Roquan Smith stepped up big for his share holders in the first week of playoffs
Fantasy playoffs are upon us and we had some huge performances on both sides of the ball in week one (in most places) of the fantasy post season. We’ll make our adjustments as we head into the semifinals in most leagues and hope that the fantasy Gods remain merciful to us all. Let’s get into it.
This isn’t going to be in order because espn.com is acting up but this is what we’ll be looking at this week. The Washington Football Team upset the 49ers and we got a monster performance from a young cheek splitter from Ohio State who finds himself in a tight race between himself, Chase Young (DE), and Jeremy Chinn (S) or Antoine Winfield Jr (S) for defensive rookie of the year, all three have been as advertised this year. The Football Team was able to parlay another solid defensive performance into yet another win and we even got a bonus house call from our newest messiah Kamren Curl (S). We’ll have a look at the 49ers injury situation, I saw Fred Warner (LB) with the questionable tag so we’ll see what that’s all about with that one. The Bears destroyed the Texans and we got an incredible day from Roquan Smith (LB), not a ton to see there it looks like but we’ll make sure everyone played as much as they were supposed to and make sure the Zach Cunningham (LB) apocalypse isn’t getting any worse. The Cowboys blew away the Bengals and I noticed a down day from both Jessie Bates (S) and Vonn Bell (S), relatively, so we’ll check out what happened there, everything looked fine from the Cowboys production side of things but we’ll make sure there weren’t any shenanigans.
The Chiefs edged out the Dolphins in a close one and we got a resurgence from both Chris Jones (DT) and Frank Clark (DE) right when we needed it most so that was good to see, Jerome Baker (LB) had a monster game as well so we’ll take a look at the details in that one. Haason Redick (EDGE) and the Cardinals sacked the crap out of anyone and everyone the Giants marched out at quarterback as they got blown away, so far so good for the EDGE guys this week but I’m positive that as we look closer we’ll see some let down games in that department. (Spoiler alert, there were) The Buccaneers got the ship back on course and put a halt to the red hot Vikings winning ways, were both Devin White (LB) and Lavonte David (LB) able to have a nice day in that one? And was Antoine Winfield Jr (S) able to put up a monster just like his other two possible defensive rookie of the year counterparts did this week? We shall see when we dive into that matchup. More importantly did Todd Davis (LB) see all of the snaps in relief of the injured and out Eric Kendricks (LB)? The Broncos edged out the Panthers and I saw Shaq Thompson (LB) had a down game, we’ll find out why that happened and check in on both teams cornerback situation with the recent suspensions and injuries that have decimated both of those units.
King Henry and the Titans split the Jaguars butt cheeks like firewood and we’ll take another peek at the David Long (LB) situation and see if there’s a possible full time waiver wire linebacker move there yet. The Colts blew away the Raiders and we got Bobby Okereke (LB) back for the first time in a few weeks, we’ll check on his playing time and production and confirm that Anthony Walker (LB) saw the short end of the stick like we’ve seen all season long when that Colts linebackers unit is all healthy. The Seahawks were able to cook this week and that will give us another chance to check if the DJ Reed (S/CB) train is back on the tracks and to also check in on Bryce Hall (CB), Harvey Langi (LB) and Neville Hewitt (LB) for the Jets, I heard a rumor there was a Marcus Maye (S) sighting as well but I’ll believe that when I see it in the box score, he’s been a corpse for weeks now ain’t no way that guy got an interception this week. The Packers beat the Lions because that happens every time they play and we’ll see if the Lions IDP situation has stabilized any more now that Fat Patricia is long gone and back to creating Twitter burners and living under a bridge somewhere.
The Eagles edged out the Saints in the upset of the day and we got a ton of Alex Singleton (LB) as well as some injuries to the Eagles cornerbacks corps so we’ll check all that out. The Chargers beat the Falcons and we got Kyzir White (LB) back this week plus we’ll check in on both IDP relevant safeties for the crazy dude on Twitter who asks me about them biweekly. The Steelers played the Bills with some key pieces missing on defense including Vince Williams (LB) who was on Covid IR and Robert Spillane (LB) who was injured and out this week, we know Avery Williamson (LB) was a key fill in but who else got the call to action with those injuries? We’ll find out. The Ravens and Browns had a rematch of the early season cheek parting that Baltimore served up to Cleveland and we’ll ask ourselves if Lamar Jackson (QB) had cramps or was about to crap his pants on national television. We also got a fairly large surprise with a Rams blowout win against the hoodie earlier this week, Aaron Donald (DT) wrecked havoc like always and we got possibly our last week of Troy Reeder (LB) before the possible return of Micah Kiser (LB) so we’ll check with local media and beat writers to track down whatever we can on those fronts.
All that and more as we spend the next fifteen thousand plus words discussing the finer points of IDP strategy as well as every teams production, playing time, changes in role or responsibilities and possible waivers. It’s not just the “What” but also the “Why”, which is just as if not more important. You’ve been here all season, you already know what it is, many many words of rambling incoherent nonsense written by a crazy person with a questionable infatuation for Jimmy G (QB). It’s the Monster, this is week fourteen, let’s do it.
Patriots @ Rams
New England Patriots
Flash in the pan: Byron Cowart (DT) only played 48% of snaps which isn’t terrible but I’ve never heard of him and it’s a bit late in the game to be screwing around with guys like this, especially on this defense which is notoriously spotty and inconsistent, unreliable and impossible to predict in terms of playing time and production week to week. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Chase Winovich (DE) only played 38% of snaps this week and due to that only recorded just two solo tackles on the day. While the past few weeks have been nice we’re back to the bullshit again. This has been the story with Winovich all season and in terms of the bigger picture also the story with this defense as a whole for the better part of two decades plus now. Nothing is set in stone, no one is safe, anyone can go from 100% of snaps to none or almost none from week to week with no rhyme or reason behind it. This is why this defense is not ideal for IDP purposes, this right here. Winovich has been playing like 80% of snaps a week for the past month or so and out of the blue he sees a massive reduction in playing time which obviously destroys his production, I’ve been warning people about it all season and here is yet another prime example of it. Stay away from Pats IDP. Kyle Dugger (S) was down to 73% of snaps this week and only recorded three combined tackles on the day, when everyone was ready to crown him the next great IDP waiver wire safety a few weeks back I was pumping the brakes for the same reason that Winovich showed us this week. There are no studs here, there are only guys. Dugger is just a guy, feel free to play him if you want but I’m all set. Everything else here was normal, Phillips and Bentley played their usual snaps and produced and that’s as safe as it gets here, Gilmore had a decent game and also played his usual playing time. Everything else is massively risky and there’s nothing saying the rug doesn’t get pulled out from under Bentley or Phillips share holders either, that’s just how this defense works, play any of them at your own risk. I’m not.
Los Angeles Rams
Flash in the pan: Kenny Young (LB) & Morgan Fox (DE) played 69% and 49% of snaps respectively this week, while that’s actually fine in most places, deeper leagues especially, they both haven’t done much else of note this season so this was a definite flash in the pan situation, I don’t expect Kenny Young (LB) to be taking picks to the house and sacking quarterbacks next week and Fox hasn’t been a name I’ve written in this article all season so unless I’m not remembering correctly this is really the only IDP relevant game he’s had this season, pass on both.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week but Micah Kiser (LB) might be worth an add if someone dropped him, he’s eligible to return from IR next game and would very likely instantly replace Troy Reeder (LB) as the middle linebacker with a very nice combined tackle floor since that was his job prior to injury and for the majority of this season. Looks like no Kiser this week, Reeder gets the Jets so it likely won’t be a ridiculous game for him but should be decent, week after maybe for Kiser.
Misc notes: Jalen Ramsey (CB) & Troy Hill (CB) played 100% and 92% of snaps respectively this week but neither had a real good game, that was to be expected when considering the Patriots passing offense is 30th (If I’m remembering that right, regardless it’s really bad) so this was never going to be an ideal matchup for streaming either of those corners anyways. They’ll both be fine against better passing attacks. Micah Kiser (LB) could be back next week, check local media and beat writers before kickoff next week to see if it will be Troy Reeder (LB) or Micah Kiser (LB) at that really productive inside linebacker slot, whoever gets the start should have a decent tackle floor. Neither IDP relevant safety had a monster game here this week but the Rams also won the time of possession battle and the Patriots only completed fourteen passes for 113 yards and were only able to record ten first downs the entire game. This Patriots offense was terrible and there wasn’t a ton to eat here for the Rams defense, they’ll be fine against a better offense. Everyone played their normal snaps and besides the Kiser or Reeder situation everything else here looks like business as usual. Let’s move on. UPDATE: This was found today on local Los Angeles media: Rams head coach Sean McVay said on Monday that this won’t be the week for linebacker Micah Kiser or safety Taylor Rapp to come off of injured reserve. Both are recovering from knee injuries and LA will hope to have them ready by the time the playoffs start in January.
