Week nine is in the books and it was another wacky one. The Cowboys defense showed up for the second week in a row and nearly sent thousands of people into bankruptcy after I guaranteed a Steelers moneyline win on the podcast last week and told them to take out a second mortgage to make the bet, it worked out in the end but good God was it close. TJ Watt (EDGE) was one of many EDGE guys to turn in disappointing performances in ideal matchups this week along with Khalil Mack (EDGE), Preston Smith (EDGE), Brian Burns (EDGE) and Bradley Chubb (EDGE) proving once more that consistency is king and boom or bust will let you down when it’s least convenient. The Bills stunned the Seahawks with some well timed defense and yet another monster week from the man who’s making his move towards IDP safety one this season, Jordan Poyer (S). He is the captain now. Speaking of safeties making moves it was also another monster week from Daniel Sorensen (S) who may have displaced Tyrell Adams (LB) as our new messiah, Adams had a fine week as well just for the record and remains worthy of our devotion.
The Titans got the ship back on course and the Falcons held off a late rally from the Broncos in two games that looked like stinkers but ended up interesting in the end. Lamar Jackson (QB) and the Ravens got some help from their defense and one Chuck Clark (S) to get their motor going and get over the hump to beat the Colts in a decent game, also there was another excellent week from both Darius Leonard (LB) and Bobby Okereke (LB) as we all shovel dirt on the Anthony Walker (LB) hype train. Don’t get me wrong, Walker had a good game but I bet further examination will reveal a clear flash in the pan based on far less than ideal playing time, we’ll find out because that’s what we do here, find out the WHY and not just the
The Chiefs got a decent scare from the Panthers but with the well timed reemergence of Frank Clark (DE) and the continued excellence of possible waiver wire safety of the year candidate Daniel Sorensen (S) they were able to pull out yet another win on the season. We’ll find out if Sorensen was able to play as much as he did last week or if he’s still just producing extremely efficiently with less than ideal playing time, something that’s never good in the long run. Dalvin Cook (RB) ran all over the Lions and their “defense” and we were all without Tracy Walker (S) this week so we’ll have a look at what that defense looked like without him and if there’s maybe a waiver option there if he misses more time in the near future. The Giants snapped another quarterbacks ankle this week, normally I would call upon the league to punish them but they’re already being punished enough by the football Gods so we can let it slide I think. The Texans pulled out a squeaker and the Raiders won by last minute acts of both God and a backup cornerback. The Dolphins appear to be for real and it looks like (upon initial inspection of the box score) Isaiah Simmons (LB) may have seen more playing time this week, we shall see.
The Packers destroyed the Niners practice squad Thursday night, the Saints destroyed the Bucs period and there was also a football game Monday night that no one cared about. Lots of stuff happened this week, some good, some bad and some weird. We’ll spend the next sixteen thousand words or so dissecting every teams IDP production, changes in playing time or roles/responsibility, find any waivers that are apparent and call out the telltale signs of impending changes in role or playing time that will give us an advantage on waiver moves that won’t happen for some time to come. We’ll go further than anyone else because we’re all degenerates with a serious fantasy football problem, you wouldn’t be playing IDP in the first place if that weren’t the case and you sure as hell wouldn’t be reading this Bible length article about that already extremely specific and obscure subset of fantasy football if you weren’t a true degenerate just like me and the IDP team here at the site. So let’s embrace the madness and dive into week nine. It’s fifteen thousand plus words (16k this week) of madness written by a lunatic with a questionable infatuation with Jimmy G, it’s the monster. Here we go.
Packers @ 49ers
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: Oren Burks (LB) TY Summers (LB) played 60% of snaps each this week, not enough for any kind of consistent production but that doesn’t matter anyways, Christian Kirksey (LB) was activated from IR and theoretically could have played in this game but they decided to give him the long break after the Thursday game to make sure he was 100% for the next game for Green bay, so we’ll be back to the normal Packers linebackers situation next time we see this defense. Because it’s been a minute since we’ve seen that here’s what the Packers linebackers snaps looked like in week two (the last full healthy game Kirksey played), Christian Kirksey (LB) 100% of snaps, no other significant inside linebacker snaps (Krys Barnes had 25%). When he’s healthy he’s basically it for a solid tackle floor linebacker for Green Bay, keep that in mind because when he plays next game all the Kamal Martin (LB) and Krys Barnes (LB) shares should see a dramatic drop in value unless they’ve changed something going forward. I don’t follow the Packers close enough to know if they have or would so maybe just do a quick once over of local Packers media (Packers wire, places like that) to make sure there haven’t been any significant changes to the defense before kickoff, in all likelihood it will return to just Kirksey as the tackle guy with both Smith’s as the sack or splash play dependent outside linebackers and the three of them being the only IDP relevant linebackers here going forward. Kirksey does get hurt a ton though so if it’s a deeper bench maybe hold on to Krys Barnes (LB) or Kamal Martin (LB) for a rainy day. Raven Greene (S) only played 47% of snaps this week and had an outlier interception, he doesn’t play enough for any consistency, pass.
Possible waivers: Josh Jackson (CB) remains an option while Kevin King (CB) is injured and out, only for streaming and only in ideal matchups but it is an option. No other new producers this week, and he’s not a new producer I’m just reiterating.
Misc notes: Krys Barnes (LB) and Kamal Martin (LB) more than likely return to IDP irrelevancy after Christian Kirksey (LB) returns to the lineup next game, as commented on above. The Packers dominated time of possession 37 minutes to 23 this week so their overall IDP production is down significantly compared to normal weeks. They essentially beat up the Niners practice squad and were able to shift to cruise control in this one pretty early, no one on this defense played 100% of snaps this week due to the blowout nature of this game and when you combine the lack of actual time this defense spent on the field with that fact that most of the starters came out early because of a blowout you get a really bad game overall for Packers IDP production. We got lucky with Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) and Adrian Amos (S) getting theirs, beyond that basically no one else ate this week, that was due to the factors listed above, they’ll all be fine when they play against an actual real NFL team and not a bunch of imposters wearing 49ers uniforms. Jaire Alexander (CB) had a slow day once again this week while the Kevin King (CB) replacement (Josh Jackson (CB)) had a pretty nice IDP cornerback game this week, after the first couple games of the season Alexander was sitting as the PFF overall number one cornerback in the league and was shutting down wide receiver ones routinely, it would appear that since then opposing offenses have learned to stay the hell away from him, this has hurt his IDP value unfortunately. For IDP cornerback you need that sweet spot of being “good” but not “too good”, if you end up being too good they just don’t throw at you, Byron Jones (CB) is a great example. Revis island back in the day, etc etc. Alexander could be heading that way, his weekly production has definitely dropped off since the beginning of the season. I don’t have the time to really figure that out but I do know he’s very good, currently rated PFF 88.3 which is still number one overall in the league, so it computes. Anyways just wanted to mention that, he’s not producing like he was, we’ll keep an eye on it going forward. Everything else here is fine, the guys who had bad weeks we know why it happened as I explained above, they’ll be fine. Nothing here that requires us to hit the panic button. Let’s move on.
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: Marcell Harris (S) and Jaquiski Tartt (S) both played 50% of snaps this week, this is because Tartt was injured and declared out about halfway into the game, Harris has replaced him in other games this season due to injury and was a fine fill in. He did so again this week, but because neither played ideal snaps they’re both flash in the pan. Harris is a waiver wire safety option once again for the duration of the Tartt injury. Jordan Willis (DE) only played 38% of snaps and was the fourth defensive end overall in terms of playing time, his outlier sack is likely not something that will happen again any time soon, pass.
