Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season has come and gone, and as is usually the case in the land of IDP for every performance that goes according to script, there was another that surprised.
In addition to making predictions this week, I’ve decided this is an excellent spot in which to honor (or mock) the best and worst of the week that was.
IDP CHAMP OF THE WEEK
This one’s an easy call, and one that I made last Friday in my IDP Studs and Duds column at Fantasy Sharks.
It wasn’t exactly a stretch to predict that St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn would have a good game against an Arizona Cardinals offensive line that allowed the most sacks in the NFL last year. However, Quinn went one better, making Levi Brown his prison bitch en route to three sacks, two forced fumbles and top honors among ALL IDPs in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
IDP CHUMP OF THE WEEK
Heading into what looked like a favorable matchup with the Chicago Bears, there was little reason to think Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins wouldn’t reward his fantasy owners with a nice score.
Instead, they got the dreaded doughnut. No reason to freak though, as Atkins will bounce back this week against a Pittsburgh Steelers team whose offensive line wasn’t good before Maurkice Pouncey went down. Stay the course, folks.
Now, on to this week’s recommendations.
First, the rules for Champs and Chumps.
1.) A “Champ” is a player who ranked outside the top 12 in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring in 2012 who will finish inside it for Week 2. The reverse holds true for the “Chumps”
2.) Last week’s guys are off limits, as are players who are doubtful or out on the injury report.
And awayyyyy we go!
(2012 finish in parentheses)
CHAMP: Ezekiel Ansah – DE, Detroit Lions (DNP) [at ARI]: I may not be able to ride the same player two weeks in a row, but if Week 1 was any indication it’s going to be another year of IDP owners rolling out any defensive end who starts against the Cardinals while cackling like Mark Hamill’s Joker from the Batman cartoons. Who knew that Levi Brown’s return would actually make the Arizona line worse? is that even possible?
CHUMP: Mario Williams – DE, Buffalo Bills (DL11) [vs. CAR]: Between injuries and not being able to use Jason Pierre-Paul this week, the pool of options here is pretty thin. However, “Super Mario” was quiet against the New England Patriots in Week 1, and Sunday’s matchup with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers isn’t especially favorable.
CHAMP: Donald Butler – ILB, San Diego Chargers (LB49) [at PHI]: Butler notched 13 total tackles and half a sack in last week’s loss to the Houston Texans, and this week the fourth-year pro gets a Philadelphia Eagles squad who ran 53 offensive plays in the first half in Week 1. The Eagles helped make Perry Riley of the Washington Redskins the top-scoring fantasy linebacker last week. They may well do the same for Butler Sunday.
CHUMP: London Fletcher – ILB, Washingon Redskins (LB8) [at GB]: With the top two linebackers from last year suspended right now I’m short on choices. Don’t get me wrong. You won’t find a bigger fan of London Fletcher than this guy, but age catches up with everyone. Last week against the Eagles’ frenetic offense, it appeared to be catching up with Fletcher, and this week’s matchup with a pass-happy Packers team that was in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to linebackers last year doesn’t help.
CHAMP: Eric Berry – SS, Kansas City Chiefs (DB49) [vs. DAL]: If you want an object lesson as to why trying to pick a defensive back to blow up is an exercise in futility, consider this. In last week’s matchup between the Oakland Raiders (whose DBs should have been chasing their tails all day) and Indianapolis Colts (whose DBs should have lapsed into a coma from boredom), it was Indy’s Antoine Bethea and LaRon Landry who had big IDP days. C’est la Vie. I’ll take Berry in a plus matchup with the Cowboys.
CHUMP: Cary Williams – CB, Philadelphia Eagles (DB12) [vs. SD]: One one hand, Williams continued his penchant for big plays in Week 1 with a sack and an interception against the Redskins, and if there’s one thing Chargers signal-caller Philip Rivers has excelled at the past two years it’s throwing picks. On the other hand, Williams is a bit nicked up, and the fifth-year pro had all of two tackles last week. You can’t count on big plays to save your IDP bacon, and that makes Williams a dicey bet in Week 2.
LAST WEEK: 3-3
2013 SEASON: 3-3