Week 5 IDP Rankings: Tackle-Heavy

IDP Rankings

Luke Kuechly has continued his dominance as the premier LB1 option in the entire league.


We’re made it through another weekend of the NFL season, and it feels like we’ve experienced another week where injuries seemed to take headline precedence over on-field play. Many big-name players found themselves on the sidelines while their teams continued on without them, and while a majority of severe injuries occurred on the offensive side of the ball, there were many IDP stars that went down as well.


Starting off in Buffalo, breakout veteran Ramon Humber (LB, BUF) left in the first quarter of the Bills game after suffering a broken hand and is out indefinitely. Rookie Matt Milano (LB, BUF) should see an increase in playing time, and could possibly be worth an add in deep leagues. Kurt Coleman (DB, CAR) suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday and will miss at least a month of action for the Panthers. Olivier Vernon (DL, NYG) reinjured his ankle after trying to play through the pain of an injury he sustained in week 3, he is currently questionable for this Sunday. Cliff Avril (DL, SEA) injured his neck in Sunday night’s game against the Colts, and the team is planning for him to miss an extended period of time. On Monday night, Josh Norman (DB, WAS) fractured a rib while tackling Chris Conley, he is expected to miss a couple of weeks.




Since we are through one-quarter of the NFL season, it is becoming more obvious what trends are going to last over the course of the season. One trend to pay close attention to when selecting your lineups in IDP leagues is how much time of possession each team averages per game. Playing your defensive players against offenses who average more time of possession than the league’s typical team can lead to more tackle opportunities through the course of more snaps on the field.


The team currently leading the league in time of possession is the Philadelphia Eagles, who also led the category in the 2016 season. The Eagles are currently averaging over 35 minutes with the ball per game. Other teams who are in possession of the ball for over 32 minutes of game time on average include Houston, Carolina, Denver, and Detroit. All five of these teams make for great matchups when choosing between which players to start on your defense.



Now let’s jump into this week’s top ten IDP rankings at each position, according to tackle-heavy scoring formats, enjoy.



**Note: IDP scoring format vary greatly from league to league, the rankings below will be listed based upon the following scoring format.**


  • Solo tackle: 2 points
  • Assisted tackle: 1 point
  • Tackle for loss: 1 point
  • Sack: 3 points
  • Interception: 3 points
  • Forced fumble: 3 points
  • Fumble recovery: 3 points
  • Defensive TD: 6 points
  • Safety: 2 points


IDP Rankings

Off to a blazing start, Demarcus Lawrence leads the league with 7.5 sacks through four games.


Defensive Lineman:

1: Joey Bosa (DE, LAC) @ NYG

After looking horrid to start the season, the Giants offensive line has miraculously allowed zero sacks in two consecutive weeks in games against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. The Giants face their biggest test this season when Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram come to town. It will take another stellar performance to keep these two edge-rushers from reaching the quarterback.IDP Rankings

2: Khalil Mack (DE, OAK) vs. BAL

Khalil Mack posted another great performance last Sunday against the Denver Broncos, bringing down Trevor Siemian twice as well as recording seven solo tackles. The Raiders defense might see limited playing time this weekend against the Ravens, whose offense has struggled to stay on the field, but Mack should make the most out of every snap he plays.

3:  Melvin Ingram (DE, LAC) @ NYG

Lining up on the opposite side of Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram poses as a dangerous pass rush threat for the Chargers defense. Bosa and Ingram head to the east coast to face off against the Giants overperforming offensive line, to try and bring them back down to earth.

4: Demarcus Lawrence (DE, DAL) vs. GB

The NFL’s league leader in sacks brought down the quarterback once again this past weekend, as Demarcus Lawrence recorded another sack to raise his total to 7.5 on the year. Lawrence and the Cowboys take on the Green Bay Packers this week, who have allowed 15 sacks this season, second-most in the NFC.

5: J.J. Watt (DE, HOU) vs. KC

Another week goes by and another Texans game where J.J. Watt fails to produce a sack. It is the first time in Watt’s career that he has failed to record a sack in five consecutive games, a streak that I don’t envision lasting too much longer. Watt is not a player you should be benching, make sure to stick by your studs and play them every week.

6: Danielle Hunter (DE, MIN) @ CHI

Viking defensive lineman Danielle Hunter, who was last seen on the side of a milk carton after three disappointing games to start the season, finally lived up to the hype set for him over the course of the offseason with a two-sack, five-tackle performance against the Detroit Lions. Hunter and the Vikings exploited a poor Lions offensive line, recording a total of five sacks of quarterback Matthew Stafford over the course of the afternoon.

7: Everson Griffen (DE, MIN) @ CHI

Another Viking defensive lineman who took down Matthew Stafford this past weekend was veteran Everson Griffen, who now has recorded at least one sack in each of the first four weeks of the season, totaling five sacks this year. Griffen, Hunter, and the rest of the Vikings defense will face off against the Chicago Bears and rookie Mitch Trubisky, who is appearing in his first NFL action on Monday night.

