All About the Solo: Week Twelve

Eric Olinger


One of the more frustrating things in IDP leagues is seeing your stud linebacker fly all over the field on game days only to see the home score keeper dilute his performance by divvying up his tackles as an assist. Not everybody knows this, but the NFL does not recognize a tackle as an official statistic. Tackles are scored by the home team’s official score keeper and those are the stats you see on news and stats sites. The league made an effort to standardize what is and isn’t a solo tackle back in 2007 when they sent a video to all NFL teams, but it still the discretion of the score keeper and there is a large disparity from team to team and week-to-week. I will be tracking this throughout the season to give you a better idea of what to expect when choosing your IDPs each week. The chart below shows the results through week 12.

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View the entire spreadsheet.




For the second time in as many weeks, a team surpassed 100 total tackles in a single game – this time it was the Houston Texans against the Cincinnati Bengals. Seven Texans had at least seven total tackles, but nobody had more than ten total. You would think there would be at least one dominant IDP performance from this game but there wasn’t.


It seems like everyone only wants to talk about J.J. Watt when it comes to elite defensive linemen, but in Buffalo, a trio of defensive linemen are putting up some incredible performances. The Bills currently lead the league in sacks with 46, the next closest is the Philadelphia Eagles with 38. In fact, Mario Williams’ 12 sacks, Marcel Dareus’ 10 and Jerry Hughes’ 9.5 combine for more than every team in the league except the Eagles and Jaguars. It’s no secret Jim Schwartz had his shortcomings as a Head Coach but he’s one heck of defensive coordinator, specifically with the defensive line.

Looking forward to this week’s games, starting with the Thanksgiving Day games, I like Ryan Mundy and Kyle Fuller to put up solid tackle numbers while chasing Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate around. This feels like a “get right” game for the Lions defense. Jay Cutler is playing some terrible football and Brandon Marshall is clearly not 100% right now, either. I think you can comfortably start all of your normal Lions in this matchup, including DeAndre Levy, James Ihedigbo, Glover Quin, Ndamukong Suh and Ziggy Ansah. Even Rashean Mathis and Josh Bynes make for decent spot starts.

In the Philadelphia and Dallas matchup, Bruce Carter and Rolando McClain are solid plays with Barry Church on the back end. The Cowboys will try to pressure Mark Sanchez into turnovers with Jeremy Mincey and George Selvie – this could be a great opportunity for rookie Demarcus Lawrence to make an impact.

For the Eagles, Mychal Kendricks is the best bet for IDP production. If you’re a gambling man (or woman), Connor Barwin and Trent Cole are worthwhile gambles in sack heavy leagues. I like Malcolm Jenkins in this matchup too.

The Seattle and San Francisco nightcap is tricky. This is going to be a defensive slugfest but it could very easily lack any substantial IDP performances. Neither one of these offenses are very productive right now and both teams’ primary ball carriers are banged up – Frank Gore with a knee injury and Marshawn Lynch with his ongoing back issue. For whatever reason, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have regressed in the passing game and neither team has been able to sustain much offense. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a ton of three and outs from both teams but it also wouldn’t shock me if both teams were saving their best for this game.

You have to start Chris Borland in this matchup, even after his “down” week last week. For the record, his six solo tackles and two assists still led the team. Aldon Smith looked like his old self with two sacks and can now comfortably be put back into lineups. With Wilson running the ball so effectively right now, Smith could be used to shadow the speedy quarterback.

For the Seahawks, I don’t feel comfortable starting anyone except Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and possibly K.J. Wright. Cliff Avril is worth a gamble after his two sack performance last week against the Cardinals, but this defensive front is so difficult to predict week to week. It wouldn’t shock me if Michael Bennett or Bruce Irvin was the main pass rusher this week and Avril gets blanked on the stat sheet.

Good luck this week.

Follow me on Twitter @OlingerIDP.


eric olinger
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