Bears vs Texans
Flash in the pan: Brent Urban (DT) and Mario Edwards (DT) played 52% and 30% of snaps, not terrible for Urban but obviously not great for Edwards, neither of these guys have done much else this season of note so that’s the issue here, looks like clear outlier production and something that likely won’t happen again any time soon. Pass. Bilal Nichols (DT) same deal, 50% of snaps this week, but hasn’t done anything else this season. The Bears pass rush was on fire this week so we saw a ton of outlier production through sacks, these guys haven’t shown us anything resembling consistency this season I highly doubt we’re getting it out the gate starting right now.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week worth mentioning, it looks like Buster Skrine (CB) was injured and out but his replacement only saw 80% of snaps and nothing significant in the box score so we’ll pass on it.
Misc notes: Not a ton to see here this week, the Bears despite blowing away the Texans completely still managed to play enough defense and see enough offensive production from the Texans for everyone here to either have a spectacular game (Roquan, Danny & Khalil) or an acceptable game (Hicks, Fuller, either safety). The corners overall had a down week in what looked like on paper to be a perfect matchup against a top five passing offense but the pass rush was able to prevent Deshaun Watson (QB) from ever really getting his day started with a ridiculous seven sacks on the day. Corner is already a naturally spotty and inconsistent position so it is what it is, we just aim for the best matchups we can find and try to put ourselves in a good streaming corner situation and from there we pray, this week it didn’t work out but I wouldn’t hesitate to fire up Fuller or Johnson again if the matchup is correct, they’ve both come through for us many times this season in ideal matchups. Jaylon Johnson (CB) got hurt in this one after only 71% of snaps played so we’ll have to keep an eye on that going into next week, with Buster Skrine (CB) injured and inactive it was Duke Shelley (CB) getting some playing time but that’s not likely to happen again since both Skrine and Johnson would have to be out for that to even be an option once more. Akiem Hicks (DT) could’ve given us more but his four combined tackles and two QB hits were good for eight points in most of my leagues which is acceptable for an off day with no sacks or splash plays. Basically everyone we rely on for production did their job this week or at least gave us something decent and Roquan Smith (LB) saved many people’s playoff dreams with his monster twelve combined tackle and two sack performance plus Khalil Mack (EDGE) put in work if you did decide to roll the dice with him at regular linebacker, I still maintain it’s risky and will likely bite you before playoffs are done if you choose to keep rolling those dice, ask the Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) owners which one of the zero tackles, sacks or splash plays they enjoyed the most from him this week or the TJ Watt (EDGE) owners which one of his two combined tackles and zero sacks or splash plays of any kind this week they enjoyed the most and let me know how they’re doing, I’ve got them either as a DL in Sleeper or as an IDP flex in a big play scoring league where I can eat the bad week because everyone else is taking the same risk but where I don’t have them is in my regular linebacker slots anywhere, that’s why. Mack put up numbers this week, if he can do so the next two games as well it would be statistically very impressive and realistically not very likely to happen. Moving on.
Flash in the pan: NA, all names that make sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Keion Crossen (CB) appears to be the Bradley Roby (CB) replacement now that he’s joined the other cursed PED users on suspension for the remainder of the season, since we’ve only seen one week of this I’m beyond hesitant to recommend it so I won’t be, however for those of you in crazy deep 32 team single copy leagues that need to launch Hail Mary’s routinely this certainly is one, 100% of snaps played and nine combined tackles plus a pass defense. This is a nice option if you’re in crazy deep leagues and need to take massive risks because the waiver wire is essentially empty, anything beyond that this is a bad idea, it’s just as likely to be someone else we’ve also never heard of next week as the Texans playoff hopes have been gone for a minute and we enter the “see what we have for next year” portion of the season.
Misc notes: Zach Cunningham (LB) was down to 73% of snaps played this week even with the Bears rushing the ball 23 times for 163 yards, he’s never been a great option in coverage but in a game like this I would’ve thought we’d see more playing time than this, regardless he recorded eight combined tackles, a pass defended and a tackle for loss so he had a productive game and we only need two more games out of him before we can blow him into space in dynasty and be rid of this headache forever. Let’s just hope and pray we get those two more games, I’ve talked about how dangerous his situation is all year long, if you missed that just look at the Texans blurb from this article any of the past fourteen weeks and that will catch you up. JJ Watt (DE) was in for a massive 97% of snaps this week but finally came back to earth after a ridiculous hot streak spanning back to week ten. He’s been a top five defensive end in most formats and plays more than any other defensive end I’ve seen this season so we just keep riding the train and hope it gets back on the tracks next week. Nature of the position and all that, defensive end isn’t an every week position etc. Justin Reid (S) saw a small dip in playing time to just 82% of snaps, he’s listed as healthy so no idea what happened there and he just missed his projection if your league rewards passes defended correctly, if you’ve been playing him this long it is what it is, can’t hurt to keep an eye out for a better option in this weeks waiver options for safety though. Everything else looked solid here, the guys who were supposed to produce did so with those couple exceptions above and there were no other significant fluctuations in playing time or anything else to panic over, we’ll see what next week brings. UPDATE: Justin Reid (S) tore a ligament in his hand, AJ Moore (S) looks like his replacement for the remainder of the season. Risky option in deeper leagues but it’s there if you need it.
Chiefs @ Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs
Flash in the pan: Ben Niemann (LB) & Mike Danna (DE) played 90% and 39% of snaps respectively this week, Niemann hasn’t seen anything North of 60% since the Carter administration and clearly saw outlier playing time this week, I checked to make sure I wasn’t crazy, this is only his third decent or acceptable game this entire season and he usually never plays this much, this is a trap and the last thing you should be screwing around with during playoffs. Danna doesn’t play enough and hasn’t done anything else this season so this is a one week outlier until we see it again which isn’t likely any time soon. Willie Gay (LB) only saw 20% of snaps this week so we can ignore his slightly elevated production, still not an option.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, Ben Niemann (LB) isn’t an option he’s a trap.
Misc notes: Chris Jones (DT) and Frank Clark (DE) played 71% and 63% of snaps respectively this week and both of them woke up and put up some numbers when we most needed them to, thank the IDP Gods. As to whether or not that continues throughout playoffs your guess is as good as mine but at least they both gave us exactly what we needed in the first round with a sack apiece and a bonus safety for Jones. Nice timing. Juan Thornhill (S) was still only at 47% of snaps this week and remains not usable even in crazy deep leagues. Dynasty futures option only at this point much like Willie Gay (LB). Everyone else did what we expected them to so we’re looking good, Anthony Hitchens (LB) did see fewer snaps with week with just 54% played and two solo tackles on the day but if you’ve been rolling with Anthony Hitchens (LB) all season you already know you need another option and have been looking for one, hopefully we find something this week as we continue to look at these games. Business as usual otherwise.
Flash in the pan: Brandon Jones (S) was only in for 55% of snaps this week and is the second best B Jones on this team, not enough playing time and very spotty production history, you’re rolling the dice big time if you go this route.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, Kyle Van Noy (LB) and Elandon Roberts (LB) were injured and out this week but their replacements didn’t see nearly as many snaps and their production wasn’t anything special at all so we can just skip all that.
