The IDP Breakdown: Week 10 Edition
Every game, every week. Jeff Ratcliffe gives you the IDPs you should start and who you should avoid in all of the Week 9 matchups using analysis based on his ...
The IDP Breakdown: Week 10 Edition
Every game, every week. Jeff Ratcliffe gives you the IDPs you should start and who you should avoid in all of the Week 9 matchups using analysis based on his weekly IDP projections, the PFF IDP Package Frequencies, and the IDP Points Against table.
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
With Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts offense is firing on all cylinders right now. They’ve proven to be a surprisingly strong matchup for DBs this season, as not team gives up more fantasy points per game to the position. Dawan Landry has quietly put up 50 total tackles (38 solo) through his first eight games this season, and is likely available on your waiver wire. Landry makes for a sneaky DB2 play this week for owners in a pinch. Derek Cox gutted it out last week despite a questionable tag, and while he didn’t look particularly good on the field, he still recorded five solo tackles. He now has 15 solos and two picks in his last three games, and makes for a solid option for owners in CB-required leagues. Daryl Smith is on the designated to return I.R., so it’s Russell Allen’s gig in the nickel package for essentially the rest of the season. This isn’t a particularly strong matchup for him, however, as the Colts give up the fifth-least fantasy points per game to LBs. Jeremy Mincey has two sacks in his last three games. The Colts are a decent matchup for DEs, but Luck is very mobile, so the sacks likely won’t come in bunches if they do come at all.
Angerer is a good description for how fantasy owners feel about how the Colts have been using Pat Angerer since he returned from a broken foot. Last week, Angerer again rotated with Kavell Conner, playing just 14 snaps and recording two total tackles on the day. At this point, you can’t trust Angerer in your lineup, but I don’t think you should let go of him. Angerer is much more talented than Conner, and could easily move into an every-down role as early as this week. For now, you just have to wait and see, and Jerrell Freeman is the only startable Colts LB. The Jaguars give up the third-least fantasy points to safeties on a per-game basis, so you’re downgrading Antoine Bethea in this one. The tackle opportunities that his fantasy value is so contingent on just won’t be there.
San Diego @ Tampa Bay
It’s frustrating being a Mason Foster owner. He’s been extremely productive this season on a per snap basis, but the problem is that he hasn’t been in an every-down role. Last weekend, Foster played just 43-of-86 snaps and managed only five total tackles. Carson Palmer dropped back to pass a whopping 68 times in the game, so this is a good indication of how the Bucs are likely to use Foster against pass-heavy offenses. This is likely to be a similar matchup against the Chargers. It’s a good idea to downgrade Foster in this one. Lavonte David played every snap last week, so he’ll be just fine. The Chargers give up the most tackles per game to LBs, so get David in your lineup as a borderline LB1. Really, all of the Tampa IDPs make for good starts this week because the Chargers have been an extremely fantasy-friendly matchup. You’re starting Mark Barron, Ronde Barber, and Michael Bennett, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Another Buccaneer who should be on your radar is Da’Quan Bowers, who played 42 snaps and recorded a sack in Week 9. Bowers has a big fantasy ceiling and should be rostered in deeper leagues.
It looks like Donald Butler has gotten off his early-season schneid. He’s racked up 20 total tackles (14 solo) since the Chargers’ Week 8 bye, and is back in the high-end LB2 territory. If you’ve weathered the storm with Butler, you now have yourself a productive LB for the fantasy stretch run. Eric Weddle is certainly still in your lineup, but I’m not going as far with Atari Bigby. His first name is still awesome, but his snap count from last week is not. After playing every snap for the season, Bigby was on the field for 47-of-64 snaps in Week 9. If you’ve been relying on Bigby in deep leagues, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on his playing time this weekend.
Tennessee @ Miami
After missing the last four games due to a back injury, Richard Marshall was placed on injured reserve this week, ending his season. It’s likely you moved on from Marshall weeks ago, but this is still important because it now locks Nolan Carroll in the starting lineup. Owners in CB-required leagues will want to take a long look at Carroll, who has 18 total tackles (17 solo) and four passes defensed in his last two games. An eye-popping 28 targets thrown into his coverage during that span have really helped his fantasy production. Carroll makes for a solid upside CB option going forward. By the way, Cameron Wake has at least one sack in each of his last five games. He’s really good.
