured Christmas-themed was the way to go there.
There have been music clips and/or videos.
Once again, Ho Ho Ho.
And there have been clips of NFL moments we’ll all never forget.
We miss you, Dennis.
But at this point in the season, you don’t want to wax nostalgic. Or watch movie clips. Or jam. You want your a** to get crowned this week with a win in IDP leagues that either gets you into the fantasy playoffs or moves you farther along in them.
And that means I need to shut my cakehole and start getting to the point with the Week 14 edition of IDP Studs and Duds 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).
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
Preston Brown – ILB, Buffalo Bills (vs. IND) (1)
Brown told John Wawrow of the Associated Press that if the Bills are to get off the mat and keep their fading postseason hopes alive they need to be more physical. “They outplayed us (last week), were more physical. We didn’t tackle well, didn’t create turnovers. So, we had everything kind of stack up against us,” he said. “And the way our team is built, we’re not going to win a lot of games when that happens. The energy, that wasn’t us. We’ve got to get back to what we’ve been doing best, get them off the field, hold them to three (points) or get takeaways.”
On paper, this game appears winnable for the Bills – or at least it did while it looked like Nathan Peterman would be safely on the sidelines. However, from IDP perspective it’s an appealing matchup for both Brown and Ramon Humber – no team in the National Football League has surrendered more fantasy points to linebackers in 2017 than the Colts.
WEEK 14 IDP STUDS
DeForest Buckner – DT, San Francisco 49ers (at HOU) (1)
Buckner hasn’t recorded a full sack since all the way back in Week 4 and has just 1.5 total for the season. But the second-year pro has tallied 46 total tackles this year and faces a Texans team in Week 14 that has given up the most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2017.
Jerry Hughes – DE, Buffalo Bills (vs. IND) (3)
It’s been a disappointing year for Hughes, who has just three sacks this season. In fact, since racking up 10 sacks in both 2013 and 2014 Hughes has just 14 in the two-plus seasons since. However, the Colts have surrendered sacks in buckets this season – over four per game.
Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, New York Jets (at DEN) (4)
Wilkerson spent the beginning of last week’s game on the bench, and there have been reports this week that the highly-paid veteran end’s days with Gang Green are numbered. But this matchup sets up well for a bounceback game if you’re in need of an upside DL2 play.
Jon Bostic – ILB, Indianapolis Colts (at BUF) (4)
Bostic should crack 100 tackles this season, but he’s only been a so-so IDP option, as he’s managed to crack five solos in a game just once this year. Sunday’s trip to Buffalo could mark the second – the Bills will no doubt lean heavily on Shady McCoy and the run game.
Vince Williams – ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. BAL) (3)
With Ryan Shazier still in the hospital and out for the season after spinal stabilization surgery and backup Tyler Matakevich iffy for Week 14 with a shoulder injury, there should be loads of tackle opportunities for Williams Sunday night against the Ravens.
K.J. Wright – OLB, Seattle Seahawks (at JAX) (2)
Wright’s coming off a solid showing last week against the Eagles, and is on pace to set a career high in solos this season. The good times should keep rolling Sunday in Jacksonville against a Jaguars team that you know will try and try again to establish the run.
Kevin Byard – S, Tennessee Titans (at ARZ) (5)
Byard’s still a top-five defensive back for the season, but his numbers have dropped off lately as the big plays have dried up. The tap may open back up Sunday in the desert – Blaine Gabbert, believe it or not, has been known to throw interceptions.
Patrick Chung – S, New England Patriots (at MIA) (4)
The Dolphins have been kind to defensive backs this season, surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position. When these teams met a few weeks ago Chung went off to the tune of 10 total tackles – including nine solos.
T.J. McDonald – S, Miami Dolphins (vs. NEP) (6)
It goes without saying that Reshad Jones is a must-start against a Patriots team that has allowed the most fantasy points to safeties this season. But McDonald should be a decent plug-and-play as a DB2 as well if you stream in the secondary.