Possible waivers: Marcell Harris (S) for as long as Tartt is injured and out with the turf toe injury. He’s filled in for him before this season and was a decent safety three in deeper leagues and played 100% of snaps each occasion.
Misc notes: Javon Kinlaw (DT) had a better week with three combined tackles while playing his usual 61% of snaps or so, he remains just a dynasty futures piece unless in a crazy deep league but at least he’s playing enough and had better production this week than in recent weeks. It was Emmanuel Moseley (CB) and Jason Verrett (CB) as the two corners who saw enough playing time to be used as streamers this week, Moseley had a nice streaming CB game while Verrett fell just short, the next corner was Jamar Taylor (CB) who only saw 47% of snaps this week so it looks like beyond the initial two I mentioned we’re still seeing uncertainty and no solid third corner to stream here at the moment. Richard Sherman (CB) will be returning around week twelve or so based on what I read this week so it looks like Mosely and Verrett will remain decent options until at least then and at that point we’ll see some kind of shake up and will see what things look like after that. Kerry Hyder (DE) and Arik Armstead (DT) still played the most on the defensive line by a good margin but neither had a real great week overall against Green Bay, nature of the position though they’ll recover soon enough, bigger weeks to come. Not much else to see here, Dre Greenlaw (LB) looked solid in his first week as the locked in second IDP relevant linebacker here, with Kwon Alexander (LB) gone via trade it’s his job going forward now, both him and Fred Warner (LB) are excellent options for the rest of the season especially with Jimmy beautiful and George Kittle (TE) gone for the better part of the rest of the season, this offense is going to be a shell of what it once was and the defense should see plenty of time on the field. Nothing else to see here, no fluctuations in playing time of any significance or changes in role etc, let’s keep it moving.
Falcons Vs Broncos
Flash in the pan: Darqueze Dennard (CB) only saw 59% of snaps this week even with Kendall Sheffield (CB) seeing fewer snaps than usual, we’ll get to that more below. Dennard played more than this the previous week against the Panthers so this is strange, especially when you consider the Falcons went up big quickly in this one and forced Denver to abandon their run game and throw early and often basically immediately. Dennard hasn’t had the greatest playing time all season but was at least trending in the right direction recently, after seeing this weeks snaps I’m thinking only AJ Terrell (CB) is an option currently for streaming CB here until Sheffield is back close to 100% again unfortunately.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Kendall Sheffield (CB) only saw 41% of snaps this week, after suffering a head injury in the Panthers game he was questionable to play this week but ultimately ended up suiting up. I’ve looked for articles explaining the massive drop in snaps but haven’t found anything, it’s possible they were easing him back into the lineup but without any concrete information we’re going to have to only count on AJ Terrell (CB) as a streaming corner option from here until there’s more clarity which is not great because the Falcons offense often forces opposing offenses into a shoot out which is always great from streaming corners. Grady Jarrett (DT) played 86% of snaps this week and despite another week of not landing a sack or splash play he still came up with an acceptable day, three combined tackles, one tackle for loss and one QB hit on the day for about eight points in most of my leagues, just shy of the ten point minimum I look for in regards to defensive tackles in most leagues. He’s getting the playing time and the production has been decent but a big week is on the horizon I have a feeling. Dante Fowler (EDGE) was injured and out this week. Everyone else did what they were supposed to do and there were no fluctuations in playing time of any significance. Keanu Neal (S) played every snap once again this week, praise be to the IDP Gods. Tak McKinley (DE) was waived today also, not a surprise and not super IDP relevant but still newsworthy.
Flash in the pan: Essang Bassey (CB) was likely only playing the 68% of snaps he saw this week to help with the loss of the injured and out AJ Bouye (CB), regardless that’s not enough playing time for a corner and he hasn’t done anything else of note this season so it’s an outlier anways.
Possible waivers: With Shelby Harris (DL) out this week due to being on the covid list we saw Demarcus Walker (DE) see an increase in playing time to 58% of snaps this week, his production was solid as well with a sack, he makes a decent short term option for whatever the length of the Harris absence is, however once Harris returns he’ll go back to seeing less than ideal playing time and little IDP relevancy so keep that in mind. Also I just read that Harris will practice this week and was only on the corona IR list due to close contact with someone who was positive, so unless that changes it doesn’t look like Walker will be an option this week. Still it’s good to keep this in mind just in case things don’t play out this way or if Harris suffers an injury down the road.
Misc notes: Both Bradley Chubb (EDGE) and Malik Reed (EDGE) weren’t able to land a sack or splash play this week and because they’re edge guys neither had a combined tackle floor to speak of therefore they both had bad weeks with minimal production. This is the curse of the EDGE position, boom or bust, win or lose. They both still played their normal playing time, 79% and 75% of snaps respectively, so no issues there. I’ve talked about this many times, if you know what you’re signing up for and accept it playing an EDGE guy in your normal linebacker slot is perfectly fine but there will be weeks like this where they do nothing for you, when your entire production is based on sacks and splash plays that’s only natural as those plays are the farthest thing from consistent. Everything looked pretty good here this week besides the usual shenanigans with the EDGE guys, both IDP relevant linebackers produced as expected and Justin Simmons (S) was back in a huge way this week after and has been red hot this season with really only one bad game this entire year. The only thing to keep an eye on is Shelby Harris (DL) and AJ Bouye (CB) to hopefully get them back this next game and besides that we’re solid across the board here.
Seahawks @ Bills
Flash in the pan: DJ Reed Jr (S) did play 85% of snaps this week but hasn’t done anything else of note this season so unless I see this at least a time or two more before buying into it, he did do well against San Francisco as well so in those deeper leagues I probably would pull the trigger just in case this does end up being a thing going forward but in shallower leagues where you don’t have to take those kinds of risks we can wait and see for another week or two and find out if this is for real or just a flash in the pan.
Possible waivers: As is tradition Tre Flowers (CB) is a great streaming corner option if either Shaq Griffin (CB) or Quinton Dunbar (CB) is injured and out, that was very apparent once again this week as Flowers played 93% of snaps and recorded six combined tackles and one tackle for loss. With the Seahawks unfortunately sporting the worst pass defense in the league it’s a foregone conclusion that opposing offenses will pass early and often against them just like Buffalo did to perfection this week, this had made the IDP relevant cornerbacks on this defense excellent options all season and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Carlos Dunlap (DE) played 68% of snaps in his first game for the Seahawks and recorded five combined tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and two QB hits on the day. If he’s out on waivers absolutely go grab him in leagues of all sizes, he has value once more, praise be the IDP Gods.
