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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 Chicago Bears (vs Minnesota): DE Adewale Ogunleye - 2 solos = 2 pts
  • DL Atlanta Falcons (@ New Orleans): DE Patrick Kerney (1 solo, 2 asst, 1 sack = 5 pts), DT Rod Coleman (5 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack = 8.5 pts)
  • DL NY Jets (@ Buffalo): DE Shaun Ellis - 3 solos, 2 asst, 1 sack = 7 pts
  • DL Seattle Seahawks (vs Houston): DE Bryce Fisher (2 solos = 2 pts), DT Rocky Bernard (3 solos, 1 sack = 6 pts)
  • LB Cleveland Browns (@ Baltimore): ILB Ben Taylor - 5 solos, 2 asst = 6 pts
  • LB Seattle Seahawks (vs Houston): MLB Lofa Tatupu - 4 solos, 1 asst = 4.5 pts
  • LB Denver Broncos (vs New England): MLB Al Wilson (6 solos, 1 asst = 6.5 pts), WLB Ian Gold (3 solos, 1 asst = 3.5 pts)
  • LB Indianapolis Colts (vs St Louis): WLB Cato June (5 solos, 6 asst, 2 INT, 2 PD = 18 pts)
  • DB Minnesota Vikings (@ Chicago): CB Antoine Winfield - 5 solos = 5 pts
  • DB Cleveland Browns (@ Baltimore): CB Gary Baxter - 4 solos, 3 asst, 1 INT, 1 PD = 10.5 pts
  • DB Indianapolis Colts (vs St Louis): SS Mike Doss - 6 solos = 6 pts
  • DB Kansas City Chiefs (vs Washington): SS Sammy Knight (4 solos, 1 asst, 1 PD, 1 FR, 1 TD = 13.5 pts), FS Greg Wesley (6 solos, 1 PD = 7 pts)

Hit Rate for Week 6: 11/16 (69%)
Year to date: 45/80 (56%)

WEAK STARTS

  • DL Denver Broncos (vs New England): DE Courtney Brown - 1 solo, 2 asst, 1 PD = 3 pts
  • DL Oakland Raiders (vs San Diego): DE Derrick Burgess - 4 solos, 2 sacks = 10 pts
  • DL Dallas Cowboys (vs NY Giants): DE Greg Ellis - 1 solo, 1 sack, 1 FR = 6 pts
  • DL St Louis Rams (@ Indianapolis): DE Leonard Little - 1 solo = 1 pt
  • LB NY Jets (@ Buffalo): SLB Victor Hobson - 5 solos, 3 asst = 6.5 pts
  • LB Houston Texans (@ Seattle): ILB Kailee Wong (INJ, 0 tackles = 0 pts), ILB Morlon Greenwood (9 solos, 3 asst = 10.5 pts)
  • LB Carolina Panthers (@ Detroit): WLB Will Witherspoon - 3 solos = 3 pts
  • LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Miami): WLB Derrick Brooks - 7 solos, 2 asst, 1 sack, 1 PD = 12 pts
  • DB New England Patriots (@ Denver): SS Guss Scott - INJ/DNP
  • DB Jacksonville Jaguars (@ Pittsburgh): SS Deke Cooper - 4 solos, 3 asst = 5.5 pts
  • DB New Orleans Saints (vs Atlanta): SS Dwight Smith - 1 asst, 1 PD = 1.5 pts
  • DB Detroit Lions (vs Carolina): SS Terence Holt - 4 solos, 2 asst, 1 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR = 10 pts

Hit Rate for Week 5: 6/12 (50%)
Year to date: 42/73 (58%)

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 Washington Redskins (vs San Francisco): DT Cornelius Griffin
    San Francisco ranks #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year and #2 over their last 3 games. The 49ers turned to rookie Alex Smith in their last game and he was sacked 5 times by the Colts. The Redskins pass rush isn't as prolific as the Colts, but you can expect DC Gregg Williams to blitz often in order to pressure the young QB. Unfortunately, the Redskins don't have any consistent fantasy producers on their defensive line other than stud DT Cornelius Griffin, who has been a quality start in 4 of 5 games played and is coming off his best performance of the season (7 solos, 1 sack vs the Chiefs). If you're looking for a sleeper pick this week, DE Renaldo Wynn might not be a bad choice. He's more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, but he's coming off a strong 5-solo game against the Chiefs last week and could be able to take advantage of this matchup. The other starting DE, Phillip Daniels, only has 5 solos through 5 games so he's much riskier.
