The Thursday night massacre is over and it’s time to look ahead to Sunday’s IDP Week 3 Match-ups. Most of us IDP owners, I’m sure, are a little apprehensive with the recent rash of injuries. In fact, I called my local bank to see if I could take a loan out for my FAAB budget. He did look at me a little surly and was pressing some button under his desk. I think at this point, we’re setting our lineups and praying that our IDPs make it with nary a scratch. Much like the black knight from Monty Python:
Week 3 is upon us, so here’s some of the insight and analysis of the IDP Week 3 Match-ups, so that you can set your optimal lineup.
Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots
–Sio Moore is not practicing this week, so he is out for Week 3. Moore left Week 2 with an ankle injury that could force him to miss this week. Signing a practice squad LB is usually not a good sign. Moore owners may want to have other options at the ready.
–Tarrell Brown wasn’t targeted at all in Week, but was thrown at three times in Week 2 and contributed five solo tackles. Brown is a good match-up play this week in corner-required leagues against Tom Brady and the Patriot offense.
-What happened to Miles Burris last week? After recording 13 tackles in Week 1, production fell off a cliff with just two solos. With the possibility of both Nick Roach and Sio Moore out, Burris is a sneaky LB3 play this week.
-I’m not ready to anoint Donta Hightower just yet. There’s definitely a match-up here to exploit, as the Raider offensive line is allowing Derek Carr to get hurried. Hightower is still playing more OLB, but the Pats could deploy more 4-3 looks. He’s a risky LB play this week, unless you’re in big play scoring formats. It’s encouraging that he’s been on the field for 100 percent of the snaps.
Kyle Arrington has seen the second-most slot snaps among fellow Patriots and played some outside in Week 2. He was able to record three solos and get a sack. There’s more of a rotation at the opposite corner of Darrelle Revis, but Arrington is grading better and could be in line for more snaps.
-Safe to say that Chandler Jones is back after dominating the Vikings in Week 2. There was no answer, as he generated pressure on 15 percent of his rush snaps, while also notching eight tackles (three for a loss). He produced nearly .5 point per snap in Week 2. It was flat out dominance.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
–CJ Mosley has settled in as Baltimore’s every-down ILB and has appeared in 100 percent of the snaps. He has a nice match-up this week that should see him busy once again. Though he’s grading negatively, he’s recorded back-to-back weeks of double-digit fantasy points, producing a 0.24 points/snap rate. Hopefully, he can cut out the misses, producing at least one miss in each of his first two games.
-After producing just a solo tackle in Week 1, Matt Elam recorded five solos in week 2, 10 total tackles. He’ll be called to play heavy run defense, as he’s spent over 40 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage. I like him as a strong DB2 this week.
-For those in deeper dynasty leagues, Timmy Jernigan has a knee injury that could force him out of action a few weeks. Jernigan looks like a solid run-stuffer and has shown promise. This injury is not going to help him see the field.
-Even though he’s recorded just nine solos, Daryl Smith has still posted back-to-back weeks of double-digit fantasy points. Smith remains a strong LB1 against Cleveland, a team he’s averaged nearly 8 tackles against, while also notching 5.5 sacks in 7 tilts.
-Teams seem to be going after Joe Haden more. After seeing three balls thrown his way, he saw eight in Week 2. After posting just a solo tackle in Week 1, Haden record 10 tackles (6 solo) and a defended pass. He continues to shadow top receivers making him, at worst, a CB2 in cornerback-required leagues. Last season, Haden saw 13 total targets his way while covering Torrey Smith.
-In most tackle heavy formats, Karlos Dansby has posted double-digit fantasy points in every single game since 2012. He’s producing a near 3:1 solo-to-assist tackle ratio and has 3 tackles for a loss. He continues to produce at high level.
-After seeing 60 snaps in Week 1, Chris Kirksey saw just 41 of the 72 snaps in Week 2. He’s proving to be inconsistent in the early going, so you might want to sit him for a higher upside LB2/3 in Week 3.
–Tashaun Gipson broke out Week 2, producing a pick-six and eight tackles while playing in every defensive snap. Gipson is looking like a DB3 this week, but there’s upside a he’s been playing 30 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage, which could lead to more tackle opportunities. In two games against Baltimore in 2013, he posted 9 tackles.
