The Hive Week 14 edition – Part One
Welcome back to The Hive everyone! For a lot of you this is the final week of the regular season, and for some of you the playoffs have already begun. I seem to have done pretty well following my own advice this season, as I have locked up playoff births in 5 of my 7 IDP leagues, with a win and I’m in scenario in another and a win and I need help scenario in the last one. Gotta like that. We will now take a look at the first eight games of the week, and part deux will appear Friday morning with the rest of your IDP goodness for week 14. Let’s get to it!
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh Thursday 5pm PST
Studs – Sean Jones – the most reliable of this group.
Strong starts – Andra Davis – still a solid tackle producer, but has lost some numbers to…….
D’Qwell Jackson – has been on fire recently with 28 total tackles in the last 2 games.
Gut checks – Willie McGinest – you have to be in a pretty deep league to have enjoyed his last 2 weeks of production. Too hit and miss for my tastes, but worth mentioning.
Daven Holly – Ben has thrown a lot of picks recently, but I don’t know if I could start this kid.
Stay away – Browns DL’s – nothing to see here.
Studs – James Farrior – Droughns should run into Farrior and fall down quite a few times tonight.
Strong starts – Bryant McFadden – Kid is showing why Ike Taylor and his big fat contract are now on the bench.
Larry Foote – should be good for a nice slice of the tackle pie, maybe a sack too.
Gut checks – Joey Porter – you’d like to think he could bust a solid game tonight, but I wouldn’t let him within 10 feet of any of my IDP teams.
Anthony Smith – one of my favorite IDP dynasty prospects, Smith might not give Clark his job back if he performs well. I think he will tear it up, but a rookie in his first start is indeed a gut check.
Brett Keisel – could be good for a sack, about the only guy even worth thinking about from the Pitt D line.
Stay away – Ike Taylor – He took yurr job!!!
Polamalu & Clark – both sitting tonight
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Keith Brooking – duh!
Strong starts – John Abraham – has been pretty quiet since his return, but I like him vs an inexperienced QB and OL.
Deangelo Hall – I don’t think Gradkowski has anyone to throw it to besides Galloway now, so Hall should have a good game.
Gut checks – The rest of the Falcons LB’s – Hartwell has been far from spectacular, Demorrio isn’t getting enough PT and Boley has become invisible in recent weeks.
Lawyer Milloy – up and down.
Stay away – All Falcons DL’s besides Abraham – With no Kerney and Rod Coleman having an off year there isn’t much to think about here.
Studs – Derrick Brooks – vs this run game could put up some old school Derrick Brooks numbers.
Ronde Barber – never sit Ronde!
Jermaine Phillips – was huge last time these two got it on. Norwood, Vick and Dunn are all excellent at getting past the front seven and into the second level, which usually makes tackling safeties a fine play against them.
Strong starts – DeWayne White – a fine injury fill in for a DL required league, Vick takes plenty of sacks and White is trying to prove himself to be starter material for the Bucs in 2007.
Gut checks – Quarles/Ruud – I am really sick of Gruden’s shenanigans here. Quarles was expected to sit last week and then he went ahead and played. He is listed as questionable again, so if you have the stomach to wait til gametime and make your call then go for it. Whoever starts here will be solid.
Stay away – the rest of the Bucs DL – don’t even think about any of these guys outside of White.
Baltimore @ Kansas City Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Ray Lewis – vs LJ? Yes please!
Bart Scott – back to his early season form.
Adalius Thomas – can you tell I like LB’s vs LJ? Adalius will also match up with Tony G in coverage at times, and is always good as far as sack potential goes.
Strong starts – Terrell Suggs – has a knack for vanishing, but the Chiefs OL aint what it used to be, and Suggs is due.
Gut checks – Ed Reed/Dawan Landry – if I had to play one of the two I’d probably go Landry this week as he gets more involved in run support.
Stay away – Ravens CB’s – I think most of the passing attack will be focused on Gonzo and dump offs to LJ, as Kennison and Parker are just no match for McCallister and Rolle.
Studs – Jared Allen – one of the best in the game right now.
Strong starts – Tamba Hali – is pretty much owning #1 pick Mario Williams in every category, despite having to work his way into a starting gig. Very impressive.
Derrick Johnson – is apparently 100% now, so should have a good game vs Fat Jamal.
Kawicka Mitchell – has been better the last couple weeks and this is a good matchup for him.
Gut checks – Keyaron Fox – has been great lately, but with Derrick Johnson back Fox is the odd man out.
Stay away – Chiefs DB’s – Law and Surtain are spotty at best, and Greg Wesley has been banged up. Rookie Jared Page is getting some PT, but I don’t consider him to be starter material as he is still splitting snaps with the ancient Sammy Knight.
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Brackett/June – Jags might run 40-50 times again.
Strong starts – Robert Mathis – you likely cant sit him unless you are stacked at DE, but realize the Jags give up a lot less in the sack department with Fatboy Leftwich on IR.
Gut checks – Bob Sanders – if he is going to play FOR SURE, then bump him to strong start.
Colts’ CB’s – Harper maybe, but the Jags wont have to throw to the outside much if they can run for a couple hundred yards on this soft defense.
Stay away – Dwight Freeney – hasn’t done enough to warrant consideration vs this OL.
Studs – Rashean Mathis – leads the league in picks. Might not pick Manning, but should be good for a nice pile of tackles vs Harrison and Wayne.
Strong starts – Darryl Smith – has had 2 down games in a row, but Indy has run a lot the past couple weeks, so I think he will bounce back.
