Fletcher Cox – DE, Philadelphia Eagles (at ATL): Cox has quietly become a solid IDP option, posting strong tackle numbers and finishing as a top-15 IDP option last season. However, the chips are stacked a bit against a hot start for Cox against an Atlanta Falcons squad that was surprisingly stingy to defensive linemen a year ago (25th in fantasy points allowed).
Carlos Dunlap – DE, Cincinnati Bengals (at OAK): From a matchup standpoint, Dunlap was already looking at an uphill fight heading into a matchup with an Oakland Raiders team that was 30th in fantasy points per game allowed to the position in 2014. Add in missed practice time earlier in the week with the always popular “illness,” and Dunlap is a risky DL1 start in Week 1.
Cameron Jordan – DE, New Orleans Saints (at AZ): Given how shaky the Arizona line looked in the preseason and the fact that Carson Palmer isn’t exactly fleet of foot, Jordan might appear a good IDP start in Week 1. However, it’s worth bearing in mind before plugging Jordan in that the Redbirds surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to defensive linemen last season.
Stephone Anthony – ILB, New Orleans Saints (at AZ): With a three-down role at inside linebacker secured, Anthony appears to be the top candidate to lead all rookie linebackers in fantasy points in 2015. However, this week’s matchup with a Redbirds squad that ranked 31st in fantasy points allowed to the position last year doesn’t portend a hot start.
Christian Jones – ILB, Chicago Bears (vs. GB): Jones told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune he’s relishing his new role inside in the Windy City. “It’s an aggressive style of defense,” Jones said. “And we have one of the best coaches in the league coaching us and that’s exciting.” What isn’t exciting is an NFC North showdown with the Packers, who were dead last in terms of fantasy points given up to linebackers in 2014.
Daryl Smith – ILB, Baltimore Ravens (at DEN): Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Ravens and Broncos might just be the best of Week 1. But it’s hardly the best of matchups for Smith and the Ravens linebackers—the Broncos were 29th in fantasy points surrendered to the position last year.
Antoine Bethea – SS, San Francisco 49ers (vs. MIN): Given all the personnel losses the 49ers experienced in the offseason, Bethea would appear a good bet to back up last year’s top-10 fantasy finish. The veteran will be hard-pressed to post top-10 numbers this week though, as the Vikings were a lousy IDP matchup for defensive backs in 2014.
T.J. McDonald – SS, St. Louis Rams (vs. SEA): Sean Wilkinson of SB Nation wrote recently that he expects big things from McDonald in 2015. “He has the potential to be an All-Pro safety,” Wilkinson said, “and is heading into his 3rd NFL season. That, combined with the Gregg Williams factor, leads me to expect great things from McDonald.” Just don’t expect those big things this week against the Seahawks, who were dead last in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs a season ago.
Calvin Pryor – SS, New York Jets (vs. CLE): After playing much of his rookie season out of position, a switch back to his natural position of strong safety should mean a nice bump in IDP value for Pryor in Year 2. That bump isn’t coming in Week 1 though, as the Cleveland Browns aren’t the sort of offense that keeps defensive backs busy.
With the 2015 season underway, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Staff Writer Walton Spurlin and IDP Senior Staff Writer Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in 2015. Also, for the latest IDP news and player updates follow IDP Sharks on Twitter.