The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, Guest. You are not logged in.   | Login  |  Help
HOME FANTASY DRAFT KIT IN SEASON ARTICLES NEWS STATS FORUMS TEAMS PLAYERS NFL DRAFT NFL ABOUT myHuddle

FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

IDP Game Breakdowns - Week 15
Steve Gallo
December 17, 2010
Comments Comments       Print this page Print 

Weekly, I will break down each team’s matchup and offer ratings on the more important IDPs.  Preceding the game breakdowns is a reference chart that lists each team’s average tackle opportunities (TOs) given up, defensive scheme, defensive coordinator & fantasy relevant IDPs.  In addition the reference chart is color coded to identify teams that are giving up average (highlighted in yellow), below average (highlighted in red) & above average (highlighted in green) TOs based on this years stats.  Basically, if your LB is facing a RED team then it isn't a good matchup, conversely a GREEN team would be a GOOD matchup.  The historical average for TOs is 50 (highlighted in yellow) and anything 49 or less will be in red and anything above 51 will be in green.  Tackle opportunities are described as rushing attempts & pass completions faced plus sacks given up.  Average tackle opportunities are derived from data provided by nfldata.com.  Ratings are based on a 12-team league that assumes the following starting requirements: 2 defensive linemen (DL) (defensive ends (DE) & defensive tackles (DT)), 3 linebackers (LB), 3 defensive backs (DB) (cornerbacks (CB) & safeties (S)). 

Star Rating System:
Five-Star Play: Studly performance anticipated
Four-Star Play: Above average solid starter
Three-Star Play: Starter
Two-Star Play: Risky Starter/ Sleeper/ Bench ‘em unless you don't have other options
One-Star Play: Bench ‘em no matter what

* Star Ratings boxes are now color coded to show the tackle opportunities the team they are facing is giving up:
average (highlighted in yellow), below average (highlighted in red) & above average (highlighted in green)  This will help so
that you don't have to continually scroll up to the reference chart and also if you are stuck between who to start out of say
two 3 Star players then you will probably want to go with the one that has a "Green" matchup versus a "Red" matchup
(remember Scheme Matters). 

Scoring system used for this article: solo tackle (2), assisted tackle (1), sack (3), forced or recovered fumble (3), interception (3) and pass defended (1).

Follow me on twitter @IDPSteve and if you have any questions, criticisms, or suggestions feel free to e-mail me at IDPSteve@gmail.com. For specific lineup questions please be sure to visit our IDP Forum.  Good luck & enjoy!

Team Avg TOs
Given Up
Year To Date
Avg TOs
Faced
Year To Date
Defensive
Scheme
Defensive
Coordinator
Fantasy Relevant IDPs
ARZ 41 55 3-4 Bill Davis Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington,
Mike Adams, Paris Lenon
ATL 56 48 4-3 Brian VanGorder Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore
BAL 53 47 3-4 & 4-3
Greg Mattison Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Dwan Landry
BUF 47 55 3-4 George Edwards Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, Kyle Williams
CAR 46 54 4-3 Ron Meeks Charles Johnson, Jon Beason, James Anderson,
Charles Godfrey
CHI 47 49 Tampa 2 Rod Marinelli Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Brian Urlacher,
Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman
CIN 50 49 4-3 Mike Zimmer Dhani Jones
CLE 48 52 3-4 Rob Ryan TJ Ward, Scott Fujita (injured), Abram Elam
DAL 52 50 3-4 Paul Pasqualoni Bradie James, Keith Brooking
DEN 49 53 3-4 Don Martindale DJ Williams, Brian Dawkins (injured)
DET 52 50 4-3 Gunther Cunningham Ndamukong Suh, DeAndre Levy
GB 49 48 3-4 Dom Capers Desmond Bishop, Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams
HOU 51 52 4-3 Frank Bush Bryan Cushing, Bernard Pollard, Kevin Bentley
IND 54 52 Tampa 2 Larry Coyer Gary Brackett, Clint Session (injured),
Pat Angerer, Robert Mathis
JAX 54 48 4-3 Mel Tucker Kirk Morrison, Daryl Smith, Sean Considine,
Courtney Greene (injured)
KC 53 49 3-4 Romeo Crennel Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry
MIA 51 48 3-4 Mike Nolan Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell
MIN 49 48 4-3 & Tampa 2 Leslie Frazier Jared Allen, EJ Henderson, Chad Greenway
NE 51 53 3-4 Bill Belichick &
D-Staff
Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung
NO 54 48 4-3 Gregg Williams Roman Harper, Jonathan Vilma
NYG 53 45 4-3 Perry Fewell Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas
NYJ 53 45 3-4 Mike Pettine Sione Pouha, Shaun Ellis, David Harris
OAK 51 48 4-3 John Marshall Richard Seymour, Tyvon Branch, Matt Shaughnessy, Michael Huff
PHL 52 48 4-3 Sean McDermott Trent Cole, Stewart Bradley (injured), Jamar Chaney, Quintin Mikell
PIT 50 48 3-4 Dick LeBeau James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons,
Troy Polamalu
SD 53 46 3-4 Ron Rivera Stephen Cooper (injured), Kevin Burnett
SEA 46 52 4-3 Gus Bradley Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Chris Clemons,
David Hawthorne
SF 46 51 3-4 Greg Manusky Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Nate Clements
STL 52 47 4-3 Ken Flajole James Laurinaitis, Oshiomogho Atogwe, James Hall,
Bradley Fletcher, Chris Long
TB 47 49 Tampa 2 Raheem Morris Barrett Ruud, Geno Hayes, Ronde Barber
TEN 44 58 4-3 Chuck Cecil Jason Babin, Stephen Tulloch, Cortland Finnegan,
Chris Hope, Michael Griffin
WAS 47 53 3-4 Jim Haslett London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Reed Doughty, DeAngelo Hall

REMINDER:  STAR RANKING BOXES ARE COLOR CODED BASED ON THE TACKLE OPPORTUNITIES THE TEAM THEY ARE FACING IS GIVING UP ON AVERAGE THIS YEAR.

QUICK GAME LINKS
 
 

San Francisco at San Diego

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR
Takeo Spikes
Patrick Willis
Nate Clements

Dashon Goldson
2 STAR
Justin Smith
Taylor Mays
Reggie Smith
Shawntae Spencer
Manny Lawson
Tarell Brown
1 STAR
Parys Haralson
Travis Laboy
Navorro Bowman

49ersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 48

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line:  Justin Smith might be playing in Southern California this weekend but his owners feel like he is playing in Alaska because he has been that cold.  Averaging just 5.63 PPG over the last month isn't exactly what you want or expect from a DL like Smith.  You might look at last week's box score and notice that the Chargers surrendered 5 or more solos to three of the Chiefs DL.  If you do that just make sure that you look deep enough to realize that the Chargers ran the ball 43 times.  For the season the Chargers have given up 4 more solos to opposing DLs just 5 times.  As much as it pains me I think you have to leave Smith on your bench this week but if you can't do that at least you know that Smith's floor is going to be in the 5-6 point range.

Linebacker:  We all know that Patrick Willis got off to a slightly slow start this year before he started to turn things on.  What I bet you don't know is that since week 5 Willis has been outscored by fellow teammate Takeo Spikes. Yes, Spikes has scored more fantasy points than Willis as from week 5 thru 14.  Over that time Spikes actually ranks 9th in points scored and since week 8 Spikes is averaging 18.33 PPG, still more than Willis and good for 6th most during that span.  This week the thing to note about Willis and Spikes is that it has been reported that each is wearing large cast on their right hands. Supposedly they are each just banged up and expected to play but that doesn't change the fact that Willis didn't practice on Monday or Tuesday and that Spikes missed Monday and was limited on Tuesday.  The matchup has me saying 4 star but the injuries have me tempering my expectations and dropping each down a level.  More than likely they will both play after being listed as Questionable on the injury report but still make sure you check inactives before blindly leaving them in your lineups.

