Week 4 IDP Start – Bench
It seems so simple when you head to your draft every year. You know the star IDP rankings talents, and you’re bound and determined to get a few on your squad. Those sleepers that just can’t miss are falling your way and at the end of draft day you’re sure you have a at least a playoff team.
Then the season comes and injuries, poor performance and bad luck set in a ruin your fun. This is the reality of fantasy football, and every year has a new flavor. Players like Eric Weddle and David Harris have been major disappointments for the talent they have and the defenses they play in.
For all the hard hits, your lineup can take, there are always opportunities to help your squad out on waiver wire gems and wise roster starts. At this point, in the season we can start to see just how teams are going to play for at least the first half of the season. Just because a team or player is off to a hot start that wasn’t expected, it doesn’t mean they will be great all year.
I can find no better example than the Broncos last season when they started out winning their first six games and then dropped eight of their last ten. The same holds true for solid IDP options that aren’t successful so far as they have proven talent and can still turn it around.
If your team is struggling than I would suggest you roll the dice and sit an unproductive player until they start to prove themselves.
Chris Clemons @ Rams: I talked about Chris Clemons as a nice waiver wire pickup this week, and I feel he will be a good play against the Rams. Clemons had two sacks against the Chargers, and the Rams will probably throw all day with Steven Jackson likely out. Clemons has been quick off the edge and should get to the Rams’ rookie quarterback.
Will Smith vs Panthers: The Saints top pass rusher had a couple down games to start the season but came back with a good performance against the Falcons. This week Will Smith is going to face a shaky Panthers’ front line and a rookie quarterback. If the Panthers can’t find their running game, it’s going to be a long day for Jimmy Clausen and a good day for Mr. Smith.
Shaun Ellis @ Bills: Any time you get to face the Bills’ passing game it can’t be that bad of an opportunity for IDP pass rushers. The Bills have a patch work offensive line again and are rotating at quarterback. Last week Ryan Fitzpatrick was only sacked one time, but it’s not like the Patriots have a strong defense this year.
Look for the Jets to apply more pressure this week and Ellis should have some opportunities.
Juqua Parker vs Redskins: Not much of a fan of Juqua Parker but hey he’s got at least one sack in all three games this year. The Redskins obviously have their problems on the offensive line and will be throwing the football all day. Trent Cole and Parker should rack up a sack or two for the second week in a row. Big Play Leagues Preferred***
Justin Smith @ Falcons: Where’s the beef? The 49ers have like one sack as a team this year and that has come from Patrick Willis an inside linebacker. This defense isn’t doing much of anything that we all saw from them in the past and expect from them this season. Justin Smith hasn’t been all that bad for tackles, but you want some sacks.
There was a problem from Smith last year (no consistency in sacks) as it can be for many defensive ends. I would put Smith on ice until the 49ers wake up and decide to join the rest of the NFL and play the season.
Antwan Odom @ Browns: Can you say overrated? Antwan Odom got play last year because of a huge start before a season ending injury knocked him out in October. Last week Odom missed his first game of the year with a wrist injury, and it’s time to either bench him or cut him.
I would recommend the second of those two options because he’s not worth putting your faith in until he shows he can reclaim last years’ glory. Don’t expect that to happen any time soon.
Kelly Gregg @ Steelers: The Ravens will be tested by the Steelers ground game and Kelly Gregg should post good tackle numbers. Last week he posted six tackles against the Browns as Peyton Hillis tested them on the ground all day.
Barry Cofield vs Bears: So far, this season tackle Barry Cofield of the Giants has posted reliable tackle numbers on the Giants’ defense. It doesn’t seem to matter if he’s against a run or pass heavy team, Cofield is a decent start for those of you in need to fill a bye week hole in your roster.
Kyle Williams vs Jets: I had my concerns for Kyle Williams heading into this season as I wondered how he would respond in a rotation. So far, Williams has been good and even posted a sack last week against the Patriots. Look for the Jets to pound the football this week and Williams should have a productive day at tackle.
Vince Wilfork @ Dolphins: This should be a productive opportunity for Vince Wilfork but my confidence in him is shaken after posting zero tackles last week against the Bills. Wilfork has only had one game over three tackles, and it’s time to put him on the bench if you hadn’t already.
Wilfork’s 66 tackles from 2008 seem like a long time ago, and in the world of IDP fantasy football that truly is ages ago. Don’t expect a bounce back season at this time.
Mike Patterson vs Redskins: Seeing Trevor Laws out play Mike Patterson last week was the final nail in the coffin for me with Mike Patterson. I don’t have him in any of my IDP leagues this year and the guy is actually ticking me off with this three tackles a week. If you have him, it must be even more disappointing and it’s time to sit him for a few weeks.
He was only so, so last year against the Redskins so it’s not like he owns this team or anything.
Brian Urlacher @ Giants: Well, it looks like Brian Urlacher is finally healthy and ready to rumble for the 2010 season. He looked good against the Packers and made a huge force fumble that helped his team win the game in the fourth quarter. The Bears really missed this guy last year and Lance Briggs looks like a better player with Urlacher on the team.
