Can you smell it? No, not what The Rock is cooking, but Thanksgiving and fantasy playoff time. Hopefully, most of you are in the hunt for some fantasy gold. For those discovering this article for the first time, welcome, as I look at the IDP landscape surrounding the slate of games heading into Sunday’s action. Buffalo gets a “home” game in Detroit thanks to the city being buried in snow, but at least the game will be played. So, with that said, let’s get to looking at the IDP Week 12 Match-ups Facts and Analysis.
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons
–Christian Kirksey will get his opportunity to be a three-down player against the Falcons in Week 12. Will he have the same type of impact as Chris Borland or some of the other rookies? Hard to say, but I like him as an LB3 this week against a team that doesn’t run well, however, they’ll try and establish the run against a battered group. Kirksey saw the most usage since Week 6 and logged 9 total tackles. He does have four games of 10 or more fantasy points and has produced a 0.20 points per snap, which isn’t bad, given the fact that he’s seen limited snaps. I do like his 11.5 percent tackle rate, I’m just hoping for more solo tackle opportunities going forward.
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
–Joe Haden recorded his second game of 20 or more fantasy points and has eight defended passes in his last four games. He’s seen six or more targets in five straight games and has another solid match-up on the horizon against Julio Jones, where 8-10 targets is not out of the question. Even though he recorded his first INT in Week 11, he’s still making a play on the ball nearly 17 percent of the time he’s thrown at and I also like his near 7.5 percent tackle rate, decent numbers given the fact that he’s been on the field for over 730 defensive snaps. Fire up Haden as a solid CB1 this week.
-Even though Donte Whitner has only played 31 percent of his run snaps near the line, so, that could change as he could be called on to help up front against the run. It started last week, as he was near the line on nearly 40 percent of his run snaps. He’s produced a near 0.20 points per snap rate in his last four games and has increased his tackle rate to near 10 percent. I like him this week as a solid DB3 against a team that’s middle of the road in points allowed to opposing DBs.
–Desmond Bryant was quiet on Sunday, failing to record any pressure on a tough assignment. He did manage eight total tackles, however. Fire him up as a DE2 with upside this week against the struggling rookie, Jake Matthews. Matthews has graded out as the bottom offensive tackle, according to PFF, and has allowed five sacks in his last four outings. He’s given up pressure in all 9 games that he’s played, which is 34 total in 361 pass blocking snaps. Bryant is generating on just 6 six percent of his snaps, but has been up near eight percent in his last four games.
-There was another ILB split next to Paul Worrilow in Week 11. Prince Shembo logged 23 snaps in his first start since Week 5, while Joplo Bartu was in on 24 snaps. Even though both recorded four tackles, they’ll be hard to recommend as IDP options this week with the split going on. Shembo carries upside in dynasty leagues, but Bartu continues to hang around. After recording 26 tackles before the bye week, Bartu has five in his last two outings. Both are off the IDP radar this week.
–Desmond Trufant should take on most of the coverage assignments on Josh Gordon this week, giving him some upside in CB-required leagues. Even though Trufant didn’t log any tackles, he made a play on the ball on 30 percent of his targets, leading to his first INT. Robert Alford is out for the year, so I imagine Trufant could see 10+ targets this week, and is coming off of a 10 target game against the Panthers. There’s CB2 upside in those leagues requiring a CB starter.
–Dwight Lowery has four straight games of 10 or more fantasy points, averaging just over five tackles per game in that span. He’s a boom or bust play this week, as the Browns are near the bottom in points given up to opposing DBs, however, their deep threat returns this week.
–William Moore is back practicing after being activated from the IR/Designated to Return list, so there’s a chance he plays this week. I wouldn’t take my chances on him as there could be some limits in his snaps.
Fantasy just got a whole lot better thanks to Monkey Knife Fight. With fast-paced games like Rapid Fire and Either/Or, it’s never been easier to play fantasy and win. New to MKF? Get Exclusive $100 Deposit Match + Free $5 Game
-If you’re looking for a defensive tackle streamer this week, Jonathan Babineaux will line up over Nick McDonald this week. Since the bye week, Babineaux has six tackles (two for a loss) and sack. The veteran could give the youngster some fits this week.