San Diego Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills
-If I were to tell you Donald Butler would have a near 4:1 solo-to-tackle ration, you’d be thrilled. Unfortunately, those are his total tackle numbers right now. I’m attributing his low Week 2 numbers to the fact that the Charger offense held the ball for over 40 minutes, limiting Butler’s opportunities on the field. He’s a lower-end LB2, however, until he does get the tackle numbers.
–Shareece Wright has seen 100 percent of the snaps on the right side, seeing eight balls thrown his way. Even though he saw just three targets in Week 2, he’s playing solid against the run, which is where 4 of his 15 tackles have come from. His 13 solo tackles have allowed him to post back-to-back double-digit fantasy points so far this season.
-I hope you pumped the brakes on Jeremiah Attaochu. After seeing 20 defensive snaps in Week 1, his playing time plummeted to just 9 snaps. At this point, he’s only worth a flier in deeper dynasty leagues, especially with Melvin Ingram dominating the playing time.
–Corey Graham has three defended passes in back-to-back games because he’s 10+ targets in the first two weeks of the season. Graham is a solid CB2 play, as he’s recorded 6 tackles, 1 INT and 3 defended passes in 2 career games against San Diego.
–Preston Brown has been the only Bills LB to see 100% of the snaps this season and I don’t see that ending. After recording 7 tackles in Week 1, he posted double-digit tackles in Week 2 and has a 0.23 points/snap rate. As long as Brown is on the field, he should be in your lineup as solid LB3.
–Kyle Williams has generated pressure on 22 percent of his rush snaps this season, which has led to a sack and eight combined hits/hurries. After producing just an assist in Week 1, he went on to record 4 tackles (one for a loss) in Week 2. He’s a high-end DT2 this week, as the San Diego guards and center have been responsible for 10 of the total QB pressures this season.
-Well, it is the Buffalo stat crew this week; so start all of your LBs. You get a tackle and you get a tackle and you get a tackle.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals
–Ropati Pitoitua has settled in on the left-side of the defensive line. After seeing just 26 snaps in Week 1, he saw 41 in Week 2. He contributed two big plays (1 sack, fumble recovery) and three solo tackles (two for a loss). Andre Smith should prove to be a difficult match-up this week, as he’s allowed just one QB hurry. Keep Pitoitua on the bench, unless you don’t have any other viable options.
Michael Griffin has played 43 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage this season. He’ll be called upon to help out with the RB duo of Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill this week. Griffin is coming off a 6 solo tackle game in Week 2.
-Three of Blidi Wreh-Wilson’s tackles have come against the run and has recorded nine total tackles. Even though he saw fewer targets in Week 2, he found ways to make plays. Playing on the left-side, he’s seen 100 percent of the defensive snaps.
-Hopefully, you didn’t panic on Bernard Pollard. He more than doubled his solo tackles from Week 1 to Week 2 and added a sack. Pollard is a locked in DB1 this week.
–Vontaze Burfict owners are going to want to have other options in Week 3, as it looks like he’s doubtful. Burfict is back in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Burfict, after being cleared to play last week, suffered another head injury and saw just 31 defensive snaps in Week 2. At this point, even if he’s cleared last minute, it’s a risky play.
–Leon Hall took advantage of a great match-up in Week 2. Hall recorded 6 tackles and also made plays on the ball on nearly 38 percent of his targets. After appearing in 84 percent of the snaps in Week 1, he saw 100 percent in Week 2. I like Hall as a sneaky CB2 as Jake Locker is averaging 34 attempts per game.
-Unfortunately for Geno Atkins owners, he’s back to drawing attention. It also hasn’t helped that he’s barely seen 60 percent of the defensive snaps. He’s still worth playing in DT-required leagues, but is not worth owning if your league doesn’t differentiate positions.
