This is part 3 in the weekly IDP Game Breakdown series. The final part of this weekly series is a narrative that will explain what to expect in the upcoming game for each team's DL's, LB's and DB's. It also acts as a supplement to the star rankings (Part 2 of the weekly series) so that owners can see the reasoning and thought process that generated those star rankings. Also, Part 1 of this series is used as a major resource in writing the narrative for each positional breakdown. In addition, each teams breakdown will be preceded by that team's average tackle opportunities given up for the past three years.
Team Tackles Allowed | Player Star Ratings | Injury & Practice Report (Available late Friday)
The IDP Game Breakdowns are based on a 12-team league with 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)).
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).
Tackle opportunity stats as well as other stats utilized in the breakdowns are derived from data provided by NFLData.com.
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!
Washington at Carolina
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 52, 2009: 49, 2010: 47
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 44, 2009: 50, 2010: 53
Defensive Line: Washington plays a 3-4 defense that basically renders their DL useless in the realm of fantasy football.
Linebacker: Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher both had very nice games in week 6 against the Eagles. The 17 & 18 points respectively put up by McIntosh and Fletcher represent their best performances to date in 2011. Of course the fact that they faced 48 rushing attempts by the Eagles so that was a major reason for their week 7 production. This week against a Panthers team that has yet to crack 30 carries in any game, and is averaging just 24.83 rushing attempts/game, I wouldn't expect a repeat performance from either LB. That doesn't mean that Fletcher or McIntosh shouldn't be in lineups this week, they should.
Secondary: The Panthers are giving up top 12 points to opposing DBs so this looks to be a good matchup for LaRon Landry & OJ Atogwe. However, what makes this matchup slightly difficult to handicap is that the Panthers gave up 25 points to Morgan Burnett and just 3 points to Roman Harper. I am willing to bet that Harper's performance was the aberration and that is why Landry and Atogwe are both 4 star plays. Atogwe is dealing with a knee injury so there is some risk with him so make sure to check the Friday IDP injury/practice report. I was very close to giving DeAngelo Hall a 3-star rating but think 2-stars is more prudent this week.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 47, 2009: 51, 2010: 46
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 51, 2009: 49, 2010: 54
Defensive Line: Charles Johnson finally broke out of a mini-slump last week and put up a solid 13 point effort. The Redskins rank 12th in points to opposing DL but this week I think they present a better matchup than their ranking indicates. This week Johnson and Greg Hardy get to face a Redskins OL that looks like it will be without starting T Trent Williams and John Beck in his first start of the year. To me that looks like a nice set of circumstances that support Johnson and Hardy having a pretty good upcoming week.
Linebacker: On paper the Panthers LBs don't have a very good matchup against the Redskins this week. However, with that said I still think that James Anderson is enough of a playmaker to be a 4-star play this week. Sure Jamar Chaney only put up 2 points last week, but the Eagles jumped out to a big lead and coupled with all the interceptions that Rex Grossman threw there weren't many opportunities for Chaney to make an impact in the box score. Anderson, imo, should be closer to the 16 points that James Laurinaitis, and the 20 points Sean Lee both put up against the Redskins. Thomas Williams missed practice on Wednesday and if he can't go this week that could help Jason Williams put up 3-star numbers, but for me I like Dan Connor a bit more in this matchup. The Redskins will do well to keep Cam Newton off the field this week and with a new QB under center I think they try to lean heavily on Ryan Torain and the running game, that should equate to a solid week for Connor.
Secondary: With the Redskins starting John Beck at QB this week I really think they will limit the passing game in hopes of limiting momentum changing interceptions. So, while the Panthers have been a pretty good matchup for DBs, this week I think this ends up as a trying matchup for the Panthers DBs. If you are a Charles Godfrey owner, I have no problem saying he is worthy of a starting spot in your lineup this week but Godfrey is the only Panthers DB I feel comfortable saying that about.
Seattle at Cleveland
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 45, 2009: 51, 2010: 46
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 54, 2009: 52, 2010: 53
Defensive Line: I tend to like pass rushers that are coming off of a bye week. Chris Clemons has been a pretty solid option so far this year, he currently ranks as a DL2 but if not for a poor one point effort in week 4 he would be pushing for a spot in the top 10. I have Clemons in my lineup in one league this week and think he should be in your lineup too. About the only thing I don't like about this matchup is that it is on the road but I still think that Clemons should at the very least hit is 8+ PPG average. Outside of Clemons, starting any other Seahawks DL wouldn't be a wise thing to do.
Linebacker: This season, the Browns have been the absolute worst matchup for opposing LBs. Hard to believe when you figure with the Browns rushing attack that there would be plenty of tackles to go around for opposing LBs. However, the Browns running game, which was supposed to be led by Peyton Hillis has struggled mightily this season. For the season they are averaging under 25 rushes per game, a number they have eclipsed just twice, and that was in the first two weeks of the season. Over their last three games they are averaging just 20.67 rushes/game. Not exactly the type of matchup that David Hawthorne owners want to see. It is bad enough that Hawthorne has dealt with injury this year and struggled to meet his owners expectations. This week, it probably makes sense to sit Hawthorne but I think that he should be in lineups. I don't think he will put up 20+ points, but a 12-14 point game should be doable for him. With Aaron Curry now gone, and playing in Oakland there should be no question about KJ Wright keeping his starting gig. Fantasy wise I don't see him as being someone you can or should rely on. If you are going to start another Seahawks LB it should be Leroy Hill. Hill has been productive in the past and he is once again being productive. I think he makes for a nice LB3/4 option. This week I don't see much upside for him but he should be able to sneak into double digits.
