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IDP Interactive - Week 14
Steve Gallo
December 6, 2008
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Welcome to our week 14 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 playoff lineup decision forum member Alexgaddis has this week.

Alexgaddis  wrote,
“OK Fellas, I squeaked in to the playoffs in my IDP league...I have a few tough calls this week...we start 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB, and a flex...naturally I always run with 3 LB's...but maybe I should look at 3 DB's this week?

LB -
Greenway, Chad MIN LB at Lions
Harrison, James PIT LB vs Cowboys
Pierce, Antonio NYG LB vs Eagles 
Tinoisamoa, Pisa STL LB at Cardinals

DB -
Gamble, Chris CAR CB vs Buccaneers
Wilson, Josh SEA CB vs Patriots 
Winfield, Antoine MIN CB at Lions   
Phillips, Jermaine TBB S at Panthers

It is important to note we get return yardage which inflates the value of Josh Wilson

website is here

Scoring
Tackles= 2
Assists= 1
TOs= 2
PD= 1
Sack= 3

A long row to hoe…
Congratulations on making the playoffs. Squeaking in doesn’t matter when the playoffs start.  The fact of the matter is that you made the dance which should never be taken for granted.  Now that you are dancing, lineup decisions are magnified because one loss and the dance is over.  To help make lineup decisions for the playoffs I always recommend looking at matchups but also looking at your opponents lineup to see if you need to swing for the fences or play it safe.  After looking at your matchup this week I don’t think you need to take any additional risks with your starters.  Let’s take a look at the players that you have to pick from and see if we can make the decision making process a bit easier.

Pisa Tinoisamoa:  At this point in the season with the state of the Rams team I would dread starting any of their players.  Just look at David Vobora starting at MLB over Will Witherspoon last week and you will see the risk involved starting any Rams players.  I don’t care what any of the stats show (I didn’t even take the time to look at them) you couldn’t pay me to start any Rams players unless I truly had no other options.  You have options and need to use them.

Chad Greenway:  Ok, as we know the Lion’s have been a pretty poor matchup for most of the year for their opponents IDP players but Pat and Kevin Williams looked to be out do to a league imposed suspension and that looked to help add some value to Greenway this week.  Well, the NFL suspension was put on hold due to a legal injunction.  Rather than talk about Greenway and how he has played this year (which has been very good) we are going to take a look at the Detroit Lions and how other IDPs have fared against them.  However, since Antoine Winfield is also going to be playing the Lions we are going to take a quick look at him too and then jump into the Lions information.

Antoine Winfield:  As Alexgaddis is aware Antoine Winfield is the 7th ranked DB in his league and that isn’t a fluke as he has been a top producing DB for a long time.  However, he is coming off of his 2nd worst scoring game of the year, which when coupled with what seems to be a poor upcoming matchup it can be a bit unnerving in trying to decide to play or bench him.

History in the making, the 0-16 Detroit Lions:
Before we get to the table breaking down the top tackle performers versus the Lions here are a few things to chew on.  As a point of reference, on average 15 people make defensive tackles during a game.  That means that thru 12 weeks there will be 192 players that recorded tackle stats versus the Lions (if a player faced the lions twice they are included in the 192 twice).  Out of those 192 players only 29 players recorded 5 or more solo tackles which would be 15% of the 192 players.  Those 29 players broken down by position were 11 LBs, 16 DBs & 2 DLs. Thru 12 games the Lions are giving up an average of 38.2 tackle opportunities/game.  The chart below will show that weeks 9 & 11 yielded the most tackles for any LB.  Those two weeks the Lions yielded 54 tackle opportunities in each game.  Those two weeks are farthest from the norm and if you were to back them out the tackle opportunities given up by the Lions falls to just 35/game.

2008 Players w/ 5+ Solo Tackles vs. Detroit
Linebackers
Week Team Name Tackles Assists
1 Falcons Micahael Boley 6 1
2 Packers A.J. Hawk 5 0
5 Bears Lance Briggs 8 0
6 Vikings Ben Leber 5 1
7 Texans Zach Diles 5 1
7 Texans DeMeco Ryans 5 0
8 Redskins London Fletcher 6 1
9 Bears Lance Briggs 10 0
10 Jaguars Justin Durant 5 1
11 Panthers Thomas Davis 10 1
12 Buccaneers Derrick Brooks 5 0

Some notable names that failed to record 5 solos:  Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, Brian Urlacher & Nick Barnett.  Also, it should be noted that in week 6 Greenway logged 3 solos with 2 assists.