Secondary: The Chargers have been a decent matchup for opposing DBs so that will help those that decide to plug either Nate Clements or Dashon Goldson into their starting lineups.  The thing you have to really look at is that Clements stared the year off well but since the bye he has played in five games and has just produced two double digit scores.  In the three games that he failed to hit double digits the least he scored was 7 points so his downside is limited to an extent. I think you can look at him as a pretty decent DB3 with a bit of upside this week. Much like Clements, Dashon Goldson got off to a fairly fast start but then cooled down.  He has picked it up the past two weeks with double digit scores but since the bye week he has three double digit games and 2 single digit performances.  The difference between his single digit games and Clements is that they were very poor 4 and 2 point efforts. I still think that Goldson should be able to hit double digits this week but he clearly has a lower floor and is a riskier play than Clements is. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Shaun Phillips

2 STAR
Antonio Garay
Eric Weddle
Stephen Cooper
Paul Oliver

Kevin Burnett
Antoine Cason
Quentin Jammer
Steve Gregory
1 STAR

Luis Castillo
Darrell Stuckey
Brandon Siler

ChargersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: The Chargers 3-4 scheme doesn't offer consistent fantasy value for it's DL. The Antonio Garay watch shows that he has now failed to hit double digits in 4 straight games.

Linebacker: Kevin Burnett's 1 point fantasy score last week surely had to burn many of his owners and yes I speak as one of those owners.  As bad as a 1 point score is you don't have to look much farther than the 26 combined rushes and pass completions that he and the rest of the D faced.  On the day, the starting LB core of Burnett (1pt), Shaun Phillips (0 pts), Stephen Cooper (5 pts) & Antwan Applewhite (4pts) all combined for just 10 fantasy points.  That pretty much sums it up right there.  This week I don't have much faith in the Niners offense to come into San Diego and do much either which is why I have Cooper, Burnett and Applewhite all as 2 star plays. I have Phillilps as a 3 star play as I can see him getting to the QB this week, multiple times if the Chargers can get up big.  Just remember there is plenty of risk involved since I see him needing sacks to make noise this week. 

Secondary: Steve Gregory was back in the starting lineup and on the field for the first time since week 9.  Unfortunately, the starting lineup was all that Gregory cracked because he didn't put up anything in the box score.  Gregory at this point needs to be left on benches as he carries far to much risk to plug in for a playoff game.  Eric Weddle and Paul Oliver were both productive while Gregory was out but neither were consistent.  This past week with Gregory putting up the donut one would have to expect that one or both would have posted a good score(s) but neither did.  Together Weddle (6 pts) and Oliver (4 pts) combined for just 10 points.  Don't risk it, leave them both on the bench this week.


Buffalo at Miami

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Paul Posluszny
Donte Whitner

3 STAR

Kyle Williams
Akin Ayodele

2 STAR

Bryan Scott
Leodis McKelvin
Jairus Byrd
Drayton Florence
Chris Kelsay
Marcus Stroud
Spencer Johnson

1 STAR
Torell Troup
Keith Ellison
Terrence McGee

BillsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  47
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line:  Spencer Johnson led the Bills DL in solos for the second consecutive week.  However, his leading total was a paltry 2 and on the day the entire DL only recorded 3 total solos and added 3 assists. Since his 10 tackle, 2 sack performance in week 12, Kyle Williams has totaled a combined 1 solo and 4 assists the last two weeks.  Both Williams and Johnson are risky starts with how poor their play has been but the Dolphins have been a pretty good matchup for opposing DL so I think that if you are going to pick one to start make it Williams as he has been productive for much of the season.

Linebacker: Paul Posluszny for the second time in three weeks recorded 15 fantasy points.  Outside of the 10 points that Posluszny scored in week 7 those 15 points are the least he has scored all year. The thing is, 15 points is nothing to sneeze at, it shows just how high Posluszny's floor is.  Continue to start him with confidence. Posluszny isn't the only Bills LB that is making noise for fantasy owners.  Over the past month Akin Ayodele ranks as a top 10 LB with 63 fantasy points and a 15.75 PPG average. With how well Ayodele has been playing you could do far worse for a LB3.

Secondary:  Clink, clank, clunk was the sound of the Donte Whitner's second worst performance of the year last week.  OK, so maybe that isn't quite fair considering he still put up a double digit 10 point performance but it was only dwarfed by his 2 point effort back in week 2.  I wouldn't worry much if at all about Whitner, just keep plugging him in with confidence.  Like Posluszny, Whitner has a pretty high floor.  Outside of Whitner I wouldn't look at starting any of the other Bills DBs

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Karlos Dansby
3 STAR
Cameron Wake
Chris Clemons
Channing Crowder
Yeremiah Bell
2 STAR

Tim Dobbins
Vontae Davis
Sean Smith

1 STAR
Kendall Langford
Quentin Moses
Randy Starks
Tyrone Culver
Reshad Jones

DolphinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 52

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

Defensive Line: The Dolphins play a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL fantasy irrelevant.

Linebacker: Karlos Dansby bounced back after two poor performances with a 8-1-1 stat line while adding a forced fumble and pass defended, good for 24 fantasy points.  What you should keep in mind is that he also faced 31 rushing attempts against the Jets last week.  The Bills have been very up and down with their rushing attempts this year and that can be typified by their 42 rushes last week and their 40 combined rushing attempts the previous two weeks combined.  Channing Crowder was also able to put together a decent 15 point performance.  This week Crowder should be able to fill a LB3/4 type roll.  Cameron Wake is wreaking havoc on QBs this year but this week he is a bit riskier since the Bills are only giving up 1.33 sacks/game over the last 6 weeks.  If you need to swing for the fences in your playoff matchup Wake is the kind of guy you take that swing with.

Secondary: The Bills haven't been what I would call a bad matchup for opposing DBs but they haven't been a great matchup by any stretch of the imagination either.  Sure TJ Ward had a 10-2-0 last week against the Bills but I wouldn't expect that type of production from Yeremiah Bell or Chris Clemons this week. Bell has been far from inspiring over the past three weeks.  On the tackle front he has recorded just 3 solos in each of those weeks (added an assist in week 13).  At best with his recent production, or should I say lack of production I see Bell as nothing more than a DB3 and to be honest I am even questioning my 3 star ranking.  If you have better options I would probably look to go that route.  Clemons hasn't really done much more over his last 3 games with two games of 3 solos and one with 4 solos. 


Detroit at Tampa Bay

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

DeAndre Levy
Cliff Avril
Ndamukong Suh
L
andon Johnson

2 STAR
Lawrence Jackson
Louis Delmas

Amari Spievey

Chris Houston

Nathan Vasher
Julian Peterson

Ashlee Palmer
1 STAR
Turk McBride
Bobby Carpenter
CC Brown

LionsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  46
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 43

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Landon Johnson (neck) didn't practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report. Bump Johnson down to a 1 star play.

Cliff Avril (rib) missed practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line:Over the past 6 weeks the Buccaneers are giving up just an average of 1.0 sacks/game.  The Lions DL is averaging 4 sacks/game over their last 2 games, so as they say, something has to give.  Ndamukong Suh is proving to be the impact player that everyone thought he would be prior to being drafted this year.  Suh is coming off a 4 point performance, which is tied for his lowest point total of the year.  The Packers offense didn't do much once Aaron Rodgers got knocked out of the game so I would look for Suh to bounce back this week.  Cliff Avril missed practice on Wednesday with a rib injury so make sure to check the Friday Injury Update to see if Avril progresses or not.

Linebacker: DeAndre Levy, may have had a nice 15 point effort, which by the way eclipsed his combined score the pas two weeks, but he was on the verge of a huge week if he could have been a half a step faster and converted a few of his 6 assists into solos.  The Buccaneers have been a very good matchup for opposing LBs and Levy and even Landon Johnson should be solid plays this week.  The only reason they are 3 star instead of 4 star plays is due to their inconsistent play this year. 

Secondary: The last thing you really need in an important playoff week is to plug a player in that isn't just inconsistent but offers little upside. Unfortunately, that is what you get with Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, Chris Houston and the rest of the Lions secondary.  None have shown much if any upside lately and their downside risk is just far to much to rely on in such an important week. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Barrett Ruud
3 STAR

Sean Jones
Ronde Barber
EJ Biggers
Geno Hayes

2 STAR

Stylez White
Adam Hayward
Dekoda Watson

1 STAR

Michael Bennett
Gerald McCoy (IR)
Quincy Black (IR)

Buccaneers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

For the season the Buccaneers have now placed a total of 5 of 11 defensive starters on injured reserve: Kyle Moore, Gerald McCoy, Quincy Black, Aqib Talib & Cody Grimm.