Gut checks – Gerald Sensabaugh – Could be a nice fill in play vs this offense.
Clint Ingram – has been up and down, but if Addai gets warm he could have a nice game.
Stay away – Jags DL’s – I wouldn’t want to have to rely on this lot. Especially against the best pass defense line in the game.
Minnesota @ Detroit Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Antoine Winfield – should be huge covering Roy all day, and Kitna now has 4 multiple pick games on the season.
Strong starts – Kevin Williams – Lions like to give up sacks, and Kevin had one in their first meeting.
EJ Henderson – with KJ back I like Henderson this week.
Gut checks – Cedric Griffin – will be on Furrey and could have a fine game this week.
Stay away – Vikes DE’s – haven’t done much since Erasmus James went down earlier in the year.
Studs – Ernie Sims – making a nice late season push for R.O.Y., and likely would be the winner if it wasn’t for the destructive force known as Demeco Ryans.
Strong starts – Kenoy Kennedy – has been hot since his return.
Gut checks – Lions DL’s – Vikes have been giving up some serious sacks lately, but who to start out of this group??
Stay away – Dre Bly – don’t ever start a non stud IDP based on what he did last week. Bly falls into this category.
New England @ Miami Sunday 10am PST
Studs – none
Strong starts – Ty Warren – a possibility in a DL required league.
Gut checks – The rest of the Pats IDP’s – as hit and miss as their offensive fantasy players. Vrabel maybe, but I don’t expect much out of the Fins run game with no Ronnie out there.
Stay away – Eugene Wilson – now on I.R.
Studs – Zach Thomas – was there a better value in IDP this season than Zach? Maybe Chris Hope, as he wasn’t even drafted in most leagues, but Zach has been outstanding all year.
Jason Taylor – seems to be fine after leaving in the 1st half last week.
Strong starts – Vonnie Holiday – 4+ sacks in the last 4 games
Channing Crowder – still up and down, but I think this is an up week.
Gut checks – Fins safeties – not on my team!
Stay away – Fins CB’s – they don’t even merit consideration.
N.Y. Giants @ Carolina Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Gibril Wilson – I smell a huge week vs Weinke.
Antonio Pierce – he should be good for a pile of tackles, and I like him to maybe pick Weinke too.
Strong starts – Osi Umenyiora – if he plays well this week you can consider him to be back to stud status. I like him this week unless you have a more studly option ahead of him.
Gut checks – Sam Madison – normally not worth a second thought, but as a lot of you know I am fond of CB’s vs Steve Smith. Could be a sweet game for Madison, providing that Weinke can actually get Smith the ball.
Will Demps – If you need a DB, Demps could be on your wire and could be a nice pickup to play vs Weinke.
Matthias Kiwanuka – Could lose snaps to Strahan, if Strahan is out I wouldn’t have a problem starting the rookie.
Stay away – Michael Strahan – even if he can go this week I think he splits snaps with Kiwanuka for at least a week.
Studs – Julius Peppers – is he due or what? Bob Whitfield has been getting owned lately, I don’t think Peppers’ cold streak will last with this matchup on the plate.
Thomas Davis – don’t let last week’s down game discourage you from playing Davis this week. Vs Tiki and Jacobs he will bounce back big time.
Strong starts – Shaun Williams – vs the team that gave up on him. I love revenge matchups. Plus Eli has been garbage lately, this is a fine matchup.
Chris Gamble – will be busy with Plex.
Chris Draft – usually good for 5-8 solos each week.
Gut checks – Richard Marshall – Lucas is out, but I don’t know that Marshall will have much to do with the ineptitude of all Giants WR’s not named Burress.
Mike Rucker – has been putting up decent numbers as teams completely focus on shutting Peppers down.
Stay away – Ken Lucas – OUT this week, and pretty much losing his gig to the rookie Marshall.
Oakland @ Cincinnati Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Kirk Morrison – thanks for the TD Kirk, I’ve been waiting for something besides solos from this guy. Rudi will be in full effect this week so Morrison should be huge. Don’t expect another TD though!
Derrick Burgess – the Bengals OL is banged up and young. I like Burgess a lot this week.
Strong starts – Thomas Howard – up and down, as one would expect from a rookie, but I think he is closer to last weeks numbers (9 solos) than the previous 2 weeks numbers (where he didn’t hit 9 solos in both games combined).
Gut checks – Schweigart/Huff – I actually like the rookie a little bit more this week, but Schweigart has outperformed him IDP wise this season.
Nnamdi Asomugha – has developed into one of the best all around corners in the game today. Holding Andre Johnson to 1 catch for 9 yards was mighty impressive, and now he gets CJ. I think there will be a lot of ticked off CJ owners by Sunday afternoon!
Stay away – Lance Johnstone – not that you were starting him anyways, but the pass rush specialist is likely done for the year with a bum knee. Undrafted rookie free agent Kevin Huntley will get additional reps and a chance to prove himself.
Studs – Madieu Williams – vs Sport Goofy himself, Aaron Brooks. Tasty matchup.
Justin Smith – could be the top IDP DL this week. Certianly has a fine matchup vs a sorry o line.
Strong starts – Caleb Miller/ Landon Johnson – start em all vs the Raiders! Picks, sacks, and fumbles for everyone! Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!!
Robert Geathers – why not?
Gut checks – Jonathan Joseph – in a surprise move, Joseph will be taking over for Deltha O’Neal, and not Tory James. If he could catch as well as he can cover he would have had 2 or 3 picks last week.
Stay away – Dexter Jackson/Kevin Kaesviharn – DBBC!
See you bright and early tomorrow with the rest of your IDP matchups!