Misc notes: Benson Mayowa (DE) was injured and out again this week as he works himself back from a high ankle sprain, from everything I’ve seen so far this season I believe it will be him and Carlos Dunlap (DE) as the defensive ends to own here heading into playoffs, regardless we’ll get a good idea of what things look like for the rest of the season when Mayowa returns to the lineup and we get a look at snaps and production then. Jamal Adams (S) played every snap in his first game back from injury and racked up an impressive box score, the road to safety one is long gone for him but he will have significant value heading into fantasy playoffs and for the home stretch, start him with confidence as usual. KJ Wright (LB) saw a small dip in playing time down to 72% of snaps this week and only managed to save his day with a sack, his stats otherwise were forgettable this week. We saw this earlier in the season when Jamal Adams (S) was in the lineup so there’s a chance that’s linked, for now it’s fine but we were very close to panic time this week if he didn’t get that sack. We’ll see what next game brings and take it from there, if you’re in a close matchup and playoffs are a razor thin margin away though I might consider another option this week against the Rams, if he does end up in a slump again like we saw in the start of the season, for whatever reason, now isn’t the time to eat a bad week from him. I could be over reacting here but he did play less and produce exponentially less this week and the only thing that changed was having Jamal Adams (S) around again. Hell even the Bills blessed this defense with a shit ton of opposing offense to eat from, literally the perfect IDP producing scenario, and he still only recorded two combined tackles and that sack plus a tackle for loss and QB hit which are part of the sack. It just feels like it could be heading south so I figured I would mention it, hopefully I’m completely wrong, we shall see. Jaran Reed (DT) finally had that monster game at defensive tackle we’ve been waiting for most of this season, this is why he’s a solid IDP defensive tackle, games like this one. Bobby Wagner (LB) also had a solid day but it was the sack that put him over the top as well, however he played every snap and is Bobby Wagner (LB) so unlike Wright I’m far less worried. Everything else looked solid, this defense continues to be one of the best for IDP production out there.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week. Taron Johnson (CB) only played 68% of snaps but is one of the rare corners that gets targeted so much that I can live with streaming him despite the lack of consistent ideal playing time.
Possible waivers: With Matt Milano (LB) injured, out, and now heading to IR it was AJ Klein (LB) once more with the increased playing time and man did he take advantage this week, five solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, one pass defended and four QB hits on the day for an absolutely ridiculous amount of IDP points, he will be a massively popular waiver wire add this week but it’s a great thing you guys have been reading this all season and listened when I said it was AJ Klein (LB) if Matt Milano (LB) was a no go so you already pulled the trigger on this when I mentioned it in previous weeks.
Misc notes: Levi Wallace (CB) played 100% of snaps and was the only IDP relevant Bills corner to disappoint this week, which is highly unfortunate because I started him basically everywhere. This is the nature of corners, highly unpredictable production that fluctuates wildly week to week, and that’s a large reason why I write bout them every week in my other weekly article. Most people hate them and find them to be an inconvenience, I find getting those streaming calls right better than sex. Regardless, I got that one wrong this week, however both Tra’Davious White (CB) and Taron Johnson (CB) had solid days so there was a silver lining, I recommended them as well. Jordan Poyer (S) is now just six points away from safety one in the scoring system used in most of my leagues and has been right there along with Budda Baker (S) all season long, with Jamal Adams (S) officially out of the conversation due to being made of glass, the best ability is availability after all, we now watch the race to the finish to see which one of those two excellent safeties will end up number one this season, I really hope it’s Poyer he’s been solid forever and deserves it more. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) also had a monster week and has recovered from his slow start to the season (that was due to injury btw) to get right back into the thick of things for weekly linebacker one production. It just so happens these two are my favorite IDP players so I’m beyond happy to see this. Besides Levi Wallace (CB) it was just some of the defensive line guys that had off weeks in this one and that’s par for the course and nature of the position so nothing to see there. There were no significant fluctuations in any of the IDP relevant producers playing time so this defense looks solid across the board, let’s keep it moving. Update, Poyer was six points behind safety one last week, he is the safety one currently in most of my leagues now that this weeks stats have updated.
Bears @ Titans
Flash in the pan: Buster Skrine (CB) and Mario Edwards (DT) played 55% and 24% respectively this week, neither are remotely close to ideal playing time for their position. Skrine does get targeted pretty often because he’s bad, PFF score of 59, but the lack of playing time is too big to overcome just via that fact, I’ll pass.
Possible waivers: Robert Quinn (EDGE) only had two combined tackles this week but did see an increase in playing time to 75% of snaps played this week, he remains a sack or big play dependent EDGE guy so he’ll never be consistent and production will be sporadic but with that kind of playing time, assuming it sticks, he is playable in deeper leagues, much deeper.
Misc notes: Khalil Mack (EDGE) played a ton as usual, 89% of snaps this week, but wasn’t able to land a sack or splash play and because he’s an EDGE or OLB he has no combined tackle floor to speak of, so no sack no production. He has been really good this season with five excellent games and four crappy games, that’s better than the vast majority of EDGE guys but is still exponentially less consistent than a solid tackle floor guy you could’ve gotten off waivers like Jerome Baker (LB) who has had six excellent games and two crappy games this year and only cost you a button push on your phone while you were scrolling through waivers while taking a dump at work. Also when a guy like Jerome Baker (LB) or a corresponding inside linebacker (ILB is traditionally where the solid tackle floor guys play) has a bad game they still get you something, most EDGE or OLB guys when they have a bad week it’s really bad. Just more fuel for my never ending battle against people who enjoy scoring IDP points some weeks while I choose to score them every week. Regardless if you have been playing Mack this season, in an EDGE slot or DL in sleeper or even as a regular linebacker he’s been pretty solid this year and will very likely be back to clapping cheeks next week or very shortly after that, he’ll be fine. Kyle Fuller (CB) played his normal 100% of snaps this week but once again had a sub par week with only two tackle assists and a pass defended on the day, he’s been really quiet lately after a strong start to the season. His 64.8 PFF rating is lower than it has been in past seasons so it’s not like opposing offenses are avoiding him, that I know of anyways, regardless he’s been too good for too long for me to pull the plug unless this slump continues for another couple few weeks. That doesn’t mean I’m playing him in my leagues, I’m probably not unless the matchup is picture perfect but I’m also not intentionally sitting him either, it’s more a wait and see for now. We’ll keep an eye on it and circle back in next week or the week after’s version of this article.
Flash in the pan: Derrick Roberson (OLB) and Amani Hooker (S) played 65% and 49% of snaps respectively, Roberson did play enough for an OLB or EDGE but looks like he’s the JaDaveon Clowney (EDGE) replacement so he’ll return to IDP irrelevancy once Clowney returns so even if you did want to make that move it would be very short term, Clowney has been playing through the knee injury that sidelined him this week all season, however if that changes then Roberson is an option but it’s totally dependent on Clowney’s health. For Hooker he’s just a sporadic third safety with inconsistent playing time and production so I’d pass there as well, he’s had three decent games this season and the rest have been bad.
Possible waivers: Breon Borders (CB) and Desmond King (CB) played 100% and 70% of snaps respectively this week, Borders looks like the Jonathan Joseph (CB) replacement after he was released prior to the trade deadline so he should be a very nice streaming corner option going forward assuming he keeps this role and playing time. For King he literally just got to this team and got a lucky fumble return to the house this week, he also didn’t return any punts or kicks so his value is massively decreased when he isn’t doing those things, we’ll have to keep an eye on his playing time and production but for now he’s the third option for streaming corner on this defense going forward.
Misc notes: Jayon Brown (LB) continued his amazing hot streak this week in a far less than ideal matchup against this Bears “offense”, I almost benched him in several leagues as I had flashbacks of Devin White (LB) and Lavonte David (LB) fighting over the fourteen total rushing attempts the Bears logged against them, I was positive one of these two IDP relevant linebackers in Tennessee was going to have a stinker this week and it almost was exactly that for Rashaan Evans (LB) who only saved his day with a half sack and half tackle for loss, his four combined tackles were not going to cut it so that was lucky, this Bears offense is not great at all for opposing IDP. I’ve talked about this before, if the offense your IDP producer is going up against isn’t good (able to sustain drives, solid mix of run and pass etc) your chances of having that IDP producer have a solid day are exponentially lessened. It ended up working out for Brown and Evans this week but just barely, remember that when playoffs come around, you’ll need every advantage to take home that hardware and I’ve already been streaming linebackers and safeties on top of the usual weekly cornerback streams in shallower leagues to ensure my IDP producers are in the best situation possible to produce each week, that’s really only doable in shallow leagues, in those deeper leagues it is what it is you’re not getting someone off waivers who will be a better option than the guy with high draft capital even if he is in a shitty matchup that week. It was a “good” week for Kevin Byard (S) which was nice to see, Jeffrey Simmons (DT) got it done despite the lack of a sack (only if your league scored passes defended correctly) and even Kenny Vaccaro (S) had an acceptable game this week. So across the board things looked good here this week despite having the Bears as the main course for their IDP production, we dodged a bullet but we’ll take it. Nothing else to see here, normal playing time for everyone etc, let’s carry on.
