Sometimes there's just not enough room on our rosters. Many of you are probably like me. You can only start 2 safeties in some leagues or you can start any 5 defensive players you want, but your bench slots are very limited. Either way, the dilemma is still the same in both situations. You've got guys on your team who you drafted like Bernard Pollard and Adrian Wilson or overall defensive players like Michael Boley and Clint Session. With each of the guys I just mentioned, your in good shape, right? Unfortunately, not so much when you see a guy like Chung go off week 1 and your guy Boley gives you only fantasy crumbs. And then this week, Chung has an average week, Boley has a good week and Pollard does OK, but then you see TJ Ward go nuts in week 2. So what do we do? We just don't have enough roster space. Do we drop a stud? We can't... right?
I wish I had easy answers to these questions. The mainstream answer is to never bench or drop your studs. Guys like Ray Lewis, Lance Briggs, Curtis Lofton and Bernard Pollard are going to have "up" weeks and "down" weeks, but they became studs for a reason and we need to stick with them.
But newer guys like I've been mentioning like Patrick Chung and TJ Ward truly are a wait and see between the 2. One may emerge over the other. Or perhaps we find that owning both Chung & Ward will ultimately out perform a duo like Bernard Pollard and Adrian Wilson. We found out last year that owning David Hawthorne was more valuable than owning the very high draft pick David Harris. And Bryan Scott far outperformed a stud like Oshiomogho Atogwe through the second half of the year. So although we shouldn't panic on our studs because they have one bad week like this weeks Curtis Lofton with only 3 solos, we also need to recognize when a better opportunity is arising before our eyes and it's time to pull the plug on a middle-tier "stud". We're coming into week 3 & 4, which are crucial times to recognize these trends.
One example of these trends is the Redskins SS L. Landry is the real deal and he'll continue to be the real deal. If he stays healthy, he could easily end the year as a top 5 IDP guy and the top IDP strong safety. A mirage to ignore from week 2 is Landry's co-partner Reed Doughty with his 10 solos and 4 assists. And although Reed Doughty may be a mirage, free safeties facing Houston are not a mirage. At this point in the season, this is the most solid trend I've seen. Though I cannot recommended picking up the Cowboys FS Alan Ball, who faces Houston week 3, I do recommend looking at the box scores next week to see if even the most pathetic IDP safety in the league sees a bump in tackles. He's averaging about 2 solos a week so even if you see it bump up to 5 or 6, that will be plenty of proof. But keep this trend of FS vs. Houston trend in mind for future pickups/starts.
Week 3 IDP Pick ups
LB D. Johnson KC If you didn't get him yet and needed one more week, you've seen he's the real deal now so don't hesitate any longer to plug him in as a really high #2 LB. He's not in the Patrick Willis, Jon Beason realm, but he's putting up similar points. So ride that hand while it lasts. To give you an idea of the guys I would start above and below Johnson. I would choose Clay Matthews over D. Johnson, but I would choose Johnson over Oakland's Rolondo McClain.
SS TJ Ward CLE has officially made the pick up list. He was really good last week and even better in week 2 leading his team with 8 solos and an assist vs. the Chiefs.
LB Paris Lenon ARI was outstanding with 9 solos and 2 assists in week 2. He was very good in week 1 as well. So who do you choose between fellow LB D. Washington, who got 10 solos this week? Based on the evidence, you have to go Lenon at this point.
LB D. Washington ARI finished with 10 solos this week and looks like a rising star. He may end up being the more valuable LB in Arizona, but the winner so far is Lenon.
CB Greg Toler ARI, who finished with 13 solos and a forced fumble in week 1 was very solid again in week 2. Teams are going to continue avoiding Cromartie and picking on Toler. He faces Oakland in week 3 so I'd tone down expectations slightly as the Raiders will try to win with a "run first" philosophy. But there's a good chance Oakland will need to throw to catch up so Toler has proved enough to be plugged in as a CB on your squad.
SS Patrick Chung NE, who opened up week 1 with 12 solos and 4 assists, was solid in week 2 with 5 solos. He was inches away from an interception as well. He didn't get a ton of opportunities vs. the Jets so I wouldn't worry about the slight "fall to Earth" in week 2.
LB Dqwell Jackson CLE could be back week 3, but my recommendation is to hold off on him his first game back. We've made due without him this long, we can wait and see how much they us him in the next game. My guess is they work him in slowly a few series here or there to see how he feels.
LB Zac Diles HOU finished with 5 solos and 3 assists this week and he's still a nice pick up until Cushing comes back
DE K. Vanden Bosch DET followed up his 10 solos from last week with 6 total tackles and 1 and a half sacks this week. That is solid stuff!
Watch VERY Closely
LB Sean Weatherspoon ATL the rookie had 8 solos, and assist and a sack in his coming out a party vs. Arizona
LB Dan Connor CAR fell back down to Earth a bith this week with 4 solos and 2 assists. He is still not playing in passing defense so if he's not on the field a percentage of time, he can't get you points.
SS Craig Dahl STL 7 solos and 1 assist week 2
DE Jason Babin TEN had 7 solos, 1 assist and a sack. Keep an eye on him
DE Sione Pouha NYJ got 6 solos as a DE. See if this trend is real
LB K. Wimbley OAK gets decent tackle numbers, but it's his sacking ability that really differentiates him
CB D. Butler NE looks like a pretty exciting cornerback. Keep an eye on him.
LB Cameron Wake MIA Like Wimbley above, he doesn't do it so much in tackles, but sacks and big plays.
LB A. Davis BUF increased his solos in week 2 and is a solid bye week fill in.
LB Ellison BUF filled in for Poz again and was solid enough to be another option for you if you have an injury to one of your guys or are in a deep league