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IDP Interactive - Week 9
Steve Gallo
November 1, 2008
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Welcome to our week 9 edition of IDP INTERACTIVE.  In our IDP Forum you will find a thread entitled "IDP INTERACTIVE" pinned to the top where you can submit your questions for consideration.  If you question is not chosen to be answered in this column every effort will still be made to answer your question in the IDP Forum.

Let’s take a look at the question that forum member Donutrun Jellies has this week.

Donutrun Jellies wrote,
“One of my leagues features a single IDP ... I have Harrison vs Was ... Willis of SF is gone, but there's a lot out there as it's a 10 team league and only 14 IDPs are on rosters. Harrison has done well for me, but last week was next to nothing ...

I could waive Harrison and go get:

Ryans vs Min -- he was huge for me last year, but has been off this year
ZThomas vs NYG
Morrison vs Atl
JPorter vs Den
Mathis vs NE
LFletcher vs Pitt
Poslusny vs NYJ
RLewis or Suggs vs Cle
Kiwanuka or Tuck vs Dall
Woodley vs Was

Egad -- almost tooo many to choose from!!! Thoughts?

Scoring:
Tackle Solo (1)
Tackle Assist (0.5)
Sack (3)
Interception (3)
Fumble Force (3)
Fumble Recovery (3)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (3)
Pass Defended (1)
Block Kick (2)”

Donutrun Jellies faces the same challenge that many in start 1 IDP leagues do where there are tons of great choices available on the waiver wire.  What we will do is utilize IDP TOP to come up with the best option that is available from the list provided.  First here is an explanation of IDP TOP and then we will jump into the player information.

The basic definition of IDP TOP (Tackle Opportunity Production) is that it measures the performance of a player based on the number of tackle opportunities that they have.  The higher the IDP TOP the better.  Tackle opportunity is currently being defined as the number of rushing attempts plus the number of completions that a defense faces in a game.  Below is an example to help better understand IDP TOP.

Example:
NY Giants Offense has: 26 rushes and 19 completions for a total of 45 tackle opportunities (TOs).
New England Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi recorded 5 solo tackles and 3 assists. 
TOP for Bruschi on solo tackles is .111 (5 divided by 45)
TOP for Bruschi on assists is .067 (3 divided by 45)
TOP for Bruschi on combined tackles is .178 (8 divided by 45)

Green Bay Packers Offense has: 14 rushes and 19 completions for a total of 33 TOs.
New York Giants DB Gibril Wilson recorded 5 solo tackles and 3 assists.
TOP for Wilson on solo tackles is .152 (5 divided by 33)
TOP for Wilson on assists is .091 (3 divided by 33)
TOP for Wilson on combined tackles is .242 (8 divided by 33)

In the above example what TOP helps to illustrate is that just looking at the recorded tackles doesn’t tell the entire story.  Both players recorded 5 solo tackles and 3 assists yet Gibril Wilson was 36% to 37% more productive then Bruschi was.  If Bruschi had achieved the same TOP as Wilson he would have recorded 7 solo tackles and 4 assists.  It might not seem like much but it surely can make a difference.

Before I get to the IDP TOP for the players listed I am going to narrow the choices a bit with some quick bits of information from my research.

The following players are ones that I wouldn’t include in the choices of who to acquire.

Joey Porter:  Yes, Porter leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks.  However, the Broncos have not given up a sack to an outside LB this year.  The Broncos are also giving up a miniscule .084 IDP TOP to OLBs so far this season.

Paul Posluszny:  The Jets have been a very up and down team for MLBs that have faced them this year.  In a league that is tackle heavy I would probably give much more consideration to “Poz” this week but in this scoring system along with the inconsistent scoring the Jets allow to MLBs I would pass on him this week.

Terrell Suggs:  Cleveland has only really given up two big games this year and one of those was to Suggs in an earlier matchup this year.  The improved play of the Browns leads me to step out on a ledge and say to not consider him for this week.  For what it is worth, pass rushers like Suggs have averaged a lowly .099 IDP TOP versus the Browns this year.

Mathias Kiwanuka:  “Kiwi” had a huge game last week where he logged 3 sacks versus a challenged Steelers offensive line.  He does face a Cowboys team that is having trouble on its offensive line but I highly doubt we see Kiwi come close to his production from last week.

