Patience can be a hard virtue in fantasy football.
After watching Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake post all of one assist in four games to start the 2015 season, many IDP owners cut bait on the veteran. The only ones who started Wake last week against the Tennessee Titans were either desperate or just plain nuts.
So, what did Wake do in Dan Campbell’s first game as interim head coach of the Dolphins? Oh not much…just post four sacks and two forced fumbles. In the first half.
In one game, Wake went from completely off the radar to IDP DL3 territory on the season. A couple more big games, and suddenly Wake will be in the ballpark of where we expected him to be before the season began.
Does this mean you should stubbornly cling to a disappointing IDP week after week no matter what? No. But there’s a reason why some players were ranked where they were over the summer.
Take heart, Lavonte David owners. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker had a solid game two weeks ago, and he isn’t going to stay 24th among linebackers in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring all season long.
With that lesson in mind, it’s on to another week of IDP Start/Sit recommendations with IDP Studs and Duds.
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 7 also brings with it another four-team bye. The Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers all have the week off.4
Henry Anderson – DE, Indianapolis Colts (vs. NO)
After a hot start to the season that included 14 tackles and a sack over his first two NFL games, Anderson has tailed off of late, culminating in a single assist in last week’s loss to the New England Patriots. Week 7 sets up well for Anderson to get back on the right track statistically, as the Colts play host to a New Orleans Saints team giving up the third-most fantasy points to defensive linemen in 2015.
Vic Beasley – DE, Atlanta Falcons (at TEN)
Heading into a matchup with a Tennessee Titans squad that’s allowing the second-most fantasy points to defensive linemen, Beasley told Vaughn McClure of ESPN he’s confident his production will pick up. “I don’t think it’s struggling,” he said. “The production isn’t there, but I’m playing well, I think. I’ve just got to keep working and have a never-give-up attitude.” Here’s hoping he’s right.
Chris Clemons – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BUF)
At first glance it might seem strange to see Clemons listed here, as the 33-year-old has been on a milk carton the past month and hasn’t posted a sack since the season opener. However, if ever there was a week for the old man to get it in gear it’s during Sunday’s tilt in London. The Bills have been a top-five fantasy matchup up front this year, and Clemons had a monster game the last time these teams met.
Nigel Bradham – ILB, Buffalo Bills (at JAX)
Bradham’s IDP owners may be focused on a London matchup with a Jaguars team allowing the third-most tackle opportunities per game in 2015, but the fourth-year pro told Matthew Fairburn of Syracuse.com he’s more interested in jet lag and lousy (in his opinion) British food. “The only thing is the food and adjusting to the time change,” Bradham said. “Those are the main two things. That’s the big difference for me.”
Zach Brown – ILB, Tennessee Titans (vs. ATL)
Brown was recently demoted, but as CBS Sports wrote, Avery Williamson’s hamstring injury could open the door for a second straight big game when the Atlanta Falcons come to town Sunday. “His role upon the return of Avery Williamson (hamstring) is unclear,” they said, “but Brown should continue to pile up tackles as long as Williamson is out.” If Williamson can’t go Sunday, Brown could make for a nice bye-week fill in.
Denzel Perryman – ILB, San Diego Chargers (vs. OAK)
Speaking of linebackers coming off big games in place of injured starters, Perryman had a big game last week in place on Manti Te’o, piling up eight tackles and forcing a fumble. Te’o has yet to practice this week complements of an ankle sprain, which puts the rookie in line for a second consecutive start in a favorable IDP matchup with an Oakland raiders team surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points per game to linebackers.
Mark Barron – SS, St. Louis Rams (vs. CLE)
Fans of positional loopholes will love this one. With Alec Ogletree sidelined, the Rams have turned to Barron as their starter at weak-side linebacker. So not only are IDP owners getting a linebacker in a safety spot, but this week they are getting one who faces a Cleveland Browns team that has allowed the most fantasy points to linebackers this year. Told you you’d like it.
Dashon Goldson – FS, Washington Redskins (vs. TB)
Goldson’s been red-hot the past two weeks, racking up 22 total tackles over that span. The 31-year-old insisted to the team’s website that he’s approaching playing his former team just like any other game. “They’re on the schedule,” Goldson said. “I’m going to approach this like another game. It’ll be good to go out there and just go live against some guys that I had to practice against all the time. I’m familiar with a lot of them. That being said, I’m just excited to go out there and play.”
Kenny Vaccaro – SS, New Orleans Saints (at IND)
CBS Sports is banging the drum for Vaccaro heading into a Week 7 matchup with a Colts team that ranks third in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs. “Vaccaro has notched at least nine tackles in half of the Saints’ six games,” they said, “including 11 stops in Week 5 against Philadelphia. In fact, Vaccaro leads the entire Saints’ defense in tackles, with 39 take downs on the season. He has yet to force a turnover or even record a sack, but with the return to health of secondary mates Jairus Byrd and Keenan Lewis, Vaccaro’s aggressive play near the line of scrimmage should continue, making him an excellent option at defensive back in most IDP leagues.”