Week 6: IDP Insider
The following players should be in IDP lineups each and every week for the foreseeable future. They're not listed in any order, but if you own one of these guys, make sure you're starting him on a weekly basis. And remember that this is a reference for the rest of the 2014 season, not weekly rankings.
DE: J.J. Watt, Texans;Carlos Dunlap, Bengals; Chandler Jones, Patriots; Calais Campbell, Cardinals (Injured); Justin Tuck, Raiders; Justin Smith, 49ers; Rob Ninkovich, Patriots; Fletcher Cox, Eagles; Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants; Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets; Willie Young, Bears.
LB: Luke Kuechly, Panthers; Lavonte David, Buccaneers; Paul Posluszny, Jaguars; Paul Worrilow, Falcons; Bobby Wagner, Seahawks; Jerod Mayo, Patriots; Patrick Willis, 49ers; Lawrence Timmons, Steelers; Jelani Jenkins, Dolphins; Karlos Dansby, Browns; Nate Irving, Broncos; Brian Cushing, Texans; A.J. Hawk, Packers; Brandon Marshall, Broncos; Preston Brown, Bills; C.J. Mosley, Ravens.
S: Morgan Burnett, Packers; Charles Woodson, Raiders; Troy Polamalu, Steelers; Kam Chancellor, Seahawks; Earl Thomas, Seahawks; Aaron Williams, Bills; Dashon Goldson, Buccaneers (Injured); Donte Whitner, Browns; Tony Jefferson, Cardinals; LaRon Landry, Colts (Suspended); Dawan Landry, Jets.
Defensive Tackles (Outside the top 15 DTs owned on MyFantasyLeague.com)
Domata Peko, Bengals – With his gigantic mane of puffy orange hair, Peko's easy to spot on the field. That was unfortunate for him last Sunday night; he was easily visible getting steamrolled several times as the Patriots trounced the Bengals on national television. But Peko is a pretty good player in a pretty good defense and deserves to be owned in more fantasy leagues. He's tied for fifth in tackles among all DTs, but his ownership numbers don't reflect that.
Paul Soliai, Falcons – Even by the standards of NFL defensive tackles, Soliai is huge. He tips the scales at 345 pounds. The impressive thing is that he's able to play effectively at that weight. Soliai has recorded 13 combined tackles despite getting shut out in two games. With a little more consistency, he could be one of the top DTs in fantasy.
Defensive Ends (Outside the top 15 DEs owned on MyFantasyLeague.com)
Jerry Hughes, Bills – We've had a trend these past few weeks of seeing No. 2 DEs – guys playing alongside elite pass rushers – being listed in this space. Hughes is another player in this mold. He lines up opposite stud DE Mario Williams, who draws most of the attention. But Hughes has 16 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2014, and he's just as good of a fantasy start as Williams in IDP leagues.
Sheldon Richardson, Jets – It's rare to find big-name players such as Richardson that meet the ownership qualifications for this article. As one third of the Jets' formidable front three on defense, Richardson is getting plenty of opportunities to stop ball-carriers, which has led to 19 tackles, good for fourth-most among all DEs. He's also got three sacks and a fumble recovery. Richardson is an excellent pickup in almost any league.
Linebackers (Outside top 35 LBs owned on MyFantasyLeague.com)
Jacquian Williams, Giants – Williams has posted a stellar 23 combined tackles in the past two weeks. He also didn't leave the field for a single defensive snap in New York's Week 5 victory over the Falcons. That volume of opportunity has vaulted Williams to 14th place in tackling among all linebackers. Look for his hot streak to continue in Week 6 as the Giants take on the Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
Jameel McClain, Giants – Like Williams, McClain played all 72 defensive snaps in last Sunday's win. He finished the game with seven combined tackles and now has 23 in his past three games. If you're running thin at LB, McClain's a fine pickup for this week and the rest of the season.
Cornerbacks (Outside top 15 CBs owned on MyFantasyLeague.com)
Kareem Jackson, Texans – Jackson has 15 combined tackles in the last two games, putting him at 27 for the season. That ranks him at 10th among all CBs. As a key cog in a Texans defense that has forced a league-high 12 turnovers, Jackson is a good bet to come up with a few more big plays this season.
Antonio Allen, Jets - The former college linebacker started out in the NFL as a safety. But since moving to cornerback this year, He has blossomed, at least for fantasy owners. He's not the best cover guy, but he's a very able tackler, racking up 28 on the season. It's noted in this space almost every week but worth mentioning again: Owners should not be starting a shutdown corner in fantasy. Rather, start the guys who get the opportunities to make tackles. That's where the points are scored. And because of that, Allen is a very strong pickup at CB in fantasy.
Safeties (Outside top 25 FS/SS owned on MyFantasyLeague.com)
Kendrick Lewis, Texans – The Texans' defense has had a tremendous start to the 2014 season, and Lewis has been a huge part of that. He's recorded 30 tackles, but he's also created a number of big plays, including an interception and three forced fumbles. Lewis should continue to force turnovers as the year continues, and he's a lightly owned, high-upside waiver add.
Robert Blanton, Vikings – With Harrison Smith seemingly on track to miss even more time following an ankle injury sustained last Thursday, Blanton continues to look like a very solid fill-in option. He has totaled 39 tackles, good for third among all NFL DBs. Blanton is hardly owned in fantasy, but with Smith unable to stay healthy (he played in just eight games last season), that situation should be changing soon.