All About the Solo: Week Two

Eric Olinger

One of the most 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 assists. On the flip side, if your league doesn’t score solos and assists too differently, you’ll have a better idea of which teams hand out assists like candy. Not everyone 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 the news and websites. 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 is still the discretion of the home score keeper. Even after this effort there is a still a large discrepancy 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.

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Man, this was not a good week for linebackers as a whole. Each week I like to look at the top ten tacklers overall and this was the most defensive back dominant list I can remember seeing since I started tracking this in 2013. Since the league has become so pass happy and teams struggle more and more to run the ball though this trend is likely to continue due to the short passing game becoming the new “run game”.

Looking at the solo/assists scoring this week, there were two games which really stood out as outliers, Jets at Bills and Dolphins at Patriots. The Bills scorekeeper was giving everyone and their brother an assisted tackle as long as they played for the home team. The Bills had 59 solos and 31 assists. The Patriots on the other hand had 41 solos and just seven assists. It’s pretty rare to see such a wide discrepancy. This has the looks of a scorekeeper trying to pad the stats of the home squad. On the flip side, the exact opposite happened in New England. Their scorekeeper awarded the Dolphins with 40 solo tackles and 52 assists opposed to 40 solos and just eight assists for the Patriots. That’s insane. These were the first home games for both teams so it’s going to be really interesting to see if this trend continues.

As I noted last week, I don’t expect Robertson to hold onto this job long term but he played 100% of the snaps and the greatest ability in fantasy is availability. He’s a player you can stream until Dannell Ellerbe returns. The same can be said for Sean Weatherspoon and De’Vondre Campbell in Atlanta. That job definitely belongs to Campbell and once healthy, Weatherspoon will go back to the bench. It’ll also be really interesting to see what happens in Cincinnati when Vontaze Burfict returns from suspension. Karlos Dansby is playing some legit football right now and will remain a starter regardless of Burfict’s presence. Vincent Rey will go to the bench and Dansby will have more competition for tackles. I’d advise selling Dansby if the right offer comes along. I’m nervous his production is currently at its peak.

Bashaud Breeland is in an IDP sweet spot right now. He plays opposite a shut down corner on a pretty bad defense but is locked into a starting role without a legit threat to his gig. He’s going to be one of the most heavily targeted corners in the league as long as teams avoid Josh Norman’s half of the field. It still baffles me they don’t move him around to shadow the team’s opposing WR1, but I loved his response to the reporters when interviewed.

I love how active the Cardinals safeties are. Both Tony Jefferson and Tyvon Branch were among the leading tacklers for the week and that’s a trend I believe we’ll see plenty of. The same can be said for the Rams linebackers. Their offense makes my eyes hurt and there doesn’t appear to be much hope for 2016. Even in a game they won, the duo of Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron racked up ten and nine total tackles, respectively. As with the Cardinal players I mentioned, I consider both units matchup proof and will start them every week without hesitation.


Follow me on Twitter @OlingerIDP.


eric olinger
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