Secondary: LB Kam Chancellor, oops I mean, safety. Chancellor not only hits and has the size of a LB but he has been putting up numbers like many of the top LBs in the game. Chancellor did miss a game and have a bye last week, which is is why he only ranks 24th among DBs in fantasy points scored. But looking deeper at the numbers you see that Chancellor has a 17.25 PPG average, and that vaults him into the top 6 of DBs. Simply put, Chancellor has shown he needs to be in lineups each and every week. Earl Thomas has scored in double digits in four of five games this season, and is averaging 12.6 PPG. I know that Thomas is putting up solid numbers but I think he is a slightly risky play and this week would recommend sitting him this week. On the injury front, the Seahawks placed CB Marcus Trufant on injured reserve. That moves Brandon Browner into the starting lineup. In deeper leagues Browner should have decent enough value but in combined leagues of 12 teams or smaller he will probably be to inconsistent to rely on for week to week production. This week, like Thomas, I think it would be best to leave him on your bench.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 42, 2009: 47, 2010: 47
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 53, 2009: 54, 2010: 53
Defensive Line: The entire Browns starting DL has been fantasy relevant this year. Rookie Jabaal Sheard has been the best of the bunch ranking 12th in PPG average, but fellow rookie, Phil Taylor isn't far behind, Taylor ranks 16th. The rooks are leading the charge but veterans Ahtyba Rubin (17th) and Jayme Mitchell (21st) are holding their own too. This week against a Seahawks team that very well could have Clipboard Jesus (Charlie Whitehurst) under center It think the two DEs make for the best plays. As much as I want to give both DTs 3-star ratings, against a Seahawks team that is averaging just 21.80 rushes/game I can't do it. In DT mandatory leagues I do think there is enough upside to get both into lineups.
Linebacker: Initially when I looked at this matchup I saw the Seahawks were giving up the 5th most points to opposing LBs and that was key in my giving D'Qwell Jackson a 5-star rating. However, after looking deeper at what other LBs have done against the Seahawks I have no issue saying that my initial 5-star rating for Jackson is to high. I am adjusting him rating down to 4-stars. Scott Fujita (head) didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and it looks like he will miss this week. That opens the door for Kaluka Maiava to get the start against the Seahawks. Only in deep leagues, is Maiava worth a look, and by deep I mean leagues that start between 96 to 128 LBs.
Secondary: I know the Seahawks are coming off a bye, and that should help them should Tavaris Jackson not be able to play, but honestly, I see the Seahawks struggling offensively this week. That is the main reason that TJ Ward is the only Browns secondary player with a rating better than 2-stars. Joe Haden is being called day-to-day, but in fantasy circles he should be considered OUT, once we see him back on the field, then and only then, should he be considered for starting duty.
Atlanta at Detroit
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 53, 2009: 57, 2010: 54
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 48, 2009: 50, 2010: 49
Defensive Line: The Falcons DL hasn't exactly been very fantasy friendly this year. Combined John Abraham and Ray Edwards have just one double digit performance between them, and that was a 15 point effort by Abraham back in week one. Since week one, Abraham is averaging just 3.75 PPG. Expectations for Edwards were clearly higher than the production he has put up so far, but at least he has put up a solid 8 points in consecutive weeks, and in doing so, he has also recorded a sack in each of the past two weeks. I don't love either against a Lions team that ranks 29th in points to opposing DLs. Making matters worse for Abram his a groin injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. With the Lions running game being basically non-existent, averaging just 18.5 rushes/game over their last four games, DT Jonathan Babineaux is also someone that should be on fantasy benches, even in DT mandatory leagues.
Linebacker: Sean Weatherspoon (6th) and Curtis Lofton (12th) both rank as LB1's this year. Considering that they haven't had the best matchups over the past few weeks it is encouraging to see them finding ways to produce, both have scored in double digits every week. Both are also on pace to record 144 total tackles, only five LBs recorded more total tackles last year. The major difference between each players pace is that Weatherspoon is on pace for 107 solos, with 37 assists, and Lofton is on pace for just 85 solos, but a whopping 59 assists. Only Jerod Mayo(61) recorded more than 49 assists last year. Like over the past few weeks this week could be a trying week point wise for both Weatherspoon and Lofton, but I also think both have shown that they should be in lineups each and every week, no matter the matchup.
Secondary: Last week it was feared that William Moore wasn't going to be able to play and that James Sanders would replace him in the starting lineup. Well, just the opposite happened, Moore played and Sanders missed the game due to injury. Moore looks good to go for this week, and fwiw, Sanders was limited in practice on Wednesday. The Lions are putting the ball in the air on average almost 40 times/week, and that is why I have Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson all rated as 3-star plays. Of that bunch, DeCoud has played the best and has the highest ceiling. If the Lions were completing more than 57.1% of their passes, like they have over their past three games I would more than likely have given DeCoud a 4-star rating.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 43, 2009: 48, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 54, 2009: 53, 2010: 51
Defensive Line: Sophomore slump? That has to be it because Ndamukong Suh sure isn't short on talent. Last year, Suh showed that a dominant DT can indeed be relied on in DL combined leagues, this year, well that is another thing. At this point with the numbers that Suh is putting up he is a risk in DL combined leagues. I still think that in DT mandatory leagues that he is an every week must start. With all that said I am sure that Suh's 4#-star rating looks odd, but I see this as a fantastic matchup for him. Reason being is two fold, one, the Falcons passing attack has struggled, and two, I think the Falcons will want to lean on their running game to keep the Lions potent passing attack off the field. So if the Falcons do indeed lean on Michael Turner, I think that Suh should put up very nice tackle numbers. Kyle Vanden Bosch has been the best Lions DL and this week I think he should still be in lineups, I just don't see this as a matchup that presents much upside, not only for Vanden Bosch but for Cliff Avril too.
Linebacker: After missing the last three weeks due to a concussion, it looks as if Justin Durant could be back on the field this weekend. Fantasy wise he belongs on benches, if you are a regular reader of mine you already know that I like to give a guy a week to get his legs back under him and see just how healthy he really is before I normally would suggest putting him in starting lineups. Stephen Tulloch's production has been pretty consistent, with or without Durant in the lineup, but DeAndre Levy's production vastly improved without Durant playing. I think both Tulloch and Levy are solid 3-star plays this week, but one thing to keep an eye on will be how Justin Durant impacts Levy's numbers.