Misc notes: Jerome Baker (LB) was up to 98% of snaps this week but part of that was definitely the lack of other options for starting linebacker, regardless he played plenty and had a massive week so we’ll take it, just remember that his playing time and production have fluctuated all season long so this is anything but “money in the bank” next week, it’s always a risk playing any of the linebackers here weekly. Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) is picking a bad time for a slump, 79% of snaps this week and just one solo tackle and one QB hit on the day, while his first half of the season was the stuff of legends he’s come back to earth this second part of the season. I don’t know what to tell you guys, he plays enough, he’s shown us he can produce at a high level and the opportunity is there every week, he’s due that’s for sure. It is what it is, if you have a different option you like better fire away but we’re in the end game now. We will make good decisions and we will make bad ones too. None of us know what the future holds. All we can do is make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time and hope is works out afterwards, every league will only have one winner and every else will lose. As much as we all want to believe that if we work harder and look at more stats and even read this crazy assholes fifteen thousand word article every Thursday morning that we will have a significant advantage over everyone else the truth really is that, yes, knowing what we know by getting this deep every week absolutely WILL help us make better decisions but in the end luck still plays a pretty big part of this whole thing. I’ve made peace with that, a long time ago now. I don’t have regrets when it comes to fantasy football. I make the best decision I can and then live with it, there is no second guessing from me. I’ve had a long time to come to grips with the reality of this whole thing though. Even if it doesn’t work out and you don’t win anything this season just remember why we started doing this in the first place, it was fun. It is fun. Don’t let it become anything more than just fun. So whether you decide to go with Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) this week or not I can’t help you with that, but what I can say is in the end this is all just a game and we’ll be here next year to keep trying. Weigh the factors, make a call and let the chips fall where they may. Apologies for the small rant there it’s been a long season and my brain is operating on purely energy drinks and the promise of being done with all this after next week and getting to play Cyberpunk 2077 instead of writing this after work. Can’t wait. Anyways even if Van Noy and Roberts are out next week the only real beneficiary I saw this week was Jerome Baker (LB), there were no other fluctuations in playing time or anything else noteworthy. We’ll see if Emanuel Ogbah (DE) can step it up next week and become one of those IDP producers that we always remember fondly for blowing up during the playoffs and delivering us to the title game or if he ends up on our shit list like Nick Vigil (LB) and Kiko Alonso (LB), F those guys they can eat my butt. Moving on.
Cardinals @ Giants
Flash in the pan: Dennis Gardeck (LB) only played 16% of snaps this week but landed a lucky sack, not nearly enough playing time and I didn’t know this guy existed until just now, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Cardinals defense was only on the field for 22 minutes as their offense absolutely dominated time of possession, the Giants were only able to record ten total first downs the entire game and only completed thirteen passes for 81 yards with seventeen rushing attempts for 78 rushing yards. There was very, very, very little to eat here and besides the sack production the IDP points were few and far between, tackles were essentially nonexistent this Giants offense went three and out so much. It’s a miracle we got any acceptable games here besides the Redick explosion obviously. DeVondre Campbell (LB) split the other inside linebacker position with Isaiah Simmons (LB) this week, they played 45% and 55% of snaps respectively and if that continues it negates both of them as IDP options, that’s fun. This is potentially a gigantic disaster waiting to happen next week, the average player might look at this box score and see that the Giants offense was barely on the field and chock up the four combined tackles for Campbell and three for Simmons as gamescript related and they would be correct to a point, what they wouldn’t know is that neither is a legit option if this is what we’re getting the rest of the season in terms of the playing time split, which is a very strong possibility. I checked local media and apparently both of these guys were beat up prior to kickoff but both were cleared in time for the game, the only way I think we’re safe to start either next week is if one or the other is declared inactive before kickoff. Anything beyond that is a massive risk since it’s unlikely they’ll be telling us the planned breakdown of playing time before the game. I’m not playing either this week, I’ll find another option, I would suggest you do the same unless you don’t have a choice. Everything else was fine here, all the starters got a little rest in the fourth quarter once this one was in the bag it looks like and the gamescript screwed basically everyone except Haason Redick (EDGE) and Jordan Hicks (LB), nothing we can do about that, the playing time made sense and besides the Campbell/Simmons situation we’re looking good to go. Onwards.
New York Giants
Flash in the pan: Julian Love (S) and Carter Coughlin (LB) played 57% and 81% of snaps respectively this week, Love has been all over the place this season and is the farthest thing from “safe” so I’m steering clear. As for Mr. Coughlin, this is the first time I’ve ever seen his name, he did play enough and the production was solid, seven combined tackles and a tackle for loss, but we’ve only seen a week of this so this is anything but “solid”. Unless you are truly desperate for a waiver wire linebacker option I would just leave it alone, they could just as easily pull the rug out from under us on this one as play him again next week the same playing time or better with similar or better production. Too big a risk, I’ll pass.
Possible waivers: You could say Carter Coughlin (LB) and if this were week seven I would, but it’s not and it’s too late in the game to screw around with this. If you’re in a crazy deep league fire away but I’m not into it, we’ve seen one week of this that’s not enough to trust during fantasy playoffs.
Misc notes: Xavier McKinney (S) was up to 48% of snaps this week, he recorded four combined tackles and is heading in the right direction but for dynasty purposes only, it’s too late in the game for us to trust this anywhere with our fantasy playoff lives on the line. Besides the sudden appearance of Carter Coughlin (LB) everything else here was solid this week, this defense was on the field for 38 minutes this week and there was plenty to eat so pretty much everyone ate. Leonard Williams (DE) and Dexter Lawrence (DE) both didn’t land a sack or splash play so they had a down week overall but that’s just nature of the position and they both played their usual snaps or close to it. The corners we look to, Bradberry and Ryan, both had solid games and Peppers certainly did as well. Blake Martinez (LB) had seven combined tackles and half a tackle for loss, roughly twelve points in most of my leagues which isn’t amazing but was fine overall, he does well when a decent offense is in town and not so well when it’s the Bengals or something like that, I think we’ve all seen that the position in Green Bay he had was just far more productive than the one he has now in New York, we’ll have to all make that adjustment next season during our startups and redraft league drafts. Too late to make any changes now. So we’re looking good.
Vikings @ Buccaneers
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers but Todd Davis (LB) once again played 100% of snaps in relief of the injured and out Eric Kendricks (LB) this week, Davis led all Vikings IDP producers with seven combined tackles on the day. Solid option if Kendricks is out again this week.
Misc notes: The Vikings defense only spent 20 minutes on the field this week and if their crappy kicker hadn’t been so terrible they very likely would’ve won this game. With that in mind the pathetic output from this defense overall makes a ton of sense. They barely played and when they did Tom Brady (QB) and company didn’t clear 200 passing yards and were a shell of the offense they are capable of being. So there was nothing wrong with any of the usual suspects here this week, Wilson, Smith, Harris, etc. It was just strange gamescript that severely effected the IDP output for this defense this week, it happens, it just happened at a really bad time. DJ Wonnum (DE) was back this week and clocked in at 47% of snaps which is about normal from what we’ve seen this season, he didn’t do much but then again no one did. Everything here looked normal in terms of playing time and roles so no changes need to be made, we just need these guys to run into a better offense which is crazy considering how many weapons that Tampa Bay team has and this is what they were capable of? They’re going to get their cheeks split in the wild card round by someone, unbelievable. Moving on.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Produced as expected: Antoine Winfield Jr (S) Devin White (LB) Lavonte David (LB) Carlton Davis (CB) N’Damakong Suh (DT) Jordan Whitehead (S) Sean Murphy Bunting (CB) Shaq Barrett (EDGE) Jason Pierre Paul (DE)
Flash in the pan: Patrick O’Connor (DE) played 28% of snaps this week and sounds more like an IRA sympathizer who tends bar in-between planning the downfall of the British government and less like a defensive end on the Bucs. His outlier sack was far more likely the result of this defense spending two thirds of the game on the field and far less the result of him being good or seeing significant playing time since he’s not and he didn’t. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: On the flip side of things this Tampa Bay defense spent 40 minutes on the field which was a very nice surprise indeed. There are many many solid and excellent weekly IDP producers here and they all had plenty of playing time and plenty to eat this week, the IDP Gods are kind sometimes. With Jamel Dean (CB) injured and out this week it was Ross Cockrell (CB) in again but his playing time was bad, just 48% of snaps played overall, and his production wasn’t anything special either with no recorded stats of any kind. So it looks like Carlton Davis and Murphy Bunting if no Jamel Dean (CB) next week. Jordan Whitehead (S) saw a decent sized reduction in snaps down to 70% played this week, I checked the news and there’s nothing about an injury so it could just be a gamescript thing since it was Dalvin Cook (RB) as the bigger threat than the Vikings passing attack this week, I can’t know that for sure but it tracks. Regardless it’s something to keep an eye on, if you do have another similar safety option on your bench maybe go that route next week in case this drop in playing time is the start of a trend. It didn’t matter this week, losing 30% of snaps when you’re on the field for 40 minutes basically canceled out and it was like he played a normal game, but if this is what we’re going to see the next two weeks you don’t need to be starting a safety seeing less than ideal playing time in the final two weeks of fantasy playoffs. Everything else was business as usual, everyone who was supposed to produce did so, I never count William Gholston (DE) but even he had four combined tackles and a QB hit and played 57% of snaps this week so it was fine, especially when you consider what kind of leagues he’s actually an option in. So we’re looking good for the most part, we’ll circle back on Jordan Whitehead (S) next week and see if it was a blip on the radar or a disaster in progress. Moving on.
