Sometimes, thinks just don’t go as you planned.
I entered the 2018 season as the two-time defending champion of The WALL IDP-Only Showcase League here at Fantasy Sharks — something I took pride in given how many years it took me to win the danged thing.
It took a while, man. A good long while.
I had what I thought was a good draft. Still like my stable of linebackers in a league where the scoring makes them the foundation of a winning roster. As Week 1 neared, I fashioned myself a contender — figured I was well-positioned for another deep playoff run.
Thanks to a combination of injuries, a couple bad lineup calls (an encouraging admission given that’s rather the whole point of this article) and some good old-fashioned bad luck (couple of crushing losses — just killers) I’m 2-5 seven weeks in — and coming off my lowest score of the season.
Yeah … that about covers it.
The thing is, though — I’m not out of it just yet. Sure, my odds of making the postseason aren’t great. But if I can peel off a few wins, catch a few breaks and get back to .500, I can hit the stretch run with a chance.
The point to all this (other than giving me a chance to whine) is this — don’t throw in the towel on your Individual Defensive Player (IDP) squad just because the first half the season didn’t go like you hoped. I have started a season 1-5, gotten hot and won a championship. It can be done.
Stay active. Hit the wire. Swing a trade. And make every effort weekly to set the best lineup possible.
In that last regard I’ll do what I can to help, with the Week 8 edition of “IDP Studs and Duds” here at Fantasy Sharks.
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
Jarrad Davis, ILB, Detroit (vs. Seattle) (1)
As Christopher Bunch wrote for Fantasy Pros, Davis looked like the linebacker Detroit thought it was drafting last week against Miami.
“Davis recorded six solo tackles, one assisted tackle, one tackle for loss, and one sack in the Detroit’s Week 7 victory over Miami,” he said. “Davis had a huge game, the kind of game (Detroit) was likely hoping for when (it) drafted him 40th overall in the 2017 draft. We’ll see if he can keep up this momentum and live up to expectations in Year 2.”
Davis has been known to have the occasional huge game to this point in his career, but consistency has been a major issue. He’s also nursing a calf injury that caused him to miss practice earlier in the week. But Davis was back on the practice field Thursday and draws a Seattle team in Week 8 that’s been giving up a ton of fantasy points to linebackers this season. Assuming he’s active Sunday, Davis should have a good game.
WEEK 8 IDP STUDS
Cameron Heyward, DE, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland) (8): Partly it’s a bad offensive line. Partly it’s Baker Mayfield holding the ball too long. But IDP owners don’t need to know why Cleveland has allowed an NFL-high 31 sacks. Only that it has.
Akiem Hicks, DE, Chicago (vs. New York Jets) (3): Hicks, Khalil Mack and the rest of the Chicago pass-rushers are licking their chops at the prospect of facing rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and a Jets team that has given up 16 sacks and a bunch of fantasy points up front.
Jabaal Sheard, DE, Indianapolis (at Oakland) (2): Over the last couple of years, Oaklans was a rotten pass-rush matchup. That’s not the case in 2018 — Oakland has surrendered 17 sacks and the second-most fantasy points to defensive linemen.
Haason Reddick, OLB, Arizona (at San Francisco) (2): Reddick got off to a rough start to the season, but of late he’s been on the field for every defensive snap for Arizona. That gives him some spot-start potential Sunday in a favorable IDP matchup with San Francisco.
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, New England (at Buffalo) (3): You can’t count on Van Now scoring another touchdown this week, and Buffalo is hot garbage offensively. But that hasn’t stopped the team from giving up all kinds of fantasy points to linebackers.
Vince Williams, ILB, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland) (5): With Williams coming off the bye, he may have been cut loose in some shallower IDP leagues. If he has, scoop him up and roll him out against a Cleveland team that ranks fifth in fantasy points given up to linebackers.
Tre Boston, S, Arizona (at San Francisco) (2): Boston missed Week 7, but it’s believed he’ll be back at it this Sunday in San Francisco against a team that leads the NFL in giveaways. Boston had a big game against this same team a few weeks ago.
Sean Davis, S, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland) (4): The Pittsburgh safeties have been more disappointing than dazzling from an IDP perspective in 2018. But if ever there was a week for Davis to buck that trend, it’s Sunday at home against Cleveland.
Ron Parker, S, Kansas City (vs. Denver) (2): Looking for a plug-and-play on the back end in Week 8. Consider Parker — he had a pick-six last week against Cincinnati and draws a very nice IDP matchup on Sunday with Denver.