Ravens @ Colts
Flash in the pan: Malik Harrison (LB) only played 49% of snaps and hasn’t done much else of note this season, he was just in the right place at the right times this week for a monster box score, he’s had one other nice game this season and the rest of them have been awful, clear outlier performance and not enough playing time regardless.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week but Jimmy Smith (CB) did see more playing time to try and make up the difference with Marlon Humphrey (CB) out this week on the Covid IR list. That’s very short term, he plays like 70% of snaps if lucky per week and will return to that level of playing time when Humphrey returns more than likely.
Misc notes: Calais Campbell (DE) to miss multiple weeks with a calf injury. Not ideal, in his absence we saw Derek Wolfe (DE) see an increase in playing time up to 75% of snaps played and Matt Judon (EDGE) also saw a bump to 78% played this week, so it doesn’t look like there was a direct replacement they just upped a couple other pass rush guys and I’m sure had some bench guys take some snaps as well. Patrick Queen (LB) played 85% of snaps this week and despite predictions he would finish as a top IDP linebacker this year he’s cooled down significantly since the start of the season, this isn’t surprising to me I’ve been staring at Baltimore Ravens box scores for years now while writing this article every week during the season and they haven’t had a “stud” producer in terms of combined tackles since Ray Lewis (LB) or CJ Mosley (LB) it feels like, this defense itself is very good but the production is usually spread out with a different name at the top of the box score every week and very few consistent producers overall. He’ll have good weeks to come without a doubt but I have my doubts that he’ll ever be what some in IDP Twitter land want him to be. Yannick Ngakoue (DE) played his normal 66% of snaps or so this week but had no stats of any kind, not ideal. He’s been quiet since the trade to the Ravens but is playing plenty and started the season quiet for the Vikings also before rattling off roughly a months worth of monster games, so I have faith that it’s coming here as well, I’m going to keep playing him, the talent and playing time are there and for defensive line that’s what you need for the last part (the fantasy points). Marcus Peters (CB) continues to be Gods gift to streaming corners, both IDP relevant safeties had good games and everything else looked good in terms of possible fluctuations in playing time etc. So we’re all set over here, on to the Colts.
Flash in the pan: Anthony Walker (LB) was clearly the third linebacker in terms of playing time this week just like we expected, just 67% of snaps played compared to Bobby Okereke’s (LB) 78% and Darius Leonard’s (LB) 98% on the day, the gamescript worked in his favor to still have decent production despite the less than ideal playing time. The Ravens owned time of possession 34 minutes to 26 minutes and had 38 rushing attempts on the day plus a good deal of their passing completions were short gains that were tackled by the Colts linebackers corps. Everything worked out to make it look like Walker is still a solid option here but we all know he’s the low man on the totem poll in terms of IDP relevant linebackers on this defense. The less informed will add him off waivers again or continue to play him without knowing this and the next time they run into a team that doesn’t run the ball almost 40 times and dominate time of possession they’re going to wonder why his production fell off a cliff, you won’t. That likely won’t be next week when the Colts play the Titans who will most assuredly run Derrick Henry (RB) a million times like they always do but this scenario is on the horizon in weeks eleven, thirteen and fifteen against Houston twice and Green Bay once. They also get Tennessee, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh in-between those games to close out the season so there very well could be more outlier flash in the pan performances for Walker before the season is over but in general he won’t be playing enough for the kind of consistency we look for here.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Just because Al Quadin Muhammed (DE) and Grover Stewart (DT) play enough that their production isn’t a flash in the pan doesn’t mean it couldn’t technically qualify if I were a stickler. Neither has done much this season but they do play enough for their production to make sense, especially when we factor in the lopsided time of possession and the Colts defense spending nearly two thirds of this game on the field because of it. Neither are a great option in anything other than stupid deep leagues where your only option are guys that play enough that production COULD happen. Justin Houston (DE) was only in for 52% of snaps this week so it looks like he’s still not 100% from that injury he suffered a couple weeks back, his production hasn’t looked the same since and the playing time has been off recently as well, we can only hope he recovers and returns to his early form we saw at the start of the season. Rock Ya Sin (CB) is clearly the third cornerback here in terms of playing time but he saw a significant drop in playing time to just 50% of snaps this week, that could be concerning but the gamescript with the Ravens rushing the ball nearly 40 times and dominating time of possession via their running game and also having the second worst passing attack in the league only better than the hapless Jets helps us makes sense of it. He’ll see more snaps against a better passing offense. Not much else to see here, we need Justin Houston (DE) to get 100% healthy and we need to remain quiet as our leaguemates make poor waiver wire moves going after Anthony Walker (LB). Other than that looking good, it was nice to see DeForest Buckner (DT) with a solid game this week he was in a bit of a slump as well as of late.
Panthers @ Chiefs
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Sam Franklin (S) who I believe was the Justin Burris (S) replacement and I’m almost positive I’ve talked about in here since that injury, had a huge week with 98% of snaps and a massive box score, he had a nice week last week as well so this makes a decent safety option in deeper leagues and is listed as a corner/safety in Yahoo so he could even see a little hidden corner action which is always nice. Franklin also saw more action this week due to the absence of Jeremy Chinn (S) who was injured and out and will hopefully be back next week.
Misc notes: Despite the Chiefs winning in the end this one was dominated by the Panthers from start to almost finish, the won time of possession by a massive 38 to 22 minute margin which is ridiculous, their defense barely saw the field. Due to that fact the overall IDP production here this week is massively diminished. There just wasn’t enough to eat for everyone and this defense played a good amount less than it usually does. That’s the why of it. Donte Jackson (CB) was back up to 97% of snaps this week so he looks healthy once more which is good to see, he’ll return to our streaming corners in ideal matchups, this one was ideal but for some reason the Chiefs offense had trouble sustaining drives and in general was not as effective as it normally is. That wasn’t enough to stop them from winning the game but then again this is why they’re the defending champs. There weren’t any significant fluctuations in playing time here, everyone played their normal amount it was just an off week due to mitigating factors, the normal producers here that we rely on for IDP production will all be fine and we still got a decent day from at least a couple of the guys we look to weekly with Thompson and Burns so it wasn’t a total loss. This defense gets the Bucs coming off an embarrassing loss on national television to the Saints last week so the prospects are looking good for this defense to have PLENTY to eat next game. Hopefully next week brings better production overall for this unit.
Kansas City Chiefs
Produced as expected: Daniel Sorensen (S) Bashaud Breeland (CB) Tyrann Mathieu (S) Anthony Hitchens (LB) Tanoh Kpassagnon (DE) Chavarious Ward (CB) Derrick Nnadi (DT) Frank Clark (DE) Chris Jones (DT)
Flash in the pan: Amani Watts (S) only played 17% of snaps this week and hasn’t done much else of note this season, his production this week was a clear outlier due to spending a ton more time on the field than normal for this defense as a whole and a perfect storm of offensive production to eat from with CMC back in the fold this week, besides he doesn’t play remotely enough for any kind of consistency regardless.
