|Week 6||62.6%||2 out of 21||65.2%||26.9%||Top 10%|
|2015||58.5%||3 out of 20||60.4%||50.0%||Top 15%|
By all accounts this has been a weird year for Fantasy Football. On the offensive side of the ball, the combination of high profile injuries and disappointments, as well as the Devonta Freeman Experience, have pre-draft rankings looking like shots in the dark at best. In the IDP world, we had our share of surprises over the first five weeks as well. Some of the unexpected results so far will hold true through the season, but we finally saw some positive regression in Week 6, and that was most evident in Miami. I’ll cover the Ndamukong Suh situation at a different time, but Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon were the stories of the week to me. Prior to playing Tennessee, these two preseason DL1s had put up a total of 5 tackles, with only one coming from Wake. In one game, they flipped the script and put up a whopping 8 tackles and 5 sacks between them. This is obviously great news for those who held on for that terrible first month, but if for some reason either of these guys were dropped, pick them up immediately. The same goes for Cameron Jordan, who wasn’t nearly as disappointing as the Miami duo, but finally exploded with 6 tackles, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble that he recovered. I say it every year, but it bares repeating: Don’t panic if a highly drafted IDP isn’t producing in the first few weeks (especially a DL). You drafted them for a reason, and unless there is significant injury, your patience will likely pay off.
Sheldon Richardson – In one of the more surprising situations of the week, the Jets gave Richardson essentially his normal workload in a return from suspension. His stat line was solid (3 tackles and a half sack), but his return changes the entire dynamic of the Jets’ line. Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams still played a full set of snaps as well, so it looks like Todd Bowles and Co. will find a way to keep all three of their studs on the field at the same time. In most leagues all three of these guys should be owned, however things will likely be very inconsistent on a weekly basis. I’d rank Wilkerson over Richardson and Williams, and between the last two Richardson has the higher ceiling, but also may face another suspension over the coming weeks thanks to his eventful offseason.
Eric Kendricks – Frequent commenter Tobias Funke something or other called Week 6 being the breakout for the highly touted rookie, and he nailed it. After trading away Gerald Hodges and getting a bye week to prepare, Kendricks made his first start and did not disappoint with 10 tackles and a sack. There are still a lot of mouths to feed on that defense, but the sky’s the limit for Kendricks at this point.
Dannell Ellerbe – The story in New Orleans so far this season has been the success of rookies Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kikaha, and rightfully so. But Ellerbe has been around the block, and despite his recent injury history, he’s been an IDP presence when healthy and starting. He put up 14 tackles along with a forced and recovered fumble, however he left with yet another injury and his status is uncertain for this week. I’m ranking him knowing that he might not play, but I’ll adjust the ranking as news comes out.
Cornerbacks – Typically the black sheep of the IDP Defensive Back position, this has been a banner year for CBs so far. True to form, the damage has mostly been done by rookies and other first-time starters. The logic typically goes that opposing QBs will target these inexperienced corners, and more targets leads to more opportunities to put up stats. There have been great veteran performances as well, led by Adam Jones and likely joined by Jason McCourty (who has an excellent matchup this week against Atlanta), but seeing names like Marcus Peters, Antwon Blake, and Ronald Darby in the top 25 after six weeks is encouraging to those who always stream DBs. If you’re facing injury or bye week issues with your more highly drafted DBs, don’t hesitate to pick up a one of the many young corners out there. They may not contribute every week, but given the right matchup, they can put up huge numbers too.
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