Secondary: The Falcons are giving up 52 points/game to opposing DBs, that is just above the league average of 50.10 PPG. Not rating any of the Lions secondary better than a 2-star play is probably being a bit conservative, but I really see a run heavy attack this week that will likely limit the production of the secondary. Add to it that the Lions DBs have been inconsistent and it is easy to see why they all get 2-stars. Amari Spievey has yet to post back to back double digit games, Louis Delmas and Chris Houston have done it just once. Only Eric Wright has posted double digits in three consecutive games, but he hasn't hit double digits since week 3. I hope that helps to pain the picture a bit better.
Denver at Miami
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 49, 2009: 51, 2010: 48
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 52, 2009: 50, 2010: 53
Defensive Line: I have Elvis Dumervil rated as a 3-star play but that is only because he has been a bit frail so far this year. Otherwise I see this as a 4 or 5-star matchup for Dumervil. Why? Three numbers illustrate why, nine, six and five. Nine, the number of QB hits that the Jets put on Matt Moore last week. Six, the number of QB pressures that Moore got from the Jets. Lastly, five, the number of times that Matt Moore was sacked last week. Even Aaron Maybin recorded another sack. So yes, I like Dumervil this week. As much as I want to like Robert Ayers, and know he has the talent to build on his 14 point effort from week 5, color me skeptical, hence the 2-star rating.
Linebacker: Prior to the trade deadline there were rumors circulating that DJ Williams was possibly going to be dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles. Well, the trade deadline came and went and my Eagles were unable to land Williams. It would have been a win-win for me because like I said, my Eagles would have gotten LB help that they so desperately need, and on the fantasy front I own both Williams and Wesley Woodyard. Had the Broncos moved Williams then Woodyard would have become a viable consistent fantasy LB for me and anyone else that owned him. As it stands now, Woodyard will still be on the field but for limited snaps. Something to chew on, in week 5, Woodyard recorded 6 solos and 1 assist, good for 13 fantasy points, but that production came on just 26 snaps. Yes, there are two ways to view such good production on limited snaps, but for me it equals more risk than I normally want to take. Speaking of snap counts, in week 5, rookie Von Miller saw the field just 40 times out of 78 total defensive snaps. In the first four weeks of the season Miller was on the field for all but 7.25 of the Broncos defensive snaps. With that context it is easy to see why his production fell off in week 5. That might make his 3-star rating seem odd but against a Dolphins team that looked to have trouble with the pass rush I think we see Miller have a productive week this week. The Dolphins have faced just one 4-3 team this year and in that game they surrendered 21.5 points to MLB, D'Qwell Jackson, Joe Mays isn't in Jackson's class and I think expecting him to put up double digits against the Dolphins wouldn't be prudent. DJ Williams of course is a plug and play LB in my mind.
Secondary: Brian Dawkins and Rahim Moore haven't been exactly fantasy friendly DBs this year, combined they have just 3 double digit performances and non in consecutive weeks. To make matters worse back in week 5 they combined for just 7 points, yet I have both rated as 3-star plays. Dawkins had an injury knock him out of week 5 but he is back practicing and looks to be healthy. Moore, well, I think he is due, plus I don't think the Dolphins passing attack scares anyone at this point in time so Moore should be able to be a bit more active closer to the line of scrimmage.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 50, 2009: 55, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 46, 2009: 48, 2010: 48
Defensive Line: The Dolphins play a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL fantasy irrelevant. You should look elsewhere for DL help.
Linebacker: Karlos Dansby has strung together back-to-back nice games, hopefully he is able to continue producing like he has in those two games. Against a Broncos team that will be starting Tim Tebow at QB there is no telling if this will end up being a very good or very bad matchup for Dansby. On one hand, I see Tebow struggling to keep drives going, and that would severely limit Dansby's opportunities. Then on the other hand, I see Tebow sparking the offense and that of course would be very good for Dansby. So that means I was looking at a 4-star or a 2-star matchup. So what did I do? I go and take the easy way out and just go down the middle with a 3-star rating. Fantasy wise, Kevin Burnett continues to flounder, his 8 point effort against the Jets on Monday night was one point shy of his season high score, yes that is how bad it has been. Unless you are in a very deep league, Burnett belongs on the waiver wire or bench.
Secondary: Yeremiah Bell isn't the only Dolphins DB that has put up good numbers this year. Sean Smith had a run of three straight games where he scored between 10-12 points each week. Reshad Jones has scored 12 or more points in 3 of 5 games and Vontae Davis has scored in double digits in 2 of the 3 games he has played in. While it is good to see that everyone in the Dolphins secondary can produce it is even nicer for Bell owners who know he will produce each and every week. This week, as usual, Bell should be in starting lineups. Initially, I had Vontae Davis as a 3-star play too, but after looking at it a bit more I decided that he is to risky to start this week and downgraded him to a 2-star play.
San Diego at NY Jets
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 47, 2009: 49, 2010: 53
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 53, 2009: 49, 2010: 46
Defensive Line: The Chargers 3-4 isn't very fantasy friendly so you would be best served by looking for DL help elsewhere.
Linebacker: Talk about doing it with smoke and mirrors, and no I am not talking about my SOFA IDP team. I am talking about Donald Butler. Butler currently has a 12.8 PPG average, which ranks 28th among LBs. Not what many were hoping for when they drafted Butler but it isn't horrible either, so you should count your blessings that he is giving you as much production as he is. Especially when you consider that over his past three games he has only played in 55.8% of the teams defensive snaps. With so few snaps it is a wonder he has been able to sustain his PPG average. If it weren't for him facing what should be a run heavy Jets offensive scheme this week I would have easily rated him as a 2-star play. However, like i said, he gets to face the Jets, so I think he will be able to keep the smoke screen going for one more week. Takeo Spikes, you know the 34 year old, 14 year NFL vet, has played in almost 80 more snaps than Butler, yet has scored 5 fewer points. Spikes might not be a sexy play but he should be a solid LB3 this week.