  • DL Cleveland Browns (vs Detroit): DE Orpheus Roye, DE Alvin McKinley
    The Lions were a pretty tough matchup for opposing DL in 2004, but things appear to have changed considerably this year as they enter this game ranked #2 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL and #4 over their last 3 games. The Panthers DL combined for 4.5 sacks and 3 FF last week, even though Julius Peppers had to leave the game with an injury. The Browns defensive line probably doesn't have even 25% of the talent the Panthers line has, but DEs Orpheus Roye and Alvin McKinley have been surprisingly productive this year, ranking #21 and #22 respectively among fantasy DL. Roye is averaging nearly 5 solo tackles/game, which has made him a quality start in all 5 games this year. McKinley's tackle numbers are a little lower, but he's shown some pass rush ability with a sack in each of the past 2 games. This will likely be a low scoring affair and both Browns linemen should be able to get enough tackles to make them quality starts, although their upside is probably limited.
  • DL Green Bay Packers (@ Minnesota): DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
    The Vikings rank #4 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL for the year, and #1 over their past 3 games. The offensive line misses C Matt Birk and Culpepper has been playing injured, which has led to the 2nd most sacks allowed (24 in 5 games). The Bears DL didn't do very well against this matchup last week, but they were ahead almost the entire game so the Vikings didn't run the ball too often. KGB has been one of the most productive pass rushers in the league over the past 4 years and he's been up and down so far this year. He had 7 solo tackles and 2 sacks of Delhomme in week 4, but then followed that up with a goose egg against the Saints in a blowout win. Given the bye week to rest and prepare for this matchup, he should be able to put consistent pressure on Culpepper. DE Aaron Kampman has played pretty well this year with 3 quality starts in the first 5 games, and he should be able to crack 5 fantasy points again this week.
  • DL Indianapolis Colts (@ Houston): DE Robert Mathis
    David Carr is being sacked at a record pace (6 times/game) and faces one of the league's most ferocious pass rushes this week as the Colts come to town. The Texans rank #10 in fantasy points allowed to DL this year, but are 3rd over their past 3 games. DE Grant Wistrom had his best game of the year against them on Sunday night, and the week before 3 different Titans DL finished with 8 or more fantasy points. I try to list players as strong starts who you might not automatically consider starting each week, so it's kind of unfair to list Robert Mathis considering he's currently the #1 highest scoring fantasy DL. But, I think most fantasy owners still consider Freeney the must-start of this group and might be worried that Mathis' production will fall off at some point given his small size and the fact he's not even a starter for the Colts. Mathis is only averaging 3 solos/game, but he's recorded a sack in every game so far and his 7 sacks currently lead the league. Look for that streak to continue this week, and Freeney may get a couple himself. The rest of the Colts DL are tough to predict because they rotate them so frequently. DT Montae Reagor currently ranks #31 among fantasy DL, but he's been living off a 3-sack game in the opener and hasn't done much since then. Raheem Brock starts at DE, but only has 9 solo tackles through 6 games. DT Larry Triplett has 2 quality starts this year, but has been nearly invisible in the other 4 games. The best sleeper choice from this group is probably DT Corey Simon who is starting to get more comfortable in the Colts defense, but he only has 2 quality starts himself.
  • LB Cincinnati Bengals (vs Pittsburgh): MLB Odell Thurman, WLB Brian Simmons
    Pittsburgh ranks #2 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #1 over their past 3 games. They have an efficient offense that relies heavily on running the ball and short passes, which creates plenty of tackle opportunities for linebackers. MLB Odell Thurman is a strong candidate for defensive rookie of the year and currently ranks #11 among fantasy LBs. He leads the Bengals in tackles and has been a quality start in 5 of 6 games so he's looking very close to must-start status. WLB Brian Simmons is the steady veteran of the Bengals LB group and his fantasy numbers appear to be hurting a bit this year with the emergence of Thurman. Through 6 games, his 17 solo tackles puts him on pace for just 45 on the year, which would be a career-low for him. However, he appears to be picking up steam and has been a quality start in 3 of his past 4 games, so look for that trend to continue against the Steelers this week. The Bengals appear to be rotating several players at SLB, so none of them are great starting options.