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
–Jerry Hughes was held without a sack in Week 11 in a favorable match-up, but that will happen from time to time. Hughes will line up this week against D’Brickashaw Ferguson, while grading negatively overall, has a positive grade in pass blocking. He hasn’t given up a sack since Week 6, but gives up pressures on a relatively consistent basis (25 total QB pressures in 420 pass block snaps). It’s definitely tougher sledding this week, but I like the match-up at home and Hughes’ pressure numbers. Even though he didn’t record a sack, he generated pressure on 15 percent of his blitzes. I’d still plug him in as your DE2 this week.
–Mario Williams beasted and feasted on the Dolphins in Week 11. Williams logged 3.5 sacks and a combined 10 pressures (including the sacks). He’s recorded at least one sack in a game going back to Week 5 and is generating pressure on over 13 percent of his blitzes and has hit the double-digit mark in sacks for the third straight season. I like his match-up this week against Breno Giacomini and he’s locked in as a DE1.
-The Jets are giving up the 3rd most points to opposing LBs, so this is a nice week to use Nigel Bradham. He’s got the favorable match-up at “home”, so hopefully, they bring along their stat crew. He’s averaging just over eight tackles per game in his last five tilts. Overall, he’s producing 0.26 points per snap and a 13.4 percent tackle rate. He’s already hit a career-high in tackles, so everything else after this point is gravy.
–Stephon Gilmore will get a bump in IDP value in CB-required leagues with Leodis McKelvin now out for the year. Even though Gilmore hasn’t seen more than five targets in a game, that should, go up beginning this week against the Jets. The low target numbers has led to a low play on the ball rate and tackle rate, but if you’re looking for flier in deeper, CB-required leagues, take a gamble on Gilmore this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears
–Jacquies Smith has three sacks in the last three games, which included a multi-effort in Week 11. He’ll be a boom or bust play in deeper leagues that weigh heavily toward sacks. Keep in mind, his overall usage rate has been near 31 percent, but has seen an uptick in snaps and blitzes, 51 in the last two games. He should line up over Michael Ola, who allowed 4 QB hurries in Week 11.
-I guess Lavonte David is someone I take for granted as someone who’s going to play no matter what. Keep in mind, he’s missed practice and is listed as a game-time decision. I honestly think he plays, but check the inactive lists before setting your final lineup. His IDP production will be nearly impossible to produce, but if you need a handcuff at the last minute, I might plug-in Danny Lansanah or Dane Fletcher. Fletcher might be a bit riskier since he hasn’t seen the field since Week 6 and only produced an 8.9 percent tackle rate in his three starts from Week 3-5.
-Bears are 13th in points allowed to LBs, so Mason Foster is in play this week as an LB3 this week. Foster has four straight games of five or more tackles and you have to love his 91 percent usage rate this season. He’s on the field and is producing a 10.3 percent tackle rate.
–Michael Johnson has a great match-up this week. He should see plenty of Jermon Bushrod, as he’s allowed 26 combined QB pressures and is grading negatively among offensive tackles. His sacks are down in his new digs, but did log his first sack since his two sack effort in Week 4. His blitz efficiency has been below 10 percent, but the Bears have a propensity to pass and Jay Cutler isn’t the most mobile QB in the league.
-We’ll see if Alterraun Verner suits up this week, but it’s been Johnthan Banks that has benefitted IDP wise. Even though Banks saw just two targets in Week 11, he saw 14 in Week 10 and I look for his targets to settle somewhere in the middle against Chicago. He’s produced back to back weeks of 15 or more fantasy points and was aided by the big play last week. His play on the ball rate is right near 19 percent and will have a chance to make some plays against the Bears. Banks is the only CB I trust, as I suspect there’ll be some sort of rotation of Crezdon Butler and Brandon Dixon. There was, practically, a 50/50 split in Week 11 between the two, so there’s not much IDP upside to be had.
–Jared Allen logged his first sack since Week 7 and only his third game of 10 or more fantasy points. Allen took advantage of his match-up on Matt Kalil, generating pressure on over 20 percent of his blitzes. He has another favorable match-up this week, as he should be lining up over Anthony Collins, who’s given up 12 combined QB hits/hurries/sacks in the last three games.
