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IDP Strong/Weak Plays

This will be a weekly feature for IDP owners out there who are having some troubles deciding who to start on Sundays. I'm going to analyze the statistics in a few different ways to find favorable matchups and unfavorable matchups and then point out some players who are most likely to be affected by those matchups. I'll provide the reasoning behind these selections so you can think about it and decide for yourselves. I will also review my picks from the week before so you can see how accurate the picks have been. As most people know, predicting performance on a game by game basis can be difficult for offensive players, but that difficulty is often exaggerated with IDPs. Matchups are important, but there are so many other variables that come into play that sometimes you have to just stick with your best players and hope they come through with just one or two big plays. Good luck.

Review of Last Week's Selections

STRONG STARTS

  • DL Carolina Panthers (@ Buffalo): DE Mike Rucker (3 solos, 3 asst = 4.5pts), DE Julius Peppers (2 solos, 2 asst, 1 sack, 1 PD = 7pts)
  • DL Cleveland Browns (@ Minnesota): DE Orpheus Roye - 1 solo, 1 sack, 2 PD = 6pts)
  • DL San Diego Chargers (@ Washington): DE/OLB Shawne Merriman - 1 solo, 1 PD = 2pts
  • DL St Louis Rams (@ Houston): DE Leonard Little - 4 solos = 4pts
  • LB Cincinnati Bengals (vs Baltimore): MLB Odell Thurman - 6 solos, 2 asst, 1 PD, 1 FF = 10pts
  • LB Indianapolis Colts (vs Pittsburgh): MLB Gary Brackett - 5 solos, 1 asst, 1 PD = 6.5pts
  • LB New Orleans Saints (@ NY Jets): WLB Colby Bockwoldt - 5 solos, 2 asst = 6pts
  • LB Washington Redskins (vs San Diego): MLB Lemar Marshall - 6 solos, 1 PD = 7pts
  • DB Baltimore Ravens (@ Cincinnati): FS Will Demps, SS Chad Williams - 1 solo, 1 FF = 3pts
  • DB Houston Texans (vs St Louis): CB Dunta Robinson (4 solos = 4pts), SS Glenn Earl (1 solo, 3 asst, 1 PD = 3.5pts)
  • DB Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Arizona): FS Deon Grant (7 solos, 2 asst, 1 INT, 2 PD = 14pts), CB Rashean Mathis (2 solos, 1 PD = 3pts)
  • DB San Francisco 49ers (@ Tennessee): FS Mike Adams - 5 solos, 1 asst = 5.5pts

Hit Rate for Week 12: 7/15 (47%)
Year to date: 88/173 (51%)

WEAK STARTS

  • DL Baltimore Ravens (@ Cincinnati): DE Terrell Suggs (2 solos, 3 asst = 3.5pts), DE Anthony Weaver (2 solos, 1 asst = 2.5pts)
  • DL Philadelphia Eagles (vs Green Bay): DE Jevon Kearse (8 solos, 1 asst = 8.5pts), DE Trent Cole (2 solos, 1 PD = 2.5pts)
  • DL Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Indianapolis): DE Kimo Von Oelhoffen (3 solos, 1 asst = 3.5pts), DE Aaron Smith (4 solos = 4pts)
  • DL Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Chicago): DE Simeon Rice (2 solos, 1 sack, 1 PD, 1 FF = 8pts), DE Greg Spires (2 solos = 2pts)
  • LB Buffalo Bills (vs Carolina): MLB Angelo Crowell - 3 solos, 3 asst = 4.5pts
  • LB Cleveland Browns (@ Minnesota): ILB Ben Taylor (6 solos, 2 asst = 7pts), OLB Chaun Thompson (5 solos, 1 asst = 5.5pts)
  • LB Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Arizona): WLB Daryl Smith - 3 solos = 3pts
  • LB Tennessee Titans (vs San Francisco): MLB Brad Kassell (2 asst, 1 FR = 3pts), SLB Peter Sirmon (6 solos, 2 asst = 7pts)
  • DB Kansas City Chiefs (vs New England): SS Sammy Knight - 6 solos, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 PD = 16pts
  • DB New Orleans Saints (@ NY Jets): SS Dwight Smith (4 solos, 1 asst, 2 PD = 6.5pts), FS Josh Bullocks (6 solos, 4 asst = 8pts)
  • DB Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Indianapolis): FS Chris Hope - 6 solos, 1 asst = 6.5pts
  • DB Tennessee Titans (vs San Francisco): CB Pacman Jones (3 solos, 1 asst, 3 PD = 6.5pts), CB Reynaldo Hill (6 solos, 1 asst, 1 INT, 2 PD = 12.5pts)