  • LB Chicago Bears (vs Baltimore): WLB Lance Briggs
    Baltimore ranks #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs so far this year, and #8 over their past 3 games. Like the Steelers, the Ravens rely heavily on a running game and a short to intermediate passing attack, which gives linebackers plenty of tackle opportunities. Bears MLB Brian Urlacher looks to be back to his early form and is a must-start each week after reaching double digit fantasy points in 4 of 5 games so far. WLB Lance Briggs had a breakout season last year and picked up the slack when Urlacher missed time with injury. The return of Urlacher to the lineup appears to be hurting his tackle numbers a little, but Briggs has been a quality start in 4 of 5 games and should be in for a good game this week as well. SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer is playing a bigger role in the defense lately, but he doesn't see time in the nickel package and has no quality starts so far this year, making him a very risky play.
  • LB New Orleans Saints (@ St Louis): MLB Courtney Watson
    The Rams enter this game ranked #5 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year and #2 over their last 3 games. For several reasons, they've begun to rely a bit more heavily on Steven Jackson and the running game than they had in the past, and that is leading to more fantasy points for opposing LBs. With Jamie Martin expected to start this week, that should mean even more emphasis on the running game. Saints MLB Courtney Watson hasn't been as productive as some hoped he would be, but he's been a quality start 3 times this year and finished with 5 solo tackles in each of the past 2 games. Don't expect a huge game from him, but he should be a solid play this week. At WLB, Colby Bockwoldt had some sleeper potential when the year began, but his only quality start of the year came in the blowout loss to the Packers so he's a risky play until he becomes more consistent. SLB Sedrick Hodge has shown some signs of life the past couple weeks, but he's yet to crack 5 fantasy points in any game this year.
  • LB Indianapolis Colts (@ Houston): SLB David Thornton
    The Texans rank #3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #4 over their last 3 games. Shoddy play from the offensive line and an injury to WR Andre Johnson has left them with no chance of establishing a deep passing game, so opponents gear up to stop Domanick Davis. The Colts linebackers are banged up and have a short week after playing against the Rams on Monday night. MLB Gary Brackett has been a huge catalyst for the defense's improvement this year and currently leads the team in tackles. However, he's failed to crack 6 fantasy points in each of the past 2 games and will have to prove that he's recovered from the concussion/stinger he suffered in the last game before the team lets him play. WLB Cato June has been a quality start in 5 of 6 games and his 4 interceptions and 2 TDs over the past 2 weeks has bumped him all the way up to the 4th highest scoring LB in the league. He missed practice with groin and knee injuries, however, and is listed as questionable on the injury report. Watch for more injury news on both players, as they should be good plays if they are healthy enough to play. If one or both can't play though, SLB David Thornton should be able to pick up the slack. His numbers haven't been great, but he's been a quality start in 3 of the 6 games so far, and if he takes over in the nickel package for one of the injured LBs, he should put up good numbers this week.
  • DB Baltimore Ravens (@ Chicago): SS Will Demps
    While the Bears only rank #9 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs on the year, they rank #1 by far over their past 3 games. In addition to the 5-INT performance Kyle Orton had against the Bengals in week 3, Browns SS Chris Crocker had a huge game against the Bears in week 5 (18.5pts), and Vikings SS Corey Chavous finished with 13.5pts against them this week. Ravens DBs have only combined for 3 quality starts this year, and none of those came from FS Ed Reed who is expected to miss a few games with a high ankle sprain. SS Will Demps has one of those quality starts and should be able to add to that total this week after collecting 11 solo tackles in his past 2 games. CB Chris McAlister has the remaining 2 quality starts and may be in for a good game if he's matched up against Muhsin Muhammad this week, but he's a riskier play. CB Samari Rolle doesn't get enough tackles (7 solos in 5 games) to be worth starting in any league. Reed will be replaced by Chad Williams in the lineup who could be a sleeper choice this week if you're desperate. Williams has played well when called upon in the past (had 2 sacks and 3 INTs in 2004), but the Bears aren't a team that takes many shots deep down the field so he's still a little risky.