2008 Players w/ 5+ Solo Tackles vs. Detroit
Defensive Backs
Week Team Name Tackles Assists
1 Falcons Eric Coleman 6 0
1 Falcons Brent Grimes 6 0
1 Falcons Lawyer Milloy 5 0
3 49ers Nate Clements 5 0
6 Vikings Cedric Griffin 6 1
7 Texans Will Demps 6 0
8 Redskins Mike Green 5 1
8 Redskins Fred Smoot 5 0
9 Bears Corey Graham 6 2
9 Bears Charles Tillman 6 0
10 Jaguars Gerald Sensabaugh 7 0
10 Jaguars Rashean Mathis 5 0
11 Panthers Chris Gamble 9 1
11 Panthers Charles Godfrey 5 0
12 Buccaneers Tanard Jackson 6 1
12 Buccaneers Ronde Barber 5 0

In week 6 Antoine Winfield logged just 2 solo tackles vs. the Lions.

2008 Players w/ 5+ Solo Tackles vs. Detroit
Defensive Linemen
Week Team Name Tackles Assists
6 Vikings Kevin Williams 8 0
11 Panthers Maake Kemoeatu 5 0

As you can see starting a player versus the Lions is a pretty risky proposition with very little upside, especially if your name isn’t Lance Briggs.

Non Lion playing options…

Antonio Pierce:  Pierce started off the season pretty shaky and had many a fantasy owner ready to toss him on the scrap heap early on.  However, since week 8 he has posted between 6-8 tackles in every game except for a 4 solo effort in week 9.  What helps make Pierce an attractive option this week is the 8 combined tackles he posted vs. the Eagles in their first matchup.  The following chart will show that MLBs have been generally very productive versus the Eagles.  Thru 12 weeks 7 MLBs have posted between 7-8 combined tackles and 5 MLBs have posted between 3-5 combined tackles.  Here is a breakdown of those 12 MLBs (including Karlos Dansby

2008 MLB’s vs. Philadelphia
Team Name Combined Tackles
Cowboys Zach Thomas 7
Steelers James Farrior 7
Bears Brian Urlacher 8
49ers Patrick Willis 8
Seahawks D.D. Lewis 7
Giants Antonio Pierce 8
Cardinals Karlos Dansby 7
Falcons Curtis Lofton 3
Rams Will Witherspoon 4
Redskins London Fletcher 4
Bengals Dhani Jones 4
Ravens Ray Lewis 4

James Harrrison:  Harrison has been a beast at times this year and then there are those times when he leaves you hanging.  If this matchup were taking place back in “2008 BJ” (Brad Johnson) then you could start to doing cartwheels but it’s not.  During the 3 weeks that Romo was out with his pinky injury Cowboy QBs were sacked 10 times.  In the three games since his return to the lineup he has been sacked a grand total of one time.  However, the fact that Marion Barber could miss the game with a toe injury bodes well for Harrison.  More than likely the Cowboys will have to pass without Barber (even if he plays he will probably be limited) in the lineup and that could be a perfect storm for Harrison owners. 

Chris Gamble:  Gamble has been at or near the top of DB rankings all year long but he has a difficult matchup this week.  I wouldn’t expect Gamble to get many opportunities to make tackles in the passing game so I would temper expectations for a big game.  A 3-5 tackle week wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Josh Wilson:  Wilson is another player that has been a real gem for IDP owners this year.  A worst case scenario from Wilson this week would probably be in the neighborhood of 7 points.  Yet, when you look at his yearly averages and the fact that in 3 of the past 4 games the Patriots have given up between 5-8 tackles to a CB.  This is another option that really doesn’t need any additional stats to support starting him.  The Patriots are flinging the ball all over the place and they need a win this week and will probably put up 30+ this week which give Wilson plenty of chances to accumulate return yards.

Jermaine Phillips:  Phillips is back in the lineup and seems to be healthy enough to be a major contributor just in time for the fantasy playoffs.  Phillips will be active in run support and the Panthers are going to run the ball.  In my opinion Phillips is a safe play this weekend.

The Final 4 and the Flex!
No, it’s not a movie about the NCAA Tournament and PODs it is my final answer on who I would start. 
LB1:  I would roll with James Harrison and feel good about it.
LB2:  Antonio Pierce would be my wingman just like he was for Plax.  He isn’t good at covering up a shooting but he should be a very good tackler this weekend.
DB1:  Josh Wilson has been too good to sit and I could even see him taking one to the house too.
DB2:  Jermaine Phillips, he is back, healthy and coming off of a big game. Ride the wave!
Flex:  Yes, he only posted 2 solos tackles the last time that he faced the Lions but Antoine Winfield is who I would plug into my playoff lineup.  Winfield is a stud and is just too good to think he is going to have another 2 tackle effort. 

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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