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Reading the Defense: Week 15

A weekly look at IDP trends with a mix of metrics, film study, and matchup strategy

Playoff Strategy Reminder

Last week, I wrote the following:

Remember, players with middling upside are not worth lineup spots in the playoffs unless they have a very safe floor and you're a significant favorite and want to maximize points. If you're likely to be chasing your opponent, a lineup bust doesn't hurt you. But a surprise stud performance can close the gap for you. Take chances if you can.

***Week 14 playoffs | Pass-rushing matchups to target: Cleveland (Michael Johnson), Indianapolis (Jadeveon Clowney), Arizona (Cameron Wake), Cincinnati (longshot Emmanuel Ogbah), San Francisco (Muhammad Wilkerson if healthy). Michael Johnson and Cameron Wake are the two high variance sleepers to target. Wake -- at home vs Carson Palmer -- is particularly attractive as a high variance waiver target.

***Week 14 playoffs | Tackle matchups to target: Dallas (Keenan Robinson), New Orleans (Lavonte David), Tampa Bay (Dannell Ellerbe, Vonn Bell), New England (Eric Weddle)

***Week 14 playoffs | Stat crews to target for added assists: New York Giants (upside for Sean Lee and Barry Church), Carolina (upside for Korey Toomer), New England (upside for Eric Weddle, C.J. Mosley), Buffalo (slight upside for PIT secondary).

These were meant to be longer shots -- I didn't call out players like Kwon Alexander and Zachary Orr, for example -- but many of them hit. I used Cameron Wake in a matchup I felt I was a significant underdog and he combined with Sean Lee to help me to a comfortable victory. Eric Weddle had a much better game than he's had in most weeks. Emmanuel Ogbah and Sean Davis also had better than expected games. Keenan Robinson, Lavonte David, C.J. Mosley, and Korey Toomer didn't hit big but they didn't hurt either.


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