Defensive Line: The Buccaneers rookie 1st round DT Gerald McCoy tore his biceps muscle and has been put on injured reserve. McCoy wasn't much of a fantasy option but he was starting to show glimpses of what the future could hold.  Michael Bennett is expected to replace McCoy in the starting lineup.  Stylez White remains the best fantasy option on the Buccaneers but that isn't saying much.  His last double digit performance was back in week 8 and on the season he has scored in double digits just three total times.  Not exactly the type of production I would want to rely on during a playoff matchup. 

Linebacker: Starting SLB Quincy Black broke his arm in last week's game and has been placed on injured reserve.  Dekoda Watson is expected to start for Black.  Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes haven't been nearly as productive as was expected coming into the season and to make matters worse Ruud has been very up and down over the past month.  Hayes on the other hand has just been less up and down but hasn't shown much upside at all.  This week is a 5 star matchup but due to his play of late I am only ranking him as a 4 star play.  I am using the same logic with Hayes, he has a 4 star matchup but I am knocking him down a peg.  Just to show how juicy a matchup this can be look at what opposing LBs have been doing against the Lions over the past 5 weeks.  Five LBs have recorded 10 total tackles over that time and for the season 19 LBs have recorded at least 6 total tackles and 8 of those were 10+. 

Secondary: As a team the Lions don't present as much upside for opposing DBs as they do LBs but Ronde Barber, Sean Jones and even EJ Biggers should be able to post solid DB3 type numbers this week.  I don't see any of the three hitting 8 or more solos but I think that they all should be right around a 4-2-0 or 5-0-0 type lines this week. 


Arizona at Carolina

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Darnell Dockett
Calais Campbell
Paris Lenon

Daryl Washington

Adrian Wilson
Kerry Rhodes
2 STAR
Greg Toler
Mike Adams
Joey Porter
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Clark Haggans
1 STAR
Alan Branch
O'Brien Schofield
Gerald Hayes

Cardinals Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 53

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent. 

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Calais Campbell (ankle) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Daryl Washington (groin) was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Clark Haggans (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Darnell Dockett is coming off of back to back 10 point scoring weeks and faces a Panthers team that is giving up 3.3 sacks/game over their last 7 games.  Calais Campbell has put up 7 points in each of his past two games and while not a very impressive score it still isn't all that bad for a DL2. This week the Panthers matchup is sweet enough that Campbell has the look of a nice 3 star play.   For those in deeper dynasty leagues you can keep an eye on O'Brien Schofield.  Last week, Schofield logged 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and a pass defended good for the first double digit score of his young career.

Linebacker: Viva La Youth!  Daryl Washington is finally taking over for veteran Gerald Hayes.  And it is about time because even though the Cardinals are just two back of the division lead it isn't really like they have chance to win the division.  Now before you go falling all over Washington let me point out that he still only played in only about 60% of the teams snaps.  The one thing that is encouraging is that at least it shows he can produce on limited snaps, and that is important because there might not be many snaps to go around in Carolina.  Paris Lenon is still the best LB to own in Arizona and he should be at worst a solid LB3 this week.

Secondary: Against the Panthers both Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes are risky plays.  The Panthers are just completing just 16.76 passes/game so for them to do much damage in the box score they will need to make the most against the Panthers rushing attack. Because I actually think the Panthers will win this game I can see a steady dose of Stewart and Goodson in the 4th quarter to help push both Wilson and Rhodes into double figure scoring on the day.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Charles Johnson

3 STAR
Jon Beason
James Anderson
2 STAR
Richard Marshall
Jordan Senn

Charles Godfrey

Sherrod Martin
Nic Harris
Captain Munnerlyn

Tyler Brayton
Derek Landri
Greg Hardy
1 STAR
Chris Gamble
Abdul Hodge
Everette Brown (IR)
Jason Williams (IR)

Panthers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

James Anderson (ankle), Jordan Senn (ankle) & Nic Harris (head) all practiced fully on Friday and all three are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Being able to ride a guy while he is on a roll is always a good thing and right now Charles Johnson is on a roll.  Since week 10 he ranks as the #1 overall DL with 70 points scored and a 14.0 PPG average.  Versus a Cardinals team that since week 9 has given up 2 or more sacks in a game to Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Chris Clemons and Fred Robbins it is easy to see the upside he has this week.  Everett Brown has been placed on IR but I wouldn't expect that to impact Johnson at all.

Linebacker: Jon Beason isn't on the injury report, at least as of Wednesday, and hopefully if healthy he can turn back into the dynamic LB that he was in past years.  Unfortunately, the Cardinals aren't the best matchup for opposing LBs.  I am not saying that Beason or James Anderson can't put up 8-10 solos this week but the odds of that happening are pretty slim. On the injury front the Panthers have placed Jason Wiliams on IR.

Secondary:  The Cardinals for the season are giving up just 41 TOs/game.  And yes, that is really, really bad but you know what is worse?  Try the 37 TOs they are giving up over their last 3 games, and sadly that include 49 TOs given up in one of the 3 games.  I would say to proceed with caution with regards to Richard Marshall, Charles Godfrey, Captain Munnerlyn and the rest of the Panthers secondary but that isn't what needs to be said. What needs to be said is, RUN, RUN AWAY from this matchup, NOW!  The risk just isn't worth the possible reward.


New Orleans at Baltimore

5 STAR
Roman Harper
4 STAR
Jonathan Vilma
3 STAR

Malcolm Jenkins
Tracy Porter

Jabari Greer
Scott Shanle

2 STAR

Will Smith
Sedrick Ellis
Remi Ayodele
Danny Clark
Darren Sharper

1 STAR
Jo-Lonn Dunbar
Jeff Charleston
Patrick Robinson
Alex Brown

Leigh Torrence
Anthony Waters

SaintsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:53
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 50

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jonathan Vilma (quadricep) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Malcolm Jenkins (rib) & Tracy Porter (shoulder) both practiced fully on Thursday and Friday but are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Remi Ayodele (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Short and to the point, leave all the Saints  DLs on your bench.  They have been far to inconsistent, Sedrick Ellis has scored in double digits in 2 of the last 4 weeks but the weeks he didn't he scored just 2 points.  Then you have Will Smith who has scored in double digits in just 1 of the last 4 weeks, Alex Brown has just 1 double digit score all year and Remi Ayodele & Tony Hargrove have no double digit scores at all this year.  And the leading scorer last week with 10 points, Jeff Charleston.  Proceed with caution is all I an say if you decide to run one of those guys out there this week.

Linebacker: Jonathan Vilma may not have 100% lived up to preseason expectations but his 25th overall ranking season to date is still solid, especially considering that he had a tough few weeks in the middle of the season.  The Ravens present a very good matchup this week and I see Vilma's 4 star ranking actually having some upside to it.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him hit 10 tackles. If it helps to make you feel any better let me point out that over the last 3 weeks Vilma is the 7th ranked LB with PPG average of 18.0.  Scott Shanle has scored just a combined 13 points the last two weeks so he is a bit of a risky 3 star play but I think there is enough upside to warrant the ranking. 

Secondary:   Roman Harper is solidly seated as a top 10 DB season to date and is about as plug and play as you get.  What you might not realize is that since posting back to back single digit scores in weeks 7 & 8 Harper has been on a tear and ranks as the #1 scoring DL over that time frame, averaging 18.60 PPG.  Malcolm Jenkins, since returning from injury has posted 3 straight double digit scores and should be in line to make it 4 in a row this week. At CB, Jabari Greer has been a pretty good play over the past month.  He has 2 double digit scores and the other 2 games were both 9 point efforts.  He may not present much upside but as a DB3 he looks appealing, especially since he looks to have a lower floor than most.



5 STAR
Dawan Landry
4 STAR
Ed Reed
Ray Lewis
3 STAR
Terrell Suggs
Haloti Ngata
Josh Wilson
2 STAR

Jarrett Johnson
Chris Carr
Kelly Gregg

1 STAR
Fabian Washington
Jameel McClain
Tavares Gooden
Cory Redding

Ravens Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 51

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: Gassed, yes gassed, I wouldn't be surprised if Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Cory Redding and the rest of the Ravens DLs were still sucking oxygen after their game with the Texans last week. Needing oxygen or not, Terrell Suggs is producing for his fantasy owners.  He is working on 5 straight double digit scoring weeks and has overtaken Trent Cole as the #2 overall DL for the season.  Drew Brees doesn't surrender many sacks but you still need to keep Suggs and Ngata in your starting lineups this week.

