Welcome to Top Fantasy Football's Week 16 edition of "IDP Starts & Sits" brought to you by "The IDP Guru."
For each position (DL, LB, DB), I will recommend 3 Starts and 2 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, in other terms, "matchup independent."
I hope everyone was successful in their respective playoff matchups last week (if you had one). For many fantasy players, this week is their championship game week (I have one this week, wish me luck). With this being said, every move, no matter how small, becomes crucial. I tried to provide a good mix of solid/safe plays and risky/high reward players for people to choose from depending on the situation they're in (i.e. underdogs or favorites).
Also, as a side note, some of you may enjoy this video. I know I did.
This is a prime example of how Eagles fans are some of the rudest fans in sports. "City of Brotherly Love" my ass.
Anyways, here are my IDP recommendations for Week 16:
*The IDP Guru's Start of the Week*
WLB Lance Briggs - You may be saying that this pick is worthless because Briggs is a stud and not available in any leagues. However, because of his injury in Week 12, he is shockingly only owned in 40% of ESPN leagues. He had 13 solo tackles last week and will probably reach double digits solos again this week against the Vikings, who are very generous when it comes to giving out fantasy points to opposing linebackers.
*If you looking for a sneakier play (if Briggs' isn't available), I also like MLB Hunter Hillenmeyer in this matchup.
Every Week Starters:
Robert Mathis - WATCH PLAYING STATUS
Dwight Freeney - WATCH PLAYING STATUS
1. RDE Randy Starks - Starks has started to cool off recently. However, he has the Texans this week who have given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing defensive lineman the last 8 weeks. Starks should be able to put up 3-4 solos and a sack.
2. RDE Kroy Biermann - Biermann has been up and down this season but had a resurgence last week with 8 total tackles. He has a juicy matchup against the Bills this week and should be able to put up some decent numbers.
3. DE/WLB Terrell Suggs - I really like Suggs this week. Roethlisburger seems to get sacked a ton every week and this is a big division game, so I expect the Ravens to try and pressure Big Ben quite a bit. Suggs may be available in some leagues due to him being injured during the season. If he's available, I recommend you pick him up as Suggs could be in for a monster game!
Every Week Starters:
Karlos Dansby - INJURED (PROBABLE)
Clint Session - WATCH PLAYING STATUS
1. LILB Demorrio Williams - Williams has been one of the most underrated tacklers this season because he plays on a bad team and because he is the epitome of a non-big play performer (no sacks, INTs, fumble recoveries, or forced fumbles this year). He had 13 solo tackles last week against the Browns (who ran a ton) and I foresee him compiling another nice stat line this week against Cedric Benson and the Bengals, who will look to run the ball 30+ times against the crappy Chiefs run defense.
2. WLB Mike Peterson - Peterson is one of those linebackers that is either great or he completely sucks. It really depends on his matchup. And he has a great matchup this week in the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are starting Brian Brohm (who the hell is that?) and will therefore look to run the ball 70-75% of the time. I expect many tackle opportunities for Peterson in this game.
3. WLB James Anderson - After Anderson's monster performance last week, I'm sure many fantasy owners have/are looking to snatch him up off the waiver wire. If he's still there, pick him up. He has another great matchup against the Giants this week.
Every Week Starters:
Troy Polamalu - INJURED (QUESTIONABLE)
Antoine Bethea - WATCH PLAYING STATUS
Oshiomogho Atogwe - INJURED (PLACED ON IR 12/9)
Bryan Scott - INJURED (OUT)
1. SS Tanard Jackson - Jackson is what a like to call a "fringe" IDP player. He's in the upper echelon of largely available waiver wire players but not quite good enough to be an every week fantasy starter. However, this week he has a great matchup against the New Orleans Saints, so make sure and get him in your lineups. I like Jackson for 8-10 total tackles this week.
2. SS Mike Brown - I am usually hesitant about recommending "Michelle" Brown because a) he gets injured way too much and b) he's incredibly inconsistent at times. However, it's getting late in the year and he has a fantastic matchup against the Bengals this week. I'm looking for Brown to put up Mike Brown numbers this week and not Michelle Brown numbers.
3. SS Nedu Ndukwe - That name never gets old! Ndukwe has always been a fantasy favorite of mine due to his consistent tackling production. He's had two monster tackling weeks in a row and he gets the Chiefs this week. I look for the Chiefs to pound the ball with speed-burner Jamaal Charles a lot this week. Consequently, Ndukwe will probably be asked to play close to the line of scrimmage to stop the run. I like his chances for a great week.
*The IDP Guru's Sit of the Week*
MLB Larry Foote - Foote is usually one of the more consistent tackling linebackers in the league. However, he faces the 49ers this week who give up the 3rd least amount of points to opposing linebackers. Don't expect much out of Larry this week.
1. RDE Shaun Ellis - Ellis is one of those players who only puts up big fantasy points against crappy offensive lines. Well, he plays the Colts offensive line this week and they're anything but crappy. Have Ellis on your bench this week.
2. RDT Albert Haynesworth - Some may be tempted to pickup Haynesworth after his big game on Monday Night Football (6-0-1), but I would advise against it. Not only has Haynesworth been riddled with injuries this year, but he faces the Cowboys who are very stingy when it comes to giving up fantasy points to opposing defensive tackles.
1. WLB Andra Davis - Davis has really struggled the last 4 weeks after a hot start to the season. And things won't get any easier for him this week against the stingy Eagles. Stay away from Davis!
2. SLB Chad Greenway - Many think that due to the injury to MLB E.J. Henderson, Greenway's numbers are going to increase. I don't buy into that theory. I think Greenway's numbers will remain relatively stable and Henderson's replacement, Jasper Brinkley, will have a large increase in fantasy production. Minnesota plays the Bears this week, and even though it's a division game, I don't see the Vikings defense on the field very much (if you know what I mean). This means less tackle opportunities for Greenway. Ultimately, he's an alright play this week, but I would explore other LB options if possible.
1. SS Erik Coleman - At one point during the middle of the season, I though Coleman was a good enough fantasy player to be considered "matchup independent." However, over the last 3-4 weeks Coleman has begun to slow down and is therefore no longer an every week starter. He has a horrible matchup this week against the Bills. Stay away from Coleman this week.
2. SS Brandon Meriweather - I personally think Meriweather is overrated and is owned in way too many ESPN leagues (52%). He's not a particularly strong tackler, although he does have 4 INTs for the year. He has a bad matchup this week against the Jaguars, so I would avoid using him if possible.
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)
If you liked this article, make sure to check out our other great Week 16 articles.