It just goes to show you. Sometimes, for all the preparation and examination of matchups in the world, success in fantasy football comes down to factors that are just outside our control.
Last week, I advised starting New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason against the San Francisco 49ers and sitting Detroit Lions outside linebacker DeAndre Levy, both of whom have missed significant time this season with injuries. Both players, as they have been wont to do this year, proceeded to get hurt, again. Levy re-aggravated his injured hip and will likely miss the rest of the season. Beason got a whole new injury, sustaining a concussion.
I’m not going to take credit for Levy any more than heat for Beason. You can’t predict concussions. And the Lions felt Levy was healthy enough to play, so I assumed he was. Didn’t factor injury (or re-injury) into the equation.
Because sometimes, things are just out of our control.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to put our IDP squads in a position to succeed though, and with that in mind, we turn our eyes toward Week 6 with another edition of IDP Studs and Duds here at Fantasy Sharks.
Each week during the 2015 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 6 also brings with it another four-team bye. No Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams or Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week folks.
And just when Lavonte David looked to be turning it around.
Mario Addison – DE, Carolina Panthers (at SEA)
The Panthers were hoping to roll out new pass-rushing toy Jared Allen this week, but Allen wasted no time showing he’s not really a new toy at all, sustaining a pinched nerve in his neck that will probably sideline the 33-year-old Sunday in Seattle. That means more snaps for Addison against a Seahawks team that has had all kinds of trouble protecting Russell Wilson and is allowing the most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
Olivier Vernon – DE, Miami Dolphins (at TEN)
The entire Miami defensive line has flat-out stunk this season, and as ESPN’s James Walker reports, that hasn’t escaped Vernon’s attention. “We got a lot of guys that take this serious,” Vernon said. “It just hasn’t shown up on Sunday. I gotta do better.” With a new head coach and coming out of their bye week, this week’s top-five fantasy matchup with rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Titans affords Vernon an opportunity to do just that.
Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, New York Jets (vs. WAS)
Defensive end Sheldon Richardson’s return from a four-game suspension cast a cloud over both his role and that of rookie Leonard Williams this week in a plus-IDP matchup against a Washington Redskins squad that has been kind to opposing defensive linemen from an IDP perspective dating all the way back to last season. The constant at the other end of the line will be MoMo, who is an elite fantasy option in Week 6.
Eric Kendricks – MLB, Minnesota Vikings (vs. KC)
Heading into a matchup with a Kansas City Chiefs team surrendering the second-most fantasy points per game to linebackers, Kendricks told Matt Vensel of the Twin Cities Star-Tribune he’s eager to show he’s up to the challenge of an every-down role. “I always feel like the speed of the game wasn’t that much of an issue to me. It’s my patience that is definitely a key,” he said. “As long as I get more patient and know when to be patient and when to go fast, I’ll fit into this defense.”
Brandon Marshall – ILB, Denver Broncos (at CLE)
Marshall told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Broncos’ goal as a defense is to lead the National Football League in turnovers in 2015. “We want to lead the league in turnovers (forced). That’s our goal, that’s what we want,” said Marshall. “We are resilient, hardworking. We are going to fight.” This week, Marshall and that dominant Denver defense travel to face a Cleveland Browns team giving up the most fantasy points to linebackers this year.
Michael Wilhoite – ILB, San Francisco 49ers (vs. BAL)
Despite the 49ers struggles and the trade that brought Gerald Hodges to San Francisco, head coach Jim Tomsula insisted to Chris Biderman of Scout that Wilhoite remains a starter. “Michael’s done fine. I mean, we’re 1-3. I have a hard time standing here and telling you anybody has played great or coached great or anything,” Tomsula said. Good news heading into a plus matchup with the Ravens.
Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Green Bay Packers (vs. SD)
As the website for the University of Alabama pointed out, Clinton-Dix was a big part of the Packers’ success in Week 5. “Clinton-Dix helped lead the Green Bay defense to a 24-10 win over the St. Louis Rams, finishing the game with six tackles (including a touchdown-saving stop late in the game) and an interception. The second-year standout currently leads the Packers with 34 tackles on the season.” Look for another big outing this week against the Bolts.
Johnathan Cyprien – SS, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)
After a sluggish start to the season that was marred by injuries, Cyprien has heated up a bit of late, tallying 19 total tackles over his past two games. The third-year pro has a good shot at keeping his hot streak going when the Jaguars host the Houston Texans in a battle of AFC South doormats. Houston ranks third this season in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs.
Will Hill – SS, Baltimore Ravens (at SF)
Hill admitted to Matthew Stevens of SB Nation that he hasn’t been happy with the Ravens 1-4 start. “The first five weeks have been rough. Four games that we should have won that we ended up coming short. We lost a lot of key components. We’re a really young team right now. We got to step up and make certain plays.” Hill’s fantasy owners, however, should be happy with his stat line in favorable matchup with the 49ers in Week 6.