–Lance Briggs saw 100 percent of the snaps in Week 11 and recorded just four tackles. He’s beyond usable at this point, even in deeper IDP leagues, even though his usage is in the high 90 percent range. His tackle rate is well below 7 percent and has just two games of more than 10 fantasy points.
-Not sure I can trust Jon Bostic to be a consistent source of IDP production either. He saw just 29 snaps, and even though he recorded a 17.2 percent tackle rate, I can’t count on that weekly when he’s seeing less than 60 percent of the snaps on a given week.
-After getting off to a blazing start, Kyle Fuller has now gone seven games without an INT and has just one game of 10 or more fantasy points in his last five games. I like the match-up for him this week, as he could see plenty of targets and tackle opportunities. He also could be in line for a few defended passes, as well. Fuller is a boom or bust CB play in CB-required leagues only.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
-Might as well lock in Vincent Rey with Vontaze Burfict’s on-going knee issues. Rey logged 65 snaps at the weak-side in Week 11. Nico Johnson, who saw 61 snaps in Week 10, saw just two last week. He’ll be off the IDP radar unless Rey Maualuga misses time with injuries.
–Carlos Dunlap, once again, draws a favorable match-up against right tackle Derek Newton. Even though Newton has only allowed a sack, he’s giving up a combined 30 hits/hurries in 351 pass block snaps. Dunlap’s motor and upside for sacks makes him a weekly upside play in big play scoring formats. He’s 2.5 sacks away from matching last season’s total and is generating pressure on 11 percent of his blitzes.
–Dre Kirkpatrick saw his usage rate this week, but it only led to two targets in 43 snaps. Adam Jones saw the bulk of the action, seeing eight targets. While he didn’t make a play on the ball, he did record six tackles. Leon Hall and Jones will be the CBs to own while Terence Newman is inactive.
–Brian Cushing returned in Week 11 and made an immediate impact for those who rolled the dice. Cush notched six tackles and forced an Isaiah Crowell fumble, notching his first double-digit fantasy point day since Week 5. Bengals are 11th in points allowed to opposing LBs and I don’t see any reason not to play him this week. Start him as you normally would.
–J.J. Watt has had just two games where he he’s produced three or fewer combined hits/hurries/sacks. He’s converted 9.5 of his total QB pressures into sacks and is generating pressure on almost 17 percent of his blitzes. There’s no one in the NFL that can gameplan for him. His owners are loving his 0.25 points per snap rate.
-After seeing just one target in Week 9, Jonathan Joseph was thrown at seven times in Week 11 and allowed just one catch, while defending two passes. Joseph should be busy covering either A.J. Green, so he’s in line for a lot of targets. A.J. Bouye is also in play as he should be thrown at plenty, as he’s been thrown 23 times in the last two weeks.
D.J. Swearinger has missed the most tackles among Texan defenders with 11. He’s missing a tackle in every five attempts and could easily have a points per snap rate in the 0.20 range, however, it’s hovering around 0.15. I think there are better options at DB this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
–D’Qwell Jackson picked up where he left off from the bye week, recording 11 tackles against the Patriots. Jackson has a nice match-up, as the Jaguars are allowing the 8th most points to opposing LBs, allowing nearly 15 solo tackles per game. Jackson is producing 0.23 points per snap and a 12.6 percent tackle rate. Play him as an LB2 this week.
–Bjoern Werner is a sneaky match-up play as he’ll be lining up on Luke Joeckel‘s side this week. Joeckel has allowed four sacks and 23 combined QB hits/hurries this season and is grading near the bottom among offensive tackles. Werner has doubled his sack output from his rookie year and is generating pressure on just under 9 percent of his snaps in a 78 percent usage rate.
-It’s always good to use a CB against a rookie QB and Vontae Davis has a nice match-up this week. Davis has been thrown at 18 times in the last two games and is making a play on the ball on 31 percent of his targets. The Jaguars are 3rd in points allowed to CBs and Davis is a high-upside CB2 this week.
–LaRon Landry saw just 8 snaps in his return from suspension. It remains to be seen if Landry overtakes Sergio Brown at SS, since Brown dominated the snaps with 64. He’s been underwhelming from an IDP standpoint, recording just 22 tackles on the year.
