Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess, left, tries to stop New Orleans Saints cornerback Sterling Moore from intercepting a Cam Newton pass during the second quarter on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Moore intercepted the ball. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

IDP Corner: TNF Week 11

 

Finally, what should be an entertaining start to the next week and a half’s worth of football. Both of these offenses have been clicking of late. The New Orleans secondary has been keeping QB and WR scoring low, but gives up a good deal of RB points, while the Panthers tend to give up more in the passing game and much less on the ground, which works to either team’s offensive structure, so we could see some interesting fireworks or some really fun stops.

Linemen:

Star Lotulelei – He had a big game against Arizona 3 weeks ago, and while NO doesn’t have a primer back like ARZ does, their focus to the passing game is similar. This would be a total risky play, but would be good for a bye week or if you feel like the gamble. No one else on the Panthers has really produced nicely over the past quarter of the season.

Cameron Jordan – Has the hot lineman scoring hand for NO, and where Newton likes to run here and there and the Carolina collection of RBs are well used, Jordan could be poised for back to back strong weeks. For a lineman, he also has been relatively consistent scoring-wise this season which also makes him worth a peep.

Defensive Backs:

Kenny Vaccaro – I try not to highlight any obvious players, and I think Vaccaro is a very obvious player, but I bring him up because before 2 weeks ago he was having a rough season compared to where I expected him to be playing at (top 10 in the DB position). So, there is a chance that he may have been dropped in your league, go get him if he was.

Sterling Moore – He has not been all that hot, but when the Saints played Carolina in October he did pull up with an interception and a pass defended and some tackles. Where these teams are divisional rivals you know Moore has plenty of tape to look at on Cam and may come up lucky again.

Daryl Worley – For DBs in Carolina Worley has collected the most tackles in the weeks since coming off the bye. He as 1 less total tackles than Thomas Davis and 3 more total tackles than Luke Kuechly in the past 4 active weeks, feel free to call it a fluke but, I’ll trust his play until he proves me wrong at this point.

Linebackers:

Thomas Davis – Similar to Kenny Vaccaro, until the past quarter season of play Davis, has been somewhat meh and may have been dropped in your league, he’s been playing great of late and is worth the grab if available.

Nate Stupar – This is one of the few players I have highlighted twice, and for good reason, he has been productive… besides last week. He’s still a starting LB and should see plenty of work with the run frequency of CAR, and he is currently owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues, so it is likely he is available if you are looking for a guy, while the better known, 1.5 points higher scoring over the last 4 weeks, Craig Robertson is at 28% owned.  

Next for something a little different:

We had a follower on twitter reach out with a “who to start question”, I provided an immediate response, but I wanted to provide my thought process to my response.

The question was “Who to start: Morgan Burnett or Jason McCourty?”

I replied with Morgan Burnett, due to his better floor for points.

Now by Season totals, McCourty would be the better pick. By Last 4 weeks Totals, McCourty would be the better pick.

Which is all fine and well, but part of what we must do is also play the players and the matchups. McCourty is going against a pass heavy offense (which should be a benefit for a CB, as he is), but the last time McCourty played IND he totaled 3 tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted) and not much else. The Titans play in the Colts division and Luck knows that McCourty is their best DB, and with all the receiving options on the Colts, Luck will likely throw away from McCourty as was the case 4 weeks ago.

Burnett, on the other hand, sees a non-divisional matchup in Washington, a team that runs more often than the Colts do, as well he plays Safety which allows him to get a chance at tackles on runs, short passes, and deep passes, and less often is assigned to only a 1-on-1 match up on any given down.

McCourty is playing to the potential he has this year and has been a top tier DB over the past couple of weeks, and Burnett year over year is a top DB in his own right. Could McCourty see more passes come his way this week, yes, could he get plenty of passes defended (which Burnett usually does not collect), yes, could he even grab an interception, yes… do I have much faith in much of that happening against a divisional opponent that happens to be Andrew Luck, no. I do have faith it is more likely that Burnett will hit his season average of 6.1 total tackles vs. McCourty’s 5.5, yes I do. Additionally, Burnett has grabbed a sack in each of the past 2 weeks, which might be a sign of things to come since he now 3 sacks on the season is a career high for him. Even if it is not a sign, sacks from a DB — compared to interceptions — can fall at very similar rates (McCourty has 2 interceptions on the season), so the likelihood of a Burnett sack to a McCourty interception lands in a similar zone.

Burnett is still my choice between the two but, having both of these players to choose from is not a bad situation.

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