-Even if Vontaze Burfict doesn’t play, Rey Maualuga isn’t worth playing this week and is droppable in re-draft formats. After seeing 31 snaps in Week 1, his playing dropped to just 17 in Week 2. He’s not productive either, recording just one solo tackle (four total) in two games. Fire up Vincent Rey and Emmanuel Lamur.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
–Mike Daniels is one of the few bright spot on this Pack defense and one that should be looked at this week, and going forward. He notched his first sack of the season last week and has 11 tackles in two weeks. Daniels has a test this week against the Lions’ offensive line, as he’ll be seeing plenty of Riley Reiff and Rob Sims.
–Jamari Lattimore should get the nod once again against the Lions. Brad Jones is still not practicing and is out this week. Lattimore saw 59 defensive snaps, but was only credited with two solo tackles. He’s solid in stopping the run, creating two defensive stops this past week. There’s quite a bit to like with Lattimore this week and I like him as an LB3 in tackle heavy scoring, as he always seems to produce a decent tackle frequency. Keep him benched in balanced-scoring formats.
-Even though Tramon Williams has 9 tackles, he’s been thrown at 13 times which has led plays being made on the ball. On those 13 targets, he’s made a play nearly 31% of the time, including an INT. In 14 career games against the Lions, Williams has notched 51 tackles, four INTs and 19 defended passes. It’s another great match-up this week.
-Might be time to place Datone Jones on your bench if you own him in a deeper league. He’s seen just 40 percent of the defensive snaps on the season.
–Isa Abdul-Quddus has been filling in for James Ihedigbo and has been in all but five snaps this season. In Week 2, he produced double-digit fantasy points in tackle heavy formats for the first time since 2012. If you’re an Ihedigbo owner in a deeper league, might want to handcuff.
The other CJ Mosley broke out the big plays in Week 2. After not recording any sacks in 2013, he’s already matched his 2012 total in two games. As a back-up defensive tackle, he’ll be hard to trust on a week to week basis. Granted, he’s been productive in just 50% of the snaps, but unless you’re in a deeper all-IDP league, he’s going to an inconsistent producer. Don’t chase the stats.
-After recording a solo tackle in Week 1, Rashean Mathis recorded five tackles and defended two passes. His targets went up from two to five, as well, leading to more activity on the field. Mathis has another solid match-up with Green Bay and could be a sneaky CB3 play in corner-required leagues.
–Stephen Tulloch has 15 straight games of double-digit fantasy points in tackle-heavy formats. In his first two games, he’s produced at least 8 more tackles, including three for a loss. He’s locked in as a solid LB1 this week, especially with all the injuries surrounding LBs.
Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams
–Rolando McClain’s status is now in doubt heading into Week 3. He got the dreaded DNP, and the Cowboys cannot afford to lose any other LBs. McClain has been one of the IDP surprises this year, notching 15 tackles, an INT and a sack. At this point, who the heck knows who’s going to get snaps at MIKE and it’s an IDP situation to completely avoid.
–Barry Church bounced back from his two solo tackle game in Week 1. Church recorded six tackles, while intercepting another. Church recorded a solid 12.8 percent tackle rate and if McClain is out this week, I expect another big week from Church against the Rams. Lock him in as a DB1.
-Even with the rash of injuries to the Cowboy LB group, Anthony Hitchens could be one of those dynasty stashes that don’t pan out this year.
–Anthony Crawford has been in on 60 percent of the snaps, and even though he hasn’t registered a sack, he’s among the team leaders in QB pressures and is getting to the QB on 18 percent of his rush snaps. He could have a decent week against a struggling Rams team.
-Need another replacement for Eric Berry? Rodney McLeod could be a decent play. He’s started the season with producing at least five or more solo tackles, and has back-to-back weeks of double-digit fantasy points. While he’s not playing near the line of scrimmage, he has been solid in making tackles against the run. He carries DB3 upside this week.
-I’m still not ready thrown in the towel on Robert Quinn’s season. Even though he has yet to record a sack, he’s getting to the QB on nearly 18 percent of his rush snaps. He’s generating the pressure, but it just missing out. Quinn does have a tough match-up against LT Tyron Smith. It’d be nice to see them move Quinn over to the right and take advantage of Doug Free.
