2 Months Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals signed DE Matt Shaughnessy to a one-year contract.
Shaughnessy is smartly taking a one-year, "prove-it" deal in an effort to rehab his value at age 26. Shaughnessy flashed legit Pro Bowl-caliber talent early in his career with Oakland -- specifically 2010 -- before a major shoulder injury wiped out his 2011 season and he returned less effective in 2012. If back to 100 percent, Shaughnessy could end up as the Cardinals' starting right defensive end. Bruce Arians promises to use Darnell Dockett inside more moving forward. Calais Campbell is Arizona's all-world left end, or "five technique."
2 Months Arizona Cardinals
Free agent DE Matt Shaughnessy will visit the Titans on Friday.
That's if Shaughnessy makes it out of his Thursday night visit with the Cardinals. One of the better defensive ends left on the market behind all the aging veterans, Shaughnessy can play both end and tackle in a 4-3. He has 15.5 career sacks in four seasons.
2 Months Arizona Cardinals
Free agent DE Matt Shaughnessy will visit the Cardinals on Thursday night.
Beyond John Abraham, Osi Umenyiora, and Dwight Freeney, Shaughnessy is arguably the top free agent defensive end left after the Seahawks signed all the good, young ones. 26 years old, Shaughnessy could play defensive end or outside linebacker in Todd Bowles' defense. Bowles has promised to keep Arizona's 3-4 intact.
We've hit Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season, which means that by week's end we'll have reached the halfway point of this year's fantasy football campaign, with some IDP teams chewing up the competition while others flounder as a result of mounting injuries, poor performances, or an unfortunate combination of the two.
So far as last week's recommendations go frankly I don't know how I fared, as between the shellacking I took in my IDP leagues and the havoc wreaked on them by the season-ending injuries suffered by linebackers Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens and D.J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers I have blocked Week 6 from my mind in an effort to retain what's left of my sanity.
So, with a healthy dose of selective amnesia it's time for another week of IDP Studs and Duds, where I'll point out some Individual Defensive Players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (Studs) and some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than usual (Duds).
That 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).
We're also hit one of the dreaded six team bye weeks, so IDPs from the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers will all be taking the week off. Keep them on your bench.
Finally, before we get on with the show, if you have a specific IDP Start/Sit question you'd like my take on you can e-mail me at email@example.com or post the question in the "Kilroy Krystal Ball" thread in the Fantasy Sharks IDP Forum. I can't promise I'll get to every question, but I'll do the best I can.
Robert Quinn -- DE, St. Louis Rams (vs. GB): The second-year pro was shutout of the stat sheet last week against the Miami Dolphins, but Quinn has already racked up six sacks this season and faces a Green Bay Packers team on Sunday that has allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL this season.
Brian Robison -- DE, Minnesota Vikings (vs. ARI): Robison is off to something of a slow start this year, with only one sack in six games, but the table is set for a rebound this week against an Arizona Cardinals squad that has been the friendliest fantasy matchup for opposing defensive linemen in 2012.
Matt Shaughnessy -- DE, Oakland Raiders (vs. JAX): Shaughnessy had his best game of the season last week with five tackles and a sack against the Atlanta...
Well, the long, dark days of the offseason have come and gone, and after training camps, preseason, roster cuts and about 137 injuries to prominent linebackers (approximately), the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants got the 2012 NFL season underway Wednesday night.
That also means it's time for yet another season of Individual Defensive Player (IDP) "Studs and Duds," where yours truly attempts to point out (many times with the acuity of Mr. Magoo) some players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (studs) and some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than usual (duds).
That 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), but forewarned is forearmed and all that happy nonsense.
Finally, before we get on with the show, if you have a specific IDP start/sit question you'd like my take on it, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post the question in the "Kilroyz Krystal Ball" thread in the Fantasy Sharks IDP Forum. I can't promise I'll get to every question, but I'll do the best I can.
Mark Anderson, DE, Buffalo (at New York Jets): The Bills have completely re-tooled their defensive line, the Jets were a favorable IDP matchup for defensive linemen in 2011, their offensive line may well be worse, and Mario Williams will be wreaking havoc on the other end. Not much to not like here.
Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit (vs. St. Louis): No team in the National Football League allowed more sacks in 2011 than the St. Louis Rams, who were also a Top 10 fantasy matchup for defensive linemen. Toss in that St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford is still favoring his ankle and you have the makings of IDP tastiness.
Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Oakland (vs. San Diego): The same San Diego offensive line that was the team's undoing last year is already springing leaks before the season even starts, and Shaughnessy appears fully recovered from the injury that cost him most of 2011. The fourth-year pro's breakout season starts in Week 1's final game.
Nick Barnett, OLB, Buffalo (at New York Jets): I'll admit that I don't share the reservations of some about Barnett's switch to WLB in a 4-3, given that he showed the ability to produce in that slot while with the Green Bay Packers. Meanwhile, the Jets gave up the third-most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing linebackers last year.
Linebackers may still be the kings of Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues, but over the past few years, the number of truly elite defensive ends that can be relied on each week has dwindled. We've seen an interesting phenomenon take place in 2012, one that has truly changed the landscape of IDP drafts.
In the majority of IDP drafts in which I've participated so far this summer, the first individual defensive player off draft boards has been a defensive lineman. And, it hasn't been strange at all to see Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants and Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings be the first pair of IDPs taken. At times they are taken by the same team as they try to give themselves an advantage over the opposition.
However, if you miss out on these IDP studs or find yourself waiting to fill out your defensive line while loading up at linebacker or on offense, that doesn't mean that you can't field a competitive defensive front.
Just as with any position in fantasy football there are some value defensive lineman picks that can be had a bit later in drafts with the potential to post solid numbers this season. Now let's examine a few of those players here.
Chris Clemons, DE, Seattle: For the second straight year, Chris Clemons tallied 11 sacks for the Seahawks, topping 50 total tackles for the first time in his eight-year career. He finished as a Top 15 defensive lineman in Default IDP Manor Scoring for the second consecutive season.
However, it would appear that not many IDP owners are predicting a third straight solid fantasy season from the 31-year-old, as Clemons is being selected well outside the Top 20 players at his position according to current average draft position at myfantasyleague.com.
The Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin in the first round of the 2012 draft to help take some of the pressure off of Clemons, who was the team's only viable pass rushing threat in 2011. I'll confess that I'm not seeing why so many folks are expecting a big dropoff from Clemons this season, and if there are IDP defensive linemen capable of cracking the Top 12 at a discount price, Clemons would be at or near the top of that list.
Jeremy Mincey, DE, Jacksonville: Much like Chris Clemons, defensive end Jeremy Mincey enjoyed a career season in 2011, racking up personal bests across the board with 57 total tackles, eight sacks and four forced fumbles. Those numbers were good enough for a Top 10 fantasy finish from the sixth-year pro, and the team rewarded...
The term "sleeper" has been flogged to within an inch of its life in fantasy football, as the phrase has been used to describe everything from players who come from nowhere to have big years to any player whose performance exceeds their draft position.
However, there's about as much chance of the term going away as there is of Tim Tebow becoming an accurate quarterback, so in the truest spirit of "if you can't beat them, join them," here's a look at a handful of defensive players who have a solid shot at providing their Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league owners with the sort of value that can lead teams all the way to a championship.
Trevor Scott, DE, New England
After spending his first four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the 27-year-old Scott came to the New England Patriots in free agency, and if recent reports are any indication, Scott is fitting right in in his new home.
Scott has been running with the first team in the "elephant" position that produced a double-digit sack season for Andre Carter last year. Scott has apparently taken to the role, although that's not overly surprising given that he has experience playing both end and outside linebacker from his time with the Raiders.
The presence of first-round pick Chandler Jones is certainly a concern, as the youngster could eat into Scott's snaps. However Scott's price tag is so low right now that he's essentially a risk-free investment that could pay off big if he can hold off the rookie.
Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Oakland
From a former Raider to a current one, we now turn our attention to the Silver and Black and Shaughnessy, who was a trendy pick for a breakout IDP season last year before a shoulder injury ended the fourth-year pro's defensive end's season after only three games.
Shaughnessy has returned to the practice field, which was a welcome sign to the Raiders according to defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who told The Sacramento Bee that Shaughnessy is "the best defensive end in the NFL for sure in terms of stopping the run."
It's that two-way ability, and the tackles that come with it, that made Shaughnessy a Top 20 performer in Default IDP Manor scoring in 2010 even though he only started eight games, and if Shaughnessy's 100 percent he represents the potential for Top 25 IDP production at a discount price.
Perry Riley, ILB, Washington
Riley already gave fantasy owners a glimpse of what he was capable of after taking over at SILB for Rocky McIntosh last year,...