Broncos @ Panthers
Flash in the pan: Will Parks (S) & Jeremiah Attaochu (LB) played 82% and 31% of snaps respectively this week, Parks is playing enough but hasn’t done anything else of note this season and this is the most playing time I’ve seen him have to this point as well, it’s a bit late in the game to screw around with this so I’ll pass. Attaochu doesn’t play enough and got a lucky outlier sack, pass there as well.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Bradley Chubb (EDGE) and Malik Reed (EDGE) played 85% and 82% of snaps respectively this week but neither landed a sack or splash play therefore they both had a bad week, add Chubb to this weeks list of heavy hitter EDGE guys that had down weeks and helped speed up the exit of their owners from the playoffs, TJ Watt (EDGE) and Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) are the other members of this cursed list this week and I’m sure we’ll collect more as we continue, this is what I was warning about last week and frankly every week this entire season. If you play these guys as DL in Sleeper or somewhere then everyone is taking the same risk, but if you fired them up in a regular linebacker slot and your opponent played someone like Jerome Baker (LB) you got absolutely annihilated in just that one matchup and while you spent early and expensive draft capital on someone like TJ Watt (EDGE) your opponent could’ve gotten Jerome Baker (LB) for free off waivers heading into week two. Not my first rodeo. Shelby Harris (DE) was in for 57% of snaps this week but had a down week as well, nature of the position and since he’s a DE your opponent was playing DE against him as well so the risk was equal on both sides, it happens and he’ll be fine. Pretty much everything else looked good here this week, we could’ve used a better game from Alexander Johnson (LB) and Josey Jewell (LB) but they gave us acceptable numbers overall with five and six combined tackles apiece, hopefully we get better output next week but at least it wasn’t a complete disaster. So we’re looking good here, no fluctuations in playing time worth mentioning and just the usual variance in production from week to week, let’s move on.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Jermaine Carter (LB) remains the other starter at inside linebacker after displacing Tahir Whitehead (LB) the game prior to this one, he was in for 80% of snaps this week and recorded five combined tackles, four of them solo, he makes a very nice waiver wire linebacker in deeper leagues.
Misc notes: Shaq Thompson (LB) was in for 97% of snaps but only had three combined tackles in his first week back from the Covid IR list and while the Broncos only managed 96 rushing yards on the day they did have thirty attempts! The easy run stopping tackles where there, I have no idea why Thompson wasn’t in position to scoop more than three of them. Not ideal. Regardless I’ll be plugging him back in next week, the bottom line is he plays the right position with the right amount of snaps every week and has the talent plus has shown us numerous times over the past two years he can put up a monster game any given week. I trust him. But I get it if you go with another option, but yeah no idea why this happened and he’s not hurt either that I can find, so just an off week it appears. He should be fine. Derrick Brown (DT) was in for 80% of snaps but only recorded two combined tackles because he’s just a fat guy who clogs space like we’ve been saying all season. This is his normal. Yetur Gross Matos (DE) was up to 69% of snaps this week which was nice not only for his dynasty owners but as a possible option in those much deeper leagues for these last couple weeks, it looks like the Panthers know their playoff hopes are swirling the toilet and are committing to seeing what they have in their rookie, it’s been trending this way for a few weeks now but I think he’s safe enough to start at this point in those much deeper leagues. He also did have four combined tackles plus a tackle for loss and two QB hits so the production wasn’t half bad either, especially in the type of leagues where he’s being considered. With Donte Jackson (CB) back in the lineup we saw Rasul Douglas (CB) as the loser with his snaps falling to just 34% played this week, we’ll adjust moving forward for corner streaming but in general I’ve been avoiding streaming these guys unless it’s Justin Burris (CB/S) and he’s got the corner designation in your leagues, the rest have either been sporadic, injury prone or seeing fluctuating playing time all season long. Everything else here looked fine, no other surprises good or bad.
Titans @ Jaguars
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names or names that make sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Amani Hooker (S) was in for Kenny Vaccaro (S) this week who was injured and out, he played all 100% of those snaps and recorded seven combined tackles and a tackle for loss, solid spot start for the duration of the Vaccaro injury but keep an eye on his health it’s entirely dependent on him being inactive. DAVID LONG (LB) played all 100% of snaps this week and recorded five combined tackles and half a tackle for loss, not the most incredible numbers ever but it looks like he has completely taken over that Jayon Brown (LB) role as the other inside linebacker next to Rashaan Evans (LB). Excellent option in deeper leagues if you need linebacker help.
Misc notes: Jeffrey Simmons (DT) was in for 72% of snaps this week but had a down week with only one solo tackle on the day, it happens, nature of the position and all that, I’m still playing him this week he’s been solid all season and we know defensive tackle is even spottier than defensive end, it falls off a cliff fast and that’s why I’m out there drafting Aaron Donald (DT) and DeForest Buckner (DT) with my first IDP pick in drafts while new guys are drafting linebackers and shit. I’ll have the best options at a position with extreme scarcity and find linebackers like Alex Singleton (LB) off waivers throughout the season who week to week score very closely to even the best linebackers from startup drafts. Linebacker is a flat position, defensive tackle is not. Simmons will be fine, he’s an excellent option overall. Harold Landry (EDGE) was in for 87% of snaps this week but failed to record a sack or splash play therefore his week was bad. He joins the list of popular EDGE guys to screw everyone that started him in their regular linebacker slot this week. With Breon Borders (CB) injured and out this week Desmond King (CB) saw an uptick in playing time to 89% of snaps but his production was still mediocre with just three solo tackles and a tackle for loss, still it happened therefore I’m reporting it. I’d still rather have Borders if he’s healthy next week, Tye Smith (CB) also saw 85% of snaps as an injury replacement due to this same Borders issue and had similar numbers to King so nothing special there either. Basically the only big news here this week was the injury replacements for Vaccaro and Borders plus the David Long (LB) solidification of that other inside linebacker role, everything else was business as usual. Let’s keep it moving I’ve got a package to design in Cyberpunk 2077.
Flash in the pan: Joe Giles Harris (LB) was in for 67% of snaps and landed a lucky outlier sack, he hasn’t done anything else of note this season and he’s not likely to do this again any time soon, I’ll pass thanks.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Sidney Jones (CB) was back this week but only played 56% of snaps, it’s possible they’re easing him back into the lineup after an extended absence, I can’t find anything with a concrete answer but I’m also writing this section Monday night so it might be worth a look at local media and Jags beat writers if you want to stream him this week on Saturday maybe to see if anything has come to light. I’m probably just steering clear of this entire cornerback corps honestly, too many questions to screw around with during playoffs. Josh Jones (S) and Andrew Wingard (S) switched up this week due to a shoulder injury to Jones, he left after only 24% of snaps played and Andrew Wingard (S) filled in for the remaining 76% and recorded three combined tackles as a replacement, there’s a reason this isn’t above with the “possible waivers” because I’m not crazy enough to recommend this and eat all the hate mail when it goes South next week, don’t put that bad Juju on me. Play Josh Jones (S) if he’s healthy, if he isn’t I have no recommendations for you, I’m sure you’ll figure something out. Daniel Ekuale (DT) has had two solid games now in a row I believe, I could be remembering that wrong it’s been a long season, and played 73% of snaps this week, this could be a desperation option in deeper leagues if you need defensive tackle help but I still feel like we haven’t seen enough to call it solid yet, still it happened so I’m mentioning it. Everything else looked like business as usual here, there are only a couple decent options and we all know who they are, beyond that I’m all set with this defense.
Cowboys @ Bengals
Flash in the pan: Rashard Robinson (CB) and Tyrone Crawford (DE) played 83% and 50% of snaps this week respectively, Robinson only played at all because Chidobe Awuzie (CB) was on the Covid IR list so it’s short term and the playing time isn’t ideal and for Crawford (DE) the playing time isn’t great and he hasn’t done anything else of note this season, pass on both.