Secondary: The Jets rank near the bottom, 29th actually, in points allowed to opposing DBs. I reassessed my 4-star rating of Eric Weddle and decided that was to high a ranking. Weddle could put up a 19 point game like Raiders safety Tyvon Branch did but I think Weddle is more likely to fall into the 10-14 point range. Same goes for fellow safety Steve Gregory.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 50, 2009: 53, 2010: 52
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 51, 2009: 45, 2010: 46
Defensive Line: The run the ball a whopping 49.3% of the time right up the middle. In DT mandatory leagues, that bodes well for owners of Sione Pouha. I must admit that I was very close to giving Pouha a 3-star rating but felt the 2#-star rating we much more prudent. Since week 2, DE Mike Devito has struggled to put up good fantasy numbers, this week he faces a Chargers team that has given up the 9th most points to opposing DL, so he does have a chance to turn things around, I just don't suspect that he will.
Linebacker: David Harris put up a stinker of a game in a stinker of a matchup last week. This week he gets to face a Chargers team that is giving up the 2nd most points to LBs this year. I know that looking at Harris as well as Bart Scott as 4-star plays isn't easy but the numbers say it is so, actually for most LBs this would have been an easy 5-star matchup. Aaron Maybin looks like he might not be a total bust just yet, he isn't a viable fantasy option but he is worth keeping an eye to see what else Rex Ryan can get out of him. Calvin Pace had his most productive game of the year last week and his 22 points were more than he scored in the previous two weeks combined. Pace has much more value to the Jets than he does to fantasy owners, he always has the chance of going off for multiple sacks and creating a turnover but he is far to inconsistent to rely on in tackle heavy leagues.
Secondary: Talk about being at different ends of the spectrum. Only two teams are giving up fewer points to DBs than the Jets, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, only two teams are giving up more points to DBs than the Chargers are. So if you are an owner of Jim Leonhard or Eric Smith you should see quite nice production this week. I know that Smith had a clunker of a game last week but that is understandable, considering just how poorly the Dolphins played. Darrell Revis might be the best corner in the game today, but fantasy wise he is far from a stud. However, last week, he showed that at times he too can impact the fantasy box score for himself. Yes I think the pass he took to the house was PI, but the call went his way, it happens.
Chicago at Tampa Bay
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 48, 2009: 47, 2010: 47
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 53, 2009: 53, 2010: 49
Defensive Line: Julius Peppers was more than likely on most fantasy owners benches last week, I know he was on mine. Everything leading up to the game made sitting Peppers look like a prudent thing to do. However, Peppers, clearly not 100% played and the 12 points he scored were the most since he logged 17 back in week one. Peppers wasn't listed on the Bears Wednesday injury report so he should be good to put in lineups this week. You know what that means, don't you? It means that fate will burn you. OK, leaving fate out of it I still couldn't rate Peppers more than a 2-star play this week. Coupled with that knee injury, injury report or no injury report, and the fact that the Buccaneers rank 27th in points to opposing DL, I see Peppers as a risky play this week. Of course that goes directly against my plug and play mentality for studs. Well it sort of does, if Peppers weren't nursing that knee injury I would have minimally given him a 3-star rating, even with the perceived poor matchup. Henry Melton's name has been talked about in fantasy circles and last week it looked like he would get the start at DE in place of Peppers, but he didn't. Something else Melton didn't do, score. It was the 4th time this season Melton didn't score a single fantasy point.
Linebacker: The Buccaneers are giving up 54 tackle opportunities/game at home this year. Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher rank 16th and 20th respectively, with only 5 points separating them. Both have had really big games, 27 for Briggs and 29 for Urlacher, and each has had a couple of bad outings. Two five point efforts for Urlacher and a five and seven point effort for Briggs. The point that I am trying to get across is that their inconsistent play makes them slightly risky fantasy options. However, against a Buccaneers team that is giving up top 10 numbers to LBs I think they are safe 3-star plays. I initially did have Urlacher as a 4-star play but decided to back off that rating a bit.
Secondary: The Bears made a change at safety last week. Benching veteran Chris Harris and replacing him with Chris Conte. Conte, and Major Wright each played in 100% of the teams defensive snaps, yet neither made much of an impact in the box score. Conte's 9 points bested Wright by two. Harris wasn't only benched, he was inactive. Brandon Meriweather, unlike Harris was active, but like Harris he too didn't play at all. If you are looking for fantasy value in the Bears secondary I would recommend you stop looking at the safeties and instead look at CB Charles Tillman. Tillman isn't foreign to fantasy owners and as it stands now he is a top 10 DB. On paper the Buccaneers are a pretty good matchup for DBs but I just don't see much upside for Tillman this week, which is why he only received a 3-star rating.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 52, 2009: 45, 2010: 48
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 47, 2009: 54, 2010: 49
Defensive Line: What is becoming clear is that relying on Michael Bennett or any of the Buccaneers DL is going to be a risky proposition. Last week, 7 Buccaneers scored points, 27 total points to be exact, or should I say 3.86 points/player. Yes, that is pretty bad. Bennett did at least lead the scoring with 8 points, and actually considering that was against the Saints, that wasn't all that bad of a performance. This week he faces a Bears team that isn't giving up many points to DLs so it would seem that he along with his fellow teammates should be left on fantasy benches. If that is the case then why in the world do I have Bennett rated a 4-star play and Adrian Clayborn a 3-star play. Well, the reason is that while the Bears haven't given up much in the way of fantasy points it isn't for a lack of trying. Being in Tampa, I think the Buccaneers help to remind everyone that in the first two weeks of the season that the Bears allowed 11 sacks.