Hit Rate for Week 12: 10/20 (50%)
Year to date: 91/167 (54%)

A brief note about the hit rates: To provide an objective standard to evaluate these selections, 5 fantasy points will be used as the cutoff for DL and 6 fantasy points will be used as the cutoff for LB and DBs. Thus, when a player is listed as a strong start, that means I think he has a good chance to top 5 or 6 points based on his matchup, and when I say a player is a weak start, that means I think he has a good chance to put up fewer than 5 or 6 points. I'll continue to evaluate my success throughout the season to try and provide you with the information you need to make your starting decisions

Best of luck with your starting lineup decisions this week. Feel free to e-mail me at rudnicki@footballguys.com with any feedback or suggestions regarding this article.

STRONG STARTS

  • DL Carolina Panthers (vs Atlanta): DE Julius Peppers
    The Falcons rank #3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #5 over their last 3 games. The Falcons are a team that relies very heavily on their running game, which creates plenty of tackle opportunities for the defensive linemen. The side doesn't appear to matter much as both RDEs and LDEs have averaged 4.6 fantasy points/game against the Falcons this year. Peppers enters this game on fire with 5.5 sacks in the month of November and he should be a huge part of the Panthers gameplan to slow down Vick. Rucker has gone three straight games without a quality start, so he's a riskier play, especially given the matchup data. Opposing under tackles have averaged 5.6 points/game against the Falcons this year and have been a quality start for three straight games, so Brentson Buckner could be in for a nice game this week after racking up 7 solo tackles and 2 PDs in his last 2 games.
  • DL Detroit Lions (vs Minnesota): DE Kalimba Edwards
    The Vikings rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #2 over their last 3 games. They have been an especially productive matchup for LDEs, who are averaging 7.3 fantasy points/game against them and have produced 4 straight quality starts. Edwards is a risky play since he's not technically a starter and plays primarily in passing situations, but he leads the team in sacks and had a 5 solo, 2 sack effort when these two teams played each other a few weeks ago. James Hall has the tougher matchup against LT Bryant McKinnie, but his tackle numbers have been more consistent than any other Lions DL and he was also a quality start the last time these two teams played. At DT, Shaun Rogers has been playing well since returning from an injury and now has 7 solos, 2 assists, and 2 forced fumbles in the last 2 games. He should be a solid starting choice in leagues that require a starting DT.
  • DL Miami Dolphins (vs Buffalo): DE Jason Taylor
    The Bills rank #6 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #10 over their last 3 games. Their offensive line is struggling to find any type of consistency right now, and despite all his mobility JP Losman has been sacked 10 times over the past 2 games. Jason Taylor remains one of the best pass rushers in the league and he's coming off his best performance of the year, a 6 solo, 3 sack game against the Raiders last week. He should cause plenty of havoc for a Bills offense that has allowed 6.6 points/game on average to opposing RDEs. Vonnie Holliday is also coming off his best game of the season, but he hasn't really shown any signs that he can sustain that kind of production from week to week so don't look for a repeat performance this week. Kevin Carter had a recent string of 3 straight quality starts, but he has just 1 solo tackle and 4 assists over the past 2 games.
  • DL St Louis Rams (vs Washington): DE Brandon Green
    The Redskins rank #4 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #7 over their last 3 games. A closer look at the stats reveal that RDEs (7.9 pts/game) have been much more productive against the Redskins than LDEs (4.5 pts/game) this year. So, that should favor Rams DE Brandon Green, who has taken over for Anthony Hargrove. 4 of the last 7 RDEs who have faced Washington have finished with double digit fantasy points, and while Green might not blow up like that, he should be productive enough to warrant serious starting consideration. At LDE, Leonard Little has yet to record a sack since returning after mourning the death of his brother, but he has put up 4 solo tackles in each of the last 2 games. RT Jon Jansen is a tough matchup, but Little's speed should give him an edge. Defensive tackles have not scored very well against the Redskins this year, but Ryan Pickett has been solid over the past month and could be worth a start in DT leagues given his recent production.