  • DB Tennessee Titans (@ Arizona): CB Andre Woolfolk, CB Pacman Jones, SS Tank Williams
    The Cardinals currently rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs, and #2 over their last 3 games. Whether Warner or McCown is at QB, their best 2 playmakers are obviously at WR so they are going to throw the ball a lot each week. CB Andre Woolfolk is emerging as the #1 CB for the Titans this year and has been a quality start in 4 of the past 5 games, so look for another solid game from him. CB Pacman Jones came into the league with high expectations after the team took him #6 overall, but he's had a rough time adjusting and is being targeted often by opposing QBs. He has 6 solo tackles in each of the past 2 games and should probably improve on those numbers this week. FS Lamont Thompson is great in coverage and was a quality start in 2 of the first 3 games, but he's cooled way off and has failed to reach 6 fantasy points for 3 straight weeks. SS Tank Williams has been a quality start in 3 of 6 games so far and may also be in for a big game this week, as all 5 strong safeties have topped 7 points when playing against the Cardinals this year.
  • DB Seattle Seahawks (vs Dallas): CB Kelly Herndon
    The Cowboys rank #10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year, but are #5 over their last 3 games. Bledsoe is one of the bigger fantasy surprises this year, and he has 2 WRs he trusts in Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson. As a result, CBs have been scoring pretty well against the Cowboys offense this year. Kelly Herndon has been targeted frequently by opposing QBs, which has allowed him to rack up an impressive 15 solo tackles over the past 2 games, so look for the Cowboys to test him this week as well. CB Marcus Trufant had a huge season opener with 7 solos, 1 sack, and 1 FF but hasn't done a whole lot since. SS Michael Boulware has been somewhat of a fantasy disappointment so far this year with just 3 quality starts through 6 games. The emergence of Tatupu at MLB is probably hurting his tackle numbers, so he'll need to get more big plays to live up to preseason expectations. Promising young FS Ken Hamlin suffered a fractured skull in a bar brawl Sunday night and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Marquand Manuel will take his place in the starting lineup but probably isn't a great option considering that Hamlin hadn't been a quality start once this year.
  • DB New Orleans Saints (@ St Louis): SS Dwight Smith
    The Rams rank #3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs for the year, and #4 over their last 3 games. The fact that Mike Martz is no longer calling plays and the injury to Marc Bulger might wind up hurting these numbers a bit, but probably not by much. The team is still going to employ an aggressive downfield passing attack with the WRs they have, and Jamie Martin will probably wind up throwing more interceptions than Bulger would have. Dwight Smith was moved from FS to SS a couple weeks ago, but for some strange reason came up with 0 solo tackles against the Falcons this week. He's a solid all around player who contributes in coverage and in run support and should be able to bounce back this week against the Rams as 4 of the 6 opposing strong safeties have been quality starts this year. FS Josh Bullocks got his first career interception last week against the Rams and has been a quality start in 2 of the past 3 weeks. He was a big time playmaker in college so it wouldn't be a surprise if he was able to pick one off against Martin this week. The Saints go about 4 deep at CB, but none have emerged as reliable options at this point.

WEAK STARTS

  • DL Denver Broncos (@ NY Giants): DE Courtney Brown
    The Giants rank #31 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL for the year and over their last 3 games. Like his brother, Eli Manning does a great job of avoiding sacks and Tiki Barber is a better fantasy matchup for linebackers than linemen. While the Broncos defensive linemen are playing great as a group, none of them have really emerged as viable fantasy options this year. The Broncos use a lot of different linemen in a rotation, which winds up hurting all their value. Courtney Brown is the leading scorer among all Broncos DEs, but he's only averaging 2.5 fantasy points/game and has been a quality start just once. Not much else here worth mentioning.
  • DL San Diego Chargers (@ Philadelphia): DE Igor Olshansky
    The Eagles come into this game ranked #30 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL on the year and over their last 3 games. Despite his injury, Donovan McNabb has only been sacked 10 times in 5 games, and the Eagles reliance on short, high percentage passes often takes the linemen out of the play. The Chargers run a 3-4 defense so they don't look for too many plays out of their linemen and would rather they just focus on tying up blockers so the linebackers can roam freely and make plays. Igor Olshansky has started to emerge as a force for them with 5 solos, 4 assists, and 2 sacks over the past 2 weeks. Look for him to cool off this week against the Eagles though. DE Dequincy Scott leads all of their defensive linemen with 2.5 sacks, but he's only averaging 1 solo tackle/game. NT Jamal Williams has shown flashes but hasn't done enough yet to warrant a start, especially in a matchup like this.