Linebacker: The Bears also don't present a very good matchup for opposing LBs. I think that Mason Foster could be in line for a very trying week. Foster isn't exactly known for his coverage skills and with the way the Bears throw the ball around, including to Matt Forte I can see Foster having trouble putting up more than 10-12 points. Geno Hayes, should have one of his better games of the year this week. Want that backed up with some stats/facts? The following WLBs lit up the box score when facing the Bears this year, Sean Weatherspoon (20pts), DeAndre Levy (22pts) & Erin Henderson (19pts). The only starting 4-3 WLB that didn't score well against the Bears was Jason Williams of the Panthers, and that is because he didn't play in sub-packages, Omar Gaither did, and Gaither in just 26 snaps still scored 10 points, the most he did in any game.
Secondary: I know this will sound odd, but the Bears aren't a very good matchup for DBs, they are 28th in points allowed to DBs. Hard to believe considering how much it at least seems like the Bears throw the ball. Well, the fact that they are completing an average of just 20 passes/game has a lot to do with their ranking. Sean Jones has had some really big games this year but he has also thrown in a 3 point stinker and an 8 point "meh" game that probably makes his owners feel less than confident when they put him in their starting lineups. Factoring that in along with Tanard Jackson being back on the field and showing he is able to produce I couldn't rank Jones any better than a 2-star play this week. Actually, Jackson is the only player in the secondary that I felt confident that I could give a 3-star rating. Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib have each had productive games at times this year, but with this being a weaker matchup and their inconsistent scoring I had no choice but to rank each as a 2-star play.
Houston at Tennessee
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 52, 2009: 53, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 47, 2009: 48, 2010: 51
Defensive Line: The Texans 3-4 defense severely limits the fantasy viability of their DL. Yes, Tim Jamison put up 16 points last week. No, you don't want to chase those points.
Linebacker: We could talk about how poor of a matchup the Titans are this week, or we could look at how Brooks Reed did in place of Mario Williams, but what I think we need to talk about is DeMeco Ryans. We can all speculate on the reasons that Ryans isn't producing, but it would lead us to the same answer each and every time. He just isn't producing, plain and simple. He isn't playing as much as he has in seasons past, year to date he has played in 63.7% of the teams defensive snaps. However, last week, you know, the week where he scored just 4 points, he played in 77% of the teams defensive snaps. That was the highest % of snaps he has played in since week 1, when he played in 81% of snaps. In dynasty leagues I think you have to hold Ryans, mainly because his value can't really get much lower, but in re-draft leagues I have to say that I think it is time to cut bait. As hard as it was I cut Ryans loose in SOFA IDP for Andy Dalton. Yes, that is how bad it is, but then again cutting Ryans was a bit more palatable with Bishop, Weatherspoon, Ruud and Barnett on my roster. Oh, and for those that do want to talk about Brooks Reed, he put up 10 points but I still expect him to be very inconsistent going forward.
Secondary: I know I pretty much said it last week but I think it bears repeating, the Texans secondary doesn't do anything for me, fantasy wise, that is. NFL wise I think it is safe to say that the Texans are in much better shape than they were last year. Across the board I gave the Texans secondary 1 and 2-star ratings. Those ratings have much less to do with their matchup as it does how inconsistent they have been. Jason Allen is their top scorer, ranking 71st and that is only because he had two monster games while starting for an injured Kareem Jackson. Danieal Manning is next, ranking 73rd, he is coming off of his best performance of the season (20pts), but his up and down makes him a very risky play in my eyes. He has three double digit performances (10, 10 & 20) and three single digit performances (4, 9 & 6), hopefully that helps you to see and understand my stance better.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 49, 2009: 49, 2010: 44
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 49, 2009: 52, 2010: 58
Defensive Line: The Titans DL has not been good for fantasy purposes this year. Over the past three games they have just one double digit fantasy performance, and that 10 point game belongs to DT Jurrell Casey. The matchup this week is pretty sweet as the Texans have given up the 5th most points to opposing DL. Unfortunately, the Titans don't really have a guy that you can feel comfortable about running out in your lineups, but I happen to be a sucker for potential. Which is why I have Derrick Morgan rated as a 4-star play this week. After Morgan scored just one lousy point back in week 5, I can see people thinking that rating is crazy, and to be honest, the more I say it as I type it, the more I think I am going to change his rating. Make sure that you check the updates that I do for the star ratings to see if and how I change Morgan's rating.
Linebacker: The Texans present a nice matchup for the Titans LBs this week too. For the season opposing LBs have scored the 7th most points against them. That should bode well for Barrett Ruud and Will Witherspoon. Ruud has been all or nothing this year, scoring 14, 17 and 22 points on his "all" weeks, with his "nothing" weeks being 4 and 5 point efforts. This week I think he ends up in the "all" column. Witherspoon surprisingly has been pretty consistent this year, scoring between 11 and 17 points in every week except for week 2 when he scored just 5 points. That might make Ruud being a 5-star play versus Witherspoon being a 3-star play seem a bit odd, but the fact is that Ray Lewis put up a 23 point game against the Texans last week and Ruud very easily could do the same.
Secondary: In the secondary, Chris Hope's broken arm will once again keep him out, Jordan Babineaux will man his SS position. Babineaux is averaging over 14 PPG in his last four games, but this week against the Texans I think he is a bit of a risky play, hence his 2-star rating. The top producer on the Titans is CB Jason McCourty, averaging 17.60 PPG, which is good for 3rd best among DBs. As it stands this doesn't rank as a very good matchup but with how McCourty is playing you have to keep him in your lineup.
PIttsburgh at Arizona
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 51, 2009: 52, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 46, 2009: 46, 2010: 46
Defensive Line: The Steelers run a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL useless for fantasy purposes.