Possible waivers: Daniel Sorensen (S) is our new messiah, sorry Tyrell Adams (LB). He finally played all 100% of snaps this week after we’ve watched his playing time and production creep up the last month or so, his hybrid safety role now appears to be the most productive IDP role on this defense and the only worry we once had, the playing time, is now officially no longer a concern. He is our new messiah and could end up being the waiver wire safety of the year if he can keep this up, I’m starting him with confidence everywhere.
Misc notes: The reverse of above is true here as well, this defense spent damned near 40 minutes on the field this week so the IDP production here will be as dangerous and bloated as my intestines after Taco Bell. Frank Clark (DE) broke out of his slump this week with 86% of snaps played and two combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and two QB hits on the day, welcome back Frank. Him and Chris Jones (DT) are both excellent defensive line IDP options here and have been for some time, like any defensive linemen they’ll have their bad weeks but this week wasn’t one of them by any stretch. With the rise of Sorensen we are now seeing the fall of Juan Thornhill (S) who was down to 81% of snaps this week, his production, which was already spotty and sporadic to begin with, also took a hit with just two combined tackles on the day. He only remains an option in the deepest of leagues and is just a dynasty bench guy for the most part. Tershawn Wharton (DT) didn’t do much in the box score this week but did have a monster game last week and continues to see solid playing time, he logged 60% of snaps this week and now that we’ve seen this a couple weeks in a row he may not be a bad idea in much deeper leagues if you need defensive tackle help, his production will be nowhere close to what Chris Jones (DT) does but it’s an option if you need it. It was once again Bashaud Breeland (CB) and Chavarious Ward (CB) as the clear two IDP relevant corners here this week with Rashad Fenton (CB) seeing exponentially fewer snaps, just 39% this week, and remaining the corner we won’t be streaming in ideal matchups here. Willie Gay (LB) was back down to 18% of snaps this week so after seeing a brief couple weeks of his playing time rising that has now disappeared, he’s not on track to be what some of us thought he could be until down the road it looks like. Anthony Hitchens (LB) led all Chiefs linebackers with just 52% of snaps this week once again reinforcing that this Chiefs linebackers corps is not ideal at all for weekly IDP production, none of them play enough to be a solid option. Everything else looked good, some of these numbers are clearly inflated due to the crazy gamescript but in general everyone we expected to produce did so this week so we’ll take it with a nod and a smile.
Lions @ Vikings
Flash in the pan: Reggie Ragland (LB) only played 48% of snaps so we can ignore his five combined tackles this week, he’s been horrible every other week this season and doesn’t play enough anyways, pass.
Possible waivers: Desmond Trufant (CB) saw elevated playing time this week, 86% of snaps and the leader for all Lions corners in playing time, very likely due to the injury to Jeff Okudah (CB) who is out 4-6 weeks I believe it was. This is technically an option for streaming corner I just don’t trust it much like I don’t trust a ton of things with this defense, it’s always a work in progress with playing time, roles and responsibilities and production fluctuating wildly as a defense week to week, this defense along with New England and to a lesser extent Miami’s is not trustable week to week for IDP purposes. Technically this happened though, so I’m writing it.
Misc notes: With Tracy Walker (S) injured and out this week it was Jayron Kearse (S) who saw elevated snaps and production, hopefully Walker will be back next week because the last thing I feel like doing is recommending anyone pick up Jayron Kearse (S) and play him, the Lions have already shown time and time again this season that they’ll pull the rug out from under Tracy Walker (S) in terms of playing time so God only knows what kind of shenanigans they’d pull with someone far less talented like Jayron Kearse (S). Technically this did happen and if Walker is out again next week it’s theoretically a waiver wire safety, I sure as hell wouldn’t do it though. Romeo Okwara (DE) saw a massive 91% of snaps this week with Trey Flowers (DE) on IR, while he doesn’t play the same position he most definitely saw an increase in snaps to help make up for this loss in production, he remains a nice option for defensive end waivers. Everson Griffen (DE) did have an acceptable box score but only played 41% of snaps this week so he’s probably still “learning the defense” or something like that, doesn’t matter, if we don’t see better playing time next week or shortly thereafter we can downgrade him to “only in stupid deep leagues” status. Especially with Trey Flowers (DE) on IR this defensive line needs all the production they can get, there’s no reason for Griffen not to be playing more, we’ll circle back to this next week and the week after and take it from there. There really aren’t many other producers we look to on this defense so that should cover it, if there’s anyone specifically you were looking for and I missed hit me in the DMs and I got you covered, the less time I spend on this defense and New England’s the better, I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression that I think either of them are any good for weekly IDP production besides a very short list of guys between the two.
Flash in the pan: Armon Watts (DT) only played 48% of snaps this week which is almost enough for defensive tackle but hasn’t done anything else of note this season and just barely produced enough with a lucky half sack to be considered a flash in the pan this week, pass for many reasons.
Possible waivers: Kris Boyd (CB) saw 99% of snaps this week with Cameron Dantzler (CB) ruled out of this one early for a concussion, if he can’t clear protocol this week it would make a one week spot start for streaming corner but it’s the Bears in town I believe so I’m not really into it, it does technically exist though so I thought I would mention it. Not a great one but it is and option depending on Dantzler’s health this week.
Misc notes: Eric Wilson (LB) played his customary 100% of snaps this week and had a good week, his production style is a bipolar as they come with four good games, three horrible games and one acceptable game on the season so far. He’s not consistent at all but when he does produce it’s usually a massive box score stuffing explosion that could help you win your week, if you understand that and can accept that risk he’s perfectly startable weekly, just remember that those bad weeks can and will happen. Harrison Smith (S) also played his normal 100% of snaps this week and had another excellent week, that’s two in a row now but still only the third solid week of eight total games this season. It’s been a bad season overall but as of late he’s been solid, we’ll see if he stays hot against the Bears “offense” this week, I’m not holding out much hope we’ve seen what opposing IDP looks like against the Bears many times this season and the one thing that always stands out is they have trouble producing enough offense and sustaining enough drives for opposing defenses to have everyone eat. If you have a better option at safety this week I would consider it. It was Jalyn Holmes (DE) and Ideadi Odenigbo (DE) as the two defensive ends that played enough to be IDP relevant this week, 72% of snaps each, but neither was able to do much with the playing time. Odenigbo has had some solid weeks this season but we haven’t seen enough of Holmes to form a solid opinion yet, regardless both should only be used in crazy deep leagues anyways. Eric Kendricks (LB) was solid as usual and the cornerbacks situation remains an absolute mess per usual this season so same stuff different week here, no unusual fluctuations in playing time for anyone IDP relevant this week and the only guys we look to routinely who didn’t produce were defensive linemen and we all know that’s just the nature of the position so business as usual across the board for this defense. Onwards.
