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The FBG Inseason Experience (1 Viewer)

Jene Bramel

We’re just hours away from the start of the regular season and with our ever-increasing Forum readership, I thought it might be worthwhile to summarize both the well-known and little-known things we do around here during the season. Not all of them are subscriber-only features. In fact, while we’d like everyone to subscribe, we’re dedicated to keeping FBG the only place you need to go during the week for IDP news and analysis.

Subscribing to the IDP Forum by E-mail or RSS

All critical news breaks on this Forum almost immediately after it happens and is quickly followed by solid analysis from homers, veteran posters and staff. Inseason, it isn’t unusual to have 20 new threads a day posted in the Forum. To be notified by email when a new thread is started in the forum, click the watch forum button at the upper right of the main IDP forum page.

You can have any new thread emailed to your inbox or picked up by an RSS reader and never again worry that you’ll miss the latest IDP news. You can also subscribe to any particular thread and have the FBG email server notify you when a new reply has been posted in that thread. The link to add the IDP Forum to your RSS reader of choice is in the lower left hand corner of each forum webpage, or at this link. You can subscribe to the IDP Forum to get emails sent to your inbox when a new thread is started by clicking on the link from the Forum Options pull-down menu found just under the New Topic button below the pinned threads section. If you just want to monitor one specific thread, you can click on the “Track this Topic” link from the Options menu at the top right within each thread.

IDP Assistant Coach Forum

Get advice on all your team specific IDP questions in our subforum. You can help us give our best answers by providing as much information as possible – scoring system, lineup requirements, matchups with home and away noted, etc. There are a couple of regular staff respondents as well as some very good veteran posters that will often add replies within a few hours. We’re trying to keep the main IDP Forum focused on general news, analysis and strategy only, so please post all team specific issues in the subforum and don’t be offended if one of the moderators moves a thread.

Sunday AM Updates and Inactives

I'll be posting all major IDP news, gameday IDP inactives and adding relevant analysis on Sunday mornings here in the Forum and on Twitter. Last season, our Sunday AM readership was significantly higher than the year before and we’re expecting an even bigger bump this season.

IDP Roundtable Weekly Podcast on The Audible

For the third season running, Sigmund Bloom and Cecil Lammey (and friends) will be producing a huge amount of free content on The Audible. John Norton and I will be joining them for our third season of the IDP Roundtable. We’ll be recording on Tuesday nights this season and covering all the major IDP news of the prior weekend and week ahead. You can subscribe to The Audible on i-tunes or get each week’s podcast from our podcast page on Wednesday nights (or sooner) every week. The podcast feed is also available by RSS (linked from the podcast page).


While this message board continues to be the most consistent place for strong IDP discussion anywhere, there's a new girl crashing the party. And she demands your attention. If you've dismissed Twitter so far, it's time to reconsider. Every beat writers, many industry mavens (like Adam Schefter and Greg Cosell), most prominent fantasy writers, players and more use Twitter. There's noise now and then, but there's no place you'll get your news more quickly. Beat writers post news immediately -- during press conferences, during games, middle of the night -- long before it makes it onto their web site or their blogs. That sparks lots of immediate discussion among those in the know. You can follow it all. At minimum, I strongly suggest joining the hundreds following both myself (@JeneBramel) and Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) -- well, thousands in Bloom's case -- and then choosing which of Bloom's lists (writers, insiders, etc) to follow.

All of the above are free for everyone all year long. For those of you who want the full thrust of the FBG IDP experience, here’s our current slate of expected subscriber features.

IDP Matchup Analyzer Tool

Our master stat and database wizard, Doug Drinen, put together a killer IDP matchup database last season. Using the IDP MAT, you can search for IDP stat lines by NFL team and by position (including ILB, OLB, DT and CB) for any number of weeks you wish. You’ll be able to see how all OLBs have done against a given team over the prior month. You’ll be able to see if a given CB has been consistent against passing offenses. You’ll be able to see how a group of linebackers have had their value change after an injury to one of their surrounding cast. You’ll be able to see if there’s a trend for pretty much anything.