8: Aaron Donald (DT, LAR) vs. SEA

Aaron Donald has shown in the past that he can bully Seattle’s offensive line, and that’s exactly what he plans on doing this week as the Rams host the Seahawks. Back in 2015, Donald had one of the best games of his career at home against Seattle, recording nine total tackles and two sacks. Seattle also lost their starting left tackle Rees Odhiambo to injury last Sunday, after he left their game with a bruised heart.

9: Jerry Hughes (DE, BUF) @ CIN

Jerry Hughes has made the most out of the Bills defensive scheme transition from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 defense this season, as the Buffalo defensive end has amassed three sacks and a forced fumble this season, to go along with 15 total tackles. Teammate Shaq Lawson is expected to play in week 5 after missing last weekend’s game due to injury, which should help take pressure off of Hughes and free him up more.

10: Jadeveon Clowney (DE, HOU) vs. KC

The Texans faced off against one of the league’s best offensive lines in week 4 and Jadeveon Clowney was still able to produce at a high level, recording a sack and forcing a fumble in the Texans blowout win over the Titans. This week, Houston matches up against one of the league’s worst lines when it comes to protecting the quarterback, as the Texans host the Chiefs, who have allowed 16 sacks this season, only two teams have given up more.

Honorable Mentions: Trey Flowers (DE, NE), Brandon Graham (DE, PHI), Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, NYG)


IDP Rankings

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is among the league’s best linebackers when healthy.



1: Luke Kuechly (MLB, CAR) @ DET

I feel like I won’t ever need to take Kuechly’s name out of the #1 spot for weekly linebacker rankings. The Panthers star middle linebacker had another standout game Sunday, recording 14 total tackles, 12 of which were solo, in the Panthers thrilling win over the Patriots.

2: Bobby Wagner (MLB, SEA) @ LAR

Bobby Wagner leads the Seahawks defense into Los Angeles this week to face off against their divisional foe for the first time this season. New Rams head coach Sean McVay has made Todd Gurley one of the NFL’s biggest standouts one-quarter of the way through this season, and expect the Rams to continue feeding the hot hand in the Los Angeles offense. This should lead to plenty of tackle opportunities for both Wagner, and fellow Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright

3: Vontaze Burfict (MLB, CIN) vs. BUF

After a three-game suspension to start the season, Vontaze Burfict saw the field for the first time this year last week in a blowout win over the Cleveland Browns. While teammate Nick Vigil produced the better game on the stat sheet by far, Burfict was being eased back into play and was not on the field for every snap. Expect Burfict to be a top-5 linebacker option every week he is playing, and if Vigil can continue seeing 100% of snaps every week, he is a solid every-week option in midsize leagues as well.

4: C.J. Mosley (ILB, BAL) @ OAK

In IDP, it benefits to have players that are on teams with a bad offense. That is the exact situation that Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley finds himself in this year, as Joe Flacco and Baltimore’s lackluster offense have struggled to string together drives to stay on the field, forcing Mosley and the rest of the Ravens defense to see an increased snap count. Mosley recorded 12 tackles and a forced fumble last Sunday and could be in the midst of his best fantasy season of his career.

5: Ryan Shazier (ILB, PIT) vs. JAX

Another star linebacker in the AFC North who has been lighting up the stat sheet lately has been Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier. The former Buckeye has made an eye-popping 22 tackles in his last two games, adding along an interception, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. The Steelers host the Jaguars this week, who have the most rushing attempts this season in the NFL. Expect Shazier to see a lot of Leonard Fournette in this Sunday matchup.

6: Jatavis Brown (WLB, LAC) @ NYG

Jatavis Brown slips a few spots in this week’s rankings for no reason other than the fact that he is currently nursing a foot injury which forced him to miss time in this past Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. Brown exited the game, but then re-entered sometime later to finish out the afternoon, but was seen wearing a walking boot following the game. Watch his injury carefully this week, if he isn’t practicing by Friday you might need to find another option at linebacker for your team.

7: Jarrad Davis (MLB, DET) vs. CAR

One player who is hopefully returning from an injury this week is Lions rookie first-round pick Jarrad Davis, who suffered a concussion in week 2 against the Giants and has not been able to get on the field since then. Davis seemed like he would be good to go this past Sunday, but was a late addition to the inactive list, the Lions do expect him to be able to play this weekend though.

8: Karlos Dansby (ILB, ARI) @ PHI

One of the best teams to currently play linebackers against is the Philadelphia Eagles. This week, the Eagles host the Arizona Cardinals and Karlos Dansby along with the rest of the Cardinals defense hope to take advantage of the run-heavy offense Doug Pederson has instilled in Philly. The Eagles have shown they are committed to the run, and also lead the entire league in time of possession, just as they did last season.

9: Kendell Beckwith (MLB, TB) vs. NE

The Buccaneers are playing on short rest this week, as Tampa Bay hosts the New England Patriots in primetime on Thursday night. This does not bode well for injured linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, but replacement Kendell Beckwith has certainly been making the most out of the opportunity. Beckwith has racked up 20 solo tackles in three games this season, and if he continues this level of play over the next couple of games, he could make Lavonte David expendable this offseason, as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this winter.