This was a good year to get Urlacher because he should have come (finally, overrated most years) at a decent price on draft day.
Paris Lenon @ Chargers: The Cardinals were going to have a player or two step up for IDP this season with the loss of Karlos Dansby to the Dolphins this offseason. Lenon has been productive all three weeks to begin the season and is worth your consideration as a starting linebacker for at least this week.
Jerod Mayo @ Dolphins: The Patriots need Jerod Mayo to be a super man on defense, and he’s not lived up to the billing just yet. In reality, Mayo has been not too bad this season, but he did have a bad week against the Jets two weeks ago for IDP. Still, Mayo should be in starting lineups, unless you have a very strong linebacking core.
Ray Lewis @ Steelers: I’m not ready to give up on Ray Lewis and will recommend you start him one more time before you consider benching him. Through three games this season Lewis has one solid stat line against the Bengals week two. The old man isn’t covering the range he used to and maybe that is why Peyton Hillis had the game he posted last week.
Still, Lewis should get better as the season moves along and is worth keeping on your squad all year.
LaMarr Woodley vs Ravens: Some IDP fantasy writers had LaMarr Woodley as the top outside linebacker to have on the Steelers over James Harrison this offseason. It seemed reasonable enough as Woodley was the more explosive linebacker and was making plays down the stretch last season.
Reality of 2010 suggests different as Harrison is still looking good and Woodley still isn’t getting much done in terms of tackles. Harrison is still the better player for at least the first half of this season. Bench In Tackle Heavy Leagues Only***
Michael Boley vs Bears: Wow did I get burned on this one last week! Sorry if you started him, and he failed to produce. The Giants are doing so weird stuff with their linebackers, and that isn’t helping Boley. Still, after his big day week two I felt he would be reliable against the Titans.
Why not, as the Steelers outside linebackers had a field day against the Titans just the week before but at the end of the day Boley had just one stinking tackle. Go ahead and cut Boley if you want as he’s now failed to earn anyone’s trust after that performance.
James Farrior vs Ravens: It’s clear to see that Lawrence Timmons is becoming the IDP stud we thought he could be years ago and that the game continues to pass James Farrior by. The great linebacker has put together solid seasons, but it’s time to cut bait on his mid thirty inside linebacker.
David Harris @ Bills: If you don’t have a productive option on your bench than keep David Harris in your lineup this week as he should pull out of it at some point. Harris isn’t racking up a tackle number that would make him the top five talent some had him out to be this summer.
Kelvin Hayden vs Jaguars: Shades for yesteryear (2007) are coming back for Kelvin Hayden as he is racking up a good tackle total so far. The Jaguars will be forced to throw all the second half as they should be blown out by the Colts. Hayden isn’t the greatest of NFL corners but for IDP you don’t necessarily want him to be.
Kyle Wilson @ Bills: Don’t look for Darrelle Revis to return to action this week as it would be wise for the Jets to get that hammy fully healthy. Rookie Kyle Wilson will be tested all year and when he’s in the starting lineup he can have productive days for your fantasy squad.
Terrell Thomas vs Bears: The Giants have their issues but the secondary should get opportunities to make plays against the pass happy Bears. Look for Terrell Thomas to put up a respectable game in this prime time game.
Zack Bowman @ Giants: I didn’t catch how Zack Bowman was injured against the Packers on Monday night but it didn’t seem like he came back in the game. Not sure if he will play or not this week but Bowman isn’t worth putting in the lineup after a primsing start in the first two weeks.
Vontae Davis vs Patriots: I want to trust Vontae Davis but I need to see more consistancy in his tackle totals. This week he might rebound against the Patriots as they will throw the football. Still, it’s hard to trust this young corner as more than a one week flair.
Pat Chung @ Dolphins: It’s time to believe in Pat Chung as he’s been a consistent producer for the first three weeks. Week one he has a ridiculous sixteen tackle game but this kid has talent and that shouldn’t be a surprise from the school he came from. Go Ducks!
Last season Chung only had 37 tackles, and he already has 29 this season. Chung has a reasonable chance to go for 100 tackles this season as the Patriots’ defense is young and on the field a lot.
Michael Griffin vs Broncos: The Titans’ safety has had his share of disappointing tackle totals in his young career, but he is starting to turn the corner. Griffin is a one of the top five producing safeties in many IDP leagues so far, and he should continue to be productive most weeks. Don’t be surprised if he has a down week or two throughout the season, but he is a better producer than in years past.
Charles Godfrey @ Saints: The young safety is coming of age, and it’s worth a look to at least have him on your team. Godfrey is having a breakout season, and if he continues this success many IDP fantasy owners will be talking about him next summer.
Eric Weddle vs Cardinals: This one kills me as I have him in a league, and he’s tough to bench. Weddle hasn’t gotten it done early on, and he needs to show us he can return to his former self before inserting him into the lineup again. If you need him because another safety on your team is on a bye then use him.
This should be a decent matchup but then again, the past weeks should have produced more as well.
Brian Dawkins @ Titans: Outside of one big day this year Brian Dawkins has been below average as an IDP starter. Last year was a good one for Dawkins but at this time he needs to show more.
NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com