Welcome back ID, people. We're a day early since the first game starts tonight! We usually don't talk much about anything besides the fantasy angle, but I'm a little bit surprised by the -7 spread in San Diego. The Raiders just got taken to the woodshed by the Denver Tebows and had 11 players miss practice for most of this week. That's including their best player in Darren McFadden.The defense is also very unlikely to Michael Huff at safety as well as Rolando McClain not at 100 percent (questionable). I'd be shocked if Thursday's game is close. I'm betting ATS for San Diego and you should, too (if I'm right/wrong say thank/eff you here).
Switching gears back to fantasy, there might be some leagues that lock on the first game of the week. If your league is like this, you HAVE TO get it changed next year. In fantasy it's all about minimizing luck and to lock a team's roster on Thursday with players that are questionable just isn't fair.
This week we have a full slate of games and we ranked 125 defensive players. Check it out after the jump:
Follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher for updates in the IDP world and plenty of instant analysis on Sunday. Since several IDP leagues are different, I'd also encourage you to @ me anything about your lineup, too.
Linebackers on the Rise
Jerod Mayo- Mayo is back and played a nice chunk of snaps on his way to six tackles. Mayo famously racked up 20 tackles in his rookie year against the Jets that really put him on the IDP map. The Patriots are going to miss fellow inside backer Brandon Spikes with a sprained MCL, so there is a lot on Mayo's shoulders to be the main man in the middle. Mayo should be a busy man on Sunday Night Football and he would be a lot higher if we knew he'd be able to put in his full load (ranked at 17).
Mason Foster-Foster finally made a splash in the IDP fold with his nine tackles against the Saints. Foster was an absolute dud by failing to rack up more than five tackles since his fast two-week start. In his defense, he was not healthy and didn't really get his usual load. He did make an concerted effort with Geno Hayes to clog up the middle against New Orleans. Foster is the Mike in a 4-3 scheme, so he has some upside and a decent schedule for a linebacker. He's a low-end LB2 for now.
Kevin Burnett- Karlos Dansby gets most of the IDP pub for his big contract with the Phins, but Burnett has played very well in the middle with him, too. Burnett tallied 12 tackles accompanied by 1.5 sacks against the Chiefs on Sunday in one of the best performance of the weekend. To be clear, Dansby is the player to own since the pass rush usually comes from his side (Cameron Wake) and teams tend to make pre-snap adjustments and run to his side. It's going to be tough to play Burnett now and he's really just a lesser version of NaVorro Bowman.
Start of the Week
James Anderson- Anderson gets to take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and there's little doubt that Tennessee will want to work out the kinks in CJ2K's game against one of the worst rushing defense in the league. Anderson plays on all three downs and should see plenty of action from the strong side.
Defensive Backs on the Rise
Charlie Peprah- Sgt. Peprah was on our risers a couple weeks ago and he had been averaging eight tackles with no other stats in the three games before Sunday. He brought plenty of stats against the Chargers with his two picks including one house call. Peprah has been filling in quite well for Nick Collins (IR) and should continue to improve as the season hums along for the Pack. He is a decent DB2, but he doesn't have much of a favorable matchup this week.
Chris Harris- Harris led the Broncos in tackles for the second consecutive game by corralling 11 Raiders (obviously some of them were the same players). Harris doesn't get a full complement of snaps just yet and Andre Goodman has been playing OK opposite Champ Bailey. The Broncos pass D shouldn't be tested too much on Sunday against the Chiefs. Harris is ranked at 44 this week and is nothing more than a DB3 at this point.
Reed Doughty- LaRon Landry is questionable with the perpetually injured Achilles. Doughty has already been getting snaps alongside of Landry and now should get just about every snap on defense. He might be responsible for sticking Matt Moore's new toy Anthony Fasano as well as providing bracket coverage on Brandon Marshall. If LaRon sits, Doughty is a very strong DB2 this week.
Start of the Week
Charles Godfrey- This edition is made from bits of real Panther apparently. Godfrey has been much improved and is coming off a 10-tackle showing against the Vikings. The fact that the Panthers are so thin up front means that he should be able to making a handful of tackles at the second level. The Titans are banged up at WR and Jared Cook could see more targets than usual. I'm not that high on Godfrey (as indicated by his ranking of 12), but the guys above him should all be owned in competitive leagues.
Honorable Mention: Reed Doughty would make for a heck of a start if for some reason Landry misses the game.
Defensive Linemen on the Rise
Mathias Kiwanuka- Kiwi is found in the DL section even though there's a good chance he's not DL-eligible in your league. If he isn't and is just LB, then he is much less valuable and should be considered as an LB4-type. Moving on, Kiwi has been playing lights out and was actually named the NFL Defensive Player of the Week for his 12-tackle performance at the Sam spot. If he's out there in your league that scores two points/sack and one point/tackle (what these rankings are based on), then you have to pick him up.
Carlos Dunlap- A couple weeks ago we chronicled the outbreak of Michael Johnson fever for fantasy. Johnson fizzled and Dunlap has been rolling like a set of tires. He had been getting quite a push for a while, but hadn't be able to put that pressure on the stat sheet until recently. He's threatening as a DL2 right now and has a decent schedule from his LE position.
James Hall- James Hall got the very best matchup in the world as he got to take on the hapless Cardinals on Sunday. Hall isn't the marquee name like Chris Long is, but Hall was actually the more valuable asset in IDP leagues last year. The Rams are doing a lot better in putting pressure on the quarterback and they're a darkhorse to have five or more sacks on Sunday. I WOULD NOT PLAY Hall this week in most formats as he gets matched up with one of the best tackles in the game, Joe Thomas. Chris Long could have a big game, but I wrote about him last week.
Marcell Dareus-Kyle Williams was placed on IR for the Bills which should allow the rookie from Alabama to get a nice allotment of plays in the Buffalo interior. He is coming off two very impressive games and should be a staple of their D for a while. The problem though is that their D is going to be trampled on for the rest of the season via the run. They are quickly falling apart in the interior and it won't be long until they're ranked in the bottom three in rushing yards allowed. The more rushing attempts a team has, the better the value of Dareus. He is one of the best DT-eligible guys in IDP Land.
Start of the Week
Trent Cole and Jason Babin- The Cardinals have one of the worst lines in the league and the Wide 9 should be in full effect as they'll be able to pin their ears back for most of the second half. This game is going to be very ugly.
|9||Kyle Vanden Bosch||DET|
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