Linebacker:  All I can say about Ray Lewis is START HIM.  Last week he posted just 2 solo tackles but still put up 11 points because he was able to log 7 assists.  The official scorer wasn't very friendly to Lewis but those 7 assists show how much he was around the ball.  For the season he ranks 3rd among LBs in points scored and is just 1.53 PPG from being the #1 LB.  Not bad for an old guy.  Jarrett Johnson is having a nice season for the Ravens, nicer NFL wise than fantasy wise, but man was he out of gas as he tried to chase down Matt Schaub last week.

Secondary:  Ed Reed had posted 3 straight single digit scores until hanging 13 points last week. It was also just the 2nd timet his season that he posted more than 4 solo tackles.  Reed is a risky play but against the pass happy attack of the Saints I am willing to gamble on him putting up 15+ points this week. Dwan Landry is a much safer play than Reed and while he 5 star ranking might make you scratch your head it really shouldn't.  Landry has posted consecutive 18 point scores and the Saints have given up 8 or more tackles to 9 different DBs since week 6. 


Jacksonville at Indianapolis

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Daryl Smith
Kirk Morrison
Derrick Cox
2 STAR

Sean Considine
Don Carey
Russell Allen
Rashean Mathis

Justin Durant
(OUT)
Jeremy Mincey
Tyson Alualu
Terrance Knighton
Austen Lane

1 STAR
Derrick Harvey
David Jones
Courtney Greene (OUT)

JaguarsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Justin Durant (groin) & Courtney Greene (shoulder) have both been ruled OUT for this week. 

Defensive Line:  The Jaguars currently lead their division but if they want to stay there their DL is going to have to get after Peyton Manning.  I just don't see them being able to do it.  Jeremey Mincey has been a pretty solid DL since the Jaguars bye but he is still more matchup dependant than the top DLs. Over the last 5 weeks he has 2 nice double digit games, 2 games where he scored 8 & 9 points  and one disappointing 2 point effort.  I hate to say it but I see this week's matchup as one that could end in 4-5 points for Mincey.  Outside of Mincey I wouldn't even look at Austen Lane, Derrick Harvey or Tyson Alualu. 

Linebacker:  Justin Durant suffered a groin injury in last week's game and it has caused him to miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday.  Russell Allen should replace Durant in the starting lineup if the groin injury keeps Durant from playing in this big game.  The big winner if Durant can't go should be Kirk Morrison but there is still some risk that Allen could see some nickle duty.  Daryl Smith hasn't been nearly as productive as he was last year and since the bye week he has mainly been brutal.  He is a very risky 3 star play but I am banking on Durant not being able to go and Smith seeing his production increase because of it.

Secondary: Courtney Greene's shoulder injury kept him from practicing on Wednesday but he did return to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday.  Until we see what happens in Friday practice I am leaving Greene as a 1 star play.  And Greene is the pawn that effects how the rest of the Jaguars DBs will perform this week.  At present I am having a hard time ranking any of them above a 2 star play.  Not because the matchup doesn't warrant a 3 or 4 star ranking but because of the risk associated with how inconsistent they have been.  If and that is a big if, Greene can't go again this week then I would have no qualms with bumping Sean Considine up to a 3 star ranking.  Don Carey had a big week last week but his 16 points were one short of his cumulative score in the previous 4 weeks. Do you really want to plug someone like that into your lineup in for a playoff game?

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Gary Brackett
Clint Session
Dwight Freeney
Robert Mathis

3 STAR
Pat Angerer
Aaron Francisco
Antoine Bethea
2 STAR
Kavell Connor
Jacob Lacey

Tyjuan Hagler
Kelvin Hayden
1 STAR
Phillip Wheeler

Colts Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 49

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Clint Session (elbow) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Kelvin Hayden (neck) practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday but then did NOT practice on Friday and is being listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Big time players step up in big time games and the Colts have two big time DEs in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.  Mathis is easily the better fantasy player as he relies less on getting to the QB to rack up points than Freeney does but this week I think both are in line for big games.  The Colts season is basically on the line and if they can jump out to any kind of lead that allows Freeney and Mathis to pin their ears back, well let's just say that I feel bad for David Garrard.  Freeney isn't a safe 4 star play but more of the swing for the fences type play this week.  Just wanted to make sure that was understood if you plug him into your starting lineups.

Linebacker: Gary Brackett fell a bit flat last week posting just a 3-3-0 line and logging just 9 fantasy points.  This week Brackett will be a major part of trying to help contain Maurice Jones-Drew and that should help him to be at the very least a LB2/3 play.  If the Colts get out to a big early lead and MJD is taken out of the game plan then that could stifle Brackett's numbers some but early on there should be enough of Jones-Drew to help offset that scenario if it comes to fruition.  Clint Session made his way back onto the practice field on Wednesday, it was a limited participation practice but still a practice nonetheless. I have Session ranked as a 4 star play because I think he plays this week but if he doesn't then of course you drop him down but the guy I bump up would be Pat Angerer.

Secondary:  Look for Aaron Francisco to have a nice game this week, over the past 4 games the Jaguars have given up 6 or more tackles to opposing starting strong safeties.  Antoine Bethea very well could have a nice game too but I think there is a bit to much risk in starting with how inconsistent he has been this year.  However, there is one trend with regards to Bethea that should give you some hope if you decide to start him,  for the season he has never put up consecutive single point efforts.  Last week he scored 4 points.  You know what, that makes me feel good enough about bumping Bethea up to a 3 star ranking. 


Philadelphia at NY Giants

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Quintin Mikell
Jamar Chaney
3 STAR

Trent Cole
Asante Samuel
Nate Allen

Dimitri Patterson

2 STAR

Joselio Hanson
Trevard Lindley
Moise Fokou
Ernie Sims
Darryl Tapp
Juqua Parker
Derrick Burgess

1 STAR
Akeem Jordan
Omar Gaither
Kurt Coleman
Juqua Parker
Stewart Bradley (OUT)
Brandon Graham (IR)

EaglesAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Stewart Bradley (elbow) has been officially ruled OUT for this week.

Asante Samuel (knee) practiced fully on Wednesday and then was limited in practice the rest of the week.  he is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Eagles have placed rookie Brandon Graham on injured reserve.  He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in last weeks game. This is a blow for the Eagles and dynasty owners as he will be hard pressed to be 100% and ready to go for the start of next season.  As far as the fantasy side of things goes Trent Cole is still the top option on the Eagles but make no bones about it, he has cooled off of late.  For the season Cole ranks 3rd among DL in fantasy points scored but since coming back from the Eagles week 8 bye he has scored just 39 points, ranking 26th and is averaging 6.5 PPG. If you are a Cole owner you can't bench him, just keep plugging him in and realize that his upside is why you need him in your lineup.  After all if you are in the playoffs he is probably a big reason for it. 

Linebacker:  Starting MLB Stewart Bradley dislocated his elbow in last week's game and will miss at least the next few weeks. The Eagles aren't putting him on IR at this time in hopes that if they do indeed make the playoffs that he would be available to play then.  Rookie Jamar Chaney took Bradley's place in the lineup last week and will start this week for him too.  His 4 star ranking is a bit risky because we don't really know how the Eagles will rotate their LBs.  Last week, Omar Gaither was a heathy inactive so Chaney was truly thrown into the fire.

Secondary: Asante Samuel has missed the last 3 games due to injury and the Eagles are hoping to have him back for this huge game against the Giants.  Samuel practiced fully on Wednesday but then was a limited participant on Thursday.  I expect we see Samuel back in the lineup this week but check back to see what the Friday Injury Update holds.  Dimitri Patterson has been starting since Ellis Hobbs got injured and over that time he ranks 18th among DBs in fantasy points scored.  This wee Patterson should be able to hit the DB2 range and presents some upside against the Giants too.  For the season Quintin Mikell ranks as a top 12 DB and the loss of Stewart Bradley could very well give his numbers a boost.  If you own him, start him!