MyFBG function

Doug also added a fully customizable database function last season. After entering your league’s profile and scoring system, you’ll be able to generate customized weekly cheatsheets and projection lists based on John Norton’s stat projections every week. You’ll also be able to get a customized forward SOS and links to all relevant news for players that you tag in the system, including mentions in our weekly articles and email updates.

Last, but certainly not least, our weekly lineup is unmatched anywhere on the net for its depth and timeliness. While our IDP community provides more information on the Forums and weekly podcast than you’ll get for a fee anywhere else, there’s still more analysis and opinion behind the subscriber curtain. In addition to all of the above, subscribers have access to:

IDP Upgrades and Waiver Wire Suggestions (Monday) – Aaron Rudnicki

The earliest and deepest column anywhere on emerging IDP options across all leagues, deep to shallow, tackle to big play heavy and everywhere in between.

Early IDP Projections with Daily Updates (Tuesday) – John Norton

Full set of projections (with daily updates) each week to generate customized cheatsheets and rankings by every position.

Reading the Defense (Wednesday) – Jene Bramel

Analysis of recent news and relevant trends with an eye on statistical and scheme analysis and a little gut feel.

IDP Dynasty Buy Low/Sell High (Wednesday-Thursday) – Anthony Borbely

Deep look at the dynasty trader’s market from an IDP only perspective.

Eyes of the Guru (Wednesday-Thursday) – John Norton

Industry standard review of every major IDP story of the week.

General Admission (Thursday-Friday) – Dave Baker

More analysis and review of selected IDP players, teams and situations.

IDP Matchup Tool (Thursday) - Larry Thomas

Downloadable spreadsheet full of opportunity data and new metrics, including a searchable and color-coded analyzer tool for each defense's best pass rushing and tackle matchups, to help with waiver and lineup decisions.

IDP Matchups to Exploit and Avoid (Thursday) - Dave Larkin and Larry Thomas

Highlights a few of the best weekly pass rush and tackle matchups from the IDP Opportunity Analyzer tools in Thomas' matchup spreadsheet.

Ear to the Ground (Friday) – Bob Magaw

Data analysis, dynasty thoughts, emerging trends, scouting reviews, IDP goods galore.

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Here’s a glimpse at our IDP coverage from last week:

IDP Upgrades (Rudnicki) – Monday

DE Greg Hardy, CAR (4 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 PD)

Hardy didn't play much in the preseason while recovering from a motorcycle crash, but the release of Everette Brown has left him as a clear choice for the DE spot opposite Charles Johnson. Eric Norwood and George Selvie will still contribute at times, but Hardy looks pretty close to an everydown DE. Cam Newton also figures to upgrade the offense, which should help provide the Panthers defense with additional pass rushing opportunities. Hardy was very active against the Cardinals this week as he picked up 5 tackles, a sack, forced fumble, and even a pass deflection as he dropped into coverage at times.

S Bryan Scott, BUF (8 solos, 1 sack)

Scott started the game against the Chiefs on Sunday but he did so as a linebacker in the team's nickel package. With the Chiefs running a lot of spread formations and the Bills getting out to a big lead early, Scott wound up seeing a ton of playing time. He probably won't see as many snaps in most other games but certainly looks like a guy you can plug in during favorable matchups against teams that are likely to throw the ball a lot.

DE Adrian Clayborn, TB (0 tackles)

Tampa sought to upgrade their pass rush when they took Adrian Clayborn in the first round of the draft this year. While he actually had a decent game and generated some pressure on Matthew Stafford, he also missed a tackle on Jahvid Best in the backfield and wound up with no stats to show for his efforts. He looks better against the pass than he does against the run so he might not get enough tackles to be a viable fantasy starter this year.

Reading the Defense (Bramel) – Wednesday

Sean Lee (9-2, INT/PD) / Keith Brooking (4-0, PD) / Bradie James (0-0)

It was evident from the opening snap that a depth chart change had occurred in Dallas when Lee started the game at WILB alongside James. He wore the helmet with the communicator and played in every subpackage. While his stat line above is striking, it shouldn't be surprising to those who were paying attention in 2010. Last season, in limited duty as the MLB in the 35 changeup front the Cowboys were using against power offensive sets, Lee showed his talent at shedding blocks and making sure tackles at the point of attack. That ability was again on display against the Jets. There were some minor issues in coverage, but he showed an ability to drop into depth easily and good ball skills on his interception. There's no reason to expect that Lee will go back to a part time role and he's a must add as a LB2+ if he's available. Given the competition in the Dallas back seven, Lee could easily finish in the top five as the every-down WILB. I think Brooking ended up seeing more snaps than James, but neither is likely to be more than a matchup play now.

EJ Henderson (2-2, QH, PD) / Erin Henderson (6-3-1)

I expected to see EJ moving slowly and looking like the game had passed him by. While EJ didn't have the same sideline-to-sideline range he once had, he still has a good burst and played physically at the point of attack. I think his stat line was probably closer to 4-2 and the QH was a narrowly missed sack on a strong A-gap delayed blitz. I think there's too much competition on the edges from his OLBs and CBs to argue that he's still an every-week LB3, but he's better than his line suggests. By contrast, Erin was around the ball often, but only a factor when free to pursue. He didn't play in subpackages, but was on the field for around 70% of the 77 snaps the Chargers had from scrimmage. Erin has some matchup upside, but he'll be at risk of some very poor results against teams like DET, KC and GB over the next six weeks.

Craig Dahl (8-1) / Reed Doughty (8-2) / Reggie Nelson (7-2-1, 2 PD) / Reshad Jones 8-4, PD)

This is a group you'll want to be careful with this week. Dahl played every down, but more frequently in a deep safety role, and made just two plays within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Unless Dahl sees more time in the box next week, his numbers won't be as good against the Giants. It's worth noting that the STL box score didn't match the personnel packages. Justin King (7-0-1, 2 QH) also ran up nice numbers as a slot corner, but the DB to watch may actually be Darian Stewart, who is playing the nickel OLB role vacated by Dahl last year. He didn't look great, but the position could bring some value. Doughty benefited from the Washington strong safety role (and possibly OJ Atogwe's limiting hamstring injury). He's an option only as long as LaRon Landry is out. I've argued that a Cincinnati safety will hold value this year, but that I don't like any of them. The Bengals are still using lots of safety blitzes (run and pass), so although Nelson isn't a physical presence there may yet be some value in him. Jones got the start at free safety over Chris Clemons, who had been fighting a hamstring injury, and looked quick but botched a couple of coverage assignments badly. He's worth a pickup, but the New England matchup (spread offense, lots of TE passes, relatively poor play of both ILBs) may have been a perfect storm for him. I think he's an inconsistent DB3, but will be watching him closely next week against Houston.

IDP Matchups (Larkin) – Thursday

Cleveland defenders at Indianapolis

As much as I am down on the Colts defense, I am not that much more optimistic about the offense and their ability to sustain drives. The Browns should control the clock in this game with a steady dose of Hillis and Hardesty with a sprinkle of quick passing here and there. D'Qwell Jackson played sideline to sideline against the Bengals last week and looked very fluid and decisive in his movement. I would temper my expectations for him and the rest of the Browns defenders against a Colts team that cannot be trusted to generate consistent production offensively.

Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers (vs. Green Bay)

The Achilles injury to defensive leader Jon Beason means a greater load will be placed on the shoulders of Thomas Davis and James Anderson. While I believe both players will be very productive starters for the rest of the season, Davis has impressed me since returning from his own injury, a second ACL tear in as many years. Against the Cardinals, Davis was exceptional in coverage, flying to the football with reckless abandon. Make no mistake - his speed is almost back to its best and he can stay with most receivers in coverage in the short to intermediate range. The Packers offense will spread the field and Davis will be an every down player. I predict a very good statistical display from Davis on Sunday and moreover, it will be intriguing to watch how aggressive Panthers DC Sean McDermott will be against Rodgers.

IDP Matchup Sheet (Thomas) – Thursday

Tackle opportunity, tackles and assist per team, run-pass percentage faced, pressure stats for and against and lots, lots, lots more.

IDP General Admission (Baker) – Thursday

Who is Henry Melton? If you've been paying any attention to Chicago Bears team officials in the offseason, you knew exactly who he is. Melton, a fourth round pick last year out of Texas, seemed to come up whenever the media spoke to team officials, including Head Coach Lovie Smith and GM Jerry Angelo. So on that front, it should not have been a big surprise to see that Melton had two sacks to go with 4-1 tackles in the Bears opening game victory over Atlanta...

Melton was actually a running back for the University of Texas at one time. He later became a defensive end. After his rookie season last year, Melton gained 30 pounds and moved to Love Smith's three technique tackle spot in Chicago's cover two scheme. Melton replaces Tommie Harris, who played lackadaisical last year, and Melton's efforts, as well as his athletic ability, could lead to big things for the Bears this year. And of course Melton's IDP owners might benefit as well...

Eyes of the Guru (Norton) – Thursday

Tennessee Titans

I mentioned last week that William Hayes is a talented player who would be productive as an every down end if only he could stay healthy. He can't. Hayes went 2-0-1 in the opener but came out of the game with a sore shoulder that is likely to keep him out this week. Fortunately for the Titans, they expect to have both Jason Jones and Derrick Morgan back this week. The only guy who is completely healthy here however, is Dave Ball who went 5-0-0 against Jacksonville. There could eventually be some good production that comes from this mess but for now I suggest that we avoid everyone but Ball... If week one is a good measuring stick, it looks as if the Titans could continue last season's struggles. That could mean a lot of opportunity for everyone on this unit. Barrett Ruud had a strong opener as did Chris Hope, Michael Griffin and Jason McCourty. Hope made so many tackles in week one that his shoulder is sore. So much so in fact, that he may miss week two.

Oakland Raiders

After a strong finish to last season Rolando McClain laid an egg against Denver on Monday night. Granted the fact that Denver rushed only 12 times in the game was a factor, but McClain looked more like the guy who frustrated us early last season than the one who gave us hope in December. Unless you can grab someone like Sean Lee of the waiver wire for him, I suggest you give McClain another week or two before giving up on him, but I have a hard time recommending patience beyond that unless he gives us a good reason.

Cincinnati Bengals

Unless you are in a very deep league or are very desperate for DB help, don't get too excited about Reggie Nelson's strong game. This one has one week wonder written all over it. Nelson is not a very physical safety nor is he a particularly strong tackler. My friend Sigmund Bloom once called him an "ankle biter" and I have always thought that a great description. If he does it again in week two I will be surprised but will take a longer look. At best I expect Nelson to be very inconsistent... Owners in tackle required leagues will be tempted by the 5-1 Jonathan Fanene put up. He saw a lot more snaps than I expected him to. As a former DE he has the quickness and athleticism to make some noise from the inside. Peko and Atkins started but Fanene saw plenty of action in the sub packages. If you are in dire need go ahead and make a move. If not, keep him on your radar and we will see what happens... Rey Maualuga was a somewhat disappointing 3-3 in the opener, but giving up on him would be a mistake. The Bengals pretty much shut down the Browns running game (22 carries for 72 yards) so there was not a great deal of opportunity for the linebackers. In fact the Browns ran just 42 offensive plays that resulted in a tackle being recorded. Maualuga will be fine... Michael Johnson was just 1-0-0 but added a couple of PD and a pick. He was much more disruptive and a bigger factor in the game than his numbers would suggest. Hang in there with him. I believe the numbers will come.

