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 17
Steve Gallo
December 31, 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 40 56 3-4 Bill Davis Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington,
Greg Toler, Paris Lenon
ATL 55 48 4-3 Brian VanGorder Curtis Lofton, William Moore
BAL 53 46 3-4 & 4-3
Greg Mattison Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Dwan Landry
BUF 47 56 3-4 George Edwards Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, Kyle Williams
CAR 46 53 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 51 48 4-3 Mike Zimmer Dhani Jones
CLE 47 53 3-4 Rob Ryan TJ Ward, Abram Elam
DAL 53 49 3-4 Paul Pasqualoni Bradie James
DEN 48 53 3-4 Don Martindale DJ Williams, Brian Dawkins
DET 51 51 4-3 Gunther Cunningham Ndamukong Suh, DeAndre Levy
GB 51 46 3-4 Dom Capers Desmond Bishop, Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams
HOU 51 51 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 53 48 4-3 Mel Tucker Kirk Morrison, Daryl Smith, Courtney Greene
KC 54 47 3-4 Romeo Crennel Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry
MIA 52 47 3-4 Mike Nolan Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell
MIN 49 48 4-3 & Tampa 2 Leslie Frazier Jared Allen, EJ Henderson, Chad Greenway
NE 50 53 3-4 Bill Belichick &
D-Staff
Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung
NO 54 47 4-3 Gregg Williams Roman Harper, Jonathan Vilma
NYG 52 46 4-3 Perry Fewell Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas
NYJ 53 46 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, Jamar Chaney, Quintin Mikell
PIT 51 47 3-4 Dick LeBeau James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons,
Troy Polamalu (injured)
SD 53 46 3-4 Ron Rivera Kevin Burnett
SEA 46 53 4-3 Gus Bradley Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Chris Clemons,
David Hawthorne
SF 46 52 3-4 Greg Manusky Justin Smith, Patrick Willis (OUT), Takeo Spikes, Nate Clements
STL 52 48 4-3 Ken Flajole James Laurinaitis, Oshiomogho Atogwe, James Hall,
Bradley Fletcher, Chris Long, Craig Dahl
TB 48 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
 
 

Miami at New England

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Channing Crowder
Yeremiah Bell
2 STAR

Cameron Wake
Karlos Dansby (OUT)

Chris Clemons

Tim Dobbins

Vontae Davis
Sean Smith
Koa Misi
Randy Starks

1 STAR
Kendall Langford
Quentin Moses
Tyrone Culver
Reshad Jones

DolphinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 51

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Karlos Dansby (toe) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Defensive Line: The Dolphins play a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL fantasy irrelevant.  I have a gut feeling that Randy Starks could be in line for a decent game this week but not enough so that I am willing to rank him above a 2 star play.

Linebacker: Karlos Dansby owners sort of got a favor last week when he was inactive.  The favor is that they didn't have to leave him in their lineups and hope that he put up good numbers.  Dansby's toe kept him out of practice on Wednesday and at this point the best thing to do is move forward without him this week.  Channing Crowder is worth a look in deeper leagues but even he has been severely inconsistent and is hard to rely on.  If Dansby is inactive again then bump up Tim Dobbins to a 3 star play.

Secondary: Yeremiah Bell's 11 points weren't anything to get overly excited about but still worthy of being in starting lineups.  This week Bell looks to be a pretty good start.  While opposing CBs haven't had the best of luck against the Patriots, safeties have fared rather well against them. I am looking for Bell to hit the 7-8 solo mark this week.  Outside of Bell I am taking a pass on the rest of the Dolphins secondary.  Why?  Because since week 12 Vontae Davis is the only other Dolphin DB to record more than 5 solos in a game and he did that just once.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Jerod Mayo
3 STAR
Patrick Chung
Devin McCourty
2 STAR

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

1 STAR
Gary Guyton
Mike Wright
Vince Wilfork

PatriotsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  55
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 48

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) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE 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 needs just 4 points to hit 300 on the season.  With how Mayo is putting up numbers he will have those 4 points in the books before the coin flip.  The Patriots don't really have anything to play for this week so the biggest risk is that Mayo doesn't play a full game but if I owned him  he would be in my lineup this weekend.  He currently has 167 total tackles on the year and I have a sneaky feeling he at the very least ends the season with 175 before he makes his way to the bench, if that even comes to fruition.  Rob Ninkovich racked up 18 points back in week 4 when these two teams last played, just remember that en route to those 18 points he needed a sack, 2 interceptions and 2 passes defended.  He won't be so lucky this time, at best you can expect a 5-1-0 type line from Ninkovich.

Secondary:  Patrick Chung like Mayo looks to be a good play this week but he too could see a seat on the bench early for the same reasons.  And just like Mayo, if I own Chung he is still going to be in my starting lineup.  Rookie Devin McCourty is probably a bit riskier a play since he has been fighting a rib injury and the extra rest would probably serve him well.  But like Mayo and Chung, I am keeping him in my lineup this week.  At a minimum I think that they all play at least a half of football.


Tampa Bay at New Orleans

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Barrett Ruud
Geno Hayes
Ronde Barber
Sean Jones
EJ Biggers

2 STAR

Adam Hayward
Dekoda Watson

Michael Bennett
Frank Okam

1 STAR

Stylez White

Buccaneers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 48

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

Defensive Line: The Buccaneers DL has been a mess pretty much all year long, with regards to the fantasy side of things.  Last week wasn't really any different. Frank Okam scored 13 points by posting a 6-1-0 stat line.  Outside of Okam no other Bucs DL scored more than 6 points.  I know one thing, I wouldn't be the guy relying on Frank Okam in a championship week. 

Linebacker: Geno Hayes is coming off of a monster 23 point game last week.  Unfortunately, after 3 straight single digit performances coupled with his inconsistent play this year he was probably on most owners benches, like he was on mine.  The last time these two teams faced off both Hayes and Barrett Ruud were able to hit double digits.  Both recorded 5 solos and Ruud added a pass defended.  This week I think both can be looked at as relatively safer plays and Ruud is the one with some upside in his ranking.

Secondary: Ronde Barber has easily been one of the best and most consistent fantasy CBs during his career, easily a FF HOF'er but his up and down production this year has been frustrating.  Over the past month Barber is averaging just shy of 10 PPG, unfortunately in two of those games he has put up just 2 and 3 points.  The 2 point effort came this past week and after he put up 18 in week 15 you just know he was in owners lineups.  If you are in a Super Bowl this week you will probably be tempted to bench Barber, don't be.  The Saints present a very nice matchup and you can bet that old man Barber is going to step it up a notch in a must win week.  I also like EJ Biggers and Sean Jones to post nice numbers against the Saints passing attack.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Roman Harper
Jonathan Vilma
3 STAR

Jo-Lonn Dunbar

2 STAR

Malcolm Jenkins
Tracy Porter

Jabari Greer
Scott Shanle
Will Smith

Sedrick Ellis
Remi Ayodele
Danny Clark
Alex Brown
Darren Sharper

1 STAR
Jeff Charleston
Patrick Robinson
Leigh Torrence
Anthony Waters

SaintsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:53
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 49

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

Defensive Line:  When Will Smith sacked Matt Ryan on MNF, it was the 1st sack he had recorded in over a month.  And even with that sack he wasn't able to post a double digit score.  The last time he posted a score in double digits was back in week 12 against the Cowboys, which was the last time he had a sack too.  After 4 straight single digit performances and a season that Smith could only score in double digits just 3 times you just have to leave him on your bench this week.  If it makes you feel any better the Buccaneers are giving up just 1.8 sacks/game. 