  • DL Minnesota Vikings (vs Green Bay): DT Pat Williams
    The Packers rank #26 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL for the year, and #29 over their past 3 games. Brett Favre is always one of the league's least sacked QBs, and the Packers love to run a lot of screen passes with their RBs that slow the linemen down and take them out of the play. Ahman Green is expected to be ready to play in this game, but he has yet to get 20 carries in a game yet this year. DT Pat Williams has been the Vikings best lineman so far this year, but his value comes primarily in defending the run so he should see a drop off this week. DT Kevin Williams collected 22 sacks over his first 2 years, but has just .5 sack through 5 games this year and has been a huge disappointment to fantasy owners. He did have his first quality start last week against the Bears though, so he might be ready to turn things around. At DE, the Vikings lost Kenechi Udeze for the year and now rely on Lance Johnstone and Darrion Scott, who have just 1 quality start this year between them and probably won't do much this week either.
  • DL Arizona Cardinals (vs Tennessee): DE Chike Okeafor
    The Titans enter this game ranked #25 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DL this year and #22 over their last 3 games. Titans have only allowed 8 sacks through 6 games, so the offensive line is doing a good job of protecting McNair. DE Bert Berry ranks #11 among fantasy DL and leads the Cardinals with 5 sacks in 5 games so he probably deserves must start status. Chike Okeafor put up 16.5 sacks over the last 2 years in Seattle, but he's not quite living up to expectations so far in Arizona with just 1 sack in 5 games. This Titans team held the Colts DE duo of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to just 7 total fantasy points in week 4, so the Cardinals talented duo could have some problems as well. Some DTs have been productive against the Titans, but DT Darnell Dockett hasn't done much since his big game in week 2 when he recorded an interception.
  • LB San Diego Chargers (@ Philadelphia): LB Randall Godfrey
    The Eagles rank #30 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs for the year and over their last 3 games. Because their offense relies so heavily on the passing game, defenses often play their nickel or even dime package against them, and that removes a LB or two from the field. Chargers ILB Donnie Edwards should be fine with this matchup as he'll be asked to slow down Brian Westbrook and LJ Smith, but a player like Randall Godfrey will probably not see much playing time. The OLBs Steve Foley and Ben Leber get most of their fantasy value from sacks, but McNabb has done a good job of avoiding them so far this year so they could have trouble making much of an impact this week as well.
  • LB Miami Dolphins (vs Kansas City): LB Channing Crowder
    Surprisingly, the Chiefs rank #32 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #28 over their last 3 games. The Chiefs running game hasn't been nearly as dominant this year as it has been in the past, and Tony Gonzalez has been used as a blocker more than a receiver, which limits the number of tackle opportunities for the LB or safety that covers him. Obviously, MLB Zach Thomas is a must start as he's having one of the best seasons of his career. Veteran Junior Seau has been having a hard time staying healthy and he missed the last game. Taking his place at WLB, rookie Channing Crowder had a solid 8pt game against the Bucs this week but that was his only decent game of the season so far.
  • LB Cleveland Browns (vs Detroit): ILB Ben Taylor, OLB Chaun Thompson
    The Lions rank #25 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year, and #29 over their last 3 games. The entire Lions offense has struggled recently, which limits the number of snaps the defense is on the field to make plays. Browns ILB currently ranks #5 among fantasy LBs so he's deserving of must-start status, but his counterpart Ben Taylor isn't. Taylor has put up very good numbers over the past few games (21 solos, 9 assists) but that may come to an end this week as few ILBs have put up big numbers against this team (Dan Morgan's 15pts this week looks like an aberration). OLB Chaun Thompson is averaging nearly 6pts/game on the year, but he's only been a quality start in 1 of the past 4 weeks and WLBs have struggled against this matchup in recent weeks.
