The IDP Week 7 match-ups are set to kick off with a bitter rivalry between two AFC East foes. The Patriots head into the game missing a key cog to their defense, Jerod Mayo. So, what does that mean for IDP owners this week and beyond? The Patriots linebackers are just one of the story-lines highlighted in the IDP Week 7 Match-up Analysis.
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
-When Antonio Allen was starting at CB, he was seeing 95 percent of the defensive snaps and averaging nearly six tackles per game. He’s made the switch back to safety and he’s seen just 44 snaps in his last two games. With Dawan Landry and Pryor dominating the defensive backfield, Allen isn’t going to see much time at safety. The Dee Milliner injury certainly opens the door for a return back to corner. The risk is too great to consider starting him this week.
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–Muhammad Wilkerson now has four sacks in his last four games and is generating pressure on nearly 12 percent of his last 99 blitzes. Since his Week 2 goose-egg, he’s recorded an 11 percent tackle rate, recording 29 total tackles. Wilkerson is playing on left and right side, so the New England offensive line will have their hands full, as they’ve allowed 10 sacks and 63 combined hits/hurries on over 240 pass block snaps.
–Dee Milliner looks to have ruptured his Achilles’ and is feared lost for the season. Darrin Walls will continue to lineup on the left side and has seen 30 balls thrown his way. He has defended 5 passes on those 30 targets.
–David Harris’s injured shoulder held up well, playing in 73 of the 74 defensive snaps. Even though New England is 19th in points allowed to opposing LBs, Harris is averaging just over 7 tackles per game and a 12.9 percent tackle rate in 13 career games against the Pats. He’s shaping up to a strong LB2 this week as he’s an LB14 in tackle-heavy formats.
–Calvin Pryor is getting snaps, but the IDP production hasn’t been there. He has yet to produce a game of 10 or more fantasy points. He has a tackle rate hovering at 7 percent and isn’t worth the risk starting this week, outside of deeper dynasty leagues. The 0.12 points per snap isn’t doing anyone any favors.
–Dawan Landry has three straight games of 10 or more tackles leading to a tackle rate of 15.8 percent and a point per snap rate of 0.44. He’s shaping up to a DB1 the remainder of the season. I like Landry’s match-up this week, as Patriots are allowing the 12th most points to opposing DBs, including allowing six safeties to hit double-digit fantasy points.
–Jerod Mayo has now played in 11 games over the last two seasons after suffering what appears to be a season-ending knee injury. Mayo was on his way to a monster game, recording five solo tackles in 20 snaps. He’ll end his season with 53 tackles and a solo-to-assist ratio over 2:1.
-It’s up in the air as to who’ll wear the green-dot helmet, but Dont’a Hightower had experience with it last year, as he was the signal caller last year when Mayo was lost. He’s hoping to be ready for Thursday’s match-up with the Jets and was spotted at practice. Jamie Collins is going to be in the mix for the communicator, but he should be on the field for the majority of the snaps, as well going forward. When he’s been healthy, Collins has been on the field nearly 97 percent of the defensive snaps. Hightower certainly has the upside to be an LB2 the remainder of the season, not only because of his tackles, but his rush ability. He’s already blitzed 52 times in four games, after seeing 83 in all of 2013. Collins also has LB2 upside for the remainder of the year. Here’s to hoping Collins can improve that 8.7 percent tackle rate.
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-After producing pressure on just 6 percent of his previous 143 blitzes, Rob Ninkovich exploded in Week 6. Nink recorded three sacks and four combined hits/hurries, leading to pressure generated on 17 percent of his blitzes. Ninkovich should line up over Brenon Giacomini, who’s responsible for 14 combined hits/hurries on 247 pass block snaps.
–Chandler Jones, in three career games against the Jets, has four sacks and has generated pressure on over 13 percent of his 123 career blitzes against New York. Most of his blitzes are coming from the right-side this season, so he should be seeing plenty of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who’s given up a sack and 16 combined hits/hurries on the season. Even though Jones is playing more OLB, in most cases, he should still have the DE designation in IDP leagues and should be started this week.
-Patriot safeties combined for 15 tackles and a forced fumble. Do I consider Patrick Chung a worthwhile IDP commodity? Maybe. He’s recorded consecutive weeks of 10 or more fantasy points and has notched 15 tackles for a tackle rate in his last 110 snaps. He also hasn’t missed a tackle since the two he missed in Week 1. Chung could be an interesting pick-up and DB play for the rest of the season with Jerod Mayo out for the year. Jets are allowing the 8th most points to opposing DBs.
–Alfonzo Dennard missed Weeks 2-4 , however, he’s seen 13 targets in his last two games in his return. Corners have snatched five INTs from the Jets and Dennard is coming off a five solo tackle effort, including two tackles resulting in a loss. Dennard is a sneaky start in CB-required leagues and he’s getting the snaps, appearing in 121 of the last 124 snaps.
Mike Woellert is an IDP Contributor for FakePigskin.