Possible waivers: Darian Thompson (S) remains a nice option for the duration of the Donovan Wilson (S) injury, he was in for 100% of snaps and recorded five combined tackles making him solid for deeper leagues as a safety three or four until Wilson returns.
Misc notes: Demarcus Lawrence (DE) was in for 56% of snaps and depending on how your league scores forced fumbles may or may not have reached his projection, a bit of a down week overall but he should recover he’s been pretty hot the second part of this season and is more than capable of a monster week at any point. Leighton Vander Esch (LB) was back up to 90% of snaps played this week after essentially splitting time with Sean Lee (LB) last week, he recorded seven combined tackles for an acceptable day overall and remains a nice option in deeper leagues, the playing time is back that’s the important note here. Randy Gregory (DE) has been seeing massively fluctuating playing time, it was down at 24% of snaps last week and was up to 61% this week, bottom line is you just can’t trust that he’ll play enough each week to even have the opportunity for production and that’s a dangerous game to play. I’m not playing him anywhere. Everything else looked good here, the guys we were worried about with playing time and production (LVE and Jaylon Smith respectively) both recovered in the areas we were worried about so it’s back to business as usual. Moving on.
Flash in the pan: Margus Hunt (DT) and Jordan Evans (LB) played 39% and 10% of snaps respectively this week, neither plays remotely enough for any kind of consistency and neither has done much else of note this season, pass on both.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Vonn Bell (S) and Jessie Bates (S) both played their usual 100% of snaps this week but neither had a monster game which is strange for these two, that’s saying something about their value as IDP producers this season. They’ve both been excellent and this is just the second bad game for either of them this entire season so it doesn’t happen all that often. They should be fine even the best and most consistent guys have a down week every now and then. Beyond that we got more of the same, the linebackers were useless and didn’t play enough, the entire defensive line besides Sam Hubbard (DE) was useless and played plenty but it didn’t matter and the corners are a mess as well. There are very few legit options on this defense for weekly production, let’s hope the best two can rebound next week and get back to their productive ways. Let’s move on.
Colts @ Raiders
Flash in the pan: Anthony Walker (LB) and Rock Ya Sin (CB) played 60% and 68% of snaps respectively this week, Walker was the clear third linebacker in terms of playing time with Darius Leonard (LB) and Bobby Okereke (LB) at 78% and 74% of snaps which tracks with what we’ve seen all season, Walker won’t play enough with the other two healthy to be consistent. As for Rock Ya Sin (CB) he saw a slight bump in playing time (it was still bad though) due to an injury to Xavier Rhodes (CB), he hasn’t played enough all season and he still doesn’t so I’ll pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: DeForest Buckner (DT) was in for 72% of snaps this week but only managed four combined tackles and no splash plays, nature of the position and he’ll be fine, he’s coming off a pretty hot week if I recall and this is what it is for defensive tackles in IDP, none of them are “every week” guys, even Aaron Donald (DT). He should bounce back and give us at least one solid game of the next two. Justin Houston (DE) was down to 41% of snaps this week and had just one tackle assist on the day, he’s been all over the place this season with playing time and production but with weeks like he had recently with three sacks and all the trimmings it’s worth it to keep playing him in deeper leagues unless you have a better option, nature of the position here as well except with less ideal playing time. Darius Leonard (LB) was also injured this week but Coach Reich described it as “not serious” so it’s looking good to have him back this semifinals week hopefully, if he can’t go it will give a bump to both Bobby Okereke (LB) and make Anthony Walker (LB) a legit option so keep an eye on that. Everything else here looks good and like business as usual.
Las Vegas Raiders
Flash in the pan: Lamarcus Joyner (CB) only played 67% of snaps this week but recorded seven combined tackles plus a smattering of other stats, he’s the third corner here in terms of playing time by a good amount and hasn’t done much else of note this season so I’ll pass, outlier performance nothing more.
Possible waivers: Eric Harris (S) remains an option for the duration of Jeff Heath (S) absence, he played 100% of snaps and had four tackle assists and a pass defense, obviously not a great option but it is one, especially for crazy deep leagues.
Misc notes: Maxx Crosby (DE) was in for a massive 95% of snaps this week and despite not landing a sack or splash play still had three combined tackles and two tackles for loss, seven points in most of my leagues which is decent for a bad day overall. He’s playing enough that’s for sure and we’ve seen him produce before so this is just a nature of the position thing and we’ll hope he bounces back this week. Cory Littleton (LB) was only in for 54% of snaps this week while recording just two tackle assists on the day, not ideal. The fall from grace is complete and he’s now useless basically everywhere. Joy. We’ve been tracking this all season though so it’s not like this is news to anyone. Clelin Ferrell (DE) was only in for 11% of snaps this week before leaving with a shoulder injury, not ideal but he’s really only an option in deeper leagues anyways so this doesn’t hurt the vast majority of us. We’ll see what the week brings, it looks like Arden Key (DE) saw the difference in snaps with 61% played as Ferrell was out. UPDATE: Jonathan Abram (S) is out this week, Damon Arnette (CB), Nicholas Morrow (LB) and Clelin Ferrel (DE) as well. For Morrow it’s Littleton that one’s easy, for Abram it’s trickier, I don’t have an option for you at the time of writing, this news just dropped as a I write this, check back in with beat writers today (Thurday) for more info.
Jets @ Seahawks
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: Arthur Maulet (CB) only played 30% of snaps this week, that’s not even one third of the defensive snaps, clear outlier production that can’t be consistent with this little playing time, pass.
Possible waivers: Bless Austin (CB) and Mathias Farley (S) played 93% and 70% of snaps respectively this week, Austin was reactivated off the short term IR and joins Bryce Hall (CB) as the two corners that play enough weekly to streaming purposes. Farley has taken over for Ashtyn Davis (S) who took over for Bradley McDougald (S) who took over for Jamal Adams (S). He is the captain now. Not great playing time but since this defense spends so much more time on the field compared to most others that helps balance that out, he’s a decent option in deeper leagues and had seven combined tackles plus half a tackle for loss this week.
Misc notes: Bryce Hall (CB) and Lamar Jackson (CB), the bad one, played 100% and 7% of snaps respectively this week. Hall had a down game, especially considering that Russ was in town and cooking, but still had three solo tackles on the day so not a complete disaster, he remains a nice streaming corner option here. For Jackson I totally missed the Bless Austin (CB) returning from IR news and in fact had read that he was likely shut down for the season in local New York media a couple weeks ago, so I guess not, my apologies if that screwed anyone, I missed it too and ate the zero in a couple much deeper leagues. So it’s Austin and Hall now going forward, we’ll adjust and keep it moving. The Jets are still ranked 32nd overall in time of possession this season at 26 minutes of offense per game, this means their defense spends an average of 34 minutes per game on the field which is the most in the NFL this season. This makes their IDP pieces a bit more valuable than most simply due to the fact that the best ability is availability, more time on the field equals more chances for IDP production, plus this defense is ranked 30th in overall defense, 31st in pass defense and middle of the pack for rushing defense. Opposing offenses are able to have their way with this defense and mix up the run and pass at will which is an excellent recipe for IDP production here, these guys will not only spend more time on the field than anyone else every week but they are essentially guaranteed to see a good mix of run and pass which makes for a nice combined tackle floor plus plenty of opportunities for pass defenses, picks and sacks and everything else. There are only a few really solid and consistent pieces here but the ones we do have are excellent week in and week out and always have gamescript working for them and not against them, while it’s nice having Christian Kirksey (LB) he’s also on the best team in the NFL on average in time of possession and if he’s not on the field he can’t score IDP points. So while some have ignored this defense and downplayed the pieces we have here I am all about it. Anyways we’re looking fine here this week, the guys we counted on to produce did so with the exception of a less than expected week from Bryce Hall (CB) and the rug getting pulled out from under us with Lamar Jackson (CB), the bad one. Corner is a naturally spotty and inconsistent and mostly unpredictable position in the first place so it wasn’t the end of the world but at least we can adjust and move forward from it. I’m all about Neville Hewitt (LB) and Harvey Langi (LB) this week with a visit to the Rams on the schedule, they should be able to put that one away by the end of the third quarter and salt away the clock with Cam Akers (RB) for the entire fourth quarter, the easy run stopping tackles should be plentiful for both inside linebackers. They’re gonna get their cheeks split big time.