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
-While he didn’t explode, Clay Matthews still had a solid game against the Eagles, and even on the inside, he’s going to get sacks. His move to inside, he’s seeing less blitzes, however. He’s blitzed just 31 times in his last two games, however, generating pressure 16 percent of the time. He’ll be a risky LB3 in tackle heavy formats, but continue to roll him out in big play scoring formats, especially this week, lining up on Matt Kalil‘s side.
–Julius Peppers, while not as favorable a match-up, should line up on Phil Loadholt‘s side this week and he’s allowed five sacks and 27 combined QB hits/hurries this season, generating pressure on just under 12 percent of his blitzes.
–Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s usage has been on uptick over the last several weeks. Since Week 7, he’s been on the field 96 percent of the time and it’s led to a 0.18 points per snap. He’s certainly worth looking at for bench depth and is looking like a DB3 thanks to usage increase.
–Mike Daniels is a decent match-up play this week. He’s lining up on the right or left side and could see time over Phil Loadholt or Matt Kalil‘s side. If he moves slightly, he’ll also be matched up on one of their guards. The Minnesota offensive line, as a whole, is grading near the bottom according to PFF. Daniels hasn’t posted a sack since, coincidentally, he faced off against the Vikings, where he generated pressure on 27 percent of his blitzes. There’s DE3 upside this week in big play scoring formats.
-The right side of Green Bay’s line has been a strength, as Bryan Bulaga has allowed just three sacks on the year. Brian Robison was held without a sack in Week 11, but is still generating pressure on over 10 percent of his blitzes. He’s still a risky play in a tough match-up this week.
-Since returning from injuries in Week 7, Chad Greenway has returned to his LB1 form. He’s had four games of 15 or more fantasy points, which includes two games of 20-plus. He’s produced 0.28 points per snap and a 15.8 percent tackle rate. In this divisional battle, Greenway is averaging just over 8 tackles per game in 14 career games.
-Even though the Packers don’t give up many points to DBs, they give up oodles of tackles. Opposing DBs are averaging nearly 20 solo tackles per game. Harrison Smith is a DB1 and Captain Munnerlyn and Xavier Rhodes are solid match-up plays in leagues requiring a CB.
-Keep an eye on Everson Griffen and Anthony Barr, as they are both on the injury report with various ailments. Griffen has already recorded a career high in sacks and Barr has been responsible for 37 percent of the tackles among the linebackers and also has four sacks himself.
Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots
-So far, I’ve missed on Kyle Van Noy. I thought he’d see more snaps upon his return, but he’s only seen 9 total in two games. In re-draft leagues, I’m not sure I’d be able to trust him, and unless you have a deep bench, you might need to drop him. He’ll be worth holding on to in dynasty leagues.
-Another LB whose usage has dipped has been Tahir Whitehead. On the year, it’s now fallen below 70 percent.
-The New England Patriots are also giving up huge solo tackle numbers to opposing DBs. They’re allowing just under 30 tackles per game, but the Lions certainly don’t have anyone that can tackle Gronk. Darius Slay should be busy this week. After seeing just 9 targets in his last three games, he should see around 6-8 targets this week.
-It will be interesting to see how Ndamukong Suh fares against the Patriots’ offensive line. He’s produced at least four combined QB hits/hurries in two of his last four games and is producing pressure on 10 percent of his blitzes. He’ll be someone the “Hoodie” gameplans for, but is a DT1 in leagues requiring a defensive tackle.
-After being thrown at 63 times in 2013, Darrelle Revis has been thrown at 50 times in 10 games in 2014. He could cover Golden Tate this week, and if Calvin Johnson is inactive or used a decoy, Revis could see plenty of balls thrown his way. He’s making a play on the ball 22 percent of the time he’s thrown at, including two INTs.
-In his last four games, Jamie Collins has produced at least 18 or more fantasy points in that span, leading to a 0.29 points per snap. He’s taking advantage of the snaps since Jerod Mayo went on IR and is averaging almost 11 tackles per game in those last four contests. He’s a borderline LB1 in tackle heavy formats with his 12.5 percent tackle rate.
