All About The Solo: Week Nine

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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I’ve always liked Bobby Wagner a lot more as an NFL linebacker than a fantasy asset but that could be changing. The guy is playing the best statistical ball of his career this year. He has double digit tackles in five straight weeks and leads the league in tackles per game with 11 on average. He sits just one tackle behind Zach Brown for most tackles overall and he’s played an extra game. The real question has yet to be answered though, has all of this statistical success come because Kam Chancellor has missed the last five games with a groin injury? With the secondary struggling, the defense is on the field longer and he’s seeing an uptick in tackle opportunities without having to compete with Kam for the tackle. With a lot of trade deadlines coming up I’d dangle him to a contender if I could. Tahir Whitehead continues his strong season Chancellor now sits third overall in tackles. Landon Collins has become my favorite safety to watch in the NFL. The guy literally does it all. He has 69 total tackles on the season and his three sacks leads his team. Think about all the money the Giants spent on the defensive line this past offseason with Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison to compliment Jason Pierre-Paul and realize their strong safety is leading the team in sacks. Of course, the fact the Giants refuse to add an NFL-caliber linebacker to this team undoubtedly helps Collins’ tackle numbers, but that’s the nature of the beast and a recipe for fantasy success. Thomas Davis may have sold his soul to the devil himself after all those knee injuries. He’s still playing elite level ball and his interception of Case Keenum was one of the best of the season.

I keep getting asked which 49ers linebacker is the one to own for the rest of the season, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know. Each week seems to be a different linebacker filling the stat sheet. The thing is, Nick Bellore played the most snaps of the inside linebackers this week with 90 percent of the snaps and he finished with eight tackles. Gerald Hodges did all his damage playing just 62 percent of the snaps. With Michael Wilhoite only playing 25 percent of the snaps I believe you can comfortably move on from him and focus on the weekly coin flip of Bellore vs. Hodges. A similar situation is happening in Cleveland. The Browns acquired Jamie Collins at the trade deadline and immediately played him every snap. He joined Christian Kirksey as the only two Browns players to play 100 percent of the snaps but it was Demario Davis who led the team in tackles this week with 10 total on 67 percent of the snaps. To be fair though, Kirksey was just one behind with nine tackles and Collins was one behind him with eight, so it’s not like they were useless. Collins looked like a guy who had just joined the team a couple days earlier. Jason Witten took him to school on Sunday but better days are ahead for Collins as he gets familiar with the team. His IDP numbers could skyrocket on a team constantly on defense.


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eric olinger
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