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Justin Tuck
Terrell Thomas
3 STAR

Osi Umenyiora
Antrel Rolle
Kenny Phillips
Barry Cofield

2 STAR

Jason Pierre-Paul
Deon Grant
Aaron Ross
Corey Webster

1 STAR
Michael Boley
Jonathan Goff
Keith Bulluck

GiantsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 45

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Justin Tuck (abdomen) was limited in practice on Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Osi Umenyiora (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Michael Boley (shoulder) missed practice on Thursday and was limited in practice on Friday.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Justin Tuck is easily one of the best DEs in the game today but even Tuck isn't immune to the occasional clunker of a game.  His 2 point effort last week surely had to hurt his owners but hopefully it didn't knock you out of the playoffs.  To show just how good Tuck is you don't have to look any farther than what he has done since week 9.  From week 9 thru week 14 he ranks as the #5 DL in scoring with 65.5 points and a  10.92 PPG average.  Now get this, in those 6 games he has twice, TWICE scored just 2 points.  You are probably saying well that isn't any good, and it isn't.  But what I see is a guy that when he does score is scoring big and with DE being as inconsistent as it is I can't see how you keep Tuck out of your lineup.  If you are an Osi Umenyiora owner I think he too is the kind of DE that you just have to plug in and hope for the best.  At worst he is going to net you 6-7 points this week and with his penchant for the strip sack he could log 6 points on just one play.  Rookie Jason Pierre-Paul was on a mini tear but I pointed out that he was a risky play because he is playing in a limited number of snaps.  I still think he is a risky play but if you need a swing for the fences type play then you plug him in and cross your fingers .

Linebacker:  The last time the Giants and Eagles faced off this year the Giants LBs combined to log just 5 solo tackles and 2 assists. Yes, Michael Boley (2-2-0), Jonathan Goff (1-0-0), Keith Bulluck (1-0-0) & Clint Sintim (1-0-0) were that bad.  Playoff lives on the line, PASS! On the injury front Michael Boley missed practice on Thursday with what is listed as a shoulder injury.

Secondary: As poor as the LBs played against the Eagles back in week 11 is about as good as the DBs played.  Terrell Thomas (9-1-0, 2 passes defended), Kenny Phillips (5-0-0, 1 pass defended), Antrel Rolle (5-0-0) and Corey Webster (5-0-0) all posted fantasy relevant numbers.  The Eagles offense is still chugging along so look for Thomas, Phillips & Rolle to put up good numbers again this week.


Cleveland at Cincinnati

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Abram Elam
TJ Ward
3 STAR

Joe Haden
Ahtyba Rubin

Kenyon Coleman

2 STAR

David Bowens
Eric Wright
Eric Barton

Sheldon Brown
Matt Roth
Chris Gocong

1 STAR

Shaun Rogers
Marcus Benard
Scott Fujita

Sabby Piscitelli

BrownsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 48

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Scott Fujita (knee) again missed pracitce all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report.

David Bowens (head) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday.  He was able to participate in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Kenyon Coleman (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday, missed practice on Thursday and returned to a limited practice on Friday. He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Sheldon Brown (shoulder) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Ahtyba Rubin rebounded from consecutive 4 point efforts with a 5-4-0 day, good for 14 fantasy points.  For much of the year Rubin has been money.  I have no issues at all ranking him as a 3 star play and think he even has some upside with the ranking too.  Even as poorly as the Bengals have run the ball this year they are at least running it, on average 27.46 times/game. So even if Cedric Benson can only average 3.1 YPC or worse you can feel safe that they Bengals will still feed him the ball enough to make Rubin a good play.  Kenyon Coleman isn't flashy but since week 10 he has easily been putting up DL1/2 type numbers.  Look for him to hit the 8-12 point range once again.

Linebacker: Matt Roth, Marcus Benard, David Bowens and Eric Barton have all recently put up double digit points but that doesn't make them safe plays.  They all have been far to inconsistent and when they are inconsistent it has been bad.  At this point in the season you just have to walk away from situations like the Browns LBs.

Secondary: TJ Ward bounced back nicely from his 9 point effort in week 13 by logging 22 points against the Bills.  Ward now ranks as the 2nd best DB and is just 5 points behind Donte Whitner for the #1 spot.  With the play in front of them at LB I see both Ward and Abram Elam having a very good games this week.  Elam scored just 9 points last week, his lowest score since the bye week but at worst I see that as his floor this week but more realistically I think you can expect him to log around 15 points this week.

5 STAR
Dhani Jones
4 STAR
Roy Williams
3 STAR
Carlos Dunlap
2 STAR
Rey Maualuga
Leon Hall
Michael Johnson
Robert Geathers
Jonathan Wade

Reggie Nelson
Jonathan Joseph
1 STAR
Keith Rivers
Jeromy Miles
Nedu Ndukwe
(IR)

BengalsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jonathan Wade (knee) missed practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report.

Jonathan Joseph (ankle) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: For the most part this year the Bengals DL have been just plain awful for fantasy purposes.  But there might be a glimmer at the end of the tunnel.  Rookie DE, Carlos Dunlap is showing promise and has actually been putting up fantasy relevant numbers the past 3 weeks. So much so that he one of just 10 DEs averaging double digit PPG (10.33).  In the past 4 weeks both Jeremy Mincey (3-0-2) & Charles Johnson (5-0-1) have had success against the Browns so I could see taking a chance on Dunlap this week.

Linebacker: If and when you talk about the Bengals LBs the only LB worth talking about is Dhani Jones.  Jones should see a steady diet of Peyton Hillis this week.  Start Jones with the utmost confidence.  Keith Rivers, now he is another story.  Actually, no he is a non-story.  Keep his butt on the scrap heap.

Secondary:  Rookie Colt McCoy has been named the starter for the rest of the season for the Browns.  The fact that the Bengals secondary won't be facing Jake Delinterception bumps them all down.  Leon Hall is a top notch NFL corner but his fantasy value has taken a hit this year.  Starting him or anyone in the secondary not named Roy Williams looks to be a risky proposition. On the injury front the Bengals but Nedu Ndukwe on injured reserve.


Houston at Tennessee

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Bernard Pollard
Brian Cushing
3 STAR
Mark Anderson
Kevin Bentley
Glover Quin
2 STAR
Jason Allen
Antonio Smith

Zach Diles

Darryl Sharpton
Eugene Wilson
Kareem Jackson
Amobi Okoye
1 STAR
Troy Nolan
Xavier Adibi
Mario Williams (IR)

TexansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2002*-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 49
*1st year in the NFL .

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Brian Cushing (knee, finger & neck) didn't practice on Thursday but practiced in a limited fashion on Friday and  is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Glover Quin (hand) practiced fully all week but is still listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Mario Williams owners can finally move on.  Williams was a far cry from the player that owners expected this year but to be fair he was fighting playing thru a sports hernia.  Well that fight is finally done.  Williams should be good to go for the start of next year.  If you are in a dynasty league I would try to see if you can get Williams cheap once your trading period resumes.  Mark Anderson will replace Williams in the starting lineup and this week I think he is a sneaky play against the statuesque Kerry Collins.  Like Pierre-Paul of the Giants, Anderson is a swing for the fences type play. 

Linebacker: Brian Cushing has really started to turn it up a notch over the past 5 games.  Since week 10 he is averaging 15.10 PPG and ranks 13th in LB scoring. This week he should be plenty active against the Chris Johnson led Titans rushing attack.  Kevin Bentley should also make for a solid 3 star play this week. Back in week 12, Bentley only managed to post a 2-2-0 line but the Titans were in the midst of some very poor play. 

Secondary:  Kenny Britt returned to the Titans lineup last week and it was clear that he breathed some life into their offense. With Britt giving the passing game a shot in the arm I think it is safe to rank Glover Quin a 3 star play in this game.  And of course Bernard Pollard should still be a plug and play safety.  Pollard had a mini slump from week 10-12 but the slump now seems to be well in the rearview mirror.  I would start him with confidence.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Stephen Tulloch
Cortland Finnegan

3 STAR

Alterraun Verner
Chris Hope
Michael Griffin
Jason  Babin

2 STAR

Jason McCourty
Jacob Ford
Jason Jones
Gerald McGrath
Will Witherspoon
William Hayes

1 STAR
Vincent Fuller
Colin Allred
Dave Ball (IR)
Tony Brown (IR)

TitansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 49

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Dave Ball (concussion, hip) has been ruled OUT for this week and the Titans have placed him on injured reserve. Jacob Ford should take his place in the starting lineup.