–Akeem Ayers will be an interesting play in big play scoring formats. He should line up on Riley Reiff‘s side and has been just average in pass blocking. He’s only given up two sacks, but has allowed 25 total QB hits/hurries. Since joining New England, he’s registered two sacks and generated pressure on 13 percent of his blitzes. He’ll be a boom or bust play this week in those formats that weigh big plays heavily over tackles.
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles
-The Eagles are a bad match-up this week for the Titan LBs and don’t allow for many tackles, as they’re giving up around 17 total tackles to LBs. As good as Avery Williamson has been over the last several weeks, he’s a low-end LB3 this week in a bad match-up. The upside for Williamson is that he doesn’t miss tackles and I like the 12.8 percent tackle rate.
-On the flipside of Williamson, I’d be benching Wesley Woodyard this week. He’s coming off a three assisted tackle game and the match-up isn’t favorable.
–Jurrell Casey has 13 total tackles in his last two games, but hasn’t had a sack since Week 6. He was close Monday night, providing five QB hurries. Overall, he’s producing pressure on 10 percent of his blitzes and is a weekly option in leagues requiring a DT. The left guards for Philadelphia are giving up pressure, but have been responsible for one sack. Casey should be more of an asset in tackle heavy formats.
-The Eagles are allowing the 2nd most points to opposing CBs, allowing 18 CBs to score double-digit points. Blidi Wreh-Wilson is on the CB radar this week, as he’s produced five games of 10 or more fantasy points. Opposing QBs are throwing at him, as he hasn’t had fewer than six balls thrown his way since Week 5. Jason McCourty is also in play CB-leagues as he’s produced three straight games of 10 or more fantasy points.
–Vinny Curry seems to be a weekly staple in this piece. His usage is in the 35 percent range but he’s producing 0.23 points per snap and he’d be a borderline DE1 if he could reach a 70 percent usage rate. He’s worth starting in a deeper league where points are weighted heavily on sacks or big plays over tackles.
–Cary Williams recorded his first double-digit point effort since Week 4. Even though he didn’t make any plays on the ball, he notched seven solo tackles. I like the match-up this week against the rookie QB at the friendly confines of the Linc. He hasn’t seen more than 5 targets since Week 5, but I like trend to change this week, as I see him getting upwards of 6-8 targets.
St. Louis Rams vs. San Diego Chargers
–James Laurinaitis proved once again that you can’t bench him, as bad as you’ve wanted to. Laurinaitis recorded his first double-digit tackle effort of the season and he now has 14 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. His tackle rate is still below 10 percent, but he’s someone you have to keep in your lineups. He should be busy this week against a Charger team that has Ryan Mathews back in the fold.
–Alec Ogletree’s tackle rate has also fallen below 10 percent and is point per snap rate is at 0.22. Continue riding his hot streak, though, as he’s produced consecutive weeks of 20 or more fantasy points with his 20 total tackles and 2 INTs in his last two games.
–E.J. Gaines has five straight games of double-digit fantasy points and six in his last seven. He’s coming off a game where was targeted 10 times and has seen five or more targets in five straight. He’s making a play on the ball 23 percent of the time he’s thrown, so in CB-required leagues, he’s a must start this week.
–Mark Barron might be unusable on a weekly basis thanks to his inconsistent scoring. He had double-digit fantasy points in his first six games and now has just one in his last four. His usage rate went from 50 percent in Week 10 to just 17 in Week 11. You can’t risk starting him this week.
-I’m not trusting Kavell Conner’s 27.6 percent tackle rate. I know you’re asking, “Why pass up on such an elite rate?” Because he did it on just 29 snaps. He actually saw his highest usage rate of the year, but he’s hovering around 28 percent on his total usage rate this season.
-Corey Luiget should be lining up on Greg Robinson’s side and he’s graded negatively in 187 snaps at left tackle. If Roger Saffold gets into the mix, Liuget could have a solid day pressuring Shaun Hill. Liuget hasn’t had a sack in a few games, but is still generating pressure on over 10 percent of his blitzes. I look for Liuget to record his 4th sack of the season this week.