  • LB Oakland Raiders (vs Buffalo): ILB Kirk Morrison
    The Bills rank #31 in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs this year and over their last 3 games, but those numbers are somewhat misleading. They include a week 4 game against the Saints, in which all Saints LBs combined for just 5 total fantasy points. Since the Bills have made the switch to Kelly Holcomb at QB, the LB numbers have been trending upward and last week all 3 Jets starting LBs were quality starts. The Bills offense seems to play better at home than on the road, however, and it remains to be seen how Holcomb will do in front of a hostile crowd. Expect the team to rely heavily on McGahee, who ranks #2 in the league in rushing attempts. Morrison has been a quality start in 4 of the Raiders 5 games so far this year, but his role is still not completely clear to me. He plays in the team's nickel package, but the Raiders probably won't need to use that very often this week. MLB Danny Clark's numbers have mirrored Morrison's but he's likely to see time on every down and distance situation. I don't recommend benching Morrison this week, but wouldn't be surprised if he puts up below average numbers.
  • DB NY Giants (vs Denver): CB Curtis DeLoatch, CB Will Allen
    The Broncos rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs this year and over their last 3 games. Jake Plummer isn't throwing downfield too often, and when he does he's doing a good job of not turning it over. The Giants have a bonafide stud SS in Gibril Wilson, who should be started every week and will likely see action this week trying to slow down the Broncos running game. FS is a bit of a mess as Brent Alexander and Shaun Williams seem to be splitting time and hurting each other's value. Opposing CBs haven't done much against this Broncos team as no CB has been a quality start against them for 4 straight weeks now. An injury to starting CB Will Peterson has forced the Giants to rely on 2nd year player Curtis DeLoatch, who has responded with 10 solo tackles and an INT over his past 2 weeks. Veteran Will Allen hasn't done much the past 2 weeks and this doesn't look like the week for him to turn things around.
  • DB Cincinnati Bengals (vs Pittsburgh): FS Kevin Kaesviharn, CB Tory James
    The Steelers rank #31 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs on the year and over their last 3 games. Clearly, they rely on a power running game and since they've been ahead in most of their games so far this year they haven't had to take many chances throwing downfield. The injuries to Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger certainly hasn't helped in that regard either. SS Madieu Williams missed a couple games with an injury before returning last week, but he's probably too risky to start until he puts a couple good weeks together. FS Kevin Kaesviharn has been very productive and a quality start in 4 of the past 5 games, but this looks like a bad matchup for him as the only opposing FS to crack 6pts against the Steelers this year was Lamont Thompson in week 1. The Bengals CBs Deltha O'Neal and Tory James have both been very productive this year overall, but they've each had 3 good weeks and 3 bad weeks so it's hard to know what you're going to get. Based on this matchup though, this certainly looks like it should be a down week for them. O'Neal is probably the better play due to his upside as he could score a TD in any given week.
  • DB NY Jets (@ Atlanta): CB David Barrett
    The Falcons rank #29 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs on the year, and #30 over their last 3 games. The Falcons have a great running game so they don't need to throw downfield often, and they also don't have any big playmakers at the WR position either. David Barrett is a solid, physical CB for the Jets but he hasn't been a quality start for 3 straight weeks. Ty Law has made a huge impact the past couple games and now has 3 interceptions on the year, so he's a risky player to bench. At the safety positions, the Jets have been getting solid production from SS Kerry Rhodes and FS Erik Coleman. Rhodes has been a quality start in 4 of 6 games and will likely see enough action in trying to stop Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick to warrant a start this week. Coleman got off to a slow start this year, but has been on fire the past 3 weeks and would be tough to bench despite the difficult matchup.
  • DB Cleveland Browns (vs Detroit): SS Chris Crocker
    The Lions rank #25 in fantasy points allowed to opposing DBs, and #26 over their last 3 games. As already mentioned, the Lions offense has been playing poorly this year and that limits the number of snaps for opposing IDPs. SS Chris Crocker has had some huge games for the Browns this year but he was a no show last week against the Ravens. Additionally, the Panthers SS didn't do anything against the Lions last week after a huge game the week before. CB Gary Baxter has 4 straight quality starts under his belt so it would be tough to bench him, although he could struggle this week given all the problems at WR for the Lions. CB Daylon McCutcheon has also put up good numbers this year, but it's tough to imagine one of the Browns CBs doing well this week, much less both of them.

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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