Defensive Line: The Texans have been a pretty good matchup for opposing DLs this year.  Jason Babin is a high motor guy that should have no problem logging 4 solos this week and I also wouldn't be surprised to see him register his 11th sack of the season.  On the injury front the Titans have put Tony Brown on injured reserve.  Dave Ball is dealing with a concussion and hip injury that has kept him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

Linebacker:  Stephen Tulloch scored 32 fantasy points last week, the most of any LB.  Tulloch now finds himself as the #2 overall scoring LB, behind only Jerod Mayo.  Over the last four games Tulloch is actually tied with Paul Posluszny as the top scoring LB with 85 points scored (21.25 PPG). Add in that the Colts have been a great matchup for the opposing teams leading LB and you see why Tulloch is once again a 5 star play this week. Will Witherspoon and Gerald McGrath have both had their shining moments this year but they have also had their struggles too.  That unfortunately makes each a risky play and I would avoid them unless I was in a very deep league.

Secondary: There was the the "Thrilla in Manilla" and the "Rumble in the Jungle", this week I wonder if we will have the "Tussle in Tennessee" this week.  Of course the precursor to the "Tussle in Tennessee" was the "Throw down in Texas" . The combatants don't really need any introductions, but just in case you weren't paying attention it was Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson that got into the bruhahah.  I really doubt we see these two come to lows again but what I do see is AJ getting fed the ball and Finnegan racking up the tackles because of it. Chris Hope and Michael Griffin aren't on the undercards for any fights but both should be solid starts with some upside this week. 


Washington at Dallas

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
London Fletcher
Rocky McIntosh
Reed Doughty
3 STAR

DeAngelo Hall

2 STAR

Kareem Moore
Brian Orakpo
HB Blades

1 STAR
Lorenzo Alexander
Phillip Daniels
Andre Carter
Carlos Rogers
LaRon Landry
(IR)

RedskinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 48

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Carlos Rogers (hamstring) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Washington plays a 3-4 defense that basically renders their DL useless in the realm of fantasy football. Oh, and the Redskins finally suspended Albert Haynesworth.

Linebacker:  Since Jason Garrett took over as interim head coach of the Cowboys they have been averaging 32 rushing attempts/game.  Prior to week 10 they were averaging just 21 rushing attempts/game.  It is now wonder that LBs have been more productive against the Cowboys since Garrett took over.  From weeks 1-9 (8 games), 12 LBs recorded 6 or more tackles in a game against the Cowboys and from weeks 10-14 (5 games), 10 LBs have recorded 6 or more tackles in a game against them.  Both London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh recorded double digit tackles against the Cowboys back in week 1 and this week each should be very strong 4 star plays.

Secondary:  Last week I wrote that there was talk that LaRon Landry could possibly end up being put on injured reserve and unfortunately for Landry owners that is exactly what happened this week.  Reed Doughty will continue to start in Landry's SS position and should be a strong play not just this week but thru the end of the season.  DeAngelo Hall, after posting 3 straight single digit scores rebounded last week to post a very nice 16 point score.  The Cowboys shouldn't have much of a problem dispensing of the Bad News Bears, I mean Washington Redskins this week so Hall could have limited opportunities to make plays but if you own him you still need to run him out because he will find a way to be productive, or so we hope. Actually, I don't hope so because I am facing him in a playoff game this week.

5 STAR

None

4 STAR
Bradie James
3 STAR
Keith Brooking
Terence Newman
Orlando Scandrick
DeMarcus Ware
2 STAR

Mike Jenkins
Sean Lee

Alan Ball

Jay Ratliff

Gerald Sensabaugh

Anthony Spencer

1 STAR

Igor Olshansky
Jason Hatcher
Stephen Bowens

CowboysAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2002-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 49

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: For the most part the Cowboys scheme renders their DL pretty useless.  Look elsewhere for DL help.

Linebacker: Last week, Ryan Torain reinvigurated the Redskins rushing attack and in turn also offered up some decent TOs for Barrett Ruud and Quincy Black.  The Redskins will most likely try to keep feeding Torain the ball and that should help Bradie James and Keith Brooking put up good weeks for their owners.  James of course has the most upside of the two but even with Sean Lee seeing situational snaps Brooking should be able to hit double digits.

Secondary:  There seems to be some indecision on who will end up starting at QB for the Redskins.  Well I am not buying it, when all is said and done it will be McNabb under center but if for some reason Mike Shanahan does lose his mind and starts Rex Grossman instead then by all means bump both Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick down to 2 star plays.


Kansas City at St. Louis

5 STAR
Derrick Johnson
4 STAR

None

3 STAR
Eric Berry
2 STAR

Brandon Flowers
Brandon Carr
Javier Arenas
Kendrick Lewis
Wallace Gilberry
Glenn Dorsey
Tamba Hali

1 STAR
Mike Vrabel
Jovan Belcher
Demorrio Williams
Corey Mays
Jon McGraw

ChiefsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: For the most part the Chiefs DL doesn't provide consistent fantasy production so look for help elsewhere.

Linebacker: Derrick Johnson owners can rejoice in knowing that the Rams have been giving up very nice games to opposing LBs.  Over the course of the season the Rams have given up 7 or more tackles to 12 different times.  I can see Johnson approaching 20+ fantasy points this weekend.  Outside of Johnson I would take a pass on Jovan Belcher, Tamba Hali and the rest of the Chiefs LBs.

Secondary: The Rams have given up some pretty good performances to opposing DBs this year.  With how rookie Eric Berry is playing I think it is safe to expect him to minimally put up 10-12 points this week but I see his upside being north of 15 points.  Outside of Berry I can't recommend starting any other Chiefs DB.  Brandon Flowers has struggled since returning from injury and by struggle I mean 9 combined points scored in his last two games. 

 


5 STAR
None
4 STAR

James Laurinaitis
Craig Dahl

3 STAR

Bradley Fletcher
Oshiomongo Atogwe

2 STAR
Chris Long
James Butler
James Hall
1 STAR
Fred Robbins
Ronald Bartell
Larry Grant

RamsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 54

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line:  The Chiefs have been a hit or miss matchup for opposing DL this year.  Chris Long from weeks 4-10 was averaging 9.25 PPG but since week 10 his production has fallen off dramatically. Over the course of those four games he is averaging just 4 PPG on efforts of 4,8, 2, & 2 points.  That is brutal for those looking for production heading into the playoffs.  Well, if you ended up making the playoffs it wasn't because of help you got from Long so why look for it now.  If you are in need of a DL2 I would recommend running with James Hall at this point in time.

Linebacker:  James Laurinaitis may not be living up to the expectations that many had for him but he really has settled in as a nice LB2 option.  This week facing what should be a heavy Chiefs rushing attack Laurinaitis makes for a very nice 4 star play.  The only thing keeping him from a 5 star ranking is his home scorer.  You know, the guy that doesn't like to award many assisted tackles. 

Secondary:  I don't see the Chiefs doing much in the passing game this week and that is if Matt Cassel or Brodie Croyle is starting at QB.  Cassel is of course capable of putting up good numbers but I see the Chiefs trying protect him considering he just had an appendectomy last week.  Craig Dahl has been putting up monster numbers and this week the matchup looks very juicy for him to keep up his strong play. 


Atlanta at Seattle

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Curtis Lofton
3 STAR

William Moore
John Abraham

2 STAR

Brent Grimes
Dunta Robinson
Kroy Biermann

Mike Peterson
Eric Coleman
Thomas Decoud
Stephen Nicholas
Sean Weatherspoon

1 STAR
Jamaal Anderson
Jonathan Babineaux

FalconsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 51

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Curtis Lofton (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and practiced fully on Friday.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Stephen Nicholas (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully the rest of the week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

John Abraham (groin) missed practice on Wednesday but practiced fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Since giving up 13 sacks combined in weeks 7 & 8 the Seahawks have done a much better job protecting the QB.  From weeks 9-14 the Seahawks are giving up just 1.33 sacks/game.  John Abraham has been the best and most consistent Falcons LB this year, ranking 20th season to date with 101 fantasy points scored and a 8.42 PPG average.  He has posted between 13-16 points in 3 of his last 4 games but in each of those games he was able to sack the QB and in two of the games he got to the QB twice.  So this is sort of a something has to give type game.  While I have him ranked as a 3 star play I do see it as a low level play.  Kroy Biermann posted his second double digit score of the season last week. Still, I would have zero confidence starting Biermann.

Linebacker: It is hard to believe that Curtis Lofton isn't a top 12 LB, he ranks 13th but still that makes him a LB2.  I told you it was hard to believe. Even as a LB2 I see Lofton as a plug and play LB.  The Seahawks have been a Jekyl and Hyde team this year but they do seem to play better at home so I am looking for Lofton to have enough TOs to put up 15-20 points this week.  Sean Weatherspoon is still being eased back in due to injury and because of that remains a stash and hold for dynasty leaguers and waiver material for everyone else.

