IDP Wednesday: NFL's Week Nine

Justin CurryContributor INovember 4, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 9: Kirk Morrison #52 of the Oakland Raiders looks down the field during the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 9, 2008 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

IDP Wednesday is dedicated to the stepchildren of the Fantasy Football world—The Individual Defensive Players. It's broken up into the following six parts:

1. Go and Get 'Em —This section is dedicated to players you should think about for the rest of the way.
2. The Favorable & Formidable Fives —This section lists the five best and worst teams allowing points to the DL, LB, and DB positions this year.
3. Bye-Week Fillers —This section is dedicated to the players who may not be great, but should have a solid, if not spectacular week because of the situation they're in this week.
4. IDP Opportunity —The average NFL game has 125 plays (average for one team is 63 offensive plays and 62 defensive plays). This section illustrates the top and bottom five teams that are above and below that average for both offense and defense showing you which IDP players are getting more opportunities to pad their stats.
5. Playoff Considerations —This section is devoted to what you need to be thinking about with the playoffs coming up.
6. IDP Injury Considerations —This section is devoted to who's out and who you should get as a replacement.

Hope you enjoy and please keep in mind that for the purposes of this article, I am excluding the top 20 linebackers, top 15 defensive backs, and top 10 defensive linemen as I'm assuming that they are already on someone's team.

Go and Get 'Em


Previous Recommendations I Still Like

Andre Carter, Elvis Dumervil, James Hall, Anthony Hargrove, Jason Taylor, Jimmy Wilkerson,

This Week

1. Greg "Stylez G" White (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DE) —Alright, I'm a little late on this horse, but if he's available, pick him up immediately. On the season, he is averaging two solo tackles and one assist. In the last three games, he's averaging four solo tackles, one assist, and one sack. This week he gets Green Bay...enough said. Expect big things from "Stylez G" this week and the production to continue for a while after that.

2. Robaire Smith (Cleveland Browns, DE) —Yes, I know the Browns are on a bye this week, but you need to consider picking Mr. Smith up this week. We all know that they have been decimated at the ILB position this year (more on that a little later) and their second best amount of defensive plays played this year might even make a push on Buffalo as the NFL's best now because of it. Overall this year, Smith has averaged four solo tackles and one assist. After D'Qwell Jackson's injury, Smith has been averaging five solo tackles and two assists. If your in a tackle-heavy league, he just might be your man.


Previous Recommendations I Still Like

Eric Barton (Injured), Keith Brooking (downgrade as Bobby Carpenter replaces him on third downs now), Keith Bulluck, Brian Cushing, Andra Davis, Keith Ellison, Larry Foote, David Hawthorne, LeRoy Hill, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Thomas Howard, Calvin Pace, Mike Peterson, Paul Posluszney, Stephen Tulloch, Will Witherspoon

This Week

1. The Best LB the Rest of the Way (Jacksonville Jaguars, MLB) —Simply put, if you are in a tackle-heavy IDP league and he can stay healthy, I believe Justin Durant will be the No. 1 overall LB the rest of the way. In my opinion, the Jaguars offense is not that good which should keep him on the field. If you take out the games he's missed due to injury, he is averaging eight solo tackles and two assists a game. To this point, his worst game of the year was against Houston when he had five solo tackles and three assists. If you are in a shallow league and he's available, get him. If you have Patrick Willis and your league is tackle-heavy, trade Willis for him...yes, I understand just how crazy that sounded. Other than maybe Kirk Morrison, there is no other LB I want to own the rest of the way this year. Also, if you have Barrett Ruud, now's the time to start to think about trading him as his schedule the rest of the way is pretty brutal. Alright, now you can't say I didn't tell you so when I remind you about this post at the end of the year.

2. Nick Barnett (Green Bay Packers, ILB) —Barnett started the season off slow, but has really come to life of late. On the season, he's averaging five solo tackles, one assist, has one sack and two pass deflections. Over the last three games, he is averaging seven solo tackles and one assist. If he's available and you're in need, pick him up.

3. Kaluka Maiava and David Veikune (Cleveland Browns, ILB) —In case you haven't heard, Eric Barton appears to be done for the season. Though it's a big loss for the Browns, it was a bigger blow to his IDP owners as he was in for a remarkable second half in IDP leagues. As if the D'Qwell Jackson injury wasn't enough, the linebacking situation in Cleveland has just passed Buffalo as the worst in the NFL. Up to the time they both were hurt, Jackson and Barton were averaging 11 solo tackles and five assists per game combined. That production has to go somewhere. In comes two rookies—Kaluka Maiava and David Veikune—to do just that. In the three games Maiava has replaced Jackson so far, he has averaged five solo tackles and two assists. I believe he's the one you want first, but monitor the production of Veikune to see if he's the one who ultimately starts doing better when things settle down.

Other LB Notes

1. David Hawthorne (Seattle Seahawks,  MLB) —Looked pretty good in his debut. If you have him, he's safe to insert now as the game against Dallas should be the worst match-up he'll have all year.