  • LB Cincinnati Bengals (@ Pittsburgh): MLB Odell Thurman
    The Steelers rank #2 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #12 over their last 3 games. The running game hasn't been as successful lately as they were earlier in the year, but the return of Roethlisberger to the lineup should help open things up a bit. MLBs are averaging nearly 9 fantasy points/game against the Steelers this year, and just 2 of 12 have failed to post quality starts against them. Thurman has cooled off a bit after a strong start to the year, but he's still the team's leading tackler and should be involved in plenty of plays on Sunday. WLBs haven't been as productive against the Steelers, averaging only 5.6 points/game so this matchup doesn't look as favorable for Brian Simmons. SLBs have been averaging 4.9 points/game against the Steelers this year, which is about neutral for that position. Landon Johnson has been playing well of late and does have 3 quality starts in his last 4 games, so he may be worth a start if you don't have any better options.
  • LB Denver Broncos (@ Kansas City): WLB Al Wilson
    The Chiefs rank #9 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #1 over their last 3 games. Their numbers are slightly higher than they should be because they've played a 3-4 defense the past 2 weeks, but also allowed a ton of points to the Bills in week 10, who run a 4-3 with LB talent similar to the Broncos. MLBs have been averaging 9.1 fantasy points against the Chiefs this year with 9 of 11 quality starts among them. That makes this a great matchup for Al Wilson, who has been struggling of late with just 9 solo tackles in his last 4 games. Look for him to get back on track with a good game this week. The matchup is less favorable for WLB Ian Gold, as WLBs are averaging 6.5 points/game against the Chiefs and only 2 of the last 8 weakside linebackers they've faced have been quality starts. Gold has been playing like the Broncos best linebacker in recent weeks, however, and may be able to buck the trend as Angelo Crowell did in Buffalo.
  • LB Houston Texans (@ Baltimore): ILB Morlon Greenwood, ILB Dashon Polk
    The Ravens rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #4 over their last 3 games. That's kind of a strange trend since they have such a terrible offense and are only middle of the pack in terms of 3rd down conversion percentage, but their defense is still strong and likely gives their offense more drives than most teams. Jamal Lewis finally showed signs of life last week, and he should be a focal point of the offense again this week, which should be great news for the Texans ILBs. 12 of the 14 inside linebackers they've faced all year have been quality starts with many reach double digit fantasy points. Additionally, Greenwood (#9) and Polk (#5) have been two of the most productive linebackers over the last 3 weeks. OLBs Antwan Peek and Shantee Orr were both quality starts on Sunday, but they haven't been very consistent and carry significantly more risk than the inside guys.
  • LB Washington Redskins (@ St Louis): MLB Lemar Marshall
    The Rams rank #3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #2 over their last 3 games. Their recent numbers are inflated by a bit by the 26 solo tackles put up by the Texans 4 starting linebackers on Sunday, but opposing MLBs put up 6, 9, and 10 solo tackles in the weeks preceding that game so it certainly seems as though Lemar Marshall has a great matchup here. With 5 quality starts in his last 6 games, he looks like a very strong start this week. The matchup is less favorable for WLB LaVar Arrington and SLB Marcus Washington, but it would be tough to bench a guy like Washington who leads the team in tackles and has been consistently productive this year regardless of matchup. Arrington has shown some flashes but really hasn't produced enough on a week to week basis to instill much confidence from his owners.
  • DB Houston Texans (@ Baltimore): CB Dunta Robinson, SS Glen Earl