Giants @ Football Team
New York Giants
Flash in the pan: Devante Downs (LB) only played 54% of snaps and hasn’t done much else of note this season, not enough playing time or past production, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Logan Ryan (S/CB) played his normal 100% of snaps this week and was finally back on track with terrific production, there were some stirrings that his overall role and responsibility has changed in the last few weeks but I don’t have a PFF subscription and as much as I love their content I don’t pay for football information, I’ve used the force and the information between my ears for two decades and it’s been fine so far, anyways there was talk that he may have changed roles and that could’ve been what’s caused the recent two or three game slump prior to this week. Regardless he killed it this week so things are looking good, we’ll see what next week brings but I’ve got no issues rolling him out against Philly this week. Julian Love (S) continues to be the odd man out with Jabrill Peppers (S) back completely healthy and productive each week, he only played 43% of snaps this week and didn’t do anything of note in the box score. David Mayo (LB) also saw a dip in playing time down to 11% of snaps this week so despite fantasy sites continuing to project him as a starter he still isn’t IDP relevant. Dexter Lawrence (DE) also saw a small dip in playing time down to 46% of snaps this week, I’m not seeing anything about an injury so for now it’s just an outlier, he’s cooled off since the start of the season anyways so most guys in shallower leagues have moved on. We’ll circle back next week and have another look. Not much else of note here this week, Xavier McKinney (S) is only a week or two away from a possible return if you need safety help it’s not a bad idea to beat the crowd and grab him now if you have the bench space. Everything else looks good.
Washington Football Team
Flash in the pan: Tim Settle (DT) only played 32% of snaps and hasn’t done much else of note this season, not enough playing time, pass.
Possible waivers: Kamren Curl (S) is the direct Landon Collins (S) replacement, I’ve talked about him here before and he will surely be a popular waiver wire pick this week for point chasers everywhere as he led all Washington IDP producers in the box score this week. He played 100% of snaps and recorded eleven combined tackles and a host of other stats including a sack, he remains a solid option for waiver wire safety help.
Misc notes: It’s still Cole Holcomb (LB) and Jon Bostic (LB) as the inside linebackers to own here, they played 90% and 100% of snaps respectively. So no Thomas Davis (LB) or Kevin Pierre Louis (LB) shenanigans still. Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) was up to a whole 38% of snaps this week and has finally come back to earth after producing sacks with almost no playing time the last couple weeks, this is normal, if you don’t play you can’t produce and Kerrigan doesn’t play nearly enough for any kind of sustained production. Montez Sweat (DE) also saw a reduction in playing time down to 57% of snaps this week, he had suffered a concussion the week prior according to what I just read but he cleared protocol and played this week and was not reinjured so I can’t find an explanation for the reduced playing time, this could just be the new normal I really haven’t been keeping my eye on him recently but I could have sworn he played more than this most weeks. I just checked, in week seven he was at 68% of snaps and I can remember that being closer to normal going back this season, so it’s definitely a blip on the radar, we’ll see what next week brings and if it happens again we can start to panic. Chase Young (DE) played 83% of snaps and continues to be a promising young cheek splitter with a bring future of parting opposing quarterbacks hind quarters at a rate higher than most mortals. He’s at 3.5 sacks on the season out of six total games played (he missed a couple weeks due to injury) so the pace is correct for the usual eight or nine sack rookie season we see out of a lot of these solid rookie defensive ends, it’s too bad he missed those couple games I would be anything he’d be on his way to double digits if that weren’t the case. Not much else to see here, Kendall Fuller (CB) didn’t get a pick this week but had six combined tackles and played every snap per usual so he remains the best streaming corner option here by a good margin. Everything on this defense looks good except for the couple defensive linemen who missed out on a good week and we all know that’s the nature of the position so business as usual.
Texans @ Jaguars
Flash in the pan: Lonnie Johnson (CB) & Phillip Gaines (CB) played 71% and 99% of snaps respectively, that’s enough in Gaines case but not for Johnson. However when Bradley Roby (CB) returns from injury the IDP relevant corners here will return to being him and Vernon Hargreaves (CB) so this isn’t worth looking into, Roby was healthy enough to return from his short injury absence but missed last game due to a “disciplinary issue” and is expected to play this week, therefore these two guys are just a flash in the pan.
Possible waivers: Jonathan Greenard (LB) took over for Brennan Scarlett (LB/OLB) after he broke his arm this week, he has since been moved to IR. Greenard will be relevant in much deeper leagues simply because he’ll play enough each week, Scarlett’s production has never been special and I don’t expect Greenard’s to be either but in those deeper leagues you need options and this is one.
Misc notes: Zach Cunningham (LB) played reduced snaps this week, just 77% on the day. He has been bad this season as a football player but perfectly fine as a IDP producer, more than fine for that actually. The issue is he’s lost the green dot and seen his playing time drop from 100% of snaps early in the season to high 70’s the last couple weeks here. His PFF grade of 43.9 is terrible and the outlook for him in dynasty is not good at all, get out from under him in all dynasty leagues if you can while he still holds value. In redraft I think he’ll remain valuable the rest of this season but his production has suffered, he’s only saved his last two weeks with a lucky sack if I remember correctly. The outlook overall is less than ideal. If he does end up getting replaced or his value drops to the point where we need to abandon ship you’ll sure as hell hear it from me first, in fact I’m telling you about this now while I still see him routinely in top five IDP linebacker rankings everywhere on Twitter, it’s all smoke and mirrors, he’s losing snaps and lost the defensive playcalling responsibility plus he’s just not good for anything except warm body IDP production, none of that lends itself to long term value. Just a heads up. Tyrell Adams (LB) however continues to play every snap every week and has recorded double digit tackles every game since he took over for Bernardrick McKinney (LB). He would continue to be our Messiah but Daniel Sorensen (S) has displaced him from that role, he does continue to be worthy of our praise and devotion though, praise be the IDP Gods for bestowing him upon us. JJ Watt (DE) got a sack so things look good there, he played 99% of snaps which is bonkers, that’s ridiculous playing time for a defensive end. The only real IDP relevant member of this defense to let us down this week was Eric Murray (S) who played his usual 100% of snaps but only recorded three combined tackles, bad but not the end of the world, he’ll be fine and remains a decent safety three or four in deeper leagues. Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) missed this weeks game due to being on the Covid IR list but was activated today (Tuesday) and should play this week so everything else looks good, carry on.
Flash in the pan: Tre Herndon (CB) only played 48% of snaps this week despite playing 100% pretty routinely prior to that, I don’t follow the Jaguars close enough to know what’s up with that and didn’t see anything when I searched for injury news on him, it was Sidney Jones (CB) and CJ Henderson (CB) who played every snap for the always fluctuating Jags corners this week as this cornerback corps continues to be one of the bigger pains in my butt this season. So yes, Herndon qualifies as a flash in the pan with that playing time and the box score he recorded despite that less than ideal playing time this week.
Possible waivers: It’s entirely possible someone in one of your shallower leagues dropped Myles Jack (LB) as they got frustrated with the injuries and waiting for him to return, I know this to be true because that’s how I got my two shares of him this season. He was on a pace to be the overall IDP linebacker one prior to those injuries and his return has put him right back where he left off, he destroyed the box score this week and played every snap once again, add him if he’s there, unlike most years in recent history it’s looking like this season you won’t regret it.
Misc notes: Myles Jack (LB) was back healthy this week and went nuts, I went into more detail above. Jarrod Wilson (S) was the only IDP relevant member of this defense to let us down this week, he played his customary 100% of snaps but only recorded three combined tackles on the day, he’s always been sporadic with his production I’ve mentioned that in here several times so this isn’t a massive shock, he should only be used in deeper leagues anyways. Josh Allen (DE) played 89% of snaps this week and was back to his productive ways after a bit of a slump, he recorded four combined tackles, half a sack, half a tackle for loss and two QB hits on the day for twelve points in most of my leagues which is pretty much exactly what you’re looking for out of a defensive end every week if possible, that was good to see. Besides the normal cornerbacks shit show that is this par for the course with this defense everything else looked good this week, K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE) still only played 28% of snaps and didn’t do much with them, no stats of any kind this week, so he remains just a dynasty futures piece like he has the majority of this season. Everything else went according to plan, let’s keep it moving.