Linebacker: Jonathan Vilma had a decent 12 point game against the Falcons on MNF but it was far from what his owners were hoping for.  Luckily, Vilma was able to pounce on a fumbled snap or his owners would have been looking at a single digit score.  This week Vilma should be busy as the Buccaneers will look to feed Blount the ball in an effort to keep the Saints offense off the field. Jo-Lonn Dunbar posted 11 fantasy points but if you were watching the game you saw that he was all over the field.  Dunbar is a young guy that looks like he has a fire in his belly, if you need a LB3 this weekend I would be willing to give him a look.

Secondary:   Roman Harper currently ranks 9th among all DBs in fantasy points scored.  That just adds to the sting from his 7 point performance last week.  Harper had posted a double digit score for 6 straight weeks until last weeks clunker.  I wouldn't worry much about Harper and would still plug him in my lineup this week.  The Falcons only gave up 38 TOs so the poor performance by Harper and the rest of his teammates is pretty understandable.


Carolina at Atlanta

5 STAR
Jon Beason
4 STAR

Charles Johnson
Charles Godfrey
Richard Marshall

James Anderson

3 STAR
Sherrod Martin
2 STAR
Greg Hardy
Jordan Senn
Nic Harris
Captain Munnerlyn

Tyler Brayton
Derek Landri
1 STAR
Chris Gamble (OUT)
Abdul Hodge

Panthers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Chris Gamble (ankle) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Defensive Line: Charles Johnson has quietly turned into a plug and play DL.  The Falcons are only giving up 1.47 sacks/game but in week 14 the Panthers got to Matt Ryan 3 times, Johnson was involved in 1 of those sacks.  In short, START HIM!  Rookie Greg Hardy wasn't able to follow up his 10 point week 15 effort with another double digit effort in week 16.  The rookie was only able to log just 2 solo tackles, good for 4 points.  In dynasty leagues, Hardy is a guy to keep an eye on.

Linebacker: The question early in the season was, how long can James Anderson keep up his hot play. In retrospect it looks like the answer was 5 weeks.  Thru 5 weeks leading up to the Panthers bye week in week 6, Anderson ranked as the #1 overall LB with 110.5 points scored an a 22.10 PPG average.  Of course much of that production is attributed to his 42 point effort in week 4.   But after the bye, Anderson did fall off some, over the next 10 weeks he never scored 20 or more points and had two single digit efforts.  That doesn't mean he was chump change as he still ranked 18th over that time span and had a PPG average of 13.5.  If Anderson is going to have a game like he did early in the season then this would be it.  The Falcons need a win to secure the 1st overall seed (or a Saints loss) and I see them jumping out to an early lead and then leaning on Michael Turner for much of the 2nd half.  Of course all this means that I am expecting a big game from Jon Beason too.

Secondary:  Richard Marshall has all the talent in the world and at times in his career he has shown it.  This year he got out of the gates slow and I think that has caused many fantasy owners to overlook him. Since week 4, Marshall ranks 8th among all DBs with 166 fantasy points and a 13.83 PPG average, and those numbers include his 2 point clunker from week 14.  Charles Godfrey broke out of a 2 game single digit scoring slump as he posted 11 points against the Steelers in week 16. This week I like Godfrey to be a low level DB1 or high level DB2 at worst. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
John Abraham
3 STAR

Curtis Lofton

2 STAR

Brent Grimes
William Moore

Dunta Robinson
Kroy Biermann

Mike Peterson
Eric Coleman
Thomas Decoud
Sean Weatherspoon
Stephen Nicholas

1 STAR
Jamaal Anderson
Jonathan Babineaux

FalconsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 50

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 Wednesday and Thursday but practiced in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

John Abraham (groin) missed practice on Wednesday, and practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday. He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: John Abraham has been named to the Pro Bowl and deservedly so.  Abraham has 13 sacks on the season and currently ranks 17th among all DL in fantasy points scored.  For the season, Abraham has 6 single digit scoring weeks but what is nice is that over the past 10 games he has only had 2.  Kroy Biermann continues to be a frustrating fantasy play but should still be on dynasty watch lists for next year.

Linebacker: Believe it or not but Curtis Lofton hasn't had a 20+ point day since prior to the Falcons bye back in week 8.  Still, Lofton has been pretty consistent and a weekly starter.  He just hasn't had the upside he did earlier in the season.  This week he should once again post starting numbers but his upside looks to be very limited due to facing a Carolina offense that could struggle at the blink of an eye.  Sean Weatherspoon is still being worked back from his earlier injury, he isn't a fantasy option at this point but he should be among the top 3 or so young LBs that dynasty owners are looking at for next season.

Secondary:  Brent Grimes, William Moore or even Thomas Decoud could have a decent game this week but to be honest you couldn't pay me to plug any of them into my lineup against the Panthers.  In case you were out shopping on Thursday and missed the Steelers/Panthers game, let me point out that the Panthers completed just 10, yes TEN passes.


Minnesota at Detroit

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Jared Allen
Chad Greenway

3 STAR
EJ Henderson
Antoine Winfield
2 STAR
Husain Abdullah
Asher Allen
Ray Edwards

Brian Robison
Ben Leber
1 STAR
Madieu Williams (OUT)
Tyrell Johnson
Frank Walker
Jamarca Sanford
Pat Williams
Kevin Williams
Lito Sheppard

VikingsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 52
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 52

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Madieu Williams (concussion) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Asher Allen (abdomen) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  After registering just 1 double digit score in his first 7 games this year, Allen has now recorded 6 in his last 8 games.  His 14 point effort in week 16 surely was nice for owners in either their Super Bowl or Semi-Final game.  Over the 1st half of the season Allen surely was a frustrating fantasy play but over the 2nd half his play has him in the top 5 and back to where he belongs among the DL ranks.  Start him with confidence this week. 

Linebacker:  Last week I said to look for Chad Greenway to be in the 15 point range and he ended the day with 17 points.  Unfortunately, I expected EJ Henderson to be more productive than he was, his 7 points were 5 shy of what I was expecting but much of that has to do with the fact that the Vikings defense forced the Eagles into catchup mode.  Greenway is currently tied with Ray Lewis with the 4th most fantasy points scored by a LB.  They trail Patrick Willis who is 3rd by just 6 points and with Willis out this week due to surgery on his hand one of them will be able to claim the 3rd overall spot.   To say that Greenway has had a fantastic season would be putting it mildy.

Secondary:  I just have to say it, Antoine Winfield, I LOVE YOU MAN!  Last week if you recall I wrote the following, " I know that I am starting Antoine Winfield in 2 leagues this week, one is a Super Bowl and the other is for 3rd place, I am not happy about starting him at all.  Don't follow my lead, leave Winfield and the rest of the risky Vikings secondary on the bench this week.", so the question is, did you listen to me or not?  I hope you were like me and didn't have any other viable options and were "stuck" starting Winfield.  I think that Winfield is still a risky start this week but after the way he looked on Tuesday night I think he deserves another shot in starting lineups.  Just realize this, against the Eagles, Winfield scored 35 points and over his previous 5 weeks he scored 36 points.  But hey a performance like he had during the playoffs, especially Super Bowls can make one forget a season of let downs and inconsistencies.  As for the rest of the Vikings secondary they either are suffering from concussion symptoms or butterfingers. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
DeAndre Levy
3 STAR

Ndamukong Suh
Bobby Carpenter

2 STAR
Cliff Avril
Lawrence Jackson
CC Brown
Chris Houston

Tye Hill
Nathan Vasher
Julian Peterson

Ashlee Palmer
Turk McBride

John Wendling
1 STAR
Louis Delmas
Amari Spievey
Landon Johnson (IR)

LionsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  46
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Landon Johnson (concussion) has been placed on injured reserve and has been ruled OUT for this week.  Bobby Carpenter will start for Johnson.