    The Ravens rank #4 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #7 over their last 3 games. CBs have done very well against them in recent weeks with quality starts from 3 of the last 4, and #1 CBs have done particularly well all year averaging almost 8 points/game. That bodes well for Dunta Robinson, who hasn't been as productive this year as he was during his rookie season, but he does seem to be heating up a bit with 4 quality starts in his last 6 games. Strong safeties have also scored very well against the Ravens, averaging 7.3 points/game and 7 of the past 9 they've faced have been quality starts. This points to a good game from Glenn Earl, who has been hit or miss since reentering the starting lineup. He's a better run defender than the player he replaced so the Texans will likely want to use him as an 8th man in the box to try and limit the running game of the Ravens.
  • DB San Francisco 49ers (vs Arizona): FS Mike Adams, CB Shawntae Spencer
    The Cardinals rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #22 over their last 3 games. Although they've come back to earth a bit lately, few teams represent as favorable a matchup for DBs as the Cardinals do. Their offense relies almost entirely on the passing game, so DBs are involved in nearly every play. Last week against the Jaguars, 4 different DBs finished with 6 or more solo tackles. The Cardinals may not have to throw as much against the 49ers as they have against better teams, but they will find the 49ers secondary to be an inviting target and should attack it early and often. Thanks primarily to his ability to stay healthy, FS Mike Adams is 2nd on the team in tackles and he's been very consistent averaging about 5 solo tackles/game. Opposing free safeties have been putting up big tackle numbers so look for a big game from Adams this week. At CB, Shawntae Spencer has 5 quality starts in his last 6 games and should have little difficulty reaching 6 or more fantasy points again this week. Bruce Thornton is a solid sleeper choice this week as he will likely be targeted frequently by Kurt Warner.
  • DB Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ New Orleans): CB Ronde Barber
    The Saints rank #3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #14 over their last 3 games. Throughout the year, the Saints have been a good matchup for both starting CBs (6.3 points/game) and Safeties (6.4 points/game). The Saints have 2 quality WRs in Horn and Stallworth and Brooks ranks 2nd in the league in interceptions thrown with 13, so the Bucs DBs should get plenty of chances to make some plays on the ball this week. Ronde Barber is the most consistent and reliable member of the Bucs secondary and he's been a quality start in 3 of the past 5 weeks. He is also a major contributor in run support so he should be a solid play this week. The rest of the Bucs secondary is tough to get a read on: CBs Brian Kelly and Juran Bolden have just 1 quality start each over the past 5 weeks, and the safeties are still a little banged up with the lineup changing from week to week.
  • DB Washington Redskins (@ St Louis): CB Shawn Springs
    The Rams rank #2 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #1 over their last 3 games. No matter who the Rams have under center or who their head coach is, it seems they can't ignore the incredible talent they have at WR and will continue to attack teams through the air. Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up the Texans in the second half in an amazing come from behind victory, but he should find things much tougher this week against the Redskins. Based on the matchup, one would expect the CBs and FS to be the most likely to benefit this week. A couple weeks ago, rookie CB Eric Green had 15 solo tackles when playing the Rams so the potential for a huge game is certainly there for a CB to have a big game. Picking the right one is where things get tough, however, as 3 different Redskins CBs were quality starts against the Chargers on Sunday. Shawn Springs has been a fantasy disappointment this year, but if he gets matched up with Torry Holt, he should put up solid numbers this week. Walt Harris is 3rd on the team in tackles and coming off a big game against the Chargers so he may also be worth starting given the matchup. Carlos Rogers is the nickel back and will probably see plenty of playing time this week and he seems like the type of player the Rams would want to pick on, so consider him a solid sleeper choice. The safeties have been inconsistent for Washington, although SS Ryan Clark has been more productive than the super talented FS Sean Taylor in most weeks. This is a matchup that seems perfect for Taylor to make an impact, but with just 1 quality start in the last 6 games it is hard to put much faith in him.