Linebacker: Splash, splash...splash...splash, splash...you know what all that "splashing" is? It is the sound of Lawrence Timmons owners jumping off of a bridge, or mabye of them throwing Timmons off a bridge. Either way, many fantasy owners are panicked by Timmons lack of production and rightfully so for a guy that was expected by many to be one of the top IDP LBs this year. Well, as it stands now, Timmons is still starting at OLB for the injured James Harrison, and as we know it is difficult to rely on rush OLBs for consistent production. I feel very safe in assuming that many will have Timmons on their benches this weekend, but I am going to say that I think that is a mistake. The Cardinals are giving up very good numbers to opposing DLs and LBs. Remember the Steelers OLBs are like DL on most teams, in that they get after the QB. The Cardinals have only faced one 3-4 team this year so the only comparisons would be Brian Orakpo (9pts) and Ryan Kerrigan (11pts). Not exactly stud like performances but not benchable. I also think that Lamarr Woodley and James Farrior make for solid starts this week too.
Secondary: Both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark have been very solid options for fantasy owners so far this season. Polamalu has been the better option and this week against the Cardinals I see him as the only Steeler worth being in starting lineups. The Steelers currently have the #1 pass defense and to me that reads as the Cardinals struggling to do much with their passing game. The reason Polamalu is a 4-star and not 3-star play is because of his nose for the big play, which I think we see him end up with this weekend.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 50, 2009: 49, 2010: 41
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 49, 2009: 49, 2010: 55
Defensive Line: If you own Calais Campbell chances are that you aren't even thinking about taking him out of your lineup. Nor should you be, this week he faces a Steelers team that is giving up more points to opposing DL than any team in the league. Darnell Dockett hasn't been great this year but even he should be in lineups this week.
Linebacker: The Steelers haven't been a very good matchup for opposing LBs, but with Mendenhall looking to be healthy I think that is a plus for Daryl Washington. Washington hasn't been great but he has been serviceable the past two weeks, post consecutive 12 point efforts, and this week I think we see him continue to build on those performances. Paris Lenon has continued to hold off Stewart Bradley, but Lenon hasn't put up a double digit game since week 2 and isn't a viable fantasy option at this point in time. If you need a sleeper to help out with bye week issues you could give veteran Joey Porter a look this week.
Secondary: Kerry Rhodes broke his left foot in his last game against the Vikings. He had to have surgery but is expected to miss just three games. While Rhodes is out Reshad Johnson should be his replacement in the starting lineup. Outside of Adrian Wilson there isn't much experience in the Cardinals secondary. I have Wilson as a 4-star play against the Steelers but that does seem high and I will be downgrading him to a 3-star play.
Kansas City at Oakland
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 45, 2009: 49, 2010: 53
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 54, 2009: 54, 2010: 54
Defensive Line: The Chiefs 3-4 defense renders their DL inconsistent and risky fantasy options.
Linebacker: Even with newly acquired Carson Palmer in the fold, you should expect to see a healthy dose of Darren McFadden and the Raiders rushing attack. Derrick Johnson hasn't wowed anyone this year but he has been consistently putting up between 10-14 points weekly. Not bad for a LB3, unfortunately for his owners, Johnson was drafted to be a LB1. This week I think we could see Johnson pay off for his owners. Tamba Hali has been inconsistent this year, but that is expected since he plays a rush OLB position. If you are in a bye week bind and need to roll the dice on a player you could run with Hali and hope that if Palmer does start that his "clock" is off and that Hali can capitalize on that.
Secondary: The Raiders are a middle of the road type matchup for opposing DBs but with Carson Palmer under center it isn't very easy to figure out how things will play out. I know it is a bit of a cop-out but that is why I have Brandon Carr, Brandon Flowers and everyone else in the Chiefs secondary as a 2-star play.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 45, 2009: 45, 2010: 52
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 53, 2009: 53, 2010: 48
Defensive Line: Matt Shaughnessy's shoulder has landed him on injured reserve, ending his 2011 season. Look for Jarvis Moss to see much more time due to the loss of Shaughnessy. Lamarr Houston was a sleeper of mine for this year but for the most part he has been asleep and not much else. I actually drafted Houston in SOFA IDP because I liked his matchup against the Chiefs this week, which meant I would be using him to cover Trent Cole's bye week. As it stands now the Chiefs haven't been as strong a matchup for opposing DL as I had anticipated, but I am still rolling with Houston this week and I stand by my 3-star rating for him. Richard Seymour has been up and down this season, and that is why he is only a 2#-star play this week.
Linebacker: I was wrong in my assumption that the Raiders being tight lipped about Rolando McClain's injured his ankle keeping him out for multiple weeks. His 6 solo tackles and 15 fantasy points show that McClain is indeed healthy enough to be in fantasy lineups. Sorry, for botching last week's call on him. Aaron Curry was acquired last week and he too wasn't expected to play for the Raiders, but he did. However, unlike McClain he didn't do much in the box score, posting just 5 fantasy points. In all fairness I sould point out that Curry did only play in 21 snaps. Curry last scored in double digits back in week 2. At this point in time I suggest leaving Curry on the bench. If he shows a spark this week then and only then can you consider him for starting lineups.
Secondary: The Chiefs are a top 10 team when it comes to surrendering points to DBs. Add that to how consistently good Tyvon Branch has been and it gives you a 4-star play. Branch has scored no fewer than 13 points this year and this week should be no different. Michael Huff is being limited in practice by an ankle injury, but I think he is still able to cobble together at least 10-12 points this week. Also, Carson Palmer isn't the only former Bengal the Raiders brought on board this week, they also signed former Bengals safety, Nedu Ndukwe.
St. Louis at Dallas
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 47, 2009: 48, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 51, 2009: 53, 2010: 48
Defensive Line: When your top scoring DL, James Hall, ranks 36th, and only has one double digit game (10 pts) all year, to his name, then you know that your DL isn't a fantasy favorite by any stretch of the imagination. Chris Long also only has one double digit performance too, 10 points in week 2, since then, he has scored just 12 total points. Basically, until further notice, stay away from the Rams DL.
