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By this point in the season, your roster is pretty much set. Bye weeks will change things, as will injuries, but your team shouldn’t be relying too heavily on the waiver wire for success. If you are, then I’d imagine your playoff hopes are similar to those of the Giants, and your face is likely as red as Tom Coughlin’s.

With your roster set, the toughest choices become who to start each week. While you could just sit back and let my rankings do the work for you, thinking about matchups can make your choices easier. Certain offenses tend to provide more opportunities for IDP stats, and depending on your scoring system, this knowledge can help you decide between two close options on your roster.

Here are some teams and scoring systems that have yielded great results so far:

Tackles – Buffalo

The Bills have let up an average of over 86 total tackles per game against them, including a remarkable 107 in their Week 4 win against the Ravens. They run the ball a lot with Spiller and Jackson (and sometimes Choice for some reason), which has been especially beneficial for Defensive Linemen. For Week 7, this bumps up Dannell Ellerbe and Cameron Wake if they’re healthy, and makes Phillip Wheeler and Olivier Vernon look more like starters. Whether it’s E.J. Manuel, Thad Lewis, Matt Flynn, or Walter White’s son Flynn, the Bills will be running the ball a lot, and giving plenty of tackle opportunities to opposing teams.

Sacks – Miami and Oakland

These two teams, for entirely different reasons, each allow nearly 5 sacks per game. Miami has an abomination of a left tackle in Jonathan Martin, and Ryan Tannehill must assume he’s about to get blind-sided when he’s in practice, playing golf, or spending quality time with Mrs. Tannehill. Unless they make a move (unlikely) or the running game improves (possible), Miami makes a great target for opposing pass rushers, and that’s why Mario Williams is my DL1 this week.

The Raiders have let up so many sacks due in part to a mediocre O-Line, but also due to a mobile QB who holds onto the ball longer than usual. Michael Vick has dealt with this issue throughout his career, and it looks like Terrelle Pryor will follow that model for now. Oakland is also typically trailing, so it provides more sack opportunities for opposing pass-rushers. They’re on a bye this week, but Lamarr Woodley and Jarvis Jones should have a field day in Week 8.

Passes Defensed/Interceptions – Jacksonville and New York Giants

Two other teams that are forced to pass a lot make great options for streaming your DBs and racking up these correlated stats. While Chad Henne is better at limiting interceptions than Blaine Gabbert based on percentage of throws picked off, he will also be allowed to throw the ball more in general, which leads to more IDP stats. It doesn’t hurt that the Jags don’t look particularly concerned about winning any games this year.

And it wouldn’t be an interception discussion without talking about Eli. Even if this year’s absurd numbers can’t possibly continue, the youngest Manning does have a knack for hitting defenders in stride. I have no stats to back this up, but Eli must lead the league in tipped interceptions every year, which is doubly nice because it counts as a pass defended as well as an interception. Much like his older brother spreads the ball around the Denver receiving corps, Eli is an equal-opportunity pick thrower, giving even D-Tackles the opportunity to catch-and-run with the ball.

Fumbles Forced/Recovered /Touchdowns – Don’t Use For Analysis

These plays can and will swing real and fantasy matchups every week, but they are so unpredictable that they should not be relied on. It’s obviously fun to talk about David Wilson’s fumbles, and the number of defensive TDs scored against Matt Schaub and the Texans (Six. Six!) is insane, but over the course of the season these numbers should even out. One defensive player might be better at forcing fumbles than another, but it’s rare that an offensive player is allowed to keep playing when they repeatedly put the ball on the ground.

 

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From Around The Web

  1. Quentin says:
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    Thanks for these IDP posts!

    Not too excited for Von Miller? I know he’s not a big tackle guy…

    Also, Greg Hardy has killed me this year since I missed his one big week but played him almost every other. I’ve always had a tough time predicting success from DLs and their matchups..

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Quentin:

      I’m skeptical of Von this week, but if Woodyard is officially out, then I’ll move him up. He racked up more tackles than any other pass-rush LB last year, so I expect this to be his lowest ranking.

      Hardy has burned me as well, but I’m keeping the faith for now, especially against STL.

  2. Isaac says:
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    What the heck happened to JJ Watt last week ? He’s good to go ?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Isaac:

      Your question could be re-phrased “What happened to Houston last week?”

      I can’t imagine Watt gets shut out again, but teams are certainly keying on him and he’s no longer my no-doubt DL1 each week.

  3. Byron from Austin says:
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    what’s the latest on donald butler and brad jones? i’m gonna have to drop whichever one isn’t playing, cause of bye week probs.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Byron from Austin:

      No official word on either, but I’d think Butler has a better chance of playing than Jones this week. For ROS however, I tend to prefer Jones. So if you’re not starting either of them this week, I’d drop Butler. If you’re forced to start one, I’d hold off as long as possible before making that decision, but it’s looking more like Butler than Jones.

      • Byron from Austin says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: yeah i agree on you about jones over butler. i went ahead and dropped butler cause he’s on bye next week anyways. thanks!

  4. Byron from Austin says:
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    and when do you think is a good time to pick up jameel mcclain? he’s comin back

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Byron from Austin:

      Even if he played this week, I don’t know if I would be comfortable starting him. Smith and Suggs have looked so good, and Arthur Brown is waiting in the wings, so I don’t think I would make a move on McClain until he proves he’s worth it.

  5. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Harrison Smith droppable? I’ve got Cyprien and Patrick Peterson as backups (Peterson is on the bench until he produces more, but he’s there for depth and potential). Thanks.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist:

      It depends how deep your roster is. If he gets himself healthy without surgery, he’s still one of the top 3 DBs out there, so I’d hold on for another week if you have room. It sounds like surgery may be coming though, so as soon as this is more than a 2-3 week injury, it’s probably time to cut bait.

  6. TysonFrozenChicken says:
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    What do you think about a trade in a dynasty league of Dannell Ellerbe and Charles Tillman for Kiko Alonso? I could also do Ellerbe and maybe Jared Allen for Alonso.

    I have Mario Williams and Sheldon Richardson behind Allen (we start two DLs) and Ihenacho, Pollard and either Ryan Clark or Aaron Williams behind Tillman (start 3 DBs).

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @TysonFrozenChicken:

      I would jump on that trade with Tillman involved. Alonso is definitely worth paying for, and I like Allen more than Tillman, even given his subpar performance so far.

      • TysonFrozenChicken says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Deep league flex question: with Ellerbe out this week, would you start Ryan Clark, Brian Orakpo or Sheldon Richardson?

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @TysonFrozenChicken:

          I’d go with Clark, but they’re all close to me. If sacks are valued more than 3:1 over tackles then I would probably take Orakpo.

  7. Todd says:
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    I have JPP and tuck also have justin smithand Greg hardy. I have the option if trading smith or JPP. Should I trade either? I prob have to drop JPP or tuck anyway bc of the bye week. Can JPP come back to the old him ?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Todd:

      JPP just doesn’t seem healthy, but his ceiling is so high that you can’t drop him. I think trading him right now would be selling low, so it depends on who you could get. If anything, packaging JPP and Smith together for a high-end DL to someone who needs DL depth would be ideal. Otherwise I’d choose to trade Smith over JPP, unless another owner is willing to pay higher than JPP has shown that he’s worth.

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