Flash in the pan: Damon Harrison (DT) & Ben Burr Kirven (LB) played 43% and 19% of snaps respectively this week, as much as I would love these six tackle assists to be the dawning of the new age of Snacks Harrison it doesn’t look like that’s happening this season, he’s still not playing enough and this was outlier production. For Kirven (LB) this might be the first time he’s seen the field this season, I can’t be sure because I haven’t type his name in here until just now, he saw snaps as a backup because this game was over and he racked up a few run stops nothing more. Neither are an option. Shaqueem Griffin (LB) only played 15% of snaps this week but landed a lucky sack so that’s why he’s here, a ton of backup guys saw garbage time snaps this week and he was one of them, obviously he doesn’t play enough so we’ll pass here as well.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Shaq Griffin (CB) was in for 87% of snaps this week before resting much of the fourth quarter due to the blowout. He was never going to have a good week here and I said as much in my weekly streaming corners article, this is one of the two worst passing attacks in the league and even though the Seahawks pass defense is equally bad they were able to shut down this passing attack this week no problem. He’ll be fine against a better offense and quarterback with real weapons. DJ Reed (CB/S) saw 98% of snaps this week and still recorded four combined tackles despite the lack of a real passing threat from the Jets or a real offense in general. He’s going to remain an option as long as there’s no Tre Flowers (CB) or Quinton Dunbar (CB), if either of them use the short term IR instead of the long term they could return and displace him so keep an eye on that if you plan on streaming him anytime soon. Jordyn Brooks (LB) only played 34% of snaps this week and recorded zero stats of any kind. I was never on this train so I don’t need to disembark and I’ve been warning people of the rotation of random third linebackers here for a minute, not a great option going forward just like always. We got decent games from Wagner and Wright and a solid game from Adams so we’ll take it, this Jets team only scored three points and lost the time of possession battle 35 minutes to 25 so this Seahawks defense saw fewer defensive snaps this week than usual, it’s a miracle we got the production we did get. Carlos Dunlap (DE) was injured and out so we’ll have to keep an eye on that heading into this week, Raheem Green (DE) saw the most increased snaps from that loss with 72% played this week but he had no recorded stats so it didn’t really matter, if it’s not Dunlap I’m probably just pivoting to somewhere else instead of looking here for help. Moving on.
Packers @ Lions
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: Rashan Gary (OLB) only played 28% of snaps this week and landed a lucky sack, still just a dynasty futures piece he isn’t playing enough yet, pass for now.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Christian Kirksey (LB) was down to 68% of snaps this week in (If I’m remembering correctly) what was his second week in a row of reduced playing time, last week I believe it was because he had been burnt badly in pass coverage, this week it looked like more of the same, there was a local Packers media article saying Krys Barnes (LB) was asked to play more nickel coverage this week because Kirksey has been bad in coverage and Barnes did play 59% of snaps this week so it tracks. Regardless this is the exact worst time to see this crap, I just took a pause to look for waivers in every league where I have Kirksey going because this is a game I don’t feel like playing during semifinals week of playoffs, I would suggest you do the same. We’ll see what next week brings but this feels bad, very bad indeed. He only had four combined tackles and only one of them was solo as well, so the reduced playing time is effecting his production as well, not ideal. Preston Smith (EDGE) & Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) played 82% and 87% of snaps respectively this week but neither was able to land a sack or splash play so they both had bad games, I’ve commented on Za’Darius Smith (LB) bad day earlier in this article so I won’t rehash it, it is what it is, if you played them in your regular linebacker slot this was bad, if you played them in your DL slot it was probably fine since your opponent likely also had at least one guy not land a sack or splash play as well. Risk management. Everything else here looked fine, the only issue worth panicking about is the Christian Kirksey (LB) shenanigans, and it’s 100% worth panicking over no doubt about it.
Flash in the pan: NA, all names that make sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Tracy Walker (S) saw 42% of snaps this week and remains IDP irrelevant, no changes there. Romeo Okwara (DE) played 84% of snaps but had a down week, he should be fine he plays enough and has had a very fine season. Everson Griffen (DE) landed on the Covid IR list and will be out at least another week, Austin Bryant (DE) looks to be his replacement but you’re not interested trust me. Jahlani Tavai (LB) displaced Reggie Ragland (LB) as the second linebacker in terms of playing time with 61% of snaps this week, he was only able to record three combined tackles so it appears that second linebacker position is equally crappy regardless who is in it, pass. Jeff Okudah (CB) had surgery and looks like he’s done for the season. This defense is a steaming piece of crap for IDP, let’s move on.
Saints @ Eagles
New Orleans Saints
Flash in the pan: Shy Tuttle (DT) played 51% of snaps and recorded six combined tackles but hasn’t done anything else of note this season so it’s an outlier we can ignore.
Possible waivers: It could be a one week thing but Kwon Alexander (LB) shot up to 100% of snaps this week and recorded seven combined tackles and a QB hit, I wouldn’t do it but in deeper leagues it might be an idea.
Misc notes: The entire Saints pass rush was ineffective this week, they all played their normal snaps with Cameron Jordan (DE) seeing the most at 91% and Marcus Davenport (DE) seeing the least with 39%, Trey Hendrickson (DE) was at 48% which isn’t ideal but tracks since Davenport has been back. This usually dominant unit had a quiet day overall as Jalen Hurts (QB) escaped sticky situations time after time all game long, we’ll see if they can bounce back against the Chiefs. I’m not panicking, I’ll be starting Jordan where I have him and Onyemata the same, Hendrickson in the league or two I’ve got him in as well, this unit is too good to get blanked twice in a row. Strange game all around for the Saints this week. The Kwon Alexander (LB) thing was really the only piece of news that lit up the radar here this week, we got acceptable games from everyone except the defensive line and the corners but we didn’t really expect the corners to go nuts this week anyways, next week against the Chiefs is a different story, I’ve already claimed Jenkins and Lattimore off waivers everywhere I could in preparation for that matchup. So we’re looking good overall. On the Alexander stuff, he’s been at bad or mediocre playing time since he got here and now all of a sudden he’s playing every snap, it feels more like a game plan and less like this being the new normal. You can pursue it if you want but for me it’s too big a risk too late in the game. Moving on.
Flash in the pan: Kevon Seymour (CB) only played 56% of snaps and only even saw that much time because Slay and Maddox both got dinged up, again. Pass, not enough playing time and not likely to even see the field unless multiple injuries and inactives continue to occur.
Possible waivers: With TJ Edwards (LB) injured and out Duke Riley (LB) saw a pretty big increase in snaps and therefore production as well, 90% of snaps with six combined tackles and a pass defense on the day, not a bad option at all if Edwards is injured and out again this week, otherwise he’ll see a reduction in snaps and likely production as well due to that fact.
Misc notes: Both Darius Slay (CB) and Avonte Maddox (CB) got hurt in this one, we’ll have to see what their status is heading into next week but really Slay is the only one I’d consider streaming if the matchup looks good. Brandon Graham (DE) and Derek Barnett (DE) played 67% and 60% of snaps respectively but neither had a good day, nature of the position, it was Hargrave and Sweat this week it could be Barnett and Graham next week. Rodney McLeod (S) also blew out his ACL in this one, it looks like Marcus Epps (S) is the replacement but I don’t follow the Eagles all that closely so I can’t confirm that, regardless it’s not something to screw around with unless you have to. Jalen Mills (S) came back to earth this week but still played 100% of snaps, he remains an inconsistent option in deeper leagues no changes there. Nothing really earth shattering here just the injury stuff, we’ll see who the McLeod replacement is next week and maybe have a decent option in deeper leagues for the title games and we’ll see how the corner injuries play out as well, the Eagles do get the Cardinals next week so if Slay can go that’s worth a corner stream in deeper leagues for sure. It might be safer to just look elsewhere though and avoid the headache of keeping track of that or having him reinjure himself early into the game with Arizona, avoiding a disaster is just as important as finding a nice corner stream. Remember to keep an eye on TJ Edwards (LB) if you want to roll out Riley next week, when they were both healthy their playing time was like 60% and 50% of snaps each, somewhere in that neighborhood, the only reason Riley was relevant this week was that bump in playing time in all likelihood. Onwards.
