If you are still reading this article, then it likely means you have made it to or have advanced in the 2019 IDP playoffs. Congratulations. The time for lengthy introductions is long gone as we navigate this crucial point in the season. It’s simply win or go home time.
Let’s take a look at some Week 14 players that could either surprise or disappoint from a IDP fantasy perspective.
Players that could surprise
Derek Barnett, DE, Philadelphia vs. NY Giants
Taking advantage of a positive matchup last week Barnett looked like the defensive end that many owners had hoped he would be this season. Playing 69% of the snaps, he finished with six solo tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and was credited with four quarterback hits. He continues to see 50% or more of the snaps but has still been able to string together consistent production.
The potential is definitely there for big games as he is currently tied for the team lead in total quarterback pressures with Brandon Graham with 24. Let’s see if the Week 13 performance can jump start a strong stretch run for Barnett. Facing the far less mobile Eli Manning, who is expected to get the Monday night start with Daniel Jones (ankle) out, further boosts Barnett’s value.
Mario Addison, DE, Carolina @ Atlanta Falcons
Even with interim head coach Perry Fewell at the helm, the veteran defensive end is a great Week 14 starting option. Actually, all the pass rushers on the Panthers’ defense are worth a plug and play start this week in a great matchup. It also helps that Addison is coming off a game in which he had 1.5 sacks.
After an early season funk, he has gotten back on track in the last four games. Over that span he has 12 total tackles, along with three sacks and a forced fumble. He continues to see a solid workload playing an average of 51 snaps per game this season. The Falcons’ offense has allowed 15 sacks in their past two games with defensive linemen accounting for 10 of those sacks.
Anthony Walker, LB, Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s tough to get recognized as a productive player when you play in the shadow of one of the top IDP producers in the land. The third year linebacker out of Northwestern is doing just that despite lining up alongside Darius Leonard. He’s getting it done while being mainly a part time player but continues to quietly put up solid totals.
Last week, he had 12 total tackles, half a sack and a forced fumble. In the past four games he is putting up top-24 linebacker totals in balanced scoring formats. He’s on pace to record his second consecutive triple-digit tackle season and has a good Week 14 matchup. The Buccaneers’ offense is allowing an average of 25 tackles per game to opposing LBs and have given up seven big plays to the position in their last five games.
James Burgess, LB, NY Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
With C.J. Mosley (groin) finally being placed on IR, Burgess will remain a mainstay at linebacker on the Jets’ defense. He put up nine total tackles last week and continues to see the majority of the snaps while lining up at inside linebacker. He’s played 100% of the snaps in the past three games and been effective.
In that time, he has 26 total tackles, three tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery. Those are top-10 linebacker numbers. It’s always advisable to try and start IDP options that play on offenses that tend to struggle to stay on the field. The Jets’ defense faces an average of 65.5 offensive plays per game which also boosts his value. He’s a fine plug and play or injury replacement option this week.
Tre Boston, S, Carolina @ Atlanta Falcons
Through 12 games the Falcons’ offense has been the most generous in handing out points to opposing defensive backs. They are allowing an average of 31.6 tackles and 1.5 big plays to the position. The veteran safety. Tre Boston, has been producing well of late but it’s been overshadowed by the huge IDP season his teammate Eric Reid is having.
Last week Boston put up five solo and eight total tackles to bring his season total to 58. He is averaging seven total tackles per game and has one interception in the past three weeks. He is a sneaky good Week 14 start in a great matchup.
Players that could disappoint
Jerry Hughes, DE, Buffalo vs. Baltimore Ravens
This is the short and sweet special of the week. It is the same as it ever was in what has become a lost season for the veteran defensive end. Despite playing 61 snaps, in a tough matchup to be fair, he finished with a goose egg last week against Dallas.
For those of you counting at home. That is back-to-back weeks in which he’s failed to score a point. He now has a paltry 20 total tackles and 3.5 sacks on the season. The matchup this week against the mobile quarterback Lamar Jackson and the high flying Ravens’ offense isn’t favorable either.
Khalil Mack, LB, Chicago vs. Dallas Cowboys
The 2019 season has certainly been a disappointment for Chicago and their defense is not the dominant unit that is was last year. One of the many reasons the team has struggled is the regression of their pass rush and it’s inability to produce sacks. Last season they finished with 50 sacks and are currently on a pace to finish with less than 40.
Mack has been struggling this season and is coming off a game in which he posted just two total tackles. He now has one sack in his past five games and has only 6.5 on the season. He will be hard pressed to reach double-digit sacks this season after doing so in each of the past five years. The Cowboys’ offense has only allowed 18 tackles per game to opposing linebackers and a total of 16 sacks to the position on the season.
Sean Lee, LB, Dallas @ Chicago Bears
Let’s stay in the Windy City for our next possible disappointment. Sean Lee continues to do what he does best by stepping in for the injured Leighton Vander Esch (neck). In a great matchup last week against the Bills’ run heavy offense he finished with nine solo and 12 total tackles. He played 85% of the snaps and should continue to see an expanded role until Vander Esch returns.
He is reportedly dealing with a pectoral issue, but is expected to play. The matchup is not favorable because the Bears’ offense is allowing an average of just 16 tackles per game to opposing linebackers and have surrendered just 11 big plays to the position. There are better options available at the linebacker position in Week 14.
Damarious Randall, S, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The veteran safety has been a solid IDP option since joining the Browns’ defense and despite battling some injuries has had a decent season. When healthy he has been a three-down down player on a secondary that has seen its share of injuries this season. There are reasons for concern heading into this week’s game.
He was a healthy scratch last week, due to a coach’s decision, and that’s a bit confusing. Perhaps, after being ejected from the previous game against the Steelers for a helmet to helmet hit the coaching staff thought it best to keep him out. There are also reports that he missed a practice last week and that led to the benching. The word is that he will be back in the lineup this week but it’s hard to trust him until we have a better handle on the situation.