Who were the top IDPs from Week 1? And who should you add for Week 2?
-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)
Each week Athlon's fantasy staff will dive into the NFL Fantasy world of Individual Defensive Players, or more affectionately known as IDPs. Weekly top performers, advice and waiver wire adds highlight the Athlon IDP Weekly Potpourri.
Week 1’s Top DBs:
1. Aqib Talib, CB, Tampa Bay: 16.0 TFP
3 solo tackles, 1 ast, INT, TD, 2 PD
2. Lardarius Webb, CB, Baltimore: 15.43 TFP
9 solo tackles, 2 ast, 1.0 sack, 2 PD, 37 return yards
3. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore: 15.0 TFP
6 solo tackles, 2 INT, 4 PD
As a general rule of thumb for defensive backs, safeties are better plays than corners. The great corners rarely get thrown at and one interception every three games would be considered good. If your league awards point for passes deflected/defensed, this does add some value to the coverman as they generally rack up the most PDs.
Additionally, the big play – e.g., the defensive TD – cannot be taken into consideration when trying evaluate IDPs. If a player scores two defensive touchdowns in a single season, he has done something special. So ignore Talib’s touchdown. Is it an indicator that the player has big-play potential? Absolutely. And Talib has 16 interceptions since 2008 (good for sixth in the NFL, Yahoo!), so keep an eye on him. He certainly should be motivated as he basically got out of prison to play football this year, but I am not running to the wire for the former Kansas standout.
And finally, on a somber note, the projected No. 1 IDP defensive back in the league, Kansas City's Eric Berry, will miss the entire season after he suffered a torn ACL at the hands of a Stevie Johnson block in the first quarter of 2011. As a fellow Tennessee alum - and EB29 fantasy owner - it was a rough day in the secondary. This injury not only screwed up my fantasy line-up in Week 1, but may hurt the rest of the Cheifs IDPs (Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Glenn Dorsey) as the star sophomore had quickly solidified the backend of the KC defense.
Top DB Adds:
Antoine Winfield, CB, Minnesota: 14.5 TFP
Winfield is one of the NFL’s all-time most underrated cornerbacks. He is an excellent tackler (as his 10 total stops in Week 1 indicate) and excellent off the blitz (5.0 sacks over the last three seasons).
Morgan Burnett, S, Green Bay: 10.5 TFP
Burnett was in for big things last year before it was ended with an injury four games into his rookie season. In his sophomore debut, he posted 14 total tackles. In this defense, he and fellow play-maker Nick Collins are excellent plays.
Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle: 10.0 TFP
Not many IDPs score in double-figures on tackles alone but that is what Chancellor did in Week 1, posting 10 solo stops. He is comfortable around the line of scrimmage and should rack up tackles all season behind the Seahawks questionable front seven.
Week 1’s Top LBs:
1. Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago: 22.0 TFP
6 solo tackles, 4 ast, INT, FR, TD, PD
2. Terrell Suggs, LB, Baltimore: 19.5 TFP
5 solo tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 FF
3. D’Qwell Jackson, LB, Cleveland: 19.5 TFP
10 solo tackles, ast, 2.0 sacks, 1 FF
Linebackers are the easiest IDP position to find. Ten NFL linebackers posted at least eight solo tackles in the first week of action, so do not panic if your draft picks didn’t pan out in one week. Drop about 10 names on your watch list (Pat Angerer, Thomas Davis, Bart Scott, Jamar Chaney, Mason Foster) and feel free to shuffle players all season long.
Top LB Adds:
Sean Lee, LB, Dallas: 15.0 TFP
Lee looked the part on Sunday night against the Jets. He flew around the defense and was rarely off the field as it appears that Bradie James and Keith Brooking will be the ones rotating. Lee was a tackle machine at Penn State and should find himself with double-digit tackles on a consistent basis.
Daryl Washginton, LB, Arizona: 14.0 TFP
The only thing keeping Washington from the top add spot is his mild calf strain. He is questionable for this week’s game, so monitor the injury. However, when healthy, the second-year backer is a star in the making. The defense is designed around the former TCU star and he will make big plays all year long – he had a sack and interception against Carolina.
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Atlanta: 10.0 TFP
Even with Curtis Lofton on the same field, Weatherspoon has the ability to be a star in this league. The former first-round pick was slowed due to injury last fall and came out swinging this fall. He posted nine solo stops against Chicago.
Week 1’s Top DLs:
1. Kory Biermann, DE, Atlanta: 18.0 TFP
2 solo tackles, ast, 1.0 sack, INT, TF, PD
2. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, NY Giants: 14.5 TFP
5 solo tackles, ast, 2.0 sack, FF
3. Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago: 13.5 TFP
2 solo tackles, ast, 2.0 sack, FF, FR
Much like safeties and corners, the defensive end is normally the position to own on the fantasy IDP gridiron. Few defensive tackles are worth owning (Haloti Ngata is a monster by the way) so keep an eye on the edge of the defensive line.
The defensive line also appears like the most predictable preseason IDP position as Peppers, Jared Allen, John Abraham, Justin Smith, Mario Williams and Jason Babin all finished Week 1 in the top 10 of DL fantasy performers – as predicted.
Top DL Adds:
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, NY Giants: 14.5 TFP
From a physical standpoint, JPP skills match that of most elite NFL pass rushers. He just needed the opportunity and a year of seasoning. With Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora struggling with injuries (JPP is a must add if you own either of those two), Pierre-Paul could be in for a big year in the Big Apple.
Ray McDonald, DE, San Francisco: 9.5 TFP
Finally getting his chance to play regularly, McDonald made the most of it in Week 1 with six solo stops and a sack. High tackle totals are a rare thing for most defensive lineman, so do not underestimate a player who looks poised for decent tackle totals.
JJ Watt, DE, Houston: 7.0 TFP
This guy never quits working. He is an absolute monster on the edge and it appears he will be a huge part of the dramatically improved Texans’ defense. He collected five solo stops and recovered a fumble in his first career game.
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