Chris Houston (shoulder) missed practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report. Tye Hill will most likely fill in if Houston can't play this week.

Lawrence Jackson (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  I sure hope that you got Ndamukong Suh and his 17 points in your lineup this past weekend.  Suh has done something that many early draft picks (NFL draft) don't do, live up to the hype. What Suh has done as a rookie is really nothing short of amazing.  In DT mandatory leagues he looks to be the top dog and even in DL combined leagues has shown that he is fantasy relevant.  Over the past month or so the Vikings have been a pretty good matchup for opposing DTs and I would have no problem relying on Suh as a DL 1 this week.  Cliff Avril and Turk McBride were the starting DEs last week but that didn't keep Lawrence Jackson from equaling their combined fantasy production.  For Jackson his 14 points were the 3rd consecutive week he hit double digits.  If you are in a pickle and need a DL2 then you can roll with Jackson but I think there is a bit to much risk to rank him above a 2 star play.

Linebacker: DeAndre Levy ended up with a very nice 18 point effort last week and now since week 9 he ranks as the 13th overall LB.  Levy should be able to keep up his strong play as he tries to keep the Adrian Peterson led Vikings rushing game in check.  Landon Johnson has been placed on injured reserve and Bobby Carpenter, who took his place in the lineup once he was injured last week will get the start this week.  Carpenter is a sneaky play as he surely is auditioning for a job next year, be it  with the Lions or another team. I don't know if Carpenter can hit 9 solos again but he surely won't leave anything on the field this week.

Secondary: The Lions secondary, outside of Nathan Vasher, who started at RCB, were all abysmal on the fantasy front.  Louis Delmas was inactive and outside of Vahsher's 21 points no other Lions DB recorded more than 6 points. At this point, take a pass on the entire Lions secondary.


Oakland at Kansas City

5 STAR
Tyvon Branch
4 STAR
Michael Huff
Rolando McClain
3 STAR

John Henderson
Tommy Kelly

2 STAR
Matt Shaughnessy
Lamarr Houston
Mike Mitchell
Quentin Groves
Kamerion Wimbley
Stanford Routt
1 STAR
Richard Seymour
Nnamdi Asomugha
Chris Johnson

Raiders Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 47
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Richard Seymour (hamstring) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Last week I pointed out that Matt Shaughnessy and the rest of the Raiders DL wasn't a very strong play.  I said I saw 6-7 points as the upside for Shaughnessy, he scored 4.  The only Raiders DL to hit double digits was John Henderson (21 points).  Henderson had 9 solos, 1 assist and a pass defended against the Colts.  I don't see him hitting those numbers again but the Chiefs running game should be enough to help Henderson hit double digit points again.

Linebacker: Rolando McClain was NOT on the Raiders Wednesday injury report.  Good news if he can continue to practice fully this week because he does have a prime matchup against the Chiefs.  Over their last 5 games the Chiefs are averaging 37.2 rushes/game, and that includes a 17 attempt effort versus the Chargers in week 14. Take out the week 14 game and the Chiefs are running the ball an astounding 42.25 times/game.  What isn't to like with McClain's matchup if the Chiefs stay true to form.

Secondary:  The Chiefs have given up some huge games to opposing DBs this year.  The Titans were able to have their entire starting secondary score in double digits against the Chiefs last week.  So it isn't a stretch to see both Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff posting 4 and 5 star numbers this weekend.  Branch and Huff are the only two teammates among the DB ranks to have each recorded 200+ fantasy points this year.  Branch and his 15 point effort last week allowed him to overtake Huff for 10th place, but Huff didn't fall to far as he is just 1 point back in 11th place.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Derrick Johnson
Eric Berry

3 STAR
None
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 16 opponent: 50

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: When it comes to running the football the Raiders aren't chopped liver. They are averaging over 30 rushing attempts/game the past month.  Not quite as much as the Chiefs but the Raiders have run the ball in excess of 50 times twice this year.  The Raiders are playing for pride and a non-losing record (8-8), look for them to do what they do well, run the ball.  Derrick Johnson should bounce back from his poor 8 point performance last week.  After being a top 6 LB thru 10 weeks, Johnson ranks just 25th from weeks 11-16.  With the slightly up and down nature of Johnson's season there is some risk in his 4 star ranking but I still think he is a strong LB1 play this week.

Secondary: Eric Berry is really showing why the Chiefs spent an early pick on him in the NFL draft and it is easy to see that next year Berry will be one of the first DBs taken in drafts too.  Over the past month, Berry ranks as the #3 DB with 65 fantasy points (Mikell #1, 68 points) and a 16.25 PPG average.  Both Brandon Carr (10 pts) and Brandon Flowers (14 pts) were able to record double digit points last week but their erratic performance this year leaves me enough trepidation to only rank them as 2 star plays.


Pittsburgh at Cleveland

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
James Harrison
Lawrence Timmons
James Farrior
2 STAR
Ryan Clark
LaMarr Woodley
1 STAR

Bryant McFadden
Ike Taylor
William Gay
Ryan Mundy
Brett Keisel

Evander Hood
Aaron Smith (OUT)
Troy Polamalu

SteelersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 54

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

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Aaron Smith (triceps) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Troy Polamalu (Achilles) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but was able to practice fully on Friday.  He is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

LaMarr Woodley (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced full on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Linebacker:  Last week I warned that Lawrence Timmons was a risky play against the Carolina offense.  Timmons scored just 6 points, his second single digit performance in the last 3 weeks.  This week he faces a Browns team that could be without Peyton Hillis.  If Hillis is healthy enough to play then I think that Timmons can be looked at as a 3 star play with some upside but if Hillis can't go then I think you have to bump him down to a 2 star play.  Tough to swallow for a guy that carried many a team earlier this year. James Harrison also struggled last week, posting just 8.5 points and not living up to his risky 4 star ranking. What was strange with Harrison's stat line was that he only recorded 1 solo and 4 assists, he did also add in a half a sack and a pass defended. Not all the Steelers LBs struggled,, James Farrior was able to post 17 points on the strength of 7 solos and a sack.

Secondary: Troy Polamalu will give his Achilles a test on Friday but as it stands now conventional wisdom says that Polamalu sits out again.  Ryan Mundy led the Steelers secondary with a 16 point fantasy effort last week versus the Panthers, and Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor both notched 10 point games, making the trio the only ones to score in double digits.  This week, I doubt that Mundy hits 16 points again and while all 3 very well could hit double digits again I think there is enough risk against the Browns to pass on the bunch.

5 STAR
TJ Ward
4 STAR
Ahtyba Rubin
3 STAR

Matt Roth
Joe Haden
Abram Elam
Kenyon Coleman

2 STAR

David Bowens
Eric Wright
Eric Barton

Sheldon Brown

Chris Gocong

1 STAR

Shaun Rogers
Marcus Benard
Sabby Piscitelli

BrownsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 42

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Kenyon Coleman (knee) practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday but then missed practice on Thursday.  Friday he again practiced in a limited fashion and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Ahtyba Rubin didn't quite put up the numbers that I thought he could last week but his 8 points still aren't bad for a DL.  This week against the Steelers I see Rubin having nice upside and putting up a double digit score for his owners. We all know how nice a season DT Ndamukong Suh is having but did you know that Rubin has scored just 4 fewer points than the rookie.  Next year Suh should easily be the 1st DT off the board but if you miss out on him by all means remember Rubin's name and get him at a much better value in your draft.  Kenyon Coleman had a very nice 14 point effort last week and since week 10 he ranks as the 6th best DL in fantasy points scored.  The Steelers are giving up 3.6 sacks/game over their last 5 games so both Rubin and Coleman have very good shots at getting to the QB this week too.

