Welcome to Top Fantasy Football’s Week 14 edition of “IDP Starts and Sits,” brought to you by “The IDP Guru.”
For each position (DL, LB, DB), I will recommend three Starts and two Sits in addition to my “Start of the Week” and “Sit of the Week.”
Also, for each position, I have listed players that I consider to be every week starters, or in other terms, “matchup independent.”
Here are my IDP recommendations for Week 14.
*The IDP Guru’s Start of the Week*
MLB Justin Durant
If you only read my articles once in a great moon, you will still probably know that I am a big fan/believer in Justin Durant. I truly believe he is a top 10 LB when healthy. He has struggled with injuries this season, but those concerns seem to have dissipated after his strong performance last week (6-0-1, INT, 1 TFL).
Durant has a great matchup against the run-heavy Dolphins this week and should have a superb game.
Every Week Starters
Robert Mathis—INJURED (QUESTIONABLE)
1. RDE Greg “Stylez” White
You have to love a guy who legally changes his first name to “Stylez.” You also have to love that he plays the Jets this week, who have given up more fantasy points to opposing defensive linemen then any other team in the NFL (including the Packers). Look for Mr. White to give Kellen Clemens a couple of “style” tips this week, if you know what I mean. And by that I mean sack him.
2. WLB Trevor Scott
Scott is a sneaky play. He was moved from his DE position to WLB in Week 12 against the Cowboys and has remained there ever since. In the two games at that position, he has nine total tackles and three sacks. It looks as though he will remain there this week as well. He’s got a good chance for a sack this week against the Redskins and should put up good tackles numbers (for a DL) as well.
FYI, most league management systems lock in players at the position they start at in the beginning of the year, and therefore Scott will still be listed as a DE in most systems. What a steal!
3. RDE Randy Starks
The former third round pick of the Tennessee Titans has performed admirably this season, registering six sacks so far. He should be able to increase that number this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I expect Starks to have three to four solo tackles and a sack this week.
Every Week Starters
Karlos Dansby—INJURED (PROBABLE)
1. RILB Jerod Mayo
Mayo was on my “Start” list last week, and he came through in a big way with 12 total tackles and a half sack. He consistently produces against run-heavy teams, and he plays an extremely run-heavy team this week in the Carolina Panthers. I don’t expect Mayo to put up the same numbers he did last week, but he should have a solid game nonetheless.
2. MLB Dhani Jones
Jones is very comparable to MLB Larry Foote. He consistently puts up six to seven total tackles per week, but not much more.
This week, however, may be a different story for Jones, as he is facing Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have given up more fantasy points to opposing linebackers than any other team in the league. Look for Jones to have his best fantasy production of the season this week (eight to 11 total tackles).
3. WLB Clint Session
Who’s accumulated the most fantasy points from the linebacker position over the last seven weeks? Patrick Willis, you say? Jon Beason, you say? How about Clint Session? Yeah, that Clint Session. Session has been a tackling machine this season and is surprisingly only owned in 22 percent of ESPN leagues.
His matchup against Denver this week is marginal, but at this point in the season, I consider Session close to “matchup independent.”
Every Week Starters
Eric Weddle—INJURED (DOUBTFUL)
Troy Polamalu—INJURED (OUT)
Oshiomogho Atogwe—INJURED (PLACED ON IR DEC. 9)
1. SS Melvin Bullitt
This guy has quietly put up 39 total tackles the last five weeks and has filled in very nicely for the oft-injured Bob Sanders. He faces the Broncos this week, who have given up the second most points to opposing safeties the last seven weeks. Sounds like a great combination to me! I expect Bullitt to generate eight or more total tackles this week, and he should be a fairly solid play for the rest of the season.
2. CB Richard Marshall
Marshall is often picked on by opposing teams because of his lack of coverage skills and therefore usually puts up decent tackle numbers against pass-heavy teams. With that said, he will have his hands full this week trying to cover the Patriots' deadly WR combination of Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Marshall should be in line for six to eight solo tackles.
3. WLB Bryan Scott
As long as the Bills continue to play Scott at WLB, I will continue to recommend him. You can’t beat the value of having a LB that qualifies at S. Also, he has the Chiefs this week, who are a good matchup for opposing fantasy linebackers.
*The IDP Guru’s Sit of the Week*
WLB Andra Davis
Even though Davis has been overshadowed by fellow linebacker D.J. Williams this year, he has still put up LB3 numbers. However, playing the Colts this week is a death sentence. I wouldn’t expect more than four or five total tackles.
1. LDE Leonard Little
Little has registered double-digit sacks in four of his eight years in the league and may come close again this year. However, he faces the Titans this week, who have surprisingly only given up 12 sacks all year.
2. LDE Robert Geathers
The Vikings have done a great job of protecting old man Brett Favre this season and should continue to do so against the Bengals. Honestly, I wouldn’t start anybody on Cincinnati’s defensive line this week.
1. WLB Michael Boley
Boley’s numbers have seen a significant increase since starting MLB Antonio Pierce went on IR with a bulging disk in his neck, and he has become the leader (and play caller) on the Giants defense. But all of that becomes irrelevant when one plays the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles just don’t run enough to provide enough tackling opportunities for opposing fantasy linebackers. Make sure Boley is on your bench for this one.
2. WLB Stephen Tulloch
Tulloch has been one of the more consistent tackling linebackers this season, but he has started to show signs of slowing down the last couple of weeks. I also don’t like that he comes out in nickel packages because this obviously limits his tackle opportunities. Tulloch faces the Rams this week, who on the surface seem like a good matchup because they're a run-heavy team but in reality are one of the worst matchups for LBs.
1. FS LaRon Landry
Landry has the Raiders this week, who have absolutely no receivers to throw to and consequently no one for Landry to tackle. Statistically speaking, the Raiders have given up the fewest number of points to opposing DBs this season. Admittedly, it takes some balls to sit a guy who went 12-0-1 the previous week. But those types of moves are what separate the men from the boys as far as IDP fantasy football goes.
2. FS Antrel Rolle
Rolle has been a fairly solid IDP performer this year. He’s put up a decent number of tackles for a free safety, and he’s gathered four INTs. However, he faces the 49ers this week on MNF, and they haven’t been very fantasy friendly to opposing DBs this year. You may want to think about benching Rolle this week.
I hope you found this article to be helpful and enjoyable!
Please feel free to leave comments, questions, or derogatory remarks!
Ryan Sitzmann (The IDP Guru)
If you liked this article, make sure to check out our other great Week 14 articles: