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IDP Analysis: Safeties Leading the Way in Tackles

Mario Puig

Mario Puig

Mario sets the direction of RotoWire's college football and NFL draft content, with his other responsibilities primarily resting in those same subjects. He's a fan of Chip Kelly, James Harrison and David Bowie.

RISERS

LaRon Landry, S, WAS - Landry currently leads the NFL in tackles after he somehow totaled 13 solo tackles and added four assists against Dallas in Week 1. Donít look for Landry to be much of a force as far as turnovers go, but most IDP leagues tend to focus on tackles; and with that in mind, Landry may have already proven himself to be an elite IDP option this year.

Patrick Chung, S, NE - Second to Landryís lead in tackles at this point is Chung, a second-year safety from Oregon built to stop the run. He did nothing to question his reputation as a tackling machine in Week 1. He was a heat-seeking missile against the Bengals, totaling 12 solo tackles and adding four assists. It wouldnít be surprising if he led the Patriots in tackles this year.

Clay Matthews, LB, GB - Matthews not only posted three sacks against Philadelphia in Week 1, but he also led the Packers with seven solo tackles and forced a fumble. That sort of performance can change the course of a head-to-head matchup in IDP leagues. Matthews has the ability to lead the league in sacks, but donít expect him to keep up a rate of seven solo tackles per game.

T.J. Ward, S, CLE - Ward was underrated by most draft observers and was thus mistakenly labeled as a reach by many when Cleveland selected him with the 38th overall pick in the 2010 draft, but heís showing so far that Cleveland was wise to take him. He led the team with 10 tackles (seven solo) and forced a fumble in Week 1, and he has athleticism to keep himself around the ball going forward.

Marcus Stroud, DE, BUF - Stroud probably wonít experience much success on the actual football field with Buffalo, but heís looking like a nice pickup for those who need help on the defensive line. Despite posting just two solo tackles against Miami in Week 1, he added five assists, showing that heíll be in the middle of the traffic as Buffalo gets run over this season.

FALLERS

Paul Posluszny, LB, BUF - If it werenít for injuries, Posluszny just might be able to make a run at Patrick Willis for the top IDP distinction. Unfortunately, he canít stay healthy, and itís looking more and more that he never will. Posluszny gets injured constantly and is always finding new ways to do it, with a new and innovative ailment replacing each one he recovers from. Posluszny totaled eight tackles (six solo) and a sack against the Dolphins in Week 1 but is expected to miss at least a couple weeks with a knee injury he suffered during the game.

Brandon Graham, DE, PHI - Graham is a starter for Philadelphia and a very talented player, but the Eagles used him primarily as a defensive tackle outside of the base 4-3 defense. Thatís bad, of course, because the defensive end spot is much better for rushing the passer. Graham didnít do much in the role against Green Bay last week, and itís hard to see them moving him outside given how well Juqua Parker did last week.

Keith Bulluck, LB, NYG - Although Bulluck was expected to start at middle linebacker for the Giants after he was signed in the summer, he didnít play much of a role against the Panthers in Week 1. He totaled just two assists in the game, and itís looking like Jonathan Goff might have the lead for playing time at middle linebacker.

Erik Coleman, S, ATL - Coleman puts up very nice IDP numbers, but we have to wonder if his time as a starter in Atlanta is nearing its end. The team drafted William Moore in the 2nd round of last yearís draft, and Coleman made himself the goat of Atlantaís overtime loss against Pittsburgh by taking an awful angle that allowed Rashard Mendenhall to run for a game-winning, 50-yard touchdown.

Bradie James, LB, DAL - James put forth a weak effort in Week 1, despite his official total of eight tackles. Only one of those was a solo tackle, showing that James did little more than jump on piles against the Redskins Sunday night. James was never any better than average, and itís possible that heís slowing down a bit.