IDP Sleepers (Borbely) – Friday

Prime Cut (Great matchup, strong sleeper)

Chris Clemons, Seattle Seahawks (at Pittsburgh)

• Season stats: 3/0/0

• Last week: 3/0/0

• Steelers' sacks allowed last week: 5

• Steelers' QB pressure allowed ranking last week: 22nd

Clemons had a respectable three solos against the 49ers last week, but did not register a sack. He faces a Steelers team that has been ravaged by injuries to their offensive line. The Ravens' defense pressured Ben Roethlisberger for most of the game last week and the only reason the QB pressure allowed ranking was low is because Roethlisberger avoided several QB hits with his scrambling ability. The Seahawks don't have as good of a defense as the Ravens do, but they still should be able to take advantage of the Steelers' offensive line woes. Rookie Marcus Gilbert will start at right tackle this week, replacing the injured Willie Colon. That is an enticing matchup for Clemons and he should have several sack opportunities. I also expect the Steelers to dominate time of possession and that should allow Clemons to post solid tackle numbers. Add this all up and you have a prime cut sleeper.

Deep Sleepers (For desperate owners only)

Drew Coleman, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NY Jets)

• Season stats: 5/0/0/0

• Last week: 5/0/0/0/1 sack/1 FF

• Jets' passing attempts/yards last week: 44/335

• Jets' passed defended allowed ranking last week: Tied for 11th

• Jets' tackle opportunities allowed ranking last week: 24th

Starting CB Derek Cox is injured and is not expected to play and Coleman is likely to draw the start. I want to note that you should make sure to check the inactives on Sunday just to be safe. Coleman is not all that good, but he should see enough opportunities this week to warrant consideration as a sleeper for those of you who are in a bad spot. I am always leery of players that I do not believe are good because they can be benched at any time if they get torched enough. That and a lack of big play ability is why Coleman is a deep sleeper instead of being a couple of pegs higher.

IDP Buy Low, Sell High (Borbely) – Friday

LB Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati Bengals: Much was expected of Maualuga when he was drafted in the second round back in 2009. However, he only averaged three solos per game in his first two seasons and prior to this year was not an every down player. With the departure of Dhani Jones, that has changed as Maualuga is now the starting every-down middle linebacker for the Bengals. There are still people skeptical about Maualuga and last week's three solo-three assist effort is not going to stop that. He did not have a lot of tackle opportunities, but not all owners realize that. If you have a skeptical Maualuga owner in your league, it's time to ask some questions and hopefully, you can make a deal. I will add that this is the most unlikely trade you can make for players that are in this week's article. I just wanted to highlight the fact that not all buy lows (or sell highs) are no brainers. Some take some finessing and many will not happen. But there are deals to be made for Maualuga in some leagues. It's up to you to determine if yours is one of them and the only way to do that is to ask.

DB Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks: Chancellor broke out in a big way against the 49ers in week one, racking up a career-high ten solos. He is an emerging young player in the eyes of many and with Seattle having a weak offense, Chancellor should see plenty of playing time. The question you all must be asking right now is why on earth would I want to sell? There are a few reasons. Although I like Chancellor, I am not as high on him as others are. He should post solid tackle numbers, but I am one who does not believe Chancellor is all that good in coverage and that will limit his peripheral numbers. He is also coming off of a huge effort in week one and his value is sky-high right now. The last reason is that he posted those big tackle numbers while LB David Hawthorne was out. Hawthorne has been a tackling machine when starting and playing three downs at middle linebacker and some of the tackle opportunities Chancellor saw in week one would have been gobbled up by Hawthorne. Combine all of this and you have a classic sell high. The one thing to add is you should only sell for a high price. Don't sell just to sell in this case.


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