2. Hunter Hillenmeyer (Chicago Bears, SLB) —Hillenmeyer returned last week as the MLB.

3. Ricky Brown (Oakland Raiders, SLB) —John Alston replaced Brown last week.

4. LeRoy Hill (Seattle Seahawks, WLB) —The tackle machine came back this past week. He had four solo tackles which was pretty good considering it was against Dallas who has been pretty stingy to LBs this year


Previous Recommendations I Still Like

Jordan Babineaux, Atari Bigby, Tyvon Branch, C.C. Brown, Mike Brown, Erik Coleman, Thomas DeCoud, Louis Delmas, Reed Doughty, Abram Elam, Chris Harris, Michael Lewis, Sabby Piscitelli, Bernard Pollard, Bob Sanders, Gerald Sensabaugh, Donte Whitner (Injured)/George Wilson

This Week

1. Deshon Goldson (San Francisco 49ers, FS) —Looks like Patrick Willis isn't the only IDP stud in San Francisco! Over the last three weeks, Goldson has averaged seven solo tackles, one assist, has a forced fumble, and one pass deflection. On the season, he's averaging five solo tackles, one assist, has one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble. If he's available, pick him up immediately.

2. Brandon McGowan (New England Patriots, FS) —With McGowan taking more and more time away from James Sanders, pick him up if he's available. On the season, he's averaging five solo tackles, one assist, has two forced fumbles, and four pass deflections. Over the last three games, he is averaging six solo tackles, one assist, has one forced fumble, and two pass deflections. These numbers should get even better over the second half of the season.

3. Donte Whitner/Bryan Scott (Buffalo Bills, S) —Alright, the love I have for the safety positions in Buffalo when it relates to IDP has been well chronicled. After some research, here is a few more reasons:

a. Buffalo's SS Position —So far this year, this position has yielded an average of six solo tackles and two assists per game. This position has also received two sacks, three interceptions, one forced fumble and four pass deflections.

b. Buffalo's FS Position —Thus far, this position has yielded an average of three solo tackles and 2 assists per game. In large part thanks to Jairus Byrd's crazy year, thus far, it has also provided eight interceptions and 11 pass deflections.

It looks like Scott is going to come back after the bye this week at least one week ahead of Whitner who should be out a little longer. If I was betting, I would say that Scott comes in after the bye and takes over for George Wilson at SS until Whitner comes back.

Once Whitner comes back, I think he takes over as the starting SS, all the while leaving Byrd at FS to continue the monster year he's having. Originally, I thought Whitner would go back to FS and Scott to SS like they started off this year, but seriously, how are you going to bench someone who has seven interceptions and nine pass deflections in the last four games like Byrd does?

It's just not going to happen. Whitner and Byrd are the ones to own going forward in Buffalo after next week.

Other DB Notes:

1. Antoine Winfield (Minnesota Vikings, CB) —Out Indefinitely—Benny Sapp is the replacement.

Favorable & Formidable Fives

As one looks at the Favorable portion below, you will notice that you want your DL players to play Green Bay and your LB and DB players to play New Orleans.

As for the Formidable portion, DLs haven't been successful against Dallas' o-line, linebackers aren't productive against Philadelphia, and you already knew to stay away from Oakland with your DBs. One other note, though they haven't been represented yet in these charts below, St. Louis has been just an awful place for MLBs to play these past three games.

In those contests, MLBs are only averaging three solo tackles, so be cautious if your guys play the Rams and truly think about benching them no matter who they are.

Favorable (Ordered w/ Best Team to Play First)


1Green BayNew OrleansNew Orleans
2MiamiCincinnatiNew York Giants
4New York JetsNew EnglandAtlanta


Formidable (Ordered w/ Worst Team to Play First)


2DenverGreen BaySan Francisco
4AtlantaTampa BayGreen Bay

Bye-Week Fillers (Good for This Week)

Byes Week Nine: Buffalo, Cleveland, Minnesota, New York Jets, Oakland, St. Louis

Well, my calls on Jason Taylor and Kyle Vanden Bosch last week allowed me to increase my DL average for the year. As far as my other recommendations last week, George Wilson went off again and everyone pretty much had a productive day, so all is good in Numbers and Guts land.

Thus far this year, if you take out the bye-week recommendations that were benched after my original Wednesday posting (two players) and players that were injured in the first half and didn't return (two players), here are my averages for each position so far:

Using My Preferred IDP Scoring System


SoloAssistsSack IntFFPDTD


Avg. Return for Bye-Week Filler Positions I've Recommended


PositionPoint Total That Week


Week Eight Recommendations


1. Greg "Stylez G" White (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DE) —For all the reasons I love him going forward, read my notes from above. For the reasons I love him this week, he gets to play Green Bay and their league-leading worst offensive line. Expect a huge day from Stylez G.

2. John Abraham (Atlanta Falcons, DE) —He may not be the world's best tackler, but he won't need to be with the disaster known as the Washington Redskins coming into town. Without Chris Samuels, other than the Packers, there is no better team for a DE to play this year. Abraham should be very productive, so put him in if you need help.


1. Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints, ILB) —With Carolina finally realizing the only way they can win against a game (and especially the Saints) is by running the ball a lot. Vilma should continue his latest resurgence for the last two weeks and do it again for at least one more week.

2. Channing Crowder/Reggie Torbor (Miami Dolphins, ILB) —Whomever ends up playing this week (make sure you monitor closely as it hasn't been established yet as the time of this writing) should have very good numbers by the end of the contest. Few teams are better at awarding LBs points than the Patriots, so tackle opportunities should be plentiful.

3. Jerod Mayo (New England Patriots, ILB) —Mayo should pick up on his production and have a good day racking up numbers against Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and the Wildcat.


1. Chris Harris (Carolina Panthers, SS) —Carolina goes into New Orleans this week. Harris should be on the field a lot and rack up some impressive numbers against Brees and company as they are the No. 1 team in the league for a safety to go up against, thus far.

2. Deshon Goldson (San Francisco 49ers, FS) —I don't exactly know why, but the Titans are really good at giving up points to safeties this year. Goldson should continue his great season against them this week with another solid day.

3. Quintin Mikell (Philadelphia Eagles, SS) —Even though he has had somewhat of a disappointing year for what was expected of him at the beginning of the year, Mikell should get back on track with Tony Romo and company coming into town. If you have him or he's available, he's a must-play this week.

IDP Opportunity

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, these four charts are to illustrate which players are actually getting more opportunities to fill up their stat sheet just because they are on a certain team.

Offensively, what can be gained from these first two charts along with the "Favorable & Formidable Fives" section is that you want your safeties and linebackers to go up against New England and New Orleans. If you have a DB going up against Oakland, bench him. If you have a linebacker going up against St. Louis, also bench him.

As far as the defensive play portion (bottom two charts), if one of your IDPers plays on Buffalo, Cleveland, or Oakland, this is primarily why they've been doing so well. If one of your IDPers plays for Miami or Carolina and his name isn't Thomas Davis, this is primarily why he hasn't. Please adjust your rosters accordingly.

Most Amount of Offensive Plays per Game Avg. (League Avg. is 62.5)

New England69.94128
New Orleans68.13334
New York Giants66.63332

Least Amount of Offensive Plays per Game Avg. (League Avg. is 62.5)

San Francisco56.43023

Most Amount of Defensive Plays per Game Avg. (League Avg. is 62.4)

San Francisco66.43826

Least Amount of Defensive Plays per Game Avg. (League Avg. is 62.4)

New York Giants53.62725
New England56.93124

Playoff Considerations

If you're at a point where you're wondering what the SOS (Strength of Schedule) is like for the IDPers on your squad, take a look at this great recommendation from the Fantasy Football Librarian :'s SOS Application

Not quite sure the methodology behind it and would like to see it broken out into DE, ILB, OLB, SS, FS, and CB, but I have a feeling those will be coming in the future. With that said, seriously, is there a better SOS fantasy football tool on the web?! If there is, I haven't found it yet.

IDP Injury Considerations

Player Pos Return You Want
Michael Lewis SS Returned Last Week 
Justin Durant MLBReturned Last Week 
James HallDEReturned Last Week 
Patrick KerneyDEReturned Last Week 
Scott FujitaLBShould Return This WeekJoLonn Dunbar
Roy WilliamsSSShould Return This WeekChinendum Ndukwe
Lawrence TimmonsILBMight Miss This WeekJames Farrior
Bryan ScottSSMight Return Next WeekGeorge Wilson
Donte WhitnerFSMight Return Next WeekJairus Byrd
Nick HarperCBMight Return Next WeekElsewhere
Ricky BrownSLBMight Return Next WeekJohn Alston
Antoine WinfieldCBOut Until Week 11-13Benny Sapp
Nate ClementsCBOut Until Week 14-16Dashon Goldson
Greg EllisDEOut Until Week 11 Elsewhere
Jarrad PageFS Out IndefinitelyMike Brown
Eric BartonILBOut IndefinitelyDavid Veikune
Brian Urlacher MLB Out Rest of Season Nick Roach
Jermaine PhillipsFS Out Rest of Season Sabby Piscitelli
Daniel BullocksFS Out Rest of Season Louis Delmas
Kenny PhillipsSS Out Rest of Season C.C. Brown
Michael BoleyWLBOut Rest of SeasonChase Blackburn
Antwan OdomDEOut Rest of SeasonMichael Johnson
Lofa TatupuMLBOut Rest of SeasonDavid Hawthorne
D'Qwell JacksonILBOut Rest of SeasonKaluka Maiava
Will AllenCBOut Rest of SeasonElsewhere
Kris JenkinsNTOut Rest of SeasonElsewhere
Omar GaitherMLBOut Rest of SeasonWill Witherspoon
Pisa TinoisamaSLBOut Rest of SeasonNick Roach


For new insightful posts on who to get for your IDP leagues each week, you can always checkout the "IDP Wednesday" article series at .


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