Reading the Defense: Week 14

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

matchups to target during fantasy playoffs

If you've been able to stay ahead of the injury and platoon situations this year, your roster may be primed with matchup independent talents. If that's not the case, you're likely looking at a run of close matchups throughout the playoffs and will need every point you can find.

And if you've just squeaked into the playoffs and are likely to be an underdog, now's not the time to start a high floor player without much upside. It's critical to take chances. If Player X has a floor of 6 points and a ceiling of 10 and Player Y has a floor of 0 points and a ceiling of 15-20, you should be starting Player Y in every big underdog situation -- no matter how low you project the chance of Player Y hitting that ceiling.

Though 12 weeks of data on each team, here are some of the most attractive teams to target when choosing between close matchup calls:

tackle matchups to target

Tackle Opportunity Trends
  • Philadelphia >> 54.6 tackle opportunities per week // 59.4 tackle opportunities per week at home
  • Carolina >> 53.3 tackle opportunities per week
  • Seattle >> 57.7 tackle opportunities per week over past three weeks
Rush Attempts Per Week
  • Carolina 33.3
  • Chicago 29.8
  • Seattle 29.6
  • Tampa Bay 29.3
  • Buffalo 29.3
  • Cincinnati 28.5
  • Philadelphia 28.3
  • Minnesota 28.1

pass rush matchups to target

  • Seattle 9.9% (Pct Dropbacks Allowing Sack) // 3.3 (Sacks Per Game)
  • Kansas City 9.1% // 3.2
  • Minnesota 9.0% // 2.9
  • Tennessee 8.9% // 3.3
  • San Francisco 8.8% // 3.0
  • Cleveland 8.1% // 3.4
  • Jacksonville 7.1% // 3.0

late season waiver targets

**Danny Lansanah / Bruce Carter (watch Wednesday news closely for Alexander replacement)
**Chad Greenway (replaces injured Anthony Barr in subpackages)
**James Anderson (if Dannell Ellerbe remains out)
**Will Compton (must add if Keenan Robinson not practicing)
**Jordan Tripp (deep league flyer if Paul Posluszny unable to play with hand fracture)
**Refer to matchups above and Larry Thomas' IDP Sheet for high risk - high reward pass rush and coverage targets for other positions



ARIZONA Kevin Minter : Deone Bucannon Alex Okafor Daryl Washington (susp)  
ATLANTA Paul Worrilow Justin Durant    
BALTIMORE C.J. Mosley Elvis Dumervil : Courtney Upshaw : Daryl Smith Terrell Suggs (IR) Orr used sparingly, Smith responded w/ strong numbers 
BUFFALO Preston Brown : Manny Lawson   Nigel Bradham Used Lawson in subpackages, Reddick base defender
CAROLINA Luke Kuechly : Thomas Davis      
CHICAGO Shea McClellin     Anderson and Jones rotating 
CINCINNATI       Rotation continues 
CLEVELAND Karlos Dansby     Orchard continues to see playing time increase 
DALLAS Sean Lee Rolando McClain    
DENVER   Brandon Marshall : Von Miller Danny Trevathan : DeMarcus Ware Trevathan in concussion protocol 
DETROIT   Tahir Whitehead : Stephen Tulloch DeAndre Levy (IR)  
GREEN BAY Clay Matthews Julius Peppers : Jake Ryan Sam Barrington (IR) Packers benched Palmer for Ryan
HOUSTON Brian Cushing Whitney Mercilus    
INDIANAPOLIS D'Qwell Jackson   Jerrell Freeman  
JACKSONVILLE Paul Posluszny : Telvin Smith Sr     Watch for news on Posluszny's hand fracture, Skuta or Tripp next up
KANSAS CITY Derrick Johnson Tamba Hali, Dee Ford Justin Houston Ford, not Zombo, played nearly every down w/ Houston out 
MIAMI       Jenkins>Misi>Sheppard in every-down order when healthy 
MINNESOTA Eric Kendricks : Chad Greenway   Anthony Barr  
NEW ENGLAND Jamie Collins Sr  Jonathan Freeny Dont'a Hightower  
NEW ORLEANS Stephone Anthony   Dannell Ellerbe James Anderson near full time w/ Ellerbe/Hawthorne out 
NEW YORK GIANTS     Jon Beason (IR) : Devon Kennard Just impossible to handicap due to health and rotation 
NEW YORK JETS David Harris     Davis / Henderson rotation continues 
OAKLAND Malcolm Smith Khalil Mack Aldon Smith (susp)  
PHILADELPHIA   Connor Barwin : Brandon Graham Jordan Hicks (IR) Alonso outsnapped Kendricks by 22 last week 
PITTSBURGH Lawrence Timmons Ryan Shazier    
ST. LOUIS James Laurinaitis : Mark Barron   Alec Ogletree (IR-R)  
SAN DIEGO Melvin Ingram III Manti Te'o : Denzel Perryman    
SAN FRANCISCO NaVorro Bowman Aaron Lynch : Gerald Hodges Michael Wilhoite  
SEATTLE Bobby Wagner : K.J. Wright      
TAMPA BAY Lavonte David   Kwon Alexander (susp) Still unclear whether Carter or Lansanah will replace Alexander 
TENNESSEE Avery Williamson Brian Orakpo : David Bass Derrick Morgan  
WASHINGTON Will Compton Ryan Kerrigan Keenan Robinson : Perry Riley  

Subscribe to The Audible on iTunes or download our weekly IDP podcast here every Thursday for injury updates, player analysis and matchup discussion. Follow and ask questions on Twitter @JeneBramel.

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