2016 NFL Week 1 IDP Breakdown
Ivar Anderson breaks down the defensive players and positions to help you make those IDP fantasy football choices for Week 1 of the NFL regular season.
Week 1 of the NFL regular season is finally here and all the work you put into drafting your roster will now begin to bear fruit. To assist those of you who play in IDP leagues, the 2016 version of the IDP Report kicks off (pun intended) to assist you in making savvy roster decisions. This year we will also be featuring a waiver wire section as well as weekly IDP matchup advice. In the past, the waiver wire suggestions were contained in the rising player analysis and, for the most part, it will stay there, but just to make your lives a bit easier, these articles will also break down those IDP who are suggested as adds to your roster for the upcoming week in a pared down format.
For the Week 1 Report, I have added my current rankings for the top 25 linebackers, defensive linesmen and defensive backs. Not much happened in the last preseason games to give a good idea of which IDP are rising or falling, so that is being left out of this week's article, but have no fear, that information will be back beginning with Week 2 of the IDP Report.
Top 25 Linebackers
The rankings for the top 25 linebackers have not seen much of a shake-up from what was contained in the Fantasy Alarm Football Draft Guide, although there is enough movement to make things interesting once we get past the first seven players or so. Derrick Johnson jumped from 22nd to 9th, and Alex Ogletree moved up four spots to 7th on the list. Sean Lee has dropped from 5th to 15th, and if you drafted him, be prepared to work the wire, as he is a good bet to miss time again this season. Brandon Marshall has jumped eight slots, to 8th on the list, while Von Miller, Mark Barron and Keenan Robinson fell out of the top 25 altogether. I still would own Miller and Barron, but might want to drop Robinson due to his hamstring injury.
Top 25 Defensive Linesmen
Over at the DL front, one big notable change is that Khalil Mack is now a top-ranked DL, as opposed to being a LB. Michael Johnson, Dante Fowler, Jr., Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy have all achieved top-25 status with the new projections, while Rob Ninkovich, Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson are all below the cut-off mark. Of those final three, I would still bank on Williams and Richardson returning value at this point, but if you drafted Ninkovich, it is time to look for a better option, what with his suspension and all (see the injury report on page 4).
Top 25 Defensive Backs
Eric Berry has leapt up the rankings, moving from 10th to 5th, and Malcolm Jenkins moved from 17th to 8th in the current rankings. Meanwhile, Karl Joseph has fallen not only out of the top 25, but is not in my top 50 DBs heading into Week 1. I would suggest keeping him on your radar, as he projects to be a starter at some point in 2016. Jason McCourty has jumped from a pre-season ranking of 33rd best DB to No. 13 in the current rankings, and would be a fine pickup going into the opening games. Antoine Bethea was not among my prior top 50 DBs, but has gained significant traction, as has Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick and Tony Jefferson, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has fallen 15 spots to 24th on the list. I still like Clinton-Dix, though, so do not go dropping him just yet.
Matchups to Exploit
Houston vs Chicago (we know Houston puts a strong defense on the field, and I do not trust the Chicago offense to be efficient early on this season, plus J.J. Watt is back in action)
Kansas City vs San Diego (San Diego is a passing team, and KC should be able to get to Rivers all day long, so look for some big plays here as the Chiefs pressure the opposing QB)
Indianapolis vs Detroit (based on the favorable tackle numbers provided by the home scoring crew in Indy)
Pittsburgh vs Washington (both sides of this contest look to provide good tackle and assist numbers)
Ouch (My Aching Roster)
All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff. Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.
David Harris NYG (shoulder)
Elvis Dumervil BAL (foot)
Vontaze Burfict CIN (suspension)
Rolando McClain DAL (suspension)
Sio Moore IND (hamstring)
Tamba Hali KC (knee)
Justin Houston KC (knee)
Mark Barron LA (undisclosed)
Jelani Jenkins MIA (knee)
Aldon Smith OAK (suspension)
Junior Galette WAS (Achilles)
Randy Gregory DE DAL (suspension)
Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL (suspension)
Rob Ninkovich DE NE (suspension)
Sheldon Richardson DE NYJ (suspension)
Cameron Heyward DE PIT (ankle)
Quinton Dial DT SF (knee)
Keanu Neal S ATL (knee)
Clayton Geathers S IND (foot)
Shamarko Thomas S PIT (groin)
Darius Butler CB IND (knee)
Jerraud Powers CB BAL (ankle)
Xavier Rhodes CB MIN (hamstring)
As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, I can be reached at email@example.com.