Raiders @ Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders
Flash in the pan: Isaiah Johnson (CB) came in for the injured and out Travon Mullen (CB) who aggravated his hamstring, he played 63% of snaps and will return to IDP irrelevancy the minute Mullen returns from injury, when you also factor in Damon Arnette (CB) is almost healthy enough to return to the lineup as well this pushes him even farther down the depth chart so this looks like a one game flash in the pan. Carl Nassib (DE) also landed a lucky outlier sack while playing only 47% of snaps and having not done anything else of note this season either, pass here as well.
Possible waivers: Damon Arnette (CB) had a really good shot at playing this week but it looks like they went with caution and gave him another week to get closer to 100% healthy before returning to the lineup, he was red hot at the start of the season before he got hurt and will return to our recommended streaming corners group as soon as he’s back which should be this upcoming game.
Misc notes: The Chargers dominated time of possession here 35 minutes to 25 minutes so this Raiders IDP production is not what it normally looks like, there were huge weeks for everyone and I could tell that the second I saw these numbers, keep that in mind if you expect this kind of production going forward from guys like Abram and Littleton, the Raiders are ranked seventh in the league in weekly time of possession with close to 32 minutes of offensive possession per game so this was extra weird, they’re usually on the other end of this spectrum and that’s a decent part of why guys like Cory Littleton (LB) haven’t had the kind of season we all expected from him, the best ability is availability and if your butt is on the bench because your offense is on the field on these long, sustained drives using the run game and short passes you’re going to have less IDP production overall just due to missing possible playing time. Anyways that stuck out immediately, thought I would mention it, don’t expect weeks like this from Abrams, Littleton and Kwiatkowski routinely, they usually win the time of possession battle as a team not lose it handily like they did this week. Eric Harris (S) was really the only fairly consistent IDP producer on this defense to have a bad game this week but he still played 85% of snaps and had four combined tackles so it wasn’t a total disaster. Clelin Ferrell (DE) had a stinker but that’s normal around these parts. Everything here looked pretty good, we’ll keep an eye on the cornerback situation as Arnette gets back into the lineup and we see how bad the Mullen injury is, besides that we’re looking good here.
Los Angeles Chargers
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Kenneth Murray (LB) only saw 52% of snaps this week, that’s not great. He’s had ideal playing time basically this entire season to this point and was apparently “benched for communication issues” this week and replaced by Denzel Perryman (LB). That’s not ideal. I don’t own any shares, but for those who do, it’s time to start looking for a backup plan. I told you the Chargers linebackers were always a shit show. Speaking of, Kyzir White (LB) saw an increase in playing time this week to 88% of snaps and had a fine day in the box score, this is exactly what I’ve seen from this team for years now, massively fluctuating playing time and production and a circus rotation of guys in and out of the starting lineup, we thought that might be over at least for Kenneth Murray (LB) with his draft capital and apparent talent but it would appear his pain is just beginning. Bottom line is if you play any of these linebackers you open yourself to shenanigans right when the playoff push is getting tight, White was hovering around 50 or 60% of snaps last week if I recall correctly, so the fun is just getting started. I don’t think you can rely on any of these linebackers going forward, we’ll keep an eye on it and I’ll keep you updated weekly but I don’t have any Chargers linebackers anywhere and this most definitely makes me feel great about that choice. Both safeties had decent days and played 100% of snaps each, both remain inconsistent options that should only be used in deeper leagues though, shoutout to the dude on Twitter who wanted to know about these safeties, here you go lmao, no changes, still just “meh” for them both. Uchenna Nwosu (DE/LB) was a popular waiver wire add with the news that Joey Bosa (DE) would be injured and out this week, he played only 12% of snaps and had no stats of any kind. Just a heads up. My exact words last week were “be prepared with a backup plan” not “go grab Uchenna Nwosu (DE/LB)” so don’t put that evil on me. Anyways, hopefully we get Bosa back this week, Ingram saw 88% of snaps in his absence and despite no sack had a pretty solid day overall. There was no direct replacement for Bosa this week that I can see. Denzel Perryman (LB) did play 74% of snaps but it was because Murray got yanked for his “communication issues” so we can probably avoid playing the waiver wire game with that, besides we’ve already discussed how much of a headache this teams linebackers situation is so I sure as hell wouldn’t do it knowing that. Everything else looked fine, this defense produced less than usual because the offense won the time of possession battle pretty handily this week, that shouldn’t be an every week thing so I expect better production as a whole going forward in regards to this defense.
Steelers @ Cowboys
Flash in the pan: Alex Highsmith (LB) only played 17% of snaps, he hasn’t done anything else of note this season but even if he did, 17% of snaps, that’s enough right there. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Avery Williamson (LB) dressed but did not play this week, he had only taken part in remote (zoom) practice and meetings last week but with Vince Williams (LB) landing on the Covid IR list this week it’s looking very likely for him to see the field this week, Mike Tomlin even hinted so in an interview today with local Pittsburgh media. Does that mean I’m playing him? No. I won’t plug him in until I see what things look like with him, Williams AND Spillane all healthy and able to play, then I’ll decide. I’d recommend you do the same. Could he completely take over Williams role this week and have a monster game? Absolutely. Could he also see zero playing time or far less than ideal playing time and give us little to no production? Just as likely. I’ll take a risk when it feels right, this one doesn’t, not yet anyways. We’ll circle back next week and reevaluate. TJ Watt (EDGE) played a massive 92% of snaps this week but only managed half a sack and some pass defenses, depending on league scoring I have leagues where he scored five points and leagues where he scored like sixteen points or around there, depends on how you score pass defenses and sacks, for the majority of IDP leagues I’m in and for the majority of leagues I’ve seen on Twitter and through our slack chat for readers and subscribers he had a shit week. And it wasn’t just him, Khalil Mack (EDGE) and Bradley Chubb (EDGE) joined him as other well known and relied up EDGE guys with disastrous days, when you have to rely on sacks and splash plays for your production there are going to be weeks like this. Just the nature of the position and production style, they’re never going to have any kind of solid tackle floor. If you can live with that in your regular linebacker slot then knock yourself out, I prefer to score points every week not just some. In places like sleeper and ESPN there’s more flexibility for EDGE guys and you can plug them into your defensive line or into a specific EDGE slot that’s another thing entirely, if that’s the case then you’re all set, everyone takes the same risk and it evens out, but starting any of those guys I just listed in a regular linebacker slot is going to doom you to a loss eventually, just a heads up. Bud Dupree (EDGE) also had a back week, no sack no points. Everything else here was solid except Terrell Edmunds (S) once again saw reduced snaps and therefore reduced production, just 82% of snaps for five combined tackles which isn’t the end of the world production-wise but he was up at 100% of snaps earlier this season if I recall correctly so that’s not great. We’ll keep an eye on it and circle back for next week. No other significant fluctuations in playing time or changes in role.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Trevon Diggs (CB) got injured and will be out several weeks, the hits keep on coming, yippee. Leighton Vander Esch (LB) only saw 55% of snaps this week, I can’t find anything about him being injured and he still managed six combined tackles which is just barely acceptable overall but still this too is not great or ideal. He’s been all over the place since returning from injury a few weeks ago, for now it’s just a blip on the radar but if we see this again next week I’m panicking. DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) didn’t land a sack this week but still had four combined tackles, one and a half tackles for loss and a pass defended, just about twelve points in most of my leagues which is still pretty solid all things considered, he’s been red hot the last few weeks so we’ll ride the hot hand while it’s here, he played 68% of snaps as well which is also fine. Jaylon Smith (LB) played 90% of snaps which is acceptable and still had a decent box score with seven combined tackles and a pass defended but his PFF grade of 53.4 is still far less than ideal and this is the first week I can remember in a long time that he didn’t play every snap so things are still not looking great here. Both him and Zach Cunningham (LB) are two excellent IDP linebackers on thin ice that could end up jobless or seeing exponentially less playing time than they’re used to in the near future and if/when that happens it’s going to shake up IDP Twitter land like nothing else. I hope he can figure it out but things don’t look great. Randy Gregory (DE) played 58% of snaps this week and had three combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit on the day which was nice, so far he’s working out well as a waiver wire defensive end so that’s good. It was a cool down week for Donovan Wilson (S) who only played 78% of snaps and recorded three solo tackles on the day, this guy has seen his playing time fluctuate wildly week to week and the production along with it, he is truly a boom or bust safety much like Kevin Byard (S), Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) or Eddie Skidmarks Jackson (S), as long as you know that and can accept the bad weeks he’s fully capable of also putting up week winning production sporadically but it will likely never be consistent. Everything else here was fine, we’ll keep a close eye on the shenanigans with Jaylon Smith (LB) and Leighton Vander Esch (LB), hopefully both of them can figure it out and get back to playing every snap and being set and forget IDP linebackers instead of this current nonsense.