Linebacker: Last week the Browns LBs had a very good week.  They were led by Matt Roth and Chris Gocong who each scored 12 points, David Bowens kicked in 11 points and Eric Barton logged 10. That may not look like anything special but for the Browns LBs that is some serious production, the problem is that to hit that level of production they had to face 38 rushing attempts. This week they could end up seeing another 38 rushing attempts but I wouldn't want to bet on it.  As far as who I would gamble on if I needed a starter from the Browns LBs it would be Matt Roth. 

Secondary: TJ Ward has had pretty much a phenomenal rookie campaign for his fantasy owners but his 4 point performance last week was just plain brutal. Especially considering the number of times that the Ravens ran the ball.  Ward still ranks #2 among DBs in fantasy points scored but nothing really can quell the sting of a 4 point performance from one of your big guns in the playoffs.  If you were able to survive last week with Ward in your lineup and are still playing for your Fantasy Bowl then I say, keep him in your starting lineup!  Joe Haden is another up and coming Browns player and one that I can see being busy enough to warrant starting against the Steelers this week.  Abram Elam caught fire in weeks 7-13, where he ranked as the #1 DB over that time but in the last 3 weeks he hasn't been able to score more than 9 points and had his 2nd lowest score of the year last week with just 5 points.


Buffalo at NY Jets

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR

Donte Whitner
Paul Posluszny
Kyle Williams
Akin Ayodele

2 STAR

Leodis McKelvin
Terrence McGee

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

1 STAR
Torell Troup
Keith Ellison

BillsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  47
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 52

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Terrence McGee (head) missed practice on Wednesday but returned to a full practice on Thursday and Friday.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Kyle Williams didn't have a great game last week but his 7 points were still solid.  Williams is still holding strong as a top 5 DL but this week could be a bit challenging as far a a matchup goes.  The problem is that the Jets don't really have anything to play for and there is no telling what their game plan will look like. Sanchez might get the start but Mark Brunell should see plenty of action too.  I am rating Williams a 3 star play but realize that there is less upside and more risk depending on how the Jets decide to play this game out.

Linebacker: Paul Posluszny is about as plug and play as you can get at LB but this week just like Kyle Williams I see him having additional risk due to the uncertainty of the Jets game plan.  If the Jets were playing their starters the entire game I would have Posluszny easily ranked as as 4 or 5 star play.  I still think you need to have him in your lineups but just realize that his upside it questionable this week.  For what it is worth, Posluszny on the season is averaging 18.77 PPG or should I say just .96 PPG less than Jerod Mayo.  Believe it or not but since week 11, Akin Ayodele has been putting up LB1 numbers. Since week 11 he has scored 99 fantasy points and is averaging 16.5 PPG and has scored in double digits in 5 of those 6 weeks.  This week Ayodele should be in lineups but like Posluszny and Williams his upside very well could be limited.

Secondary:  Donte Whitner posted 22 points last week and pretty much assured that he will end the season as the #1 overall ranked DB. That is unless he puts up a goose egg this week and either TJ Ward, Terrell Thomas or Bernard Pollard can put together a game like Antoine Winfield had last week.  Whitner like Posluszny would be a 4 or 5 star play this week if the Jets were playing their starters the entire game.  At this point you rode Whitner this far, so I say, stay on your horse.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
None
2 STAR
Mike Devito
Bryan Thomas
Drew Coleman
Kyle Wilson

Vernon Gholston
1 STAR

David Harris
Sione Pouha

Bart Scott
Brodney Pool
Shaun Ellis

Calvin Pace

Antonio Cromartie
Dwight Lowery

Jason Taylor
Darrelle Revis

Eric Smith
James Ihedigbo (OUT)

JetsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 47

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Shaun Ellis (knee) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

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

Antonio Cromartie (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUSETIONABLE on the injury report.

Sione Pouha (back) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Eric Smith (concussion) was limited in practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Short and to the point, starting any Jets DL is a risky proposition this week. The Jets are locked in as the 5th or 6th seed and will be playing their 1st round playoff game on the road. Due to the likely hood that the Jets starters don't play much at all I am not ranking any above a 2 star play. 

Linebacker: It might seem like a cop-out but each and every one of the Jets LBs is a risky play this week.  The two that will probably end up playing the most snaps are Bryan Thomas and Vernon Gholston, do you really want to start either of those guys in a championship game?  Didn't think so.

Secondary:  For the Jets secondary just rinse and repeat what I wrote for their DL and LBs.  James Ihedigbo missed practice with knee and ankle issues or I would probably have him ranked as a 2 star play too.

 


Cincinnati at Baltimore

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Dhani Jones
3 STAR
Roy Williams
Jonathan Joseph

Carlos Dunlap

Reggie Nelson
2 STAR
Rey Maualuga
Leon Hall
Michael Johnson
Robert Geathers
Jonathan Wade
Keith Rivers
1 STAR
Jeromy Miles

BengalsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 49

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

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

Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday and Friday. Dunlap is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Carlos Dunlap was only able to post 6 points last week but he did record his 8th sack of the season, 7 of those sacks have come in the last straight games.  Since week 12, Dunlap actually ranks as a top 15 (tied for 13th) DL and is averaging 9.4 PPG. Prior to last week, where the Ravens gave up just 1 sack to the Browns they had given up an average of 4 sacks/game in their last 4 games.  To me that says that a player like Dunlap should be in starting lineups this week.  Dynasty owners should take notice, that is if you haven't already.

Linebacker: The Ravens still have a shot at the #2 seed, for that to happen they need to tie or beat the Bengals and have the Browns defeat the Steelers.  So I am looking for the Ravens to put together a very good game this week and that means plenty of Ray Rice and enough TOs to make Dhani Jones a strong 4 star play.  On the season Jones ranks 18th among LBs in fantasy points scored. That makes him a LB2 and when you add in that he has only had two single point games this year you can see just how solid a LB2 he has been.  This week, Jones goes out with a bang and puts up LB1 numbers.  Rey Maualuga has put up back to back 12 point games and while he would be a risky play this week with the number of top LBs that might not play more than a quarter or so he could be a sneaky play.

Secondary:  Roy Williams was limited in production last week and much of that had to do with the passing attack of the Chargers. This week look for Williams to be very active in run support and to post at least 5-6 solo tackles with an upside being in the 8-9 range.  Reggie Nelson actually led the Bengals secondary with 14 fantasy points scored last week and this week he should be able to hit double digits once again.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Terrell Suggs
Ray Lewis
3 STAR
Haloti Ngata
Dawan Landry
2 STAR

Ed Reed
Josh Wilson
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 16 opponent: 51

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

Defensive Line: It might be hard to believe but the Bengals have given up ZERO sacks over their past two games.  Prior to those two games from weeks 9-14 they gave up an average of 3 sacks/game. So does that mean that Terrell Suggs is a good play or a bad play?  I look at it this way, the Bengals have shown that they can give up sacks in bunches, this is a big game for the Ravens, Suggs is an elite DL,  I say it is a good play for Suggs owners. The Bengals might not be winning many games but they have been running the ball this year, successful or not, they still run the ball.  Look for Haloti Ngata to be a solid play this week too.  He and Cedric Benson could look like roommates by the end of the game with as much time as they might end up spending together.