WEAK STARTS

  • DL Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver): DE Jared Allen
    The Broncos rank #27 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #27 over their last 3 games. RDEs are averaging 4.4 fantasy points/game against the Broncos this year, but only 4 of the 11 they've faced have been quality starts and they've allowed just 3 sacks to DL in the past 5 games. While Jared Allen is having a great year with 8 sacks and has 4 in the last 3 games, his tackle numbers haven't been all that impressive lately with just 11 solo tackles in his last 6 games. LDEs have produced even less against the Broncos this year (3.2 points/game) so don't look for much from Eric Hicks, who hasn't had a good fantasy game for at least a month.
  • DL Oakland Raiders (@ San Diego): DE Bobby Hamilton, DE Tommy Kelly
    The Chargers rank #30 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #32 over their last 3 games. They are allowing 4.8 fantasy points/game to RDEs but only 4 of the 11 they've faced have been quality starts. One of those quality starts was from Burgess, however, who had a 4 solo, 2 sack game the last time these two teams faced off. With 4 sacks in his last 2 games and a league-leading 11 on the year, it would be nearly impossible to consider benching Burgess this week. The same can't be said for his linemates, however, who should have trouble this week. LDEs are only averaging 3.2 fantasy points/game against the Chargers this year and Bobby Hamilton has yet to record a sack in 9 games despite some solid tackle numbers recently. Tommy Kelly is also a key part of the DE rotation and he has 3 quality starts in his last 4 games, but this matchup looks like trouble for him.
  • DL Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Cincinnati): DE Aaron Smith, DE Kimo Von Oelhoffen
    The Bengals rank #28 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #29 over their last 3 games. They've done a great job of limiting some very good defensive lines lately in Green Bay, Baltimore, and Indianapolis, so don't expect much from the Steelers this week either. Both Aaron Smith and Kimo Von Oelhoffen managed a quality start against the Bengals the last time these two teams faced off, but that was due to a fluke sack from Oelhoffen and an even flukier interception for Smith. Both DEs have just 1 quality start each over their last 5 games, and the Bengals offensive line is playing much better of late, so I'd recommend not starting either if you can avoid it.
  • DL Tennessee Titans (@ Indianapolis): DE Kyle Vanden Bosch
    The Colts rank #32 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year, and #30 over their last 3 games. Peyton Manning has been sacked a league-low 9 times in 11 games, so the Titans DL will have to rely on tackle for most of their fantasy points this week. Vanden Bosch has certainly been one of the biggest surprises this year and he comes into this game with 10.5 sacks on the year and 23.5 fantasy points over his last 2 games. However, opposing LDEs are only averaging 3.1 fantasy points/game against the Colts this year and Vanden Bosch was held to just 2 solos and 1 asst the last time these teams played each other. RDEs aren't doing much better, averaging only 3.2 points/game, so this also looks like a very bad matchup for Antwan Odom who only has 1 quality start all year.
  • LB Atlanta Falcons (@ Carolina): OLB Demorrio Williams
    The Panthers rank #27 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #21 over their last 3 games. A closer look at the stats reveals a key trend, however, as the MLBs are averaging a very healthy 8.5 points/game against them this year while the WLBs are only averaging 3.3 points/game. Only 1 of 11 opposing weakside linebackers the Panthers have faced this year has scored 6 points (Lance Briggs in week 11), so this looks like a very tough matchup for Demorrio Williams. Williams has been one of the best fantasy linebackers in the league this year and has probably reached must start status, but the numbers suggest he'll have a bad game this week. Keith Brooking hasn't been too productive since being moved back to MLB, but he does have two straight quality starts and should benefit from the matchup a bit this week.
  • LB Cleveland Browns (vs Jacksonville): ILB Ben Taylor, OLB Chaun Thompson
    The Jaguars rank #32 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #30 over their last 3 games. This seems a little strange as the Jaguars offense ranks in the middle of the league in terms of yards, but they have the 6th best 3rd down conversion percentage so they do a good job of sustaining drives. The injury to Leftwich will likely cause them to rely on the running game a bit more than they have so far, but they already rank 9th in rush attempts and it hasn't helped the opposing linebackers. Only 2 of the last 5 inside linebackers they've faced have been quality starts, so this looks like a game where there might not be enough tackles to go around for both Andra Davis and Ben Taylor. Both have been playing well lately with 8 out of 10 quality starts in the past 5 weeks, but Taylor's numbers have been hovering right around the threshold and seem most likely to take a hit this week. WLB are averaging 5.1 points/game against the Jaguars this year, which is slightly less than the 5.3 points/game Chaun Thompson is averaging. Only 1 of the last 5 opposing WLBs have been a quality start against the Jaguars so this looks like a tough matchup for Thompson.
  • LB Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver): SLB Derrick Johnson
