Fantasy Football 2011: Week 8 IDP Guide

David Hawthorne should be ready for a strong finish to follow up from his monster game on Sunday.

There are some ups and some downs that come along with IDP. The downs are all those players have byes weeks and most of them don't have backups in standard formats. This puts IDP owners in a pickle because they either have to cut the IDP guy they'd usually start or cut some of their depth at RB or WR. Personally, two weeks ago I had to cut DeMarco Murray (the day before Felix Jones got hurt) in order to fill the spot on Kam Chancellor's bye. Worst yet, I was in the same situation last week (George Wilson on a bye) and I cut Roy Helu. Kam Chancellor is in my doghouse even though he's been playing well. Even though I was very badly burned.. IDP, I can't quit you baby.

You can follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher for updates throughout the week and instant analysis on Sunday. You can also ask me for a second opinion on any of your IDP decisions.

Linebackers on the Rise

Donald Butler- Butler had one of the best plays of the IDP season with stripping (and recovering) the ball from Dustin Keller and was able to take it to the house on the second play from scrimmage on Sunday. Butler also had nine tackles in the game and is starting to find his niche in the SD 3-4 D.

Karlos Dansby- Dansby was a man on a mission in the first half with 10 tackles against Tim Tebow. Dansby didn't quite look healthy to this year and was very slow in getting to the play in the early part of the year. His last two games have been very good and the Dolphins D should see a lot of time on the field with their sputtering offense. Dansby should be able to push LB2 status in most formats.

Daryl Smith- Smith is quietly having a huge year in Jacksonville. He is currently the 12th-best LB in standard formats and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. The Jaguars O is obviously going to have trouble staying on the field and the Jags' schedule favors linebackers as well. Expect Smith to flirt with LB1 value, but I wouldn't expect him to retain his 12th spot.

DeAndre Levy- Levy has double-digit tackles in four games in a row. He has his bye coming up soon and doesn't have that great of a schedule. He's sort of a sell-high guy.

Dan Skuta- Skuta is set to take over at the Mike with Rey Maualuga already ruled out for Sunday's game with the Seahawks. Skuta had five tackles last week and should be able to provide some decent value for deep leagues (ranked at 41).

Start of the Week

David Hawthorne- Hawthorne was ranked at 13 last week and he came up huge with 11 tackles, a sack, a pick and a pass deflection in the loss to the Browns. The Horned Frog was the cover boy for IDP 100 as well and all signed pointed to him having a monster season. It took a while, but now that the Hawks have the linebacker corps they wanted, owners should expect Hawthorne to flourish.

Note: All of the "Start of the Week" linebackers have exploded with double-digit tackles since we've started this format. Here's to hoping I didn't jinx it.

Rank Linebacker                                                                       Team
1 Nick Barnett BUF
2 James Anderson CAR
3 David Hawthorne SEA
4 Derrick Johnson KC
5 Sean Lee DAL
6 James Laurinaitis STL
7 Pat Angerer IND
8 Patrick Willis SF
9 Paul Posluszny JAC
10 D'Qwell Jackson CLE
11 Daryl Washington ARI
12 Ray Lewis BAL
13 NaVorro Bowman SF
14 DeMarcus Ware DAL
15 London Fletcher WAS
16 Daryl Smith JAC
17 Donald Butler SD
18 Karlos Dansby MIA
19 Chad Greenway MIN
20 Dan Conner CAR
21 Kavell Conner IND
22 DeAndre Levy DET
23 Stephen Tulloch DET
24 James Farrior PIT
25 Barrett Ruud TEN
26 Brian Cushing HOU
27 Takeo Spikes SD
28 Joe Mays DEN
29 Jamar Chaney PHI
30 Jerod Mayo NE
31 Jacquian Williams NYG
32 Rocky McIntosh WAS
33 Lawrence Timmons PIT
34 Jonathan Vilma NO
35 Aldon Smith SF
36 Brian Orakpo WAS
37 Brandon Spikes NE
38 DeMeco Ryans HOU
39 Kevin Burnett MIA
40 Phillip Wheeler IND
41 Dan Skuta CIN
42 Von Miller DEN
43 Paris Lenon ARI
44 Brooks Reed HOU
45 Cameron Wake MIA
46 LaMarr Woodley PIT
47 Thomas Howard CIN
48 Justin Durant DET
49 Tamba Hali KC
50 Shaun Phillips SD

 

Defensive Backs on the Rise

T.J. Ward- The former Oregon Duck was an IDP calamity in the early part of the year by averaging below five tackles per game until his bye in Week 5. He has returned to his 2010 form with an average of 7.5 tackles in his last two games and added a strip-sack last week. There's a very good chance he is sitting out there on waivers in standard leagues and he might explode against the Niners.