Linebacker:  Ray Lewis scored just 7 points against the Browns last week, his lowest output of the season.  Lewis had basically been money all year long so that is a tough spot to have a stud like him put up a clunker. Look for Lewis to bounce back this week.  Over the last 3 years, Lewis has scored in single digits just 8 times, 3 times in 2008, 2 times in 2009 & 3 times this season, none were back to back.  This year he has followed up his single digit performances with games of 19 and 28 points. Don't over think it, leave Lewis in your starting lineup.

Secondary:  The number 13 might be unlucky for some but for Ed Reed it is just the number of points he has scored in 3 straight games. As everyone knows, Reed has a nose for the ball and if you are looking for big time numbers then get him into your lineup this week.  In a big game like this it just seems like Reed is destined to take a pick to the house.   Dwan Landry continues to be one of my favorite DBs that just stays under the radar and just keeps producing and producing.  Currently, Landry ranks 14th among DBs for the season but over the last month of the season he ranks in the top 10 and has a 15.0 PPG average.  I have him ranked as a 3 star play but I do think there is a bit of upside in that ranking.  It just depends on how much the Baltimore defense can dominate the Bengals.


Jacksonville at Houston

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Daryl Smith
3 STAR
Kirk Morrison
Courtney Greene
2 STAR

Jeremy Mincey
Don Carey
Russell Allen
Rashean Mathis

Tyson Alualu
Terrance Knighton
Austen Lane

S. Considine
Larry Hart
Derrick Cox

1 STAR
Justin Durant (OUT)
Derrick Harvey
David Jones

JaguarsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 47

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Justin Durant (groin) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Courtney Greene (shoulder) practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday but then missed practice on Thursday .  Friday he returned to practice in a limited fashion and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  The Jaguars DL has been a pretty big disappointment for fantasy purposes this year.  Jeremy Mincey has shown some nice flashes with his increased workload but he hasn't been consistent enough to rely on as a weekly starter.  Against the Redskins in week 16 he and Larry Hart led the DL with each scoring just 7 points.  Rookie Austen Lane got his 8th consecutive start and while he only scored 5 points he has the look of a viable future fantasy DL.  His 2 solos and 1 assist don't show just how often he was right there when tackles were being made, the kid looks like he has a motor and that is a good thing.

Linebacker:  Justin Durant's groin kept him out for a second consecutive game and after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday it looks like he is going to miss the season finale too.  In the past two games with Durant on the bench, Daryl Smith has put up games of 32 and 19 points.  This week against the Texans strong running game, Smith should once again be a very strong play.  Kirk Morrison has seen extended snaps each of the past two weeks but he hasn't exactly lit of the scoreboard with them.  Two weeks ago he at least posted a double digit 11 point game but last week in 60 snaps all he could muster was 6 fantasy points.  Russell Allen who played in 24 less snaps than Morrison logged 14 points. Morrison has frustrated owners all year long and even now when he is seeing additional duties in nickle coverage he isn't producing like he should.  I think he hits 10-11 points this week and that is why I have him as a 3 star play but I would completely understand an owner leaving him on the bench for a better or higher upside play this week. 

Secondary: Courtney Greene got back on the field last week and while he only managed to post 9 fantasy points he did look pretty good. One thing is for sure is that Greene can hit like a hammer.  His shoulder is still hampering him some as he was limited in practice because of it on Wednesday and then he wasn't able to practice all all on Thursday.  You will have to keep a close eye on the inactive report if you plan on starting him but if he is good to go I think he is a solid start with upside this week.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Bernard Pollard
Brian Cushing

Mark Anderson
Antonio Smith
2 STAR
Kevin Bentley
Glover Quin

Jason Allen
Zach Diles

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

TexansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2002*-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 52
*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, foot) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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

Defensive Line: Trent Edwards has played in 3 games this year (2 with the Bills) an he has been sacked 9 times in those 3 games.  Edwards is being forced into a must win game for the Jaguars because David Garrard had to have surgery on his middle finger.  Am I the only one that thinks that Edwards is going to be a bit of a "deer in headlights" this week?  If Garrard was starting then I wouldn't have Mark Anderson or Antonio Smith ranked higher than a 2 star play but against Edwards I think they are both worth the risk.

Linebacker: Brian Cushing has scored just 5 and 7 points in his last two weeks and with the Jaguars most likely not having Maurice Jones-Drew for this contest he presents a bit of risk as a 3 star play.  But when it comes down to it I just can't see Cushing putting up another clunker.  I can actually see him getting to the QB and making a big play this weekend. On the injury front the Texans put rookie Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve.

Secondary:  Trent Edwards could be the best thing to happen to the Texans secondary.  Surely, Edwards won't scare anyone and Bernard Pollard should be able to spend plenty of time in the box trying to keep the Jaguars rushing attack in check.  If you are a Pollard owner you also might be interested in the fact that the Elias Sports Bureau has adjusted the official scoring and credited Pollard with an additional tackle and a forced fumble against the Broncos last week.  A list of all scoring changes by week can be found in this thread in our IDP Forum.  Outside of Pollard I have a hard time ranking any of the other Houston DBs above a 2 star ranking with Trent Edwards under center for the Jaguars.


Dallas at Philadelphia

5 STAR

None

4 STAR
None
3 STAR
DeMarcus Ware
2 STAR

Bradie James
Terence Newman

Mike Jenkins

Sean Lee

Keith Brooking
Orlando Scandrick

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 16 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Bradie James (knee) missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice fully on Thursday. He then missed practice on Friday but the reason is listed as not injury related.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Keith Brooking (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday but participated fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Sean Lee (shoulder) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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

Linebacker: The Eagles have already said that they will not be starting Michael Vick this week and that Kevin Kolb will start in his place.  Vick won't be the only starter that doesn't play as the Eagles will look to get some of their key starters some additional rest this week.  Even Kolb could only see a quarter or so of action and give way to rookie Mike Kafka.  What that all amounts to is a very risky game to rely on any of the Cowboys LBs. About the only one I would be willing to gamble on would be DeMarcus Ware as he should be able to get to the QB  on at least one occasion and if Kafka sees more than two quarters of work, I could see Ware getting multiple sacks.

Secondary:  Yes the Eagles have one of the most potent offenses, especially vertical offenses in the league but with a gaggle of starters being rested or playing minimal snaps it is best to avoid the Cowboys secondary this week.

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Trent Cole
Jamar Chaney
Jamar Adams

2 STAR

Dimitri Patterson
Quintin Mikell
Kurt Coleman

Joselio Hanson

Trevard Lindley
Moise Fokou
Ernie Sims
Darryl Tapp
Juqua Parker

1 STAR
Asante Samuel
Akeem Jordan
Omar Gaither
Stewart Bradley (OUT)

EaglesAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 49

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Stewart Bradley has been ruled OUT for this week.

Asante Samuel (knee) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Cowboys won't be resting their offensive players but it does look like Stephen McGee could be their starting QB this week.  Trent Cole probably won't play much this week but I am willing to roll the dice on a 3 star ranking with him that he can do some damage in a little over a quarters worth of play against a Stephen McGee led offense.

