Bad offense can lead to good defense for IDP owners

When figuring out which individual defensive players to insert into your fantasy lineup, you're always considering quarterback play, right? No, not opponent's quarterback play (although that's certainly helpful), but the play of that player's own QB.

Take the Redskins, for instance. Their quarterback situation has been slightly less stable than a game of Jenga being played during an earthquake. But for all of Washington's inability to sustain drives, protect the football or just generally be, you know...productive, it's worked out to the benefit of London Fletcher, who is sixth in IDP fantasy points on NFL.com.

But he's not alone. Kansas City, Minnesota and Indianapolis have all been putrid on offense, yet Derrick Johnson, Chad Greenway and Pat Angerer sit in the top 12 in fantasy points. Sure, talent and having a nose for the ball has something to do with it. Then again, so does having more snaps.

We only get four snaps here in "Reading the Defense", so let's make the most of them.

Four Downs

First down:Ravens LB Ray Lewis (foot) has missed Baltimore's last two games, and has missed two days of practice ahead of Sunday's game at Cleveland. It's silly to remind people that Brendan Ayanbadejo is no Ray Lewis, but with Cleveland's offense primarily revolving around the run game of Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty, Ayanbadejo could be busy. Regardless, if you're considering a Ravens LB, Terrell Suggs or Jameel McClain are your guys.

IDP rankings

Top five scoring IDPs (according to NFL.com):

  1. Patrick Willis
  2. NaVorro Bowman
  3. D'Qwell Jackson

Second down: The Steelers could have LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) back this week after returning to practice Wednesday. The Bengals are on the schedule this week, featuring an ailing RB Cedric Benson. If Cincinnati's run game is hampered, it could be a busy day through the air for Andy Dalton and company. It means Woodley may not have as many tackles as in a normal week, but he could match up with TE Jermaine Gresham and be in line for a few pass deflections or even an interception.

Third down:Broncos LB Von Millercould miss Sunday's game against the Vikings after thumb surgery. Somewhat obscured in the Tebow madness has been Miller's outstanding rookie campaign. If Miller can't go, Mario Haggan should step into a starting role, but if you're looking for a replacement, consider Elvis Dumervil playing at the opposite linebacker spot.

Fourth down: What would a week be without a Giants update. This week, it's back to Osi Umenyiora, who could be out up to a month with an ankle sprain. This likely opens the door for Jason Pierre-Paul to see more snaps. Against the Packers, it means more opportunities for sacks. If the rush can get home before Aaron Rodgers gets rid of the ball. That's a big "if".

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