Every week in fantasy football is important (I hear that the whole winning thing is helpful if you want a championship), but we’ve hit an especially pivotal stretch for some IDP owners.
If you’ve had a rocky first half and your team sits at 3-4 or even 2-5, the season isn’t necessarily over. But it could be quickly if you absorb any more losses. No point in worrying about the stretch run if you’re out of contention by then.
I’d love to be able to tell you that Week 8 sets up great for an opportunity to rebound. And there is at least some good news – Carolina Panthers inside linebacker Luke Kuechly practiced in full on both Wednesday and Thursday and looks to be on track to be cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol in time to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But in addition to injuries to the likes of San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Reuben Foster (again), we have six teams on a bye both this week and next. In Week 8 the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans are all off.
In other words, many IDP teams are rolling into in a must-win week with a roster that’s not even close to full strength.
As such, in Week 8 and Week 9 I’ll be changing things up just a tad with the IDP Studs and Duds. In addition to my usual drek, one of the “Studs” at each position will be a guy who’s a bit more under-the-radar. Do I think these players will rampage to a Top-10 fantasy finish? Probably not.
But I do think you’ll be able to start these players without wanting to crawl inside your oven on Sunday night.
Besides, that won’t work with an electric over anyway.
On to the drek!
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
Eric Kendricks – ILB, Minnesota Vikings (at CLE) (1)
Kendricks told Craig Peters of the team’s website that he’s actually looking forward to traveling across the Atlantic to face the Cleveland Browns in London. “It’s finally here. We promoted it this offseason,” Kendricks said. “They have a lot of great fans out there, are a lot more knowledgeable than we thought. We’re excited. We’ve seen the stadium where we’re going to play. It’s beautiful, and we’re excited to go out there.”
Kendrick’s IDP owners should be looking forward to the game as well – no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to linebackers in 2017. I talked up Kendricks last week in a great matchup with the Baltimore Ravens and he responded, piling up 10 solos and 13 total tackles. The 25-year-old has a great shot at making it three straight with double-digit tackles – so much so that it has overcome my usual disgust of London games.