Linebacker:  Jamar Chaney has been huge for fantasy owners since he took over for the injured Stewart Bradley. Bradley is expected back for the playoffs so I am willing to give Chaney a 3 star ranking as he should play most if not the entire game this week.  At a minimum the more snaps the rookie gets the more it will help him.  But outside of Chaney I wouldn't be starting Moise Fokou or Ernie Sims even if there wasn't a risk of them not playing the entire game. I wouldn't be surprised to see Akeem Jordan or Omar Gaither get a fair amount of playing time this week but I sure don't have the guts to plug them into starting lineups.

Secondary: When you couple the risk of starters being rested along with Stephen McGee starting at QB you can see why none of the Eagles DBs are ranked above a 2 star play.  Asante Samuel didn't practice on Thursday with what is being listed as a knee injury but he also got his bell rung pretty good when he led with his helmet on a hit to Vikings WR Sydney Rice.  I don't think there is a chance at all that the Eagles play Samuel this week. The Eagles also signed safety Jamar Adams off the practice squad to their active roster. If the starters sit as much as I think they will then Adams might just lead the secondary in tackles.  Realize that he is a VERY risky 3 star play. 


NY Giants at Washington

5 STAR
Justin Tuck
4 STAR
Terrell Thomas
3 STAR

Osi Umenyiora
Antrel Rolle
Kenny Phillips
Jason Pierre-Paul
Michael Boley
Deon Grant

2 STAR

Jonathan Goff
Barry Cofield
Corey Webster

1 STAR
Aaron Ross
Keith Bulluck

GiantsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 47

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Justin Tuck (chest) missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and practiced fully on Friday.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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

Antrel Rolle (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday and returned to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and practiced fully on Friday. He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Giants are team that actually has something to play for this weekend. First and foremost they need a win and then they need some help from the Chicago Bears. With how bad the Giants have looked the past 5 quarters (they did look good for 3 1/2 quarters against the Eagles) facing a Redskins team that they have had their way with over past 5 years,  en route to 8 wins in 9 games over that time and four straight wins in DC seems to be just what the doctor ordered. In their week 13 matchup, Justin Tuck (15 pts), Osi Umenyiora (10 pts) & rookie Jason Pierre-Paul (16 pts) combined for 7 solos, 2 assists, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and a pass defended.  Last week the Redskins only gave up 1 sack against a less than stellar Jaguars pass rush.  It was the 1st time since week 4 that they hadn't given up multiple sacks in a game.  From weeks 8-15 the Redskins were actually giving up 3.9 sacks/game.  Yeah, if I am a Tuck, Umenyiora or Pierre-Paul owner I am smiling as I put them in my starting lineup this week.

Linebacker:  Back in their week 13 matchup, Michael Boley posted a 4-2-0 line and that was with the Redskins running the ball just 14 times with RBs James Davis and Keiland Williams.  With Ryan Torain back carry the ball for the Redskins there is a good chance  that Boley could be in line for a decent game this week.  Still understand that due to the many different looks the Giants run that Boley presents plenty of risk as a 3 star play and if you have a safer option I would probably lean that way.  Jonathan Goff hasn't really done much this year but is a guy that I think dynasty league owners should keep a close eye on. 

Secondary: Terrell Thomas isn't the only Giant that has been performing well for fantasy owners but he has been the most consistent and has had enough big games that he is the only one to rank in the top 10 (4th with 218 points). In week 13, Thomas recorded just 5 solos but added a forced fumble, interception and pass defended to push his point total to 17.  But those 17 points didn't even lead the secondary, it was Deon Grant and his 21 points off of 8 solos, 1 forced fumble and 2 passes defended to lead the secondary in scoring that week.  Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster each recorded 12 points with Kenny Phillips logging 10.  In last weeks game it seemed evident that the Redskins were hell bent on seeing what they  have in Rex Grossman, and I see no reason for them to change that this week.

5 STAR
London Fletcher
4 STAR
Rocky McIntosh
Reed Doughty
3 STAR

None

2 STAR

DeAngelo Hall
Brian Orakpo

HB Blades

Carlos Rogers
Macho Harris

1 STAR
Lorenzo Alexander
Phillip Daniels
Andre Carter
Reggie Jones
Kareem Moore (IR)

RedskinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 46

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Kareem Moore has been ruled OUT for this week after being placed on injured reserve.

Reed Doughty (head) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

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

Macho Harris (hip) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Carlos Rogers (calf) didn't 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. 

Linebacker:  In their week 13 matchup the Giants ran the ball 36 times but surprisingly London Fletcher (4-0-0, 1 INT & 2 passes defended) & Rocky McIntosh (3-2-0, 1 pass defended) weren't able to rack up many tackles.  That makes them a bit of a risk with a 5 and 4 star ranking this week but with the Giants being thin at WR I see them really leaning on their running game.  If i own either Fletcher or McIntosh I am starting them with confidence this week.  Brian Orakpo missed last week due to a groin injury.  So far this week he has been limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.  Check back for the Friday injury update and keep an eye on the inactive report if you plan on starting Orakpo this week.

Secondary:  Reed Doughty missed last week due a concussion that he suffered back in week 15.  This week he is practicing fully and is expected to start.  I see Doughty as a very strong play this week.  DeAngelo Hall might rank 8th on the season among DBs in fantasy points scored but much of that production came prior to the Redskins bye in week 9, since week 10, Hall ranks just 87th with 57 points scored an a 8.14 PPG average.  I was very close to ranking Hall a 3 star play just based off of how poorly Eli Manning has protected the ball at times this year but then decided that Coach Coughlin has been in Manning's ear enough this week that he won't be taking chances like he has earlier this year.  On the injury front the Redskins have placed safety Kareem Moore on season ending injured reserve.  Moore was replaced on the active roster by practice squad CB, Reggie Jones.


San Diego at Denver

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Kevin Burnett
Brandon Siler

Steve Gregory
Eric Weddle

2 STAR
Shaun Phillips
Antonio Garay
Antoine Cason
Quentin Jammer
1 STAR

Paul Oliver
Luis Castillo
Darrell Stuckey
Stephen Cooper (IR)

ChargersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 47

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Stephen Cooper (knee) has been put on season ending injured reserve.

Brandon Siler (ribs) was limited in practice on Wednesday but returned to practice fully on Thursday and Friday.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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 6 straight games. The "Garay watch" wasn't because I had an axe to grind or anything like that but to point out why there are times that you shouldn't chase production.

Linebacker: Last week, Kevin Burnett and Brandon Siler combined for 10 total tackles.  What is most odd about that is that each player only had 1 solo tackle and the other 8 were assisted tackles.  Odd to say the least.  Burnett had been pretty solid for much of the season but in his last 6 games his production has been very inconsistent, he has 3 games with single digit scores (8, 1 & 5 pts) and 3 games with double digit scores (14, 29 & 19 pts).  Considering that the Broncos haven't been the best matchup for opposing LBs I couldn't rank him any higher than a 3 star play and that even comes with a bit of risk.  Same goes for Brandon Siler who should be in the starting lineup for Stephen Cooper again.  Cooper's knee has kept him from practicing on Wednesday and Thursday and he isn't expected to play this week.