–Alec Ogletree has gotten off to a slow start when it comes to the tackle numbers. In his first two tilts, he’s managed just nine tackles and less than eight percent tackle rate. He’s been involved in 12 rush snaps and has a sack, and even with the small sample, he’s generating pressure nearly 42 percent of the time. His big play ability is there; let’s hope the tackles follow this week with a match-up against DeMarco Murry.
-TJ McDonald needs to cut down on the misses, as he’s missed one or more in each of his first two games. McDonald has produced 10 tackles and there’s a lot to like in his chances for more. He’s playing 60 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage, but has missed two tackle near the line. Big plays could be inconsistent in coverage, as he’s seen just five total targets.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
–Xavier Rhodes played nearly every snap in Week 2. Rhodes covered both Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson, so he could see similar work against the Saints. Rhodes could be a sneaky match-up start in CB-required leagues.
–Chad Greenway owners were surprised to learn of his broken hand. As of now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to cause him to miss time, as he’s going to cast up and play. It could hamper his ability to make tackles, but we’ll see going forward. He’s recorded 10 tackles in 129 snaps for far.
–Everson Griffen couldn’t get anything done in Week 2, registering just a hurry on Tom Brady. Griffen should be lining up over Terron Armstead, who’s given up 5 total QB pressures. I consider Griffen a DE2 this week.
-Even though David Hawthorne is back on on the IDP radar this week, it’s going to have to wait a week, as he’s been declared out for this week. He’s been involved on enough snaps to make him relevant, as he’s producing a 14.3 percent tackle rate this season on nearly 80 percent of the snaps played.
–Jairus Byrd could still be getting used his new scheme in New Orleans. After producing five solo tackles, he notched just one and four tackles total. He’s been thrown at five times, but what’s concerning are the misses. Early on in this young season, he’s missing in every two attempts.
–Junior Galette is going to be a big play specialist. He recorded his first sack of the season and is generating pressure on nearly 10 percent of his rush snaps. He’s already seen over 70 rush snaps and isn’t being asked to drop into coverage. I like the match-up for him against a Viking offensive line that has already given up over 20 QB pressures.
Houston Texans vs. New York Giants
–Kareem Jackson is going to go through his peaks and valleys this year. In 60 snaps in Week 1, he saw just three targets; however, he saw his targets go up to 11 in just 40 snaps. He was able to make a play on the ball 27 percent of the time, leading to an INT and two defended passes. I like the match-up for Jackson this week against Eli Manning, who’s thrown multiple INTs in back-to-back weeks.
Houston Texans vs. New York Giants
-Those in deeper leagues that are tackle heavy, might want to have AJ Bouye on their radar. At this point, snaps are low, but he’s producing nearly 0.27 points per snap.
-It’s clear that Whitney Mercilus is going to get the snaps while Jadeveon Clowney is out. He recorded 60 snaps and generated pressure on nearly 15 percent of his rush snaps in Week 2. He could be active against a Giants’ offensive line that allows pressure on Manning.
-While I’m not signaling a red alert on Brian Cushing, his snap count is putting me on yellow. He’s appeared in just over 60 percent of the snaps, however, it was encouraging to see him record a near 17 percent tackle rate on 36 snaps, resulting in 0.36 points per snap.
–Jon Beason aggravated his ankle injury, but is insisting he’ll play this week. It’s going to be hard to trust him as he’s been on a limited snap count this season. I would leave him on the bench this week, even in a favorable match-up. Mark Herzlich is next on the depth chart, but he and Spencer Paysinger have been sharing snaps on the strong-side. According to Art Stapleton of the The Record, Jameel McClain could get start at MIKE. If you want to anger your league mates, pick McClain up and watch him go off against the run-heavy Texans. Outside of Jacquain Williams, the other Giants’ LBs are to be avoided.
–Robert Ayers has thrived in his new surroundings. His snap count has been low, as he’s been on just 42 percent of the total defensive snaps, but he’s been efficient, getting to the QB nearly 15 percent of his rush snaps. I believe he offers more upside than Damontre Moore at this point.
-Hard to believe, but Jason Pierre-Paul’s sack in Week 2, was his first since Week 10 of last season. He’s getting off to a good start, filling the stat sheet, producing 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 batted balls. JPP has a tough match-up against a stout Houston offensive line, as they’ve allowed just eight total QB pressures.
For those in CB leagues, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie has produced double-digit fantasy points in back-to-back tilts. Even though he doesn’t have an INT, he is making a play on the ball with defended passes on 25 percent of his targets, while also recording 9 solo tackles. His targets might be less this week.
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
–David Amerson could prove to be a decent CB target. He’s seen 100 percent of the snaps and has a great match-up against the Eagles in Week 2. He’s been thrown at 16 times and has recorded 9 solo tackles and 2 defended passes. He looks to be a decent match-up play against the fast-paced Eagle offense.
–Jason Hatcher has settled nicely into Washington’s defense. He’s posted sacks in back-to-back weeks. The Eagles offensive line has allowed four sacks in the first two weeks, and in 16 career games, Hatcher has recorded 5 sacks.
–Ryan Kerrigan the most dominant defender in Week 2. Kerrigan abused Brandon Linder and recorded a career-high four sacks and also added four additional hurries on Chad Henne. Kerrigan recorded 0.69 points per snap against the Jaguars. Kerrigan should be played in big scoring formats, but can remain on waiver wires in balanced scoring.
–Perry Riley has a near 4:1 solo-to-assist tackle ratio in six career games against the Eagles. He’s also posted three sacks to go along with his 10.1 percent tackle rate.
–Mychal Kendricks owners should have a back-up option at the ready. Kendricks looked like he really hurt his leg, but said he cramped up. As of now, he’s questionable but hasn’t practiced, leading me to believe it was more than cramps. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Casey Matthews is his backup and he struggled Monday night in 14 snaps. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, 1st round pick Marcus Smith has been getting reps at ILB. Matthews has struggled in coverage and Smith would be an upgrade. In deeper dynasty leagues, Smith is worth rostering.
-Through two games, DeMeco Ryans has posted a 2:1 solo-to-assist ratio and 10.1 percent tackle rate.
-After going through Week 1 without a missed tackle, Malcolm Jenkins missed three on Monday night, leading to a miss in every three attempts. Jenkins owners are going to have to deal with roller coaster of misses.
–Cary Williams saw just five targets some his way Monday night. He recorded eight tackles, including one for a loss and remains a solid play in CB-required leagues. Even though he has yet to record an INT or defended pass, they should be on the way. Over the last three seasons, 16 defended passes per season.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
–Josh Evans can be dialed up as a Jonathan Cyprien hand-cuff. Cyprien, however, has been cleared to play and looks ready for Week 3 against the Colts. In two games against the Colts last season, Cyp recorded 11 tackles (10 solo) and three defended passes. Get Cyprien back into your lineups this week.
–Ryan Davis is someone you might want to get your IDP radar in big play scoring formats. I’m hoping he sees an increase in snaps, but he appears to be a pin your ears back rusher. He’s posted sacks in consecutive weeks. If he’s able to generate pressure this week, he might be worth a claim. Keep an eye on him.
–Winston Guy has yet to miss a snap this year. Last week, he posted 7 tackles and he’s seeing 43 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage, providing plenty of upside for tackles. However, he needs to cut down the misses. He has consecutive weeks of three misses, leading to a missed tackle in every three attempts. He’s on the injury report, so keep an eye on his status.
–Jerrell Freeman is still not practicing and is listed as out this week. Freeman’s back-up, Josh McNary, is a very low-upside option even in deeper leagues. However, if you’re in a 16-team, all-IDP, AFC South league, then this is your guy.
–Mike Adams is slowly becoming a viable IDP option. Adams has been in on all 146 defensive snaps and has recorded 14 tackles, leading to a near 10 percent tackle rate. He’s playing near the line of scrimmage to compensate the weakness in their run defense.
–Vontae Davis has defended at least two passes in the first two weeks. He’s been solid in his pass coverage in his 9 targets; allowing just three receptions. He’s looking like a CB3 against the turnover prone Chad Henne.
