This is it. In most IDP leagues, it’s the end of the line. This is the week that every fantasy owner enters the season hoping to reach. The ultimate goal.
It’s Championship Week.
As such, I’m not going to drown you in word salad before we get to the recommendations. There won’t be any motivational speeches.
OK, maybe just one motivational speech.
I will, however, offer one piece of advice. Generally speaking, Week 16 is not the time to get cute. You probably didn’t get this far in the season by sitting weekly starters in favor of matchup plays.
However, there’s an exception to that rule — if you feel like you’re playing the role of underdog this season.
Once again, gotta love underdog.
Don’t be afraid to get bold with lineup decisions if you think you have to milk every possible point out of your starting lineup in Week 16.
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
Antonio Morrison – ILB, Indianapolis Colts (at BAL) (2)
Per Stephen Holder of the Indy Star, Colts DC Ted Monachino likes what Morrison brings to the run defense. “It’s great to have a thumper at inside linebacker,” Monachino said. “Not only does he have that innate ability to come downhill and strike people, but he understands the run game, he knows where the fit belongs, knows where to (funnel) the run to. It’s really important.”
There’s no denying that Morrison is physical and tough against the run, but he’s a massive liability against the pass. Unfortunately, with Jon Bostic now on injured reserve, the Colts have little choice but to play Morrison in subpackages. That should mean more than a few tackle opportunities Saturday in a very favorable matchup with the Ravens.
WEEK 16 IDP STUDS
Cameron Heyward – DE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at HOU (1): The Texans are fourth in the NFL in sacks allowed with 45 and have surrendered the most fantasy points to defensive linemen this season.
Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, New York Giants (at ARZ) (5): Pierre-Paul has had a top-10 fantasy season and had a great chance at closing on a high note in this plus matchup.
Anthony Lanier – DE, Washington Redskins (at DEN) (3): Lanier has at least one sack in four of his last five games and draws a favorable pass rush matchup Sunday in Denver.
Reuben Foster – ILB, San Francisco 49ers (vs. JAX) (1): Foster’s fantasy owners are benefitting from a very nice string of fantasy matchups to close out the season. Lucky dogs.
Telvin Smith – OLB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SFO) (3): Forget about last week’s dud from Smith. He’s going to rebound in a big way Sunday against the 49ers. Book it.
Jordan Poyer – S, Buffalo Bills (at NEP) (6): Poyer’s been a stud this season, and no team in the NFL allows more fantasy points to safeties this year than the Patriots.
Daniel Sorensen – S, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. MIA) (1): No team in the National Football League has surrendered more fantasy points to defensive backs in 2017 than the Dolphins.