Secondary: Eric Weddle had a huge 16 tackle (11 solo) game last week.  Like most of the other Chargers, Weddle too has been inconsistent over his past 6 games.  He has huge blow up games of 28 and 19 points but there are also two games where he scored just 6 points. The Broncos have been a bit of a mixed bag for opposing DBs but if you are a Weddle owner I think you have to find a place for him in your lineup this week.  Steve Gregory was able to collect 6 tackles but like Burnett and Siler his solos were limited and he ended with a 3-3-0 line. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
DJ Williams
Wesley Woodyard
Brian Dawkins
Renaldo Hill
Perrish Cox
2 STAR

Mario Haggan
David Bruton
Darcel McBath

Robert Ayers
Kevin Vickerson

1 STAR
Marcus Thomas
Andre' Goodman

Jason Hunter
Champ Bailey

BroncosAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 52

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Champ Bailey (ankle) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Brian Dawkins (knee) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Mario Haggan (quadricep) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

David Bruton (ribs) & Darcel McBath (quadricep) were both limited in practice all week and each is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

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

Linebacker: Tough week for DJ Williams owners last week as he only recorded 8 fantasy points on 4 solo tackles.  Surprisingly is was Wesley Woodyard that led the Broncos LBs with 17 points on a 8-1-0 line.  The Broncos tweaked their starting lineup and moved Woodyard inside as the LILB and moved Mario Haggan out to LOLB, Robert Ayers to ROLB and Jason Hunter to the bench.  Woodyard has put up solid numbers in the past when given the chance to start so if you are looking for a sneaky play he is a solid option, especially considering that the LILB has been productive for the Broncos for much of the season.

Secondary:  Brian Dawkins finally got back on the field and he was productive in his return too.  His 18 fantasy points actually tied his season high in points scored and his 8 solos were the most he had in any game this year.  Dawkins isn't getting any younger and this very well could be his last game in the NFL, if you own him, start him.  Champ Bailey injured his ankle in last week's game and isn't expected to play this week. 


Arizona at San Francisco

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Darnell Dockett
Calais Campbell
2 STAR
Paris Lenon
Daryl Washington

Greg Toler

Adrian Wilson
Kerry Rhodes
O'Brien Schofield

Mike Adams
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Clark Haggans
1 STAR
Alan Branch
Gerald Hayes
Joey Porter

Cardinals Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 53

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Joey Porter (tricep) missed practice all week and is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report.

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

Defensive Line: With the firing of Mike Singletary there is no telling what that means for the Niners offense.  They don't have Frank Gore to lean, they don't have a QB that is reliable and their interim HC is probably about as interim as you can get.  I don't see much upside with Darnell Dockett or Calais Campbell but they are honestly the best plays against the Niners this weekend.

Linebacker: I like Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon but think that they are each very risky plays this week. The Niners look about as lost a team can look and i have zero faith in them being able to pull up their bootstraps and put together a solid game a week after their coach was fired.

Secondary: For the last month the Niners have been a pretty bad matchup for opposing DBs.  Add in the coaching change and you can see why I am ranking Greg Toler, Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson as 2 star plays.  Sure they all are going to be hard to sit this week but I just see this as a powder keg that could blow up on owners that try to star them this week.  I would completely understand if you went against the grain with me on this one but I have to call it as I see it.  At the very least you all know that I have been wrong before and can hang your hat on that if you need too.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR
Takeo Spikes
Navorro Bowman
2 STAR
Justin Smith
Nate Clements
Dashon Goldson

Taylor Mays
Reggie Smith
Shawntae Spencer
Manny Lawson
Tarell Brown
1 STAR
Parys Haralson
Travis Laboy
Patrick Willis (OUT)

49ersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Patrick Willis (hand) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Takeo Spikes (hand) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but returned to practice fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE On the injury report.

Justin Smith (illness) missed practice on Thursday but returned to a full practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Last week I said that I thought that Justin Smith was a solid start at the very least as a DL2 and he did wind up logging 12 fantasy points, the first time he hit double digits since week 10.  This week, Smith could see limited opportunities and on top of that the Cardinals have only given up 4 sacks in their last 3 games.

Linebacker:  The big news this week is that Patrick Willis will miss the first game of his NFL career.  Willis had been wearing a cast on his broken hand and this week he had surgery on that hand.  Rookie Navorro Bowman will start in place of Willis.  Bowman is a bit of a risky 3 star play considering that the Cardinals don't exactly have the best offense in the world but with so many top LBs sitting this week I think Bowman is worth a look as a LB3 with some upside.  Takeo Spikes had been on one heck of a run but he left his owners flat as flat can be in the playoffs last week as he posted just 3 solos with a pass defended.  With Willis out of the lineup I feel safe expecting to see Spikes bounce back this week.

Secondary: Start any of the Niners secondary at your own risk.  Over the Cardinals last 5 games they are completing on average just 14 passes/game, with a low of 11 completions and a high of just 17.  On top of that they are averaging just 20.4 rushing attempts/game too and in 3 of those games they have rushed the ball 19 or fewer times.  Like I said, start Nate Clements, Dashon Goldson or any other Niners DB at your own risk.



Chicago at Green Bay

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

None

2 STAR
Brian Urlacher
Julius Peppers
Lance Briggs
Israel Idonije
Charles Tillman

Chris Harris
Danieal Manning
Tim Jennings
DJ Moore
Anthony Adams
Henry Melton
Corey Wootton
1 STAR
Nick Roach
Zackary Bowman
Pisa Tinoisamoa

BearsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 47

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

Defensive Line:  The Bears have absolutely nothing to gain this week as they have a bye and the #2 seed locked up. Lovie Smith can say he wants to keep the Packers out of the playoffs all he wants.  And I should say that I believe him, what I don't believe is that he will use his starters much if at all to try and keep them out. That makes Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije and the rest of the DL starters all very risky plays this week.  Also, let me take this moment to point to this as a reason to have championship games played in week 16 and not week 17.

Linebacker: Brian Urlacher served his owners well this year, unfortunately it doesn't look like he will have the chance to do it for a full season for them.  Like Peppers and the DL, Urlacher, Lance Briggs and the rest of the LBs are all risky plays this week.  Do yourself a favor and don't be tempted into starting them because Smith throws some coach-speak out.

Secondary: Different unit, same team, same conclusion, bench your Bears DBs this week. By the way in case you missed it earlier, use this as a learning experience and start holding your championships in week 17 instead of the volatile week 17.  That is until the NFL expands the season to 18 games.

 

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Clay Matthews
Desmond Bishop

2 STAR

Charles Woodson
Nick Collins
Charlie Peprah
AJ Hawk
Tramon Williams

1 STAR
Ryan Pickett
Anthony Smith
BJ Raji
Cullen Jenkins (OUT)
Frank Zombo (OUT)
Atari Bigby (OUT)

Packers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 51

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Atari Bigby (groin) has been ruled OUT for this week.

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

Frank Zombo (knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Nick Collins (ribs) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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

Charles Woodson (toe) was a full participant in practice on Wednesday but then was limited in practice on Thursday but returned to practice fully on Friday.  He 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: If the Bears weren't going to be sitting their starters I would more than likely have both Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop as 4 star plays this week.  Matthews might not get a chance to sack Jay Cutler but Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie are a different story.  I doubt we see much of Matt Forte but Chester Taylor is at least a decent enough runner that Bishop should be able to cobble together a 10-12 point game this week. I can't lie and say that I was still pretty close to ranking both Matthews and Bishop as 2 star plays too.  I just see this game as being all offense all the time for the Packers.

Secondary: If you are in a big play league that rewards big points for interceptions you might want to consider giving Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams or Nick Collins a look but I think the Bears offense will be lucky to have the ball for 25 minutes in this game.  Do yourself a favor and just treat the entire Packers secondary like they are OUT like Atari Bigby is for this week.