San Francisco 49’ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
-After posting a goose-egg in Week 1, Calais Campbell burst out of the gate with 10 solo tackles (three for a loss) and a sack. He’s generating pressure on 11.5 percent of his rush snaps so far on the young season. The 49’er offensive line has allowed 20 total QB pressures, and in 11 career games, Campbell has five sacks and 38 tackles (35 solos for those that get more points for solos).
–Kevin Minter put forth a solid effort in Week 2. He still appeared in fewer than 50 percent of the snaps, but still notched 5 tackles. It looks as if though the 2nd year LB isn’t going to have his break-out this year, unless something drastically changes with his snap count.
-In the first two weeks, Larry Foote has back-to-back weeks of double-digit fantasy points. He’s grading out as one of the top run defenders among ILB and is producing an 11.9 percent tackle rate. He’s a borderline LB2 this week.
–Tyrann Mathieu made his 2014 debut. The only problem, it lasted just five snaps. He was just a back-up in certain packages, but it’s encouraging that he’s even playing. Until he earns his normal workload, he’s best keeping on the bench.
–Justin Smith is generating pressure on nearly 16 percent of his rush snaps, which has led to sacks in back-to-back weeks. Consider Smith a DE2 this week against a Cardinal offensive line that has struggled to keep pressure away from their QB, which is looking like Drew Stanton, yet again. Get Smith in your lineups this week.
-There hasn’t been any consistency at the OLB opposite Ahmad Brooks. Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier have rotated snaps and have failed to generate the type of pass rush that Aldon Smith created. Lemonier has yet to generate a QB pressure.
-There’s only one CB I’d trust in corner-required leagues and that’s Perrish Cox. He’s the only that has broken the 100 snap mark. He’s seen just seven targets on the year, but that could rise in the match-up against the Cardinals.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins
–Eric Berry has been ruled out for Week 3, as if there weren’t enough injuries already. After producing 15 tackles in Week 1, to come out with a 0 in Week 2 really stung. Berry saw just 16 snaps in Week 3 before the ankle knocked him out. There looks to be rotation in store between Ron Parker and Kurt Coleman. Neither should be considered this week.
-After recording two sacks, Justin Houston wasn’t able to generate any pressure in Week 2. He’ll face a Miami offensive line that has given up three sacks and 18 hits/hurries on the year. Houston is an LB2 in big play scoring formats this week.
-After missing Week 1, Marcus Cooper stepped in and played all 52 defensive snaps in Week 2. He’s going to get thrown on, as he saw 9 passes thrown his way. Last season, he defended 20 passes and if he continues to get targeted, he should repeat that number, as last season he made a play on the ball nearly 25 percent of the time.
–Jelani Jenkins has proven he has the most upside among the Miami LB group. He’s appeared in 116 snaps and has produced a 17.2 percent tackle rate and 0.29 points per snap. He has yet to miss a tackle and takes good angles to the ball. I like him as an LB2 this week.
–Jason Trusnick settled in at MIKE in Week 2, and recorded 10 total tackles in just 59 snaps. It was the first time that he’s seen significant playing since 2009. It looks as if though Koa Misi won’t play this week, after missing practice, so Trusnick is a strong match-up play against the run-heavy Chiefs in their Week 3 tilt.
–Brent Grimes has seen 11 balls thrown his way this season. In Week 2, he saw 5 balls and was able to defend three away. He may not be as busy this week, as KC could key in on the run.
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
-After recording just a solo tackle in Week 1, Von Miller bounced back with seven tackles and a sack. Miller’s motor doesn’t stop, but he still puts up numbers inconsistently. I look at Miller as an LB3 against a strong Seattle offensive line.
-I like what I’ve seen out of Bradley Roby so far. He’s proving his worth in leagues requiring corners. In his first two games, he’s produced at least 6 solo tackles and double-digit fantasy points. Russell Wilson doesn’t make many mistakes, as he has yet to throw an INT.
-I needed Brandon Marshall to prove it to me, and he did. Marshall has two straight games of eight or more tackles and his producing points at 0.25 points per snap rate. Marshall should be busy and I like him as an LB2 this week against Marshawn Lynch, keeping up his 11.1 percent tackle rate.