–Shareece Wright has four defended passes in his last three games while being thrown at 27 times in that span. With Jason Verrett out for the year, Wright is going to lining up outside opposite Brandon Flowers and makes a sneaky start in deeper leagues where you need to start a CB, however, there is some risk this week. Rams aren’t allowing many points to opposing corners, as six CBs have scored double-digit points.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
-I guess when we thought we could bury Larry Foote, he remerges from the grave. Over the last two weeks, Foote has produced a near 11 percent tackle rate over the last two weeks. Although, Foote has been a missed tackle machine this season, missing a tackle in every five attempts. He’ll have a hard time bringing down Marshawn Lynch, who has caused 53 missed tackles when rushing the ball. Foote is a low-upside LB3 this week.
–Matthew Stafford didn’t shy away from passing at Patrick Peterson, as he saw 11 targets. Even still, it led to a poor IDP performance, as he registered two tackles and a defended pass, after coming off a huge game in Week 10. I’m shying away from using Peterson again this week in what’s shaping up to be an unfavorable match-up this week.
-After producing 15 points between Weeks 9 and 10, Rashad Johnson got back on track in Week 11, aided by the big plays, but was able to record six tackles. He’s got a nice 6:1 solo-to-assist ratio and tackle rate right near 10 percent. He’s playing fewer than 30 percent of his run snaps near the LOS, however, he might be called on to help stop Lynch this week. There’s still DB2 value here this week.
–Bobby Wagner is back at practice and it appears that he’s set to give it a go in Week 12. This would put a strangle-hold on Malcolm Smith’s IDP value, but I still like K.J. Wright as an LB3, so don’t worry if you’re a Wright owner. Wright was still getting around seven tackles when Wagner was on the field.
-After going through 9 games without recording a big play, Earl Thomas now has two straight games with big plays. He’s recorded an INT and 2 forced fumbles in the last two games and it has led to 0.35 points per snap. Thomas is back on the DB1/2 radar this week as he’s produced well against the Cardinals in his career.
–Cliff Avril was held check after recording eight combined QB hits/hurries the previous week. I like Avril’s match-up this week and makes a sneaky play in big play scoring formats. Avril should lineup over Bobby Massie, who’s allowed three sacks and 23 combined QB hits/hurries this season. Avril has been boom or bust so there’s risk in tackle heavy formats.
Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos
–Philip Wheeler was critical about the Dolphins and coaching staff after a Week 6 loss to the Packers. Since appearing in 34 snaps in that game, he’s seen just 75 total snaps since. He was an IDP producer, but is now completely off the IDP radar. Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins are locked in as the Dolphins’ 3-down LBs.
–Jamar Taylor received the start in Week 11 and was on the field for all of the defensive snaps. Over the last two games, he’s seen 14 targets and that trend should continue as long as Cortland Finnegan continues to miss practice. Peyton Manning should pick on Taylor this week, so there’s definite upside for tackles, but maybe not the big plays. He’s a solid start in deeper leagues that require a CB starter.
–Louis Delmas has consecutive weeks with double-digit fantasy points, recording 11 tackles and defending two other passes. He’s playing nearly 50 percent of his run snaps near the LOS, so there’s definite tackle opportunities. The Broncos are 11th in points allowed to opposing safeties, so keep that in mind if you’re hurting at safety this week.
-The Buffalo Bills paid attention to Cameron Wake in Week 11 and it was Olivier Vernon who got the sack. He now has two sacks in his last three games, but the tackle rate makes more of a viable option in big play scoring formats, or a low DE2 in tackle formats. He’s generating pressure on over 11 percent of his blitzes, so there’s always the opportunity for sacks.
-Ju’Wuan James got the start at left tackle for Branden Albert and struggled, allowing five combined QB hits/hurries. He’ll likely draw Demarcus Ware in pass blocking, so it’s not getting any easier. Ware has sacks in five of his last seven games and is now generating pressure on just over 12 percent of his blitzes. The match-up certainly puts him in the DE1 conversation this week.
–Von Miller had just his second game where generated a total of two combined QB hits/hurries/sacks. He’s one sack away from hitting double-digits for the 3rd time in four seasons. If Dallas Thomas lines up at right tackle, he’s going to have his hands full with Miller, as he allowed two sacks last week.
–Steven Johnson saw his usage spike up to 61 percent in week 11, however, he’s still a risky option in IDP leagues.