LaMarr Woodley:  Both Woodley and Harrison have had some monster games this year but last week goes to show how up and down an OLB can be.  Versus 3-4 defenses the Redskins have really done a good job holding OLBs in check.  That is why I am willing to pass on Woodley for this weeks consideration.

Now let’s take a look at the lucky 7 that should be considered for this week.

Justin Tuck:  Tuck has been at the top or near the top of all DL scoring formats for the year and this looks to be a very good matchup versus a struggling Dallas offensive line.  For the season, IDP TOP numbers show that this isn’t a very good matchup as the Cowboys are giving up an average IDP TOP to DEs of .059.  The deal maker is that over the Cowboys last 3 games they have given up 4.5 sacks to a team’s top DE along with 2 forced fumbles. 

Robert Mathis:  Mathis faces a Patriots team that has given up an IDP TOP of .097 season to date.  However, what can’t be ignored is the 9.5 sacks given up to the opposing teams top DE.  The Colts are in dire need of a win and Mathis will be a vital part of that with the pressure and sacks that should follow versus the inexperienced Matt Cassel.   According to the numbers that the Patriots are allowing Mathis could log 5 solos and a couple of sacks.

Kirk Morrison:  In this scoring system Morrison isn’t as strong a play as he would be in a tackle heavy scoring system.  While it might be easy to assume that since Michael Turner is running the ball well that it would equate into very good tackle opportunities for Morrison the numbers simply don’t bear that out.  MLBs versus the Falcons are averaging an IDP TOP of just .125.  To make matters even worse the Falcons are averaging just under 48 tackle opportunities and when coupled with the .125 IDP TOP Morrisons production looks to be in the neighborhood of 6 tackles.

DeMeco Ryans:  Ryans has been a pretty big disappointment for his owners this year but the Vikings do present a very nice matchup this week.  I have a feeling that many Ryans owners will have him on their bench this week and then be kicking their selves on Monday.  The Vikings are giving up an average IDP TOP of .148 to MLBs this year.  Pair that with what should be 50+ tackle opportunities and you see that Ryans could be looking at a 7-10 tackle week.  I know the numbers don’t show an extremely big week but I have a feeling that this is a week that Ryans exceeds the averages by a good margin.

Ray Lewis:   When Lewis faced the Browns in their first meeting he only logged 4 tackles.  The Browns are giving up an average IDP TOP of .169 and only 40 tackle opportunities per game.  For Lewis to score well he is going to need to add a big play.  MLBs have really been inconsistent versus the Browns this year.  They have given up 3 above average performances and 4 below average performances.  Lewis is always a threat to put up 10 tackles with a big play or two but this week’s matchup doesn’t look to be one of the best you would like.

London Fletcher:  The Redskins are facing a Steelers team that should have Willie Parker back which should add to the tackle opportunities for Fletcher.  Even without Parker the past few weeks the Steelers are still giving up an average of 44 tackle opportunities per game.  The IDP TOP of .175 is the second best of the choices this week.  The Steelers are coming off a very bad defeat to a Giants team last week and I think they are going to go into Washington and pull out a win.  If that does indeed happen Fletcher could be looking at a bunch of mop up tackles when the Steelers look to drain the clock at the end of the game. 

Zach Thomas:  Thomas has what is the best matchup of the week according to IDP TOP numbers.  The Giants are giving up an average of .198 to ILBs this year.  The Cowboys as a team are reeling and the Giants will continue to spread the ball amongst their WRs and LBs.  IDP TOP numbers show that Thomas is the only player that is projected to exceed 10 tackles this week.  However,  Thomas does come out in many passing situations and that limits his big play upside.

The Final Answer!
Now after looking at the IDP TOPs for the last 7 players I would recommend that with your scoring system you acquire Robert Mathis or Justin Tuck.  If I had to pare that down to just one diffinitive choice I would roll the dice with Mathis.  I think Tuck could have a huge week but if the Dallas offense continues to struggle it will severely limit Tuck’s opportunities.  There are additional factors other than IDP TOP that make Mathis my final pick.  The Colts need a win.  They are at home and their fans could be a big help in disrupting the Patriot offense.  Matt Cassel is still far from a season NFL QB and finally Bob Sanders should be back which will help to make the entire defense better.

Donutrun Jellies, thank you for taking the time to share your question with us this week.  Good luck!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed our first installment with IDP Interactive and I look forward to seeing more questions in the coming weeks.  If you have any comments or recommendations on what you would like to see in IDP Interactive you can email me at idpsteve@gmail.com

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