Falcons @ Chargers
Flash in the pan: Tyeler Davison (DT) & Mykal Walker (LB) played 45% and 25% of snaps respectively this week, while Davison was a decent option in deeper leagues last season that hasn’t been the case this year, as for Walker that’s clearly not enough playing time, pass on both. Blidi Wreh Wilson (CB) was only in for 15% of snaps and got a lucky interception with almost no playing time at all, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Steven Means (DE) was in for 60% of snaps this week but came crashing back to earth after being red hot for the better part of the last month, it was bound to happen, even the best defensive ends aren’t “every week” guys and Steven Means (DE) isn’t the best defensive end by a long shot. He still plays enough and has produced a good amount recently so I’m all about it in deeper leagues. Sharrod Neasman (CB) came out of nowhere to see 100% of snaps this week, it didn’t translate to production with just two solo tackles on the day but it happened. I don’t see anyone who was directly effected by this, maybe Blidi Wreh Wilson (CB) a little bit but he wasn’t an option anyways, more than likely they just added another corner to their base defense for the duration of this one since they were up against the pass happy Chargers. Regardless it’s only one game so it’s not safe enough to add to our streaming corners options and he didn’t do much anyways so we can forget that it even happened. Dante Fowler (EDGE) was in for 75% of snaps but did nothing as is tradition so no changes there either. Even Grady Jarrett (DT) had five combined tackles, four of them solo, on 84% of snaps this week so we’re looking decent pretty much across the board, nothing to panic about in Atlanta besides just the team in general and their record and future prospects.
Los Angeles Chargers
Flash in the pan: Nick Vigil (LB) was only in for 37% of snaps this week as Kyzir White (LB) returned as the other starter next to Kenneth Murray (LB), his value was only when Denzel Perryman (LB) and Kyzir White (LB) were both out and he had the playing time at that point, otherwise he’s useless. Justin Jones (DT) and Uchenna Nwosu (LB) played 60% and 30% of snaps respectively this week, that’s plenty for Jones he just hasn’t done anything else of note this season and if it’s not Linval Joseph (DT) or Jerry Tillery (DT) here I’m not interested, as for Nwosu he’s playing just over a quarter of the defensive snaps and got all of his points from a lucky outlier sack, no interest there either.
Possible waivers: Kyzir White (LB) is back and playing once more, 75% of snaps this week with seven combined tackles, five of them solo, not a bad idea in deeper leagues.
Misc notes: Joey Bosa (DE) was in for 79% of snaps this week but had a bad day, it happens, he’ll be fine. As long as he’s healthy and playing there’s a monster game right around the corner. Nasir Adderley (S) was injured just 54% of snaps into this one, the injury is being described as “banged up”, I’m not even kidding. So no idea where that will go, there was no direct replacement at safety it looks like, Jahleel Addae (S) might have seen a slight bump in playing time, regardless I’m not seeing a waiver wire move here if he is injured and out this week so it is what it is. Kenneth Murray (LB) saw 98% of snaps and had a fine game with seven combined tackles, the panic from a month ago seems to be a thing of the past so all good there. The only real issue is the Adderley injury and hoping that Kyzir White (LB) gets a bump in playing time, it was his first week back in a minute so they could’ve been just easing him back into things, next week will tell the tale. If you’re in a deep enough league that you have to use him then there probably aren’t many other better options but it’s worth a look to try and find one to avoid even playing this game in semifinals week. Everything else is fine, moving on.
Football Team @ 49ers
Washington Football Team
Flash in the pan: Jeremy Reaves (S) and Kevin Pierre Louis (LB) played 41% and 19% of snaps respectively this week, neither is remotely enough playing time for any consistency, for Reaves though more below.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: DeShazor Everett (S) and Jeremy Reaves (S) apparently split the other starting safety role, Everett was in for 59% of snaps while Reaves was in for 41% of snaps with no true full time second safety next to Kamren Curl (S). Smart move here is to ignore both of these guys, if this were earlier in the season adding Reaves would be smart since it looks like he may take over that job in the next week or two but we don’t have the luxury of time for that so we’ll just abandon ship on Everett and leave it alone. Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) was in for 46% of snaps this week while recording just one tackle assist and one pass defense on the day, he’s still the odd man out as far as the pass rush is concerned, no change there. Literally everyone else we asked to produce for us this week did so in an absolutely incredible IDP performance from this defense as a whole. The IDP Gods were kind this week, we’ll take it. Nothing to see here we’re looking good across the board besides the Everett and Reaves shenanigans.
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: Azeez Al Shaair (LB) and Jordan Willis (DE)
Possible waivers: No new producers, there will be a replacement if Warner can’t go but I’m not entirely sure who that will be, check local San Francisco media and beat writers for more closer to kickoff.
Misc notes: Fred Warner (LB) was only in for 52% of snaps this week before getting injured, he had a stinger that isn’t being described as serious and it’s looking like he should be good to go for this week, he apparently hasn’t missed a game in three seasons so it’s doubtful this will be the injury that does it. Arik Armstead (DT) and Kerry Hyder (DE) both played 83% of snaps this week but neither was able to land a sack or splash play so they both had a down week overall, nothing has changed here just nature of the position. They’re just as likely to blow up or not last week as they were this week, it’s completely random. Unless I had a better option I’d play them this week, Dallas’s offensive line is beat to crap and Andy Dalton (QB) isn’t the most elusive quarterback on the planet. The Niners corners played their normal snaps, it was Sherman and Verrett both playing 100% of snaps and the third corner isn’t worth mentioning, this wasn’t a great matchup in the first place so I wasn’t streaming either of these and recommended no one else do so either, they’ll both be fine in a better matchup against a better passing offense. Nothing to see here. The Warner injury is the only news here this week and it looks like he should be fine so we’re all good in the land of rice and poopy sidewalks.
Steelers @ Bills
Flash in the pan: Tyson Alualu (DE) was only in for 48% of snaps this week and hasn’t done anything else of note this season, there are many guys here that are excellent pass rushers and produce often, this isn’t one of them. Pass.
Possible waivers: Marcus Allen (FS/LB) was in for 75% of snaps this week and replaced the injured and out Robert Spillane (LB) and Vince Williams (LB), he’s only an option if both are out again next week, he did have eight combined tackles and a tackle for loss so this was a decent option in deeper leagues especially if you plugged him into a safety or DB slot and got inside linebacker type production from a safety.
Misc notes: TJ Watt (EDGE) was in for 85% of snaps this week but failed to record any splash plays or sacks, which one of his two tackles did you all enjoy the most? If you started him as a DL somewhere or in a specific EDGE slot then it is what it is, the odds are good at least one of your opponents guys in those same slots had a bad day as well and it equaled out, however if you started him in a regular linebacker slot and your opponent started pretty much any combined tackle floor guy you got absolutely destroyed in that one to one matchup. This is why I say what I’ve said all season, I didn’t even have to wait for this guy to screw everyone in playoffs he did it immediately right out the gate. He may have a nice overall number of IDP points for the season but that doesn’t mean he’s consistent, and consistency is king. If you survived his horrendous day last week congratulations you’re probably in the minority since his failure was so complete. But now at least you’ve endured a picture perfect real world example of why using EDGE in your regular linebacker slot is dangerous, doesn’t matter who the EDGE is due to the nature of their production style they’re never going to be “every week” guys like combined tackle linebackers are (or at least have these disastrous days exponentially less often). He’ll probably bounce back this week with the terrible Bengals in town but you never know, I’d rather play someone like Alex Singleton (LB) who I got for free off waivers, I spent that draft capital during startup that people were using on Watt as a linebacker on my defensive tackles or ends and made sure I had a massive advantage at those positions where the production falloff is sudden and drastic instead of wasting it on someone who needs to land a sack or splash play to score and IDP points every week in a position where you can rely on tackles instead. Tackles happen every single game, sacks and picks, forced fumbles and defensive touchdowns do not, relying on those types of plays for weekly production in a position where you CAN rely on combined tackles is just a batshit crazy risk that likely knocked you out of playoffs this week. Doesn’t matter who the EDGE guy is, this is reality. Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) did the same thing this week and between him and Watt those are without a doubt the most consistent and productive EDGE guys this season hands down and they both would’ve screwed you in a regular linebacker slot this week. That’s reality. Let’s hope he can bounce back this week for those of you that survived this disaster of a game, and at the minimum those of us that are starting him correctly as DL in Sleeper or anywhere else he has that designation or in ESPN as an EDGE would probably appreciate him doing something for us during playoffs as well. Alex Highsmith (EDGE) was in for 91% of snaps this week but still hasn’t done anything of note either, Bud Dupree (EDGE) at least had talent and would land some sacks every other week or so, Highsmith was a backup for a reason, I wasn’t on board with this before and I’m still not a fan now. He could go nuts this week but there are a million other EDGE or OLB guys I’d rather have than him. Cameron Heyward (DT) was in for 85% of snaps this week, Stephon Tuitt (DE) had 72%, neither had a good day but both are having fine seasons overall and while Tuitt recorded zero stats of any kind at least Heyward got you three combined tackles and a pass defense, good for eight points in most of my leagues which is solid for a bad day overall. They’ll both be fine, nature of the position and all that, plus odds are good that your opponent had at least one stinker at defensive end in Tuitt’s case or defensive tackle for Heyward’s so it probably evened out in the end, odds are good for a bounce back against the terrible Bengals this week. Everything else here looked good, the inside linebackers situation remains in flux so keep an eye on that heading into kickoff but beyond that it was business as usual.