    The Broncos rank #25 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #27 over their last 3 games. The presence of a dominant running game and efficient offense doesn't seem to be helping linebackers score as many points against them as one would think. MLBs are averaging a solid 7.8 fantasy points/game when playing the Broncos, so Kavika Mitchell should have a decent chance to break his quality start drought which is now up to 3 weeks. WLBs are averaging 5.9 points/game against them, but only 1 of the last 7 have been a quality start and WLB Kendrell Bell has been practically useless as a fantasy option this year. Strongside linebackers have actually been pretty productive against the Broncos this year, averaging 5.8 points/game, but Derrick Johnson has been struggling with just 1 quality start in his last 6 games. Until he starts producing more consistently, I'd recommend leaving him on the bench.
  • LB San Francisco 49ers (vs Arizona): ILB Derek Smith, ILB Brandon Moore
    The Cardinals rank #30 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #32 over their last 3 games. The team ranks dead last in rush attempts with good reason as they are only averaging 3.1 yards per carry. This looks like a tough matchup for all the 49ers linebackers, but especially the inside guys who are primarily responsible for stopping the run game. Derek Smith has just 3 quality starts in his last 6 games, which is pretty low for a starting inside linebacker on a team that gets run on pretty often. His counterpart Brandon Moore also has 3 quality starts in his last 6 games and should have trouble improving on those numbers this week. SLB Julian Peterson is versatile enough that he could be productive against a tough matchup like this and he does have 3 quality starts in his last 4 games.
  • DB Arizona Cardinals (@ San Francisco): CB David Macklin
    The 49ers rank #32 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #23 over their last 3 games. They reportedly will be turning to rookie Alex Smith at QB this week, which could lead to more interception opportunities for the defense, but the 49ers offense is barely averaging over 200 yards/game so the defenders don't get too many snaps to build up good tackle numbers. SS Adrian Wilson is an elite fantasy DB and a must-start every week. FS Robert Griffith has just 3 quality starts in his last 6 games, but free safeties have been doing pretty well against the 49ers in recent weeks so he has a relatively neutral matchup this week. The CBs is where things really look tough, so don't expect much from Macklin this week, despite him coming into the game with 4 quality starts in his last 6 games. Being a rookie, there is always a chance that the 49ers could try to pick on Eric Green, but with a young and inexperienced QB under center, they may not have that luxury.
  • DB Carolina Panthers (vs Atlanta): CB Ken Lucas
    The Falcons rank #29 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #29 over their last 3 games. In general, the CBs have been the ones most affected by this matchup, as they are only averaging 4.3 points/game while the safeties are averaging 6.8 points/game. Even though the Falcons have started using their WRs a little more than they have in the past, they are still primarily a running team with a TE as their best weapon in the passing game, so the CBs probably won't see a lot of action. Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble are two of the better fantasy CBs in the league, but Lucas seems to have cooled off a bit with just 5 fantasy points over his last 2 games. Meanwhile, Gamble continues to put up good tackle numbers every week and his 4 interceptions in the last 4 games make him a tough player to bench regardless of matchup. SS Marlon McCree has quality starts in 4 of his last 5 games and looks like a solid play this week. FS Mike Minter has been a quality start in 3 of the past 4 games and seems to finally be getting more comfortable with his new position.
  • DB Cincinnati Bengals (@ Pittsburgh): CB Tory James
    The Steelers rank #31 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #16 over their last 3 games. Although the overall numbers appear to be trending upwards lately, it is primarily the safeties who have been scoring well against them rather than the CBs. Both starting CBs are averaging less than 5 points/game when playing the Steelers this year, which suggests that Deltha O'Neal and Tory James have a tough matchup this week. O'Neal is the better playmaker and has been a quality start in 3 of the last 4 weeks so he might still be worth a start. Tory James, however, has gone 3 straight games without a quality start and is probably worth leaving on your bench this week. At safety, SS Ifeanyi Ohalete and FS Kevin Kaseviharn have been solid but not spectacular over the past month and that will likely continue this week as safeties are averaging 5.5 points/game vs the Steelers.
  • DB Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver): CB Eric Warfield, CB Patrick Surtain
    The Broncos rank #30 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, and #17 over their last 3 games. A closer look reveals that cornerbacks are averaging only 4.4 points/game while the safeties are averaging 6.2. Therefore, the matchup doesn't look too bad for SS Sammy Knight and FS Greg Wesley, but could spell trouble for CBs Eric Warfield and Patrick Surtain. Surtain is more of a true shutdown CB who excels in man coverage and doesn't like to get too involved in run support, so he's not likely to be productive in weeks when he doesn't get an interception. Warfield is a more physical CB and he comes into this game on a roll with double digit fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 games. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, but Jake Plummer has done a great job of protecting the football and not forcing throws into coverage.

FBG standard scoring system for IDPs

  • Solo tackle = 1 pt
  • Assist = 0.5 pt
  • Sack = 3 pts
  • INT = 4 pts
  • Pass Defensed = 1 pt
  • Forced Fumble = 2 pts
  • Fumble Recovery = 2 pts
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