Linebacker: No team is giving up more points/game to opposing LBs than the Cowboys are. That plus the fact that this game isn't in St. Louis is what makes James Laurinaitis a 5-star play this week. I know that the Cowboys will be without starting RB Felix Jones but I don't see that impacting the way the Cowboys play on offense, so this should still be a strong matchup for Laurinaitis. WLB Chris Chamberlain was on the field for 48 snaps in week 6, in weeks 1 thru 5 he played in 50 total snaps. I wouldn't be willing to rely on Chamberlain as a bye week filler on what he alone did in last week's game.
Secondary: The boys haven't been the best matchup for opposing DBs, but with Jason Witten working the middle of the field I see Quintin Mikell having a very nice week. Along with Mikell I think that safeties Craig Dahl and Darian Stewart are also worth 3-star ratings this week. Even Justin King should be able to hit double digits this week, just don't be surprised if he is covering Dez Bryant and doesn't score in the second half.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 48, 2009: 51, 2010: 52
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 48, 2009: 47, 2010: 49
Defensive Line: The Cowboys 3-4 defense severely limits the value of their DL. Jay Ratliff is the only one I can recommend this week and that is only in DT mandatory leagues.
Linebacker: The Rams may not be very good at winning football games this year, but they have been damn good at giving up big games to opposing LBs. Last week Desmond Bishop put up 23 points against the Cardinals and early this year Ray Lewis put up 26 against them and even Michael Boley was able to log 19 points. Sean Lee owners have to be loving this matchup. That really is all that needs to be said.
Secondary: With the Rams giving up the 7th fewest average points to DBs and the lack of consistent fantasy production from the Cowboys DBs is why no one in the secondary got higher than a 1-star rating. Sure that is probably a bit harsh but with the likelihood that AJ Feeley is under center I don't think you will want to risk having Gerald Sensabaugh, Abram Elam or any of the Cowboys corners in your lineups this weekend.
Green Bay at Minnesota
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 51, 2009: 53, 2010: 51
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 48, 2009: 44, 2010: 46
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: Currently, Desmond Bishop ranks 2nd in fantasy points among LBs, which is just one point behind Pat Angerer who ranks 1st, and he ranks 3rd in PPG with an average of 19.50. Only Angerer's 19.667 and D'Qwell Jackson's 19.90 PPG averages are better than Bishop's. This week Bishop should be in line for another strong game as the Vikings would be best served by establishing Adrian Peterson and their running game since they are starting rookie Christian Ponder at QB this year. Outside of Bishop I am taking a pass on AJ Hawk & Clay Matthews this week.
Secondary: Morgan Burnett bounced back with a very nice 18 point effort in week 6, after putting up just 6 points in week 5. Burnett broke his hand and will be playing with a cast so that has me a bit worried, and is the biggest reason why I have him as a 2-star play. With Ponder getting his first start I think the Vikings passing attack could suffer some, yes, I know it was already suffering with McNabb under center, but that is why I have Charles Woodson and gang as 2-star plays.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 52, 2009: 55, 2010: 49
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 46, 2009: 47, 2010: 49
Defensive Line: Jared Allen has been a beast so far this year, currently he is the 2nd ranked DL for fantasy purposes, and big reason for his fantasy success is that he has logged 9.5 sacks already this year. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 12 times this year so Allen very well could build on his sack total this week. This game will be Allen's 69th consecutive game played, and that ranks as the 7th longest streak among active DL. Allen also happens to wear number 69, hopefully he scores more than 6.9 points this week. Brian Robison has been very hit or miss this year and this week I think it would be best to leave him on the bench.
Linebacker: The Packers prolific passing attack hasn't yielded great numbers for opposing LBs. Chad Greenway has been a bit inconsistent this year, actually, last week was the first time he has posted back to back double digit games. His owners will hope that he can keep that streak up this week. I think he at least puts up 10-12 points but I don't see much upside in this matchup for him. EJ Henderson has also been up and down this year but he has also played in about 80 fewer snaps than Greenway has this year. Against the Packers multi WR sets I think that Erin Henderson has a better chance at a better game than his older brother but that doesn't mean I think either is safe to be in starting lineups this weekend.
Secondary: Antoine Winfield has been a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. That to me is a positive but the big day will be Friday's practice. If Winfield is limited in practice again then you can expect him to be listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report and more than likely he will be a GTD. However, if he practices in full he could end up being PROBABLE on the injury report and then I would feel much better about him playing this weekend. As a Winfield owner in multiple leagues I can tell you that I will be looking to get him into my lineup if I can this weekend. Just realize that you are most likely going to need to monitor the inactive report on Sunday to find out if he will be able to give it a go this weekend or not. Winfield isn't the only player in the Vikings secondary that is dealing with an injury, Jamarca Sanford is dealing with a concussion and that has kept him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. I doubt we see him on the field this week, and if that is the case Tyrell Johnson should replace him in the starting lineup. Value wise he is really only an option in deeper leagues. Surprisingly, the Packers and their prolific passing attack only rank 20th in points allowed to opposing DBs, but I wouldn't let that keep me from putting Husain Abdullah or Cedric Wilson out of starting lineups this week.
Indianapolis at New Orleans
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 49, 2009: 49, 2010: 53
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 52, 2009: 55, 2010: 52
Defensive Line: Talk about all or nothing production, Dwight Freeney has scored 10 or more points in 4 games this year, in the other three games, he has scored ZERO points. So I guess if you have a game where you are a big underdog and need to swing for the fences then and only then should Freeney be in your lineup. Robert Mathis hasn't put any goose eggs up this year, at least not yet, but he also hasn't been very effective, scoring in double digits just twice this year. Against a Saints team that ranks 25th in points to opposing DL it is probably best to find other options at DL this week.
Linebacker: The Saints might throw the ball around a ton but that doesn't mean that Pat Angerer has a bad matchup this week. The Saints have given up 20+ points up multiple times to opposing LBs this year and Angerer should at the very least give the 20 point mark a run. For the season Angerer leads all LBs in fantasy points scored and his 19.667 PPG average is only bested by the 19.90 PPG average of D'Qwell Jackson. Since Ernie Sims returned from injury he has impacted the number of snaps that Kavell Conner has played. Conner went from playing in 100% of the Colts defensive snaps in weeks 2-4, to playing in just 72.3% of their defensive snaps. That should be enough snaps to be looked at as a LB3 but his days as a top 5/LB1 seem to be over. Against a Saints team that employs plenty of multi WR sets, Conner is a pretty risky play, which is why I have him as just a 2-star play.