Flash in the pan: AJ Klein (LB) & Matt Milano (LB) played 53% and 47% of snaps respectively this week, Milano is climbing back up towards his normal playing time but as things sit neither of them are playing enough for anything other than much deeper leagues. We got lucky with the Milano sack against the Steelers but if that playing time doesn’t improve he’s going to screw us there’s no doubt about it. As things stand the last two weeks Milano is seeing his playing time increasing while Klein’s is decreasing, we’ll see what next week brings but it’s risky to play either at this point in time it looks like.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Levi Wallace (CB) had a terrific game but only saw 44% of snaps this week, he’s not injured that I saw and I did look, Taron Johnson (CB) was the second corner this week with 65% of snaps played while Tre’Davious White (CB) played his usual 100% of snaps like always. Even Josh Norman (CB) outsnapped Wallace with 56% of snaps this week, so not ideal at all this makes corner streaming real iffy for the last two weeks of playoffs far more risky that it has been, their matchups aren’t the greatest though with the Broncos then Patriots so we can probably just avoid streaming any of them entirely, it’s not like they’ve got the greatest show on turf and the 2007 Patriots on the schedule. The pass rush was basically nonexistent this week but all the usual suspects played their normal snaps so it is what it is, nature of the position and all that. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) could’ve given us a little more but the Steelers abandoned the run game early into this one as the Bills clapped their cheeks and forced them to play catch up. So nothing to panic about here except the corners situation and playing time but their next two games aren’t stream-worthy anyways so we’re all set. Let’s wrap it up.
Ravens @ Browns
Flash in the pan: Devontae Harris (CB) only played 41% of snaps this week which is clearly not enough, especially at cornerback, for any kind of consistency. We’ll pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Calais Campbell (DE) was only in for 40% of snaps this week and recorded one tackle assist on the day, the end is near. He’s returning from Covid IR or injury I can’t remember which but it’s a bit late in the game for screwing around with all this, his playing time could be OK next week but there’s no way to know for sure, it’s risky playing him next week if you have a better option I would take it. Derek Wolfe (DE) played 67% of snaps which was the most of any Ravens defensive lineman this week, he only recorded one tackle assist on the day but at least the playing time was there and he’s been pretty productive recently. He’s still a decent option in deeper leagues it looks like it was just an off day due to the nature of the position. Yannick Ngakoue (DE) was in for 58% of snaps this week but only had one solo tackle and one tackle for loss this week, he’s been a gigantic disappointment all season nothing changed with that this week. I abandoned ship a long time ago I hope you were able to as well. Everything else here looked great this week, the two terrific corners put up numbers including three forced fumbles between the two of them, Patrick Queen (LB) and both IDP relevant safeties had solid production so we were looking good there as well. The defensive line had a down week but that happens even with guys like Joey Bosa (DE) and Myles Garrett (DE) so when guys like Calais Campbell (DE) and Yannick Ngakoue (DE) have bad weeks it’s not taking years off my life, it’s part of the program. Business as usual in Baltimore.
Flash in the pan: Sione Takitaki (LB) was only in for 47% of snaps this week but managed to land a lucky outlier sack, he’s been crappy all season in terms of playing time and production so this was a true flash in the pan, I’ll continue to pass like I have all season long, the sun shines on a dogs ass every now and again.
Possible waivers: Andrew Sendejo (S) was concussed late in this one, with Ronnie Harrison (S) on IR it will probably be Sheldrick Redwine (S) as the direct replacement but there’s no way to know for sure because this happened late in the game. Check local Cleveland media and beat writers if you need that info and a possible waiver wire safety that would be anything but solid and really only an option in crazy deep leagues.
Misc notes: Myles Garrett (DE) was in for 90% of snaps this week but failed to land a sack or splash play, he still got us three combined tackles and a tackle for loss for like five points in most of my leagues so it wasn’t a complete disaster but close enough. He should be fine, he is the cheek clapper supreme after all. Larry Ogunjobi (DT) saw 58% of snaps this week compared to Sheldon Richardson’s (DT) 85% so that was a little weird, it is what it is though it’s a bit late in the game to try and find a replacement, maybe Javon Hargrave (DT) if he’s still out there but really if you’re playing Ogunjobi weekly it’s likely a crazy deep league and you dance with the girl you brought. BJ Goodson (LB) and Malcolm Smith (LB) played 83% and 72% of snaps respectively but neither had a good game with three and four combined tackles apiece, neither has been a good option all season but at least the playing time is there. I’ve been saying to find a better option for like thirteen weeks now I hope you have by this point. With Denzel Ward (CB) injured and out this week it was…you know what nevermind. They’ve got the Giants this week you’re not touching that one for streaming corner with a ten foot pole, and if you do want to I’m sure as hell not going to help doom your week. Hopefully Denzel Ward (CB) will be back this week, if he can play he’s always worth firing up no matter the matchup if it’s a deeper league, he’s that good. It was a down day overall for the Browns IDP production which is strange considering how much of a shootout this was, the time of possession battle was close and the Ravens rushed 32 times for 231 yards and threw for 154 more but only on 12 total completions, the easy run stopping tackles should’ve been there for the inside linebackers but they were pretty well spread around instead. It is what it is, there’s always variance with this stuff, things could be better for this defense next game but they do have the Giants so it’s just as likely they completely blow them away and dominate time of possession and the Giants have to abandon their decent run game early in favor of their absolutely shitty passing attack and this defense gets nothing to work with, that’s a real possibility. I’d trust Garrett next week and maybe Sheldon Richardson (DT) and that’s really it, everyone else feels iffy. Remember to look at opposing offense for IDP production, if they don’t put up yards and first downs your IDP producers can’t put up IDP points.
So that’s it for this week my friends, not gonna lie I’m a bit burnt out it’s been a long ass season. I got you next week though like usual. We’ll probably only cover things that are worth panicking over I won’t be diving deep into every defense because at that point we literally only have one game left for the massive majority of us and we’ve got you covered here at the site for offseason dynasty stuff etc. I won’t be doing a week sixteen edition of this article since the majority of leagues are done in week sixteen with title games and week seventeen is notoriously screwed up, you’ve got teams resting guys, pulling starters for rookies to get game film and all kinds of other shenanigans. If you have a week seventeen title game all I can do is pray for you and suggest you lobby your league to change that as soon as possible. We might still have some guys here at the site pumping stuff out for week seventeen but it’s pretty much a universal thing that after week sixteen we are done here.
We’ll be back next season with even more goodies and with some new additions to the team as well. We blew past 200 years of combined IDP experience on the team this season and we’re going to pass 300 for next season as we keep adding infinity stones to the gauntlet. If you’re an IDP writer and you need a home and you’re a good person who enjoys their fair share of shenanigans hit us up we’re always looking for new talent or talent that needs a home. We’ve got a great group of guys here and a “no assholes allowed” policy so it’s a great place to write and work. You can say what you want (within reason, this is 2020 ain’t no one trying to get canceled) and write whatever you want as long as it has something to do with NFL or College football, I never ever thought I’d be a writer but 164 published articles and over 200,000 clicks later here we are. If I can do it you sure as hell can. Hit us up on the site or Twitter if you want to join the team.
Good luck to you all this week and let’s go take down those titles. The end is in sight.
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