Secondary:  Brent Grimes had an 8 game double digit scoring steak snapped last week as he posted just 6 points against the Panthers.  Considering the struggles that the Panthers passing game has had I wasn't surprised by his performance.  William Moore was able to cobble together a 10 point effort last week and now has scored in double digits in 4 games.  This week I like Moore to keep his streak going but Grimes I can see being limited based on how beat up the Seahawks WRs are.

5 STAR
David Hawthorne
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Chris Clemons
Lawyer Milloy

Aaron Curry
Earl Thomas

2 STAR

Walter Thurmond
Lofa Tatupu
Kentwan Balmer
Kelly Jennings

Jordan Babineaux
Kam Chancellor

1 STAR
Marcus Trufant
Brandon Mebane
Colin Cole

SeahawksAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 56

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Chris Clemons (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday but practiced fully the rest of the week and is lisetd as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Chris Clemons has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners this year.  He currently ranks 13th in fantasy points scored and has a 8.69 PPG average.  The thing with Clemons though is that he has been very boon or bust and basically is a matchup dependant DL.  He has scored between 10-19 points (10, 11.5, 12, 14, 14 & 19) in 6 of his games and in the other 7 games he has scored between 2-7 points (2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7).  This week against a Falcons team that doesn't give up many sacks I think he is a slightly risky play but at worst I think he hits in the 7 point range. 

Linebacker:  The Falcons will undoubtedly want to continue to lean on Michael Turner and their running game this week.  Of course if they can do that it means good thing for David Hawthorne. Since week 11, Hawthorne ranks as the 4th most productive LB and is averaging 20.75 PPG, only Stephen Tulloch, Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis have higher averages over that time frame. Quietly Aaron Curry is on a 6 game double digit scoring streak. Shhhh, don't say anymore just plug him in as a LB3 if you own him.

Secondary:  Lawyer Milloy and Earl Thomas are coming off less than stellar games but with the offense they faced that isn't surprising.  And Thomas actually has consecutive 2 point clunkers to his name but again, playing against the likes of the Niners and Panthers can do that to players.  This week Thomas should be able to bounce back to at least post DB3 numbers. If the Seahawks can keep the came closer than expected then both Milloy and Thomas very well could end up with 4 star type numbers.


NY Jets at Pittsburgh

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
David Harris
Sione Pouha
3 STAR
Bart Scott
Dwight Lowery
2 STAR
James Ihedigbo
Shaun Ellis

Mike Devito
Antonio Cromartie
Brodney Pool
Calvin Pace

Kyle Wilson
Jason Taylor
Bryan Thomas
Darrelle Revis
1 STAR

Vernon Gholston
Trevor Pryce (OUT)
Eric Smith (OUT)

JetsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 45

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Eric Smith (concussion) & Trevor Pryce (hip) have both been ruled OUT for this week.

James Ihedigbo (ankle, knee) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Friday.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Sione Pouha (finger) practiced fully all week but is still listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Darrell Revis (hamstring) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  If you had Sione Pouha in your lineup last week he more than likely helped to carry your team to a win.  His 23 points last week was more than the combined 21 points he scored in his previous 4 games, and one of those games was a 14 point effort. Considering that the Steelers have been giving up very nice games to opposing DLs, Pouha owners have to be smiling.  Shaun Ellis might have the big name but his performances have been anything but big. Leave Ellis on your bench.

Linebacker: David Harris hasn't posted many if any monster games this year but he has been very consistent.  Up until last week he had scored in double digits in each week since posting just 8 points in week 1.  This week against the Steelers I would look for Harris to have one of if not the best game of the year.  Bart Scott has put up solid LB3 or better numbers for the last 3 weeks and this week he should be able to push it to a 4th consecutive week.  With how long that Ben Roethlisberger holds the football at times Calvin Pace could be in for a good week if he can get to Big Ben.  I am not going to rank Pace above a 2 star play but he is another of those swing for the fences, all or nothing type plays.

Secondary:  First the Jets lost starting SS Jim Leonhard to a broken arm and now they have lost his replacement Eric Smith for the week due to a concussion.  Dwight Lowery is being moved to safety due to the injury.  Coach Rex Ryan expects James Ihedigbo to also help at the position but as of Thursday he had yet to practice this week which makes him a risky start. Also, on the injury front Darrell Revis is dealing with another hamstring injury.  Just something to keep an eye on is all.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
James Farrior
James Harrison
Ryan Clark
3 STAR
Lawrence Timmons
2 STAR
Bryant McFadden

LaMarr Woodley
Ike Taylor
William Gay
Ryan Mundy/Will Allen
1 STAR

Troy Polamalu
Brett Keisel

Evander Hood
Aaron Smith

SteelersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 53

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Troy Polamalu (ankle) missed practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report.  Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Polamalu isn't expected to play this week and that either Ryan Mundy or Will Allen will replace him in the starting lineup. I have bumped Ryan Clark up to a 4 star play due to this development. 

Defensive Line: The Steelers run a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL useless for fantasy purposes. 

Linebacker:  Lawrence Timmons owners have to be scratching their heads trying to figure out what has happened to the awesome production he was giving them earlier in the year.  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. It could be an injury limiting, it could be scheme generated and it could even be scheme generated due to an injury.  If it weren't for facing the Jets I would have Timmons as a 2 star play this week.  While Timmons and even James Harrison have been struggling of late, old man James Farrior has strung together 11 consecutive double digit performances and his only single digit score was a 7 point effort in week 2. 

Secondary: Troy Polamalu has turned it up a notch when it matters most for his owners.  Over the past 4 games Polamalu has put up 17,17, 16 and 16 point games, ranking 5th among DBs over that time. Polamalu's 5 star ranking has very little to do with what the Jets have been giving up to opposing DBs this year and much, MUCH more to do with the fact that this is a big game.  We all know that Polamalu tends to come up big in big games and when coupled with how well he is playing I can't see ranking him any lower.  Bryant McFadden's slump has now it 3 games and with the way the Jets passing game is struggling it very well could be 4 straight games without cracking double digits for McFadden.



Denver at Oakland

5 STAR
DJ Williams
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Mario Haggan
David Bruton
2 STAR

Wesley Woodyard
Darcel McBath
Champ Bailey
Jason Hunter
Robert Ayers
Renaldo Hill
Perrish Cox
Marcus Thomas
Kevin Vickerson

1 STAR
Brian Dawkins (OUT)
Andre' Goodman

BroncosAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 53

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Brian Dawkins (knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

David Bruton (ribs) missed practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice the rest of the week.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Darcel McBath (quadricep) practiced fully on Wednesday but then was limited the rest of the week and he is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: For the most part the Broncos DL have little to no fantasy value. 

Linebacker: DJ Williams looked to be a very risky play last week due to what was being called a bursa sack injury.  Injury or not, Williams posted 18 fantasy points and alleviated any concerns that his owners may have had going forward.  This week facing a Raiders team that likes to run the ball and basically needs to run the ball I can't see ranking Williams anything but a 5 star play.  Mario Haggan moved back to ILB to replace the injured Joe Mays but Haggan wasn't very productive as he produced just 6 fantasy points.  I think that we should see Haggan hit the 10-12 point range this week so if you are looking for a LB3 I would consider giving him a look. 

Secondary:  Brian Dawkins balky knee looks like it will keep him off the field for another week. It has already kept him from practicing on Wednesday and Thursday so it isn't much of a stretch to think he will miss this week.  David Bruton replaced Dawkins in the lineup last week and he was able put up his second consecutive 13 point score.  The matchup looks more like a 4 star than 3 star matchup but Darcel McBath looks like he could return to the lineup and if so that could eat into the snaps that Bruton has been seeing. Both Perrish Cox and Champ Bailey look to be risky plays against the Raiders passing game.

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Michael Huff
Tyvon Branch
3 STAR

Matt Shaughnessy
Richard Seymour
Lamarr Houston

2 STAR
Rolando McClain
Mike Mitchell
Quentin Groves
Kamerion Wimbley
Stanford Routt
1 STAR
Nnamdi Asomugha
Chris Johnson
John Henderson

Raiders Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 47
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 47

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Rolando McClain (foot) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. McClain has now missed two consecutive full weeks of practice.  He is a long shot to play this week. 

Tyvon Branch (shoulder) is listed on the injury report as PROBABLE but he practiced fully all week.

