Reading the Defense: Belichick hates your IDP league

We all know the power of #shanahanigans and how much Mike Shanahan hates your fantasy team. But that's obscuring Bill Belichick's status as the originator of fantasy change-ups. Under his watch, WR Troy Brown flipped sides to play cornerback. And LB Mike Vrabel caught eight touchdown passes, frustrating Christian Fauria owners everywhere.

So it should be little surprise that The Hoodie lined WR Julian Edelman up on the defensive side of the ball last week, giving him a shot to make a tackle. Yes, the Pats defense has looked like Swiss cheese most of the year, but that's no reason for Edelman to start taking plays away from New England's top IDPs like ...

Um ...

Alright, maybe Edelman's not such a bad choice.

How about more productive IDPs below in "Reading the Defense".

Four Downs

First down:Ravens LB Ray Lewis (foot) hasn't practiced leading up to Sunday's game against the Bengals, and looks like he'll be out for at least two games. With Cincinnati possibly playing without WR A.J. Green, Lewis' presence could have put a dent in QB Andy Dalton's effectiveness and force the team to go to RB Cedric Benson. Lewis' likely replacement, Brendon Ayanbadejo should have a busy day ahead of him.

IDP rankings

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

Second down: The beleaguered Chargers defense received some good news, with LB Takeo Spikes (concussion) returning to practice on Thursday. It couldn't come at a better time with the struggling Bolts heading to Chicago to face Matt Forte and the Bears. The bad news is that San Diego has to continue life without LB Shaun Phillips (foot). Phillips hasn't played since Week 7 but was hoping to return this week. With the dynamic Forte expected to see plenty of touches, the Chargers' linebackers will have their hands full.

Third down: Now that CB Leon Hall is gone for the year, the Bengals are turning to Kelly Jennings to step into his spot. Jennings could be a busy man against the Ravens, who have recently become much more of a pass-oriented team. With Nate Clements likely pairing up with Anquan Boldin, Jennings should draw a matchup against emerging rookie Torrey Smith. Expect Baltimore QB Joe Flacco to pick on Jennings several times Sunday.

Fourth down: The Giants' defense has been steadily improving throughout the year and could get even better with the anticipated addition of rookie CB Prince Amukamara. With the Eagles on tap, this might not be a bad week for Amukamara to get his feet wet. Philadelphia's offense has been inconsistent and could be forced to play without QB Michael Vick and WR Jeremy Maclin. The former Nebraska defensive back will likely only be used in nickel situations, but if the Giants jump out to a lead, there could be chances for interceptions.

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