Tennessee at Indianapolis

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Chris Hope
Alterraun Verner
Stephen Tulloch

3 STAR

Cortland Finnegan
Michael Griffin

2 STAR

Jason  Babin
Jason Jones

Jason McCourty
Jacob Ford
Gerald McGrath
Will Witherspoon
William Hayes

1 STAR
Vincent Fuller
Colin Allred

TitansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jason Babin (shoulder) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

William Hayes (concussion) missed practice on Wednesday but practiced fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Michael Griffin (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, practiced fully on Thursday but then was a limited participant in Friday's practice.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Jason Babin has been a solid starter for much of the year for his owners but this week against Peyton Manning he is a bit of a risky start. In their earlier matchup this year Babin was able to get to Manning for a sack but on the day he only posted 7 fantasy points, this week I see that as his upside.  I know finding solid consistent DLs isn't the easiest thing to do but this week is just not a good matchup for Babin or any other Titans DL.

Linebacker:  Stephen Tulloch had decent 7-2-0 the last time the Titans faced the Colts.  I call that a decent line because for Tulloch that actually accounted for just 16 points which is less than his weekly average.  The Colts did run the ball 32 times that day but having Joseph Addai back in the lineup could add a few more points to the mix for Tulloch to grab hold of. The short answer is, keep Tulloch in your starting lineup.

Secondary: The Titans secondary should all be in for a very good game this week.  Alterraun Verner posted a whopping 22 points back in their week 14 tilt. Cortland Finnegan was the next high scorer in the secondary that week with 16 points but even Chris Hope and Jason McCourty each scored 11 points to give the Titans 4 players in double digits against the Colts.  Surprisingly, Michael Griffin only scored 9 points.  This week I think it is safest to run out the 4 that have been the best scorers all year long, which is why I have Griffin as a 3 star play and McCourty as the 2 star play. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Gary Brackett
Robert Mathis

3 STAR
Clint Session
2 STAR
Antoine Bethea
Aaron Francisco

Pat Angerer
Jacob Lacey

Kelvin Hayden
Dwight Freeney
1 STAR
Kavell Connor
Tyjuan Hagler

Phillip Wheeler

Colts Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 51

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Clint Session (elbow) practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday but only practiced in a limited fashion on Friday, he is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Kelvin Hayden (neck) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The last time these two teams met in week 14 the Titans didn't surrender a single sack the entire game. That marked the 3rd time all year that they held an opponent without a sack.  But in the Titans last two games they have given up 3 sacks in each game.  This week the game is being held in Lucas Oil Stadium and the crowd noise along with how big of a game this is has me liking Robert Mathis as a 4 star play.  I know he only recorded 2 solo tackles in the last game but I look for him to have one of his studly type games this week.  Dwight Freeney could be in line for a very big game too but there is to much risk to rely on him because without getting to the QB he is almost going to be worthless as a starter.

Linebacker: Gary Brackett didn't have a great game in week 14 but I see his 9 points as being a floor for him this week.  He has recorded at least 6 total tackles every week since returning from his injury and this week I think we see him in the 6-7 solo range.  Last week I thought we had a chance to see Clint Session return to the football field but that didn't come to fruition last week but this week it looks like it should.  Session has participated fully in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.  If he is able to return to the starting lineup he should have a negative impact on Pat Angerer's stats.  Also, Kavell Connor and Tyjuan Hagler would see much less playing time.

Secondary:  The Titans haven't been the best matchup for opposing DBs of late and when you add in that the Colts DBs have been somewhat inconsistent of late it is easy to see that there is risk in starting Antoine Bethea or Aaron Francisco.  Actually in the last meeting between these two teams it was Jacob Lacey that led the secondary with 15 fantasy points scored. The problem with relying on Lacey is that he has been very inconsistent, over his last 8 games he has 4 single digit performances and 15 points against the Titans are the most he scored.  Aaron Francisco also hit double digits in the last meeting as he logged 11 points but with 2 single digit scores in his last 3 games has me steering clear of Francisco. Antoine Bethea has been the most consistent Colt DB over the past 8 weeks but his worst performance was a 4 point game against the Titans. 


St. Louis at Seattle

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

James Laurinaitis
Craig Dahl

James Hall

3 STAR

Oshiomongo Atogwe
Chris Long

2 STAR
Bradley Fletcher
1 STAR
James Butler
Fred Robbins
Ronald Bartell
Larry Grant

RamsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 51

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

Defensive Line:  Chris Long, after 5 straight weeks of single digit scores was finally able to post a double digit score as he logged 10 points last week against the Niners.  However, it was the old man, James Hall that led the way with a huge 24 point effort.  Hall now has 10.5 sacks on the year and is just 1 sack shy of tying his career high of 11.5 that he recorded back in 2004.  I have a very distinct feeling that Hall gets to 12 sacks this weekend. 

Linebacker:  The Rams have had a very good season but I just don't know if I can see them pulling off a win in Seattle.  I know that Seattle is starting Charlie Whitehurst but I don't think that will matter.  Actually, the reason that I have James Laurinaitis as a 4 star play is because I think that we see the Seahawks really lean on Marshawn Lynch and their running game this week.  Laurinaitis may not have put up top 5-10 numbers but his 14+ PPG average coupled with the fact that he has just 2 single digit scoring games all year has made him a very solid LB1/2.

Secondary: Craig Dahl posted his lowest score, 7 points, since the Rams came off their week 9 bye. I am sure that stung many owners that had been riding his hot streak.  I had him in my championship lineup so I felt the burn but luckily Antoine Winfield was also in that lineup to bail me out. Now back to Dahl, what many might not realize is that from week 10-15 no DB scored more points, (106) or averaged more PPG (17.67) than Dahl did.  This week I have no reservations at all about seeing Dahl in starting lineups.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Chris Clemons
3 STAR

David Hawthorne
Aaron Curry
Marcus Trufant
Lofa Tatupu

2 STAR

Lawyer Milloy
Walter Thurmond
Colin Cole
Kelly Jennings

Jordan Babineaux
Earl Thomas
Kam Chancellor

1 STAR
Brandon Mebane
Kentwan Balmer

SeahawksAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 16 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Lofa Tatupu (knee) missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Chris Clemons has been a solid matchup play DL for much of this season and this week looks like a good matchup to get get him back in the lineup with.  In case you have a short memory the last time these two teams met, Clemons posted a 4-0-2 line and remember that was in St. Louis , this week he will have the 12th man in his corner.  I like Clemons a lot this week.

Linebacker:  The Rams have had a very nice season, win or lose this weekend.  But if they want to win I think they are really going to need to be able to lean on their running game.  I think the game stays close enough that the Rams won't have to abandon the run so David Hawthorne should be a decent 3 star play.  Lofa Tatupu is coming off of his best game of the season and it also gives him 2 consecutive double digit efforts.  I think Tatupu is still a bit of a risky play considering his inconsistent play over the 2nd half of the season so proceed with a bit of caution if you do indeed start him.  Up until last week, Aaron Curry had posted a double digit score in each of his last 6 games but his 7 points effort put an end to that streak. Surprisingly, Curry ranks as a solid LB2 since week 10 and his PPG average, including last week's 7 points is a respectable 13.21. 

Secondary:  The Rams have been a mixed bag when it comes to giving up production to opposing DBs and when coupled with how inconsistent the Seahawks DBs have been it makes for a pretty poor matchup this week.  Marcus Trufant looks to be the safest play of the bunch this week. As much as I like rookie Earl Thomas as a player he has been far to inconsistent with his production to rank him any higher than a 2 star play.  In his last 6 games, Thomas has 3 single digit and 3 double digit performances but to magnify the bad games, two were 2 point efforts.  His high score over that time is 19 points so if you feel like gambling and are in need of a big game then plug him into your lineup but I think the wise move is to look for help elsewhere.


 
 
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