Secondary: When it comes to DB scoring, no team is giving up more points than the Saints are. Antoine Bethea might seem like an odd choice as a 5-star play, but facing the Saints he surely has plenty of upside. David Caldwell hasn't done much since he took over for the injured Melvin Bullitt, but if ever there was a week to get him into starting lineups, this would be the week. Jerraud Powers ended up playing last week but even he said it was miracle that he was able to play thru his injury. Even more surprising is that he isn't listed on the injury report this week. I am probably being overly cautious by not rating him yet this week but if he remains off the injury report all week I will update his rating.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 52, 2009: 54, 2010: 54
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 48, 2009: 50, 2010: 48
Defensive Line: Of course everyone knows how bad the Colts have been this year, but this week, playing in a raucous Superdome is just going to magnify it. That loud and raucous crowd will help the DL and it is a big part of why I have Will Smith as a 4-star play. However, Smith is the only Saints DL that I feel safe in recommending. I won't be surprised if Cameron Jordan, Turk McBride or another Saints DL had a big game, I just can't get behind rating any of them that way.
Linebacker: The Colts aren't going to run the ball much this week, mainly because they are going to be in catchup mode early against the Saints, and that doesn't bode well for the Saints LBs. If you are a Jonathan Vilma owner I am sure it is easy for you to understand his 2-star rating. Vilma hasn't been horrible the past three weeks but there has been absolutely know upside either. As a Vilma owner, I can safely say that it isn't easy to come to grips with the fact that he is no longer a stud. He still has his place on fantasy teams but no longer as a LB1, sad as that may be.
Secondary: Roman Harper at least bounced back from his 3 point effort in week 5, but still his 11 points weren't the studly type numbers his owners have come to expect. All I can say is that I do expect Harper to get back to putting up studly numbers, just don't expect it this week, against a Colts team that is giving up the fewest average points to opposing DBs. The matchup is so bad that I almost game Harper a 2-star rating but at the end of the day I think he should minimally scrape together 10-12 fantasy points.
Baltimore at Jacksonville
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 53, 2009: 52, 2010: 52
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 44, 2009: 48, 2010: 47
Defensive Line: This is what I said about Terrell Suggs last week, "Terrell Suggs is a must start at DL, so there is no reason to delve into the numbers to see how good or bad his matchup is. You just plug him in and forget about it.", even after scoring just one point last week I stand by that statement. As I said to one of our posters in our forum,
"all DL have ups and downs...guys like Suggs normally have fewer downs and much higher ups", so with that in mind, keep him in your lineups, especially against one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Oh, and if you need a stat to make you feel better about starting him, look no further than the 5 QB pressures that Suggs had last week against the Texans, the rest of the Ravens had three combined. Haloti Ngata, in case you haven't noticed is on fire this year. Against a Jaguars team that ranks 1st in the NFL with 85 rushing attempts "up the middle", look for Ngata to continue his hot play.
Linebacker: Ray Lewis has made a ton of money playing football, but after football he can make even more when he shares his "fountain of youth" secret. Lewis currently ranks as the 5th best LB with an 18.80 PPG average. This week Lewis faces a Jaguars team that is a middle of the road matchup but that shouldn't keep Lewis out of fantasy lineups. I am sure that he and MJD will be talking quite a bit this weekend. Outside of Lewis you really should stay away from the rest of the Ravens LBs.
Secondary: The Jaguars are a horrible matchup for the Ravens DBs this week. For the season they rank 28th in average points allowed to DBs and to be honest, I am shocked they rank that high. With rookie Blaine Gabbert completing just an average of 13.2 passes/game it is no wonder opposing DBs aren't putting up many points. Last week, Bernard Pollard had his first good game of 2011, and this week I think he should be able to back that up with another solid performance. Reason being, with the lack of a passing attack the Ravens will be able to use Pollard down in the box in run support. Outside of Pollard I think you should avoid all other Ravens DBs this week. That includes Ladarius Webb who ranks 5th with a 17.30 PPG average.
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up: 2008: 50, 2009: 50, 2010: 53
Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Faced: 2008: 47, 2009: 51, 2010: 48
Defensive Line: As I pointed out last week, I can be a bit of a risk taker at times, and that is why I gave Aaron Kampman a 3-star rating last week. However, at least I did qualify that by saying that he was a very risky 3-star play. If you took the risk, I apologize, Kampman only played in 20 snaps and didn't register a single fantasy point. The Jaguars DL hasn't been very good this year, but Jeremy Mincey has actually put together two consecutive nice double digit games. The Ravens rank 6th in average points allowed to DL so Mincey has a good matchup, but short of in deep leagues I think he belongs on fantasy benches. On the injury front, the Jaguars placed Austen Lane on injured reserve.
Linebacker: After the first three weeks of the season, I think it is safe to say that Paul Posluszny owners were a bit concerned about his lack of production. However, things can quickly change, and over his last three games Posluszny is averaging 23.0 PPG, which is tops among all LBs over that time frame. This week Posluszny faces a Ravens team that ranks 4th in average points allowed to LBs. Seeing him crack the 20 point plateau again this week doesn't seem farfetched. For the season Daryl Smith is also putting up good fantasy numbers, ranking 15th in PPG average, and over the last three games actually ranks as the #9 LB.
Secondary: While the Ravens rank as a good matchup for opposing DLs and LBs the same can't be said for the DB position. The Ravens rank just 24th in points allowed to DBs, so seeing Dawan Landry with a 4-star rating probably seems a bit out of sorts. Truth be told it probably is one level to high so look for that rating to be adjusted in an update.