-The Dolphins are 10th in points allowed to opposing DBs. Aqib Talib has been thrown at 29 times in his last four games and is making a play on the ball 18 percent of the time he’s thrown at. Talib could be locking up Mike Wallace in Week 12.
Washington Redskins vs. San Francisco 49’ers
–Ryan Kerrigan‘s last sack came in Week 8 and could draw Anthony Davis on the right side this week. Kerrigan is still generating pressure on 14 percent of his blitzes, so there’ll be upside in leagues weighing the scoring towards the big plays.
–Keenan Robinson has produced double-digit fantasy points in all but one game this season. He’s producing 0.23 points per snap and a solid 12.6 percent tackle rate. The 49’ers are giving up an average of 20 tackles per game to opposing LBs, so Robinson is in the LB2 conversation this week.
-After missing 14 tackles in his first eight games, Ryan Clark has gone two straight without a miss.
–Aldon Smith saw a usage rate of 77 percent in his first games, so, so much for easing their pass rusher back in to action. He didn’t show any signs of rush, generating pressure on nearly 20 percent of his blitzes. He’s safe to get back into your lineups in big play leagues.
-I’m glad to see that it was Ahmad Brooks, and not Aaron Lynch, that lost out on snaps upon Smith’s return to the lineup. Lynch has been a consistent source of pressure and he and Smith gave Eli Manning fits in Week 11. Lynch, too, generated pressure on 20 percent of his snaps and registered a sack. Lynch’s usage is certainly trending up, as is his upside in big play scoring formats, as he’s notched three sacks in his last five games.
-Can Chris Borland make it four straight games of 30 or more fantasy points? In his last three games, he’s produced a 26.8 percent tackle rate and 0.55 points per snap. Don’t even think about taking him out of your lineups.
-The Redskins are 8th in points allowed to opposing CBs. Chris Culliver makes for a sneaky start in CB leagues, as he’s been thrown at 16 times in his last two games, including 11 last week. Culliver has consecutive weeks with an INT and at least two defended passes, so he’s definitely tracking the ball well. Overall, he’s making a play on the ball nearly 20 percent of the time he’s thrown at.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
–Devon Kennard saw 55 of the 68 snaps in Week 11 and it appears he’ll get another start at the weak-side, as Jacquain Williams won’t play this week. In his first start, Kennard recorded 9 tackles, so there’s upside for plenty of tackle opportunities this week against Demarco Murray.
–Jameel McClain has consecutive weeks of 12 or more tackles and has a tackle rate of 15.7 in his last three games.
–Antrel Rolle could be part of a scheme to stop Dez Bryant this week. Rolle could provide help over the top. Rolle is averaging just over five tackles per game, however, his streak of consecutive seasons of 90 or more tackles is in jeopardy, as he’s on pace for 83. Rolle, however, has seven games of double-digit fantasy points.
-Last time Jason Pierre-Paul faced the Cowboys, he abused them in Dallas to the tune of two sacks and six solo tackles. On the year, he’s still under 10 percent in terms of QB pressures. JPP will be dialed in on Tony Romo once again this week.
–Robert Ayers was quiet in the first go around with Dallas in Week 7, but over the last three games, Ayers has generated pressure on nearly 30 percent of his blitzes. The right side of Dallas’s offensive line has been solid and coupled with Ayers’s usage rate under 50 percent, he makes a dicey play on the road.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints
-I wouldn’t worry about Curtis Lofton‘s absence from practice. He still should be good to go. He appeared in all but two snaps in Week 11 and recorded an 18.3 percent tackle rate. Keep him locked in your lineups this week.
–David Hawthorne returned in Week 11 to record seven tackles, but also whiffed on three others. His return sent Ramon Humber to the bench, as he saw just six snaps. Hawthorne might be worth a flier in deeper leagues with his 11.2 percent tackle rate, as the Ravens are allowing 7th most points to opposing LBs on the year.
–Keenan Lewis is still dealing with a knee injury, as he saw just 11 snaps in Week 11 and just didn’t look right. He shouldn’t be counted on this week, even with a Monday night tilt.
Mike Woellert is an IDP Contributor for FakePigskin.