–Earl Thomas missed six snaps due to cramping and he’s gotten off to a slow start, IDP production wise. He’s notched just 12 tackles and hasn’t produced the big plays. I like the match-up this week against the pass-heavy Broncos.
–Michael Bennett has appeared in the most snaps among the Seattle defensive linemen. He’s produced sacks in consecutive weeks and is getting to the QB nearly 15% of the rush snaps. He’s been moving around on the line and has a tough match-up against Ryan Clady or Chris Clark. Between the two tackles, they’ve given up just 2 QB hurries.
-While he hasn’t produced the big plays, Kam Chancellor has laid down the boom in tackle-heavy formats. He’s notched 17 tackles (14 solos) which has led to a 12.5 percent tackle rate. His tackles are up, as he’s playing nearly 70 percent of his run snaps near the line of scrimmage. He might need to help in coverage a bit more this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers
–Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds have combined for two sacks and four QB hurries. They’re generating pressure on fewer than seven percent of their rush snaps. Not good for their pass rush or IDP owners. The Steelers are trotting Jones out there, appearing in 124 defensive snaps, so Pittsburgh is giving him long looks.
-Surprisingly, Lawrence Timmons has been responsible for nearly 31 percent of the team’s missed tackles. He’s missing a tackle in every three attempts, which is impacting his chances at producing points. I do like the match-up this week for him.
–Cameron Heyward has 57 rush snaps, producing just a sack and three QB hurries. In tackle heavy formats, he’s the 13th ranked DE, 17th overall DL. The Carolina offensive line has been responsible for three sacks on the season, so to keep Cam Newton in check, Heyward is going to have to keep the motor running. I look at Heyward as a DE3 this week.
-With Greg Hardy being told good-bye, there’s a huge production gap on the defensive line. It appears as if Kony Ealy is getting top billing as his replacement. He should see an increase in snaps to be sure. He appeared in 31 snaps in Week 2 and generated nothing. I look at Mario Addison as the prime benefactor here. Addison is coming off a 2.5 sack game in Week 2 and in just 29 snaps. Both should be looked at in deeper leagues only.
–Charles Johnson could see more attention with Greg Hardy at home. He’s still a weekly starter, but, you’re going to need patience as his numbers could come in bunches.
–Luke Kuechly has produced double-digit fantasy points in 12 straight games dating back to Week 8 of last season, including nine games of 15-plus points.
–Antoine Cason continues to produce solid tackle numbers. In Week 2, Cason was targeted seven times, leading to 10 tackles. In two games, Cason has a 5:1 solo-to-assist ratio. He should be on Antonio Brown, making him a high upside CB1 this week.
Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets
-The sacks will be a nice addition Demario Davis’ arsenal. He recorded two in Week 2, but lines up against an improved offensive line. I look for more tackles against the run in this one. I look for Davis to improve upon his 7 percent tackle rate against Chicago.
-After appearing in 41 snaps in Week 2, Dee Milliner is now dealing with a quad injury. If he is able to play Monday night, there’s a lot to like as he’ll match-up with Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffry, so targets are to be had.
–Muhammad Wilkerson is another top DL starting slowly. He’s getting to the QB in just 4 percent of rush snaps in the early going. Wilkerson has the ability to go off at a moment’s notice and the Bears offensive line has given up four sacks this season.
-In Week 1, it was tackles and big plays. Week 2, it was a big play. In the early going of the season, Chris Conte has recorded 9 tackles and picked off two passes. Conte was having a decent game against the 49’ers before exiting with a shoulder injury. Conte could be called on to alleviate the tackle deficiency among the LB group.
–Charles Tillman will miss the rest of the season due to a triceps injury. Kyle Fuller is an intriguing remainder of the year CB play. He gets to play alongside Tim Jennings and he’s a rookie. Fuller proved he can make plays, as he’s coming off a seven tackle, two INT and two defended pass game. Fuller has CB2 upside this week.
-So far, owners of Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen haven’t gotten the return on their investment. Between them, they have no sacks. Houston is getting to the QB a little more often, but combined, they are generating pressure on fewer than 10 percent of their rush snaps. So far, the Jets offensive line has given up just two sacks on the year.
Mike Woellert is an IDP Contributor for FakePigskin.