Welcome to top fantasy football’s Week 15 edition of “IDP Starts & 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 “matchup independent.”
I hope everyone was successful in his or her respective playoff matchups last week (if you had one). My philosophy, at this point in the season, is to start defensive players based primarily on their matchups. There’s no use in holding onto “big name” players any longer in hopes of them panning out. It’s guys like Reed Doughty and James Anderson that are going to win you the ’ship, not DeMeco Ryans or Osi Umenyiora.
Enough preaching. Here are my IDP recommendations for Week 15:
*The IDP Guru’s Start of the Week*
MLB Keith Bulluck
I actually like both MLB Keith Bullock and WLB Stephen Tulloch this week against Miami. I chose Bullock as my start of the week over Tulloch because he stays in for nickel packages whereas Tulloch does not. Therefore, if Miami starts throwing, Bullock will obviously have more tackle opportunities than Tulloch. Look for Bullock to have 9-11 total tackles this week.
Every Week Starters: Defensive Linemen
1. DE/WLB Terrell Suggs
Suggs had missed the last three weeks with an injury but he returned last week against the Lions and had four solo tackles. Suggs is a great value because of the high tackling capability he brings from his hybrid DE/WLB spot. Chicago gets sacked a decent amount as well. Sounds like a good combination to me.
2. LDE John Abraham
I know, I know. Abraham sucks this year. I agree completely. I drafted him for God’s sake! But, he has a matchup this week against the Jets that is just too good to pass up. The Jets give up the most fantasy points to opposing defensive lineman and Abraham has a little extra incentive to do well playing against his old team. And hell, he hasn’t had a full sack since Week Five. He’s due, isn’t he?
3. RDE Aaron Schobel
I’ve recommended Schobel a few times in my weekly waiver wire articles this year and for good reason. He plays in a division that has teams that take a lot of sacks! This week the Bills play the New England Patriots, who are actually in the top five for fantasy points given up to opposing defensive lineman.
Every Week Starters: Linebackers
Karlos Dansby—Injured (Probable)
1. LOLB LaMarr Woodley
I recommended Woodley in my blog as a waiver wire pickup last week and he came up big with six solo tackles and a sack. He has a superb matchup against the Packers this week, so expect a similar stat line.
2. WLB Michael Boley
Boley really impressed me last week by going 10-1-0 against the Eagles, who are one of the stingiest teams in the NFL when it comes to giving up fantasy points to opposing linebackers. He’s got a great matchup against the ‘Skins this week. Look for Boley to have a very solid game.
3. WLB James Anderson
If you’re in need of a one-week filler, Anderson may be your guy. He’s been thrown into the WLB position because of the season-ending injury to Thomas Davis a few weeks ago. To a certain extent, it’s Carolina’s Cover 2 defensive scheme that makes the WLB position valuable, not the actual player. With this being said, Anderson has the Vikings this week who are a fantasy linebacker's dream come true. He should be able to produce at least 7-9 total tackles this week.
Every Week Starters: Defensive Backs
Eric Weddle—Injured (Questionable)
Troy Polamalu—Injured (Out)
Oshiomogho Atogwe—Injured (Placed on IR Dec. 9)
1. SS Reed Doughty
Doughty has been one of the more consistent, tackling strong safeties in the league. He has a great matchup this week against the New York “Football” Giants. Get him in your lineup!
2. SS Erik Coleman
Coleman has cooled off the last three weeks after a hot start to the season. However, I think he will bounce back this week against the Jets, who will look to run the ball a lot. Seriously, what else are the Jets going to do except hand the ball to Thomas Jones? Let Mark Sanchez (or possibly Kellen Clemens) throw? I think not.
3. LCB William James
James is coming off a nine-tackle week against the Ravens last week and this week he has the best matchup an opposing fantasy CB can have: The Arizona Cardinals. He should be good for seven or eight solo tackles.
*The IDP Guru’s Sit of the Week*
WLB Daryl Smith
Smith is on pace for about 100 total tackles this season. Not bad. However, he is the second best fantasy linebacker in Jacksonville behind Justin Durant and he has to face the Colts this week who are extremely stingy when it comes to giving out fantasy points to opposing linebackers. Don’t even think about Smith this week. Look somewhere else.
1. RDE Stylez White
“The Artist formerly known as Greg” had a nice game last week against the Jets, but I could probably manage a sack (or two) against the Jets, so that isn’t saying a whole lot. White gets the Seahawks this week. They have allowed the second fewest points to defensive lineman over the last eight weeks. I would shy away from White this week.
2. RDE Will Smith
For as inconsistent as the Cowboys' offense has been this year, the offensive line has managed to protect Romo fairly well. Add to that the fact that Romo is an elusive QB to begin with and you have a recipe that opposing defensive linemen don’t like tasting. I don’t see Smith being successful in his “Pursuit of Happiness” (bad pun, I know).
1. WLB Will Witherspoon
Since be traded to the Eagles in Week Seven, “Spoon” has been a fairly solid fantasy producer. His value took a slight hit when the Eagles decided to move him from MLB to WLB a few ago though. And he has a bad matchup this week against the 49ers and their West-Coast offense. Don’t expect more than 4-6 total tackles this week.
2. MLB Dhani Jones
It was just last week that I recommended you start Mr. Jones and he came through with 10 total tackles. However, he just isn’t good enough to overcome bad matchups like the one he has against the Chargers this week. Look somewhere else for a linebacker this week.
1. SS Brian Dawkins
Dawkins is coming off a huge game last week (7-3-0, 2 INTs). However, the Raiders are just not good enough to control the ball for an extended period of time, or get to the second level of the opposing team’s defense—bad news for a secondary player like Dawkins. The last time Dawkins played the Raiders he only had three total tackles. Not good.
2. SS Nedu Ndukwe
Gotta love that name! Ndukwe has filled in well for Roy “Horse-Collar” Williams, but he’s probably going to hit a brick wall this week against the Eagles. The Eagles are pretty stingy when it comes to giving up points to opposing DBs.
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)
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