10: Christian Jones (ILB, CHI) vs. MIN

Another young linebacker looking to take advantage of his situation this weekend is Chicago linebacker Christian Jones. With injuries to Jerrell Freeman and Nick Kwiatkoski, as well as the one-game suspension to starter Danny Trevathan, Jones sees a starting opportunity this week as the Bears host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. If rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky fails to sustain drives against the Vikings stingy pass defense, Jones and the Bears defense could see lots of field time. Jones makes for a great one-week spot start before Trevathan returns from suspension and Kwiatkoski is fully healed from his pectoral injury.

Honorable Mentions: Sean Lee (WLB, DAL) [INACTIVE], Alec Ogletree (ILB, LAR), Jon Bostic (ILB, IND), Telvin Smith (WLB, JAX)

IDP Rankings

Rookie safety Josh Jones has been seeing a majority of his playing time from the linebacker position.

Defensive Backs:

1: Landon Collins (SS, NYG) vs. LAC

Of all positions in IDP fantasy football, it is defensive back which sees the most variable scoring, not just from one season to the next, but even game to game for most players. Finding a defensive back who you can rely on for tackles is a great commodity to have, and that’s exactly what Landon Collins is. Collins has recorded at least five total tackles in 36 consecutive games in his career, dating back to week 2 of his rookie season.

2: Jahleel Addae (SS, LAC) @ NYG

Chargers strong safety Jahleel Addae has been one of the best fantasy options among defensive backs in the league so far this year, and if teammate Jatavis Brown is not playing at 100% this weekend, that could lead to more opportunities for Addae to appear on the stat sheet. When Brown is at 100%, he rarely lets tackle opportunities get past him, but Addae could take advantage of a weakened Chargers linebacking corps this week.

3:  Reshad Jones (SS, MIA) vs. TEN

Another IDP player who is on a team featuring a very poor offense is Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. Jay Cutler has not been the quick fix answer that Miami fans were hoping for in the Dolphins offense, and Jones, as well as the rest of the Dolphins defense, have seen a lot of playing time as a result. Hosting the Titans this week, who might be playing without Marcus Mariota, means that Jones has lots of big-play opportunities, and could force a turnover off of backup Matt Cassel.

4: Tyvon Branch (SS, ARI) @ PHI

Cardinals safeties have been some of the most valuable fantasy assets since Bruce Arians became the head coach in Arizona, and Tyvon Branch is just the latest defensive back to be among the top safeties in the league in tackles to play in his defense. Even with teammate Tyrann Mathieu producing at a level that most defensive players can only dream of, Branch was still able to accumulate nine total tackles and a forced fumble in an overtime matchup against the 49ers.

5: Karl Joseph (SS, OAK) vs. BAL

Raiders safety Karl Joseph didn’t have the best fantasy output in week 4, posting only four solo tackles against the Broncos, but he should see more passes thrown into the defensive backfield this week as the Raiders host the struggling Ravens. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown at least one interception in every game this year, including four over his past two weeks. Joseph might just be the Raiders player that picks him off and makes the big play this weekend.

6: Harrison Smith (FS, MIN) @ CHI

With the Bears electing to start rookie Mitch Trubisky, Chicago might lean on a more conservative play calling effort to help ease the young quarterback ease into NFL action against one of the league’s toughest pass defenses. Smith headline’s a defensive backfield that will make Trubisky’s first test a tough one as the Vikings head to Chicago on Monday night.

7: Jaquiski Tartt (SS, SF) @ IND

In the absence of Eric Reid, 49ers safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward have found themselves in a great position to produce at a high level by fantasy standards. San Francisco linebackers Navorro Bowman and Ray-Ray Armstrong have not been the best tacklers in the world, leaving plenty of plays to go to the third level where Tartt, along with Ward, have been there to pick up the scraps.

8: Chris Conte (SS, TB) vs. NE

Another defensive back whose value is currently benefitting from injuries to teammates is Buccaneers safety Chris Conte. The veteran has been playing close to 100% snaps every week, and with T.J. Ward injured and Keith Tandy nursing an injury as well, Conte seems to be the best bet against a dangerous Patriots offense this coming Thursday night.

9: Jamal Adams (SS, NYJ) @ CLE

The Jets have been leaning heavily upon rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, which each playing near 100% snaps every week. The Jets head to Cleveland this week to play against the Browns who have thrown for a combined nine interceptions between quarterbacks this season. Adams has both a great chance for big plays as well as racking up tackles while covering running back Duke Johnson, who is expected to be heavily targeted in the passing game.

10: Josh Jones (SS, GB) DAL

One of the most valuable assets while playing IDP fantasy football can be finding a player who is playing out of his listed position, which allows him to comparatively score more points than his other counterparts. Packers rookie Josh Jones is just that player as the rookie has seemingly taken over Morgan Burnett’s role in Green Bay’s defense. Jones has played most of his snaps from the linebacker position the past two games, and even with Jake Ryan and Kentrell Brice now back and healthy from injury, Jones appears to have earned the coaches’ trust enough to be played at near 100% of plays.

Honorable Mentions: Sean Davis (SS, PIT),  Glover Quin (FS, DET), Barry Church (SS, JAX)

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