Defensive Line: With the Broncos giving up 3.25 sacks/game over their last 4 games I really like Matt Shaughnessy to put up solid numbers this week.  I have gone back and forth on giving him a 3 or 4 star ranking but in the end felt that a 3 star ranking was better as that leaves him some upside.  Richard Seymour and Lamarr Houston both should also be able to put up DL2 numbers at worst this week. The only thing that concerns me a bit is if Tim Tebow ends up starting over Kyle Orton. 

Linebacker: Rolando McClain missed practice all week last week due to a "foot" injury.  The "foot" injury has been reported as arthritis and also as tendinitis but evidently the team and McClain aren't exactly sure what the issue is.  Coach Cable seems to think that McClain will be able to play this week but I am not so sure that isn't just coach speak. As of this writing McClain has yet to practice this week and if he fails to practice on Friday I would be shocked if he wasn't inactive for a second consecutive week.  It is a shame as he was finally starting to produce for his owners too.

Secondary:  With or without McClain in the lineup both Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff have been solid plays this year.  This week that shouldn't change either.  Adrian Wilson had 11 solos against the Broncos last week and while I don't think that either Branch or Huff will replicate Wilson's performance, I do think we can see each with 6-8 solos this week. 


Green Bay at New England

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Charles Woodson
Tramon Williams
Desmond Bishop
3 STAR

Clay Matthews
AJ Hawk
Nick Collins

2 STAR

Charlie Peprah
Atari Bigby

Frank Zombo

1 STAR
Ryan Pickett
Cullen Jenkins (OUT)
BJ Raji
Anthony Smith

Packers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 42

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Cullen Jenkins (calf) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Frank Zombo (knee) missed practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report. 

Clay Matthews (shin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Desmond Bishop (hamstring) was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  The Packers DL play a vital role in the success of their 3-4 scheme but offers little to no fantasy value.

Linebacker: Desmond Bishop should be in line for a very nice game this week.  I am looking for him to put up between 15-20+ points against the Patriots potent offense.  Since week 10 the Patriots have given up some very nice performances to opposing LBs.  Brian Urlacher's 26 points on 9-2-1 with 3 passes defended led all LBs over that time but Pat Angerer (21 pts), Landon Johnson (16 pts), James Farrior (15 pts), & James Harrison (15 pts) all were very productive too.  Clay Matthews owners will find it hard to keep him out of the lineup but this week his upside is limited by facing the hard to sack Tom Brady. Over the past 4 weeks AJ Hawk has been up and down but his floor has been in 8/9 points so he makes for a decent LB3 play.

Secondary: With as pass happy as the Patriots offense seems you would think that DBs would be having much bigger games against  them then they are.  But then again, DBs have to stop the Patriots WRs from getting to the end zone to get credit for a tackle too.  Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams should both be the best play in the Packers secondary this week.  Nick Collins has been very up and down and isn't someone I would want to rely on.  Same goes for Charlie Peprah, especially considering that Atari Bigby is practicing fully this week.

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
None
2 STAR

Jerod Mayo
Patrick Chung
Devin McCourty

Brandon Meriweather

Rob Ninkovich
James Sanders
Jarrad Page
Tully Banta-Cain
Darius Butler
Jermaine Cunningham

1 STAR
Gary Guyton
Mike Wright
Vince Wilfork
Brandon Spikes (SUSP.)

PatriotsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  55
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 55

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Devin McCourty (rib) missed practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice the rest of the week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: The Patriots 3-4 scheme limits the fantasy value of their DL and therefore none of their DL are safe starts.

Linebacker: Jerod Mayo is  human.  I know it is hard to accept but it is what it is.  Mayo posted his lowest total since logging just 7 points way back in week 2. I know that Mayo has been a stud of stud this year but this week I won't be surprised if he puts up another clunker.  And I don't mean by his standards but a real single digit clunker.  The Packers look like they will be without Aaron Rodgers and if that is the case the Packers offense is going to be severely limited with Matt Flynn under center.  I know that this is a big playoff game for most this week and sitting Mayo is out of the question but I have to call it as I see it.  At least the one thing that Mayo does have going for him is his hometown scorer. A 3-5-0 type line wouldn't surprise me in the least this week.

Secondary:  Patrick Chung isn't producing nearly like he was early in the year so it should be much easier for owners to sit him down this week.  Basically, the reasons are the same as they are with Mayo.  The one good thing for Chung owners is that it looks like his snaps weren't limited last week.  Rookie CB Devin McCourty missed practice on Wednesday due to a rib injury.


Chicago at Minnesota

5 STAR
Julius Peppers
4 STAR
Brian Urlacher
3 STAR

Lance Briggs
Israel Idonije

2 STAR
Charles Tillman
Chris Harris
Danieal Manning
Tim Jennings
DJ Moore
1 STAR
Nick Roach
Zackary Bowman
Pisa Tinoisamoa

BearsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 44

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Charles Tillman (foot) missed practice on Thursday but was able to return to a full practice on Friday. Unless he suffers a setback he should be good to go for Monday's matchup but he still should remain a 2 star play.

Defensive Line:  Joe Webb, welcome to the NFL, oh and by the way, this is Julius Peppers.  Mr. Peppers will be your guide to the tour of the turf this weekend. Yes, rookie Joe Webb is going to be starting at QB for the Vikings.  While that should limit the Vikings offense it should still provide Julius Peppers with enough opportunities to give the rookie an official welcome to the NFL.

Linebacker: Brian Urlacher is playing out of his mind over the past three weeks.  Over those 3 games he is averaging 24.5 PPG.  If Brett Favre was under center this week I would easily have Urlacher as a 5 star play and there is still a shot that the Vikings are able to feed Adrian Peterson the ball enough to push Urlacher up to a 5 star play but with Joe Webb under center I am tempering expectations some.  Lance Briggs production of late pales in comparison to that of Urlacher's but I expect that we see him at least hit the 10-12 point range this week.

Secondary: There is no way that I am starting any of the Bears secondary against the Joe Webb led Vikings passing attack.  Of course that could lead to multiple interceptions but banking on that is a bit risky for a game during the playoffs.  Add to it that Charles Tillman missed practice on Thursday with a foot injury. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Jared Allen
Chad Greenway

3 STAR
EJ Henderson
Antoine Winfield
Madieu Williams
Asher Allen
2 STAR
Brian Robison
Ben Leber
Husain Abdullah
1 STAR
Tyrell Johnson
Jamarca Sanford
Pat Williams
Kevin Williams
Lito Sheppard
Ray Edwards
Chris Cook (IR)

VikingsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 52
2000-2009 Versus week 15 opponent: 54

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Ray Edwards (ankle) was limited in practice on both Thursday and Friday.

Defensive Line:  Jared Allen owners couldn't really ask for a much better matchup in a playoff week.  Of course Allen owners, myself included thought that the matchup against the Bears back in week 10 was just as prime, yet the Vikings only got to Jay Cutler for 1 QB sack. I wouldn't let that bother me to much as the Bears still give up a ton of sacks so plug Allen in and just cross your fingers that he has one of those legendary Jared Allen type days. Ray Edwards was a limited participant in practice on Thursday so he could possibly get back on the field this weekend.  I just don't think I could rely on him in my starting lineup with him dealing with his bad ankle.

Linebacker:  It was a Twilight Zone type weekend with many top fantasy performers lot producing like they had been. Chad Greenway is one of those players. Greenway was only able to put up 10 fantasy points, sure he still hit double digits but when you are a top 5 LB and are averaging almost 20 PPG a performance like that really stings.  The last big game put up by an opposing LB against the Bears was by Karlos Dansby in week 11 when he posted 24 fantasy points.  Also, it should be pointed out that in week 10 Greenway posted 18 points on the strength of 9 solo tackles. 

Secondary:  We all know that Jay Cutler has a penchant for throwing interceptions but did you know that over his last 4 games he has only been intercepted twice by a DB.  Antoine Winfield and Madieu Williams haven't exactly been strong consistent plays this year but this week I see each having solid 3 star value.  Look for each to post 5-6 solo tackles this week.  And of course due to the passing attack of the Bears there is plenty of upside in their rankings.


Other Features
IDP Weekly Sleepers
IDP Weekly Player Rankings
IDP Deep Sleepers
IDP Who's Hot and Who's Not
Free Agent Forecast
Under the Numbers
a d v e r t i s e m e n t
a d v e r t i s e m e n t