And now it’s time for our weekly discussion of the Titans linebackers. Just when we thought Colin McCarthy was back and locked in an every-down role, Mike Munchak threw us a curveball and instead used Zach Brown in that role last week. McCarthy actually rotated off the field for 13 snaps, while Brown missed just two. This is certainly something to monitor this weekend, but those in deeper leagues will want to snatch up Brown. For anyone holding onto Akeem Ayers, don’t be fooled by last weekend’s stat line. He only played 41-of-70 snaps, and is no longer a nickel linebacker. He will continue to get looks as a situational pass rusher, but his fantasy value has plummeted. Another Titan dropping in value is Jordan Babineaux, who actually saw less snaps (34) than Al Afalava (36) last weekend. Afalava did injure his ankle in the game, however, so there’s a good chance Babineaux is back in an every-down role again this week. Still, you’re starting him at your own risk going forward.
Buffalo @ New England
The Patriots entered their Week 9 bye banged up on both sides of the ball. The defense was missing both starting safeties in Steve Gregory and Pat Chung. Both players were limited in practice this week, and there’s no guarantee they return. We could see Tavon Wilson and Devin McCourty again manning the safety spots in this good matchup against a Bills team that surprisingly has yielded the fifth-most fantasy points per game to safeties. As I’ve said before, McCourty gets a nice value boost in the safety spot. It looks like he could potentially be there going forward, as the Patriots traded for Aqib Talib, who is eligible to play next week. Brandon Spikes also showed up on the injury report this week, and was limited in practice. Spikes just worked his way into some nickel snaps before the bye, and appeared to finally have some fantasy value. An injury could potentially jeopardize that. I’ll updated the situation on Sunday in our live chat and on Twitter.
Another safety who looks to be heading towards the dreaded committee is George Wilson. Last Sunday, Wilson played 46-of-66 snaps, while Da’Norris Searcy saw 20 snaps. There were grumblings of this happening earlier in the season, but that failed to come to fruition until last week. If the Bills do in fact stay the course with this rotation, it moves Wilson from a low-end DB1 to a matchup DB2 or worse. Still, I’m playing him this weekend against the extremely fantasy-friend Patriots, who give up the most tackles per game to safeties this season. Mario Williams looked like new man on Sunday, or maybe it was just that he was playing his old team. That’s all speculation, but what we do know that he’s been playing with a torn ligament in his left wrist. Hopefully that’s what caused his first-half floundering, but I’m still not trusting him this week. The Patriots give up the fifth-least fantasy points per game to DEs.
Oakland @ Baltimore
We’re now two games into the Ray Lewis injury, and in both of them, Dannell Ellerbe has been more productive than Jameel McClain for fantasy owners. I’m ready to close the book on this one. Ellerbe is an LB2 going forward, and McClain is a matchup LB3. This week isn’t the matchup for McClain. It may be the matchup for the Ravens’ secondary, however. With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson almost certainly on the sidelines, the Raiders will likely air it out a lot in this one. Upgrade Bernard Pollard, Ed Reed, and Cary Williams in this one. I’m also moving Terrell Suggs into my top-10 DLs this week. He started in Week 9 and played 56-of-72 snaps. It’s not a fantastic matchup, but Suggs is a fantastic player.
There’s been a Tyvon Branch sighting. Last weekend, Branch put up double-digit tackles for just the second time this season in what looked to be a poor matchup for safeties. He’s been solid so far this season, but the cream is rising here. Branch is a top-five DB going forward. This isn’t a particularly good matchup for the Raiders LBs and DLs. You probably have to start Phillip Wheeler and Matt Shaughnessy, but temper your expectations for them. I wouldn’t roll the dice on Miles Burris and Lamarr Houston, however. You likely have better options elsewhere.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is one of the most accurate rankers in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.