Kurt Coleman- Some IDP owners might have forgotten about Coleman with his three-pick, seven-tackle game against the Skins in Week 6. He's the starting strong safety on a team that has good corners and is struggling to stop the run; put those two things together and Coleman has an extremely high upside for most IDP formats. If he has another big game on Sunday Night Football, there's no way he'll remain on waivers in most leagues.

Tanard Jackson- T-Jax picked his second ball in as many games since returning from suspension. The Buccaneers picked up his option today and have shown they're committed to him. He doesn't have too big of an upside, but he's equipped with a nice schedule for a safety and could easily be a DB2 for the rest of the season. He's on a bye this week.

Start of the Week

Pat Chung- Chung could be sitting on your wire with the Pats coming off a bye and Chung dealing with a finger issue earlier in the year. Go ahead and check, we'll wait. The Steelers figure to pass the ball a ton against the 32nd-ranked pass defense of New England, which bodes well for Chung. Billy Belichick may opt to use Chung in some blitz packages in an attempt to exploit the weak Pitt O-line. Oddly enough, Ben Roethlisberger has 10 TDs and just two picks in five games against the Pats, so don't expect a pick for Chung. However, he has a good chance of racking up 10 tackles with a sack as the cherry on top.

Rank Defensive Back                                                             Team
1 George Wilson BUF
2 Yeremiah Bell MIA
3 Kam Chancellor SEA
4 LaRon Landry WAS
5 Antoine Bethea IND
6 Troy Polamalu PIT
7 Pat Chung NE
8 Roman Harper NO
9 Dawan Landry JAC
10 Quintin Mikell STL
11 Antrel Rolle NYG
12 T.J. Ward CLE
13 Dashon Goldson SF
14 Jon McGraw KC
15 Charles Godfrey CAR
16 Eric Weddle SD
17 Ladarius Webb BAL
18 Jarius Byrd BUF
19 Kenny Phillips NYG
20 Kurt Coleman PHI
21 Jordan Babineaux TEN
22 Kyle Arrington NE
23 Ryan Clark PIT
24 Dashon Goldson SF
25 Justin King STL
26 Ed Reed BAL
27 Reggie Nelson CIN
28 Husain Abdullah MIN
29 Earl Thomas SEA
30 Donte Whitner SF
31 Jason McCourty TEN
32 Asher Allen MIN
33 Bernard Pollard BAL
34 Jonathan Wilhite DEN
35 Reed Doughty WAS
36 Amari Spievey DET
37 Devin McCourty NE
38 Michael Griffin TEN
39 Kevin Thomas IND
40 Louis Delmas DET

 

Defensive Lineman on the Rise

Trent Cole- He's back. He is as elite as they come and should be owned in all two-man leagues.

Start of the Week

Michael Johnson- It would be awesome if M.J. could rock these golden shoes or a football version of them. The Bengals get the Seattle Seahawks and their joke of an offense line this week. They lead the league in sacks allowed even though they've already had their bye. Johnson should have a nice day against young Russell Okung and should be picked up by all teams that don't have two must-start options.

Rank Defensive Lineman                                                  Team
1 Jared Allen MIN
2 Charles Johnson CAR
3 Trent Cole PHI
4 Terrell Suggs (DL-eligible)
BAL
5 Michael Johnson CIN
6 Jason Babin PHI
7 Andre Carter NE
8 Chris Clemons SEA
9 Will Smith NO
10 Haloti Ngata BAL
11 Kyle Vanden Bosch DET
12 Jason Pierre-Paul NYG
13 Greg Hardy CAR
14 Jabaal Shead CLE
15 Osi Umenyiora NYG
16 Ndamukong Suh DET
17 Calais Campbell ARI
18 Cliff Avril DET
19 Robert Mathis IND
20 Justin Smith SF
21 J.J. Watt HOU
22 Brian Robison MIN
23 Justin Tuck NYG
24 Derrick Morgan TEN
25 Darnell Dockett ARI
26 Geno Atkins CIN
27 Ahtyba Rubin CLE
28 Dave Ball TEN
29 Antonio Smith HOU
30 Adam Carriker WAS

 

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