Dolphins @ Cardinals
Flash in the pan: NA, although Elandon Roberts (LB) usually doesn’t see enough snaps weekly so he would normally qualify he did end up playing 72% of snaps this week so it was fine.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Shaq Lawson (DE/LB) only played 41% of snaps this week but that’s more due to the makeup of this defense and how it works week to week and less to do with him not being talented or having an injury, which he is and does not. This defense sees it’s linebackers and defensive linemen fluctuate wildly week to week with their playing time, that’s part of what makes using IDP producers from here frustrating. Another example would be Jerome Baker (LB) who was only in for 75% of snaps this week and was at 100% of snaps as recently as a week or two ago, much like the Patriots defense the coaching staff here likes to change up the roles, responsibilities and playing time of the players here week to week depending on the opponent and their strengths and weaknesses. In general I’m not a large fan of playing IDP producers from this defense but over the course of the season we’ve identified several players that are solid weekly despite the shenanigans with playing time, those would include Jerome Baker (LB), Kyle Van Noy (LB), Emmanuel Ogbah (DE), Shaq Lawson (DE/LB) and the IDP relevant corners, Xavien Howard (CB) and sometimes Byron Jones (CB). Neither safety is special but they are playable weekly in much deeper leagues and Christian Wilkins (DE) is also playable weekly in those deeper leagues as well. The trick with this defense is not point chasing with the linebackers who see flash in the pan production and far less than ideal playing time week to week, those include Sam Eguavoen (LB), Kamu Gruger Hill (LB), Andrew Van Ginkel (LB) and sometimes Elandon Roberts (LB). If you can avoid those traps there are producers here, they’re just never going to see consistent snaps week to week and that does effect their production occasionally as well but usally in the end they do produce. There were fluctuations in playing time for the weekly producers we look to here but that’s every week, nothing super significant, Kyle Van Noy (LB) saw more snaps than usual, 100% this week and Jerome Baker (LB) was down to 75% this week, beyond that nothing crazy. Everything is looking solid here as much as it can be with this unpredictable defense.
Flash in the pan: Isaiah Simmons (LB) only played 52% of snaps but that’s significantly more than he’s seen yet this season, it looks like he’s on his way to finally getting a shot in this defense, worth an add in deeper leagues but still not playable weekly in most places, despite the elevated playing time he still only had four solo tackles this week. Josh Mauro (DE) only played 41% of snaps this week and hasn’t done anything else of note this season, maybe if I see this a time or two again I’ll consider it. Devon Kennard (EDGE) and Byron Murphy (CB) were both out on the Covid IR this week so it’s likely these Mauro snaps were part of a makeshift pass rush to help fill in the missing production from Kennard. Or not, no idea, regardless I’m not into this unless we see it more than once and he starts playing more than 41% of snaps.
Possible waivers: Markus Golden (EDGE) played 56% of snaps and had a really solid game with five combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass defended and one QB hit on the day. This looks like a solid waiver wire move especially on sites where he qualifies as a defensive lineman like Sleeper. However just be aware that Devon Kennard (EDGE) was out this week on the Covid IR list and was reactivated today, that could eat into Golden’s snaps a little bit so keep that in mind, we’ll see what next week brings, with that in mind I would only play Golden this week in deeper leagues where you’re light on other options. It will probably be fine even with Kennard in there but this isn’t the time of year to screw around. Just a heads up.
Misc notes: Isaiah Simmons (LB) has seen his playing time increase over the last few weeks and the game sealing interception against the Seahawks has seemed to get him back on the radar for this defense, he was abused early in the year and looked terrible but has looked better recently and currently sits at a PFF score of 61.8 which is exponentially better than it was at the start of the season. This is great news for dynasty owners and could give us a possible waiver wire linebacker heading into the last part of the season, we’ll see what next week brings. Budda Baker (S) played 93% of snaps this week but only had five combined tackles in a let down to IDP share holders everywhere, our new Messiah, Jordan Poyer (S), pulled in front of him in the majority of my leagues for overall IDP safety one for the season. I’m sure he’ll bounce back but I can’t deny my excitement that my man Poyer is the safety one right now, Bills mafia is the only mafia. Chris Banjo (S) is now healthy and back in the lineup but it was still Jalen Thompson (S) as the other starting safety this week, he played 93% of snaps and recorded three solo tackles and a pass defense for the day which is good for nine points in most of my leagues and remains a decent safety three in deeper leagues, there was some concern that Banjo would reclaim that other starting safety job but so far that’s not the case. Both inside linebackers were solid and played 100% of snaps as usual and Haasan Redick (EDGE) continues to do a better Chandler Jones (EDGE) impression than Chandler Jones (EDGE) did himself this season before getting sent to IR, he remains a very nice EDGE option in leagues of all shapes and sizes. Not much else to see here this week, Byron Murphy (CB) will return from Covid IR this week but hasn’t been anywhere close to prior seasons playing time so he’s still a less than ideal streaming corner and Devon Kennard (EDGE) will return as well but he’s been awful this season and likely isn’t being played anywhere but the deepest and darkest of leagues. Onwards.
Saints @ Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints
Flash in the pan: PJ Williams (S) & Malcolm Brown (DT) played 70% and 56% of snaps this week respectively, Williams hasn’t done anything else of note this season and was the, no joke, fourth safety to see significant playing time this week. My guess is that playing time disappears and heads over to Kwon Alexander (LB) when he reportedly plays this week. Brown may end up having some value but for me David Onyemata (DT) is the defensive tackle to own here with Sheldon Rankins (DT) now heading to IR. We’ll see what the next couple games bring, in deeper leagues if you have the bench space and need help at defensive tackle I’m not opposed to adding him for a wait and see.
Possible waivers: Kwon Alexander (LB) if someone was dumb enough to drop him, he should be able to do some work in this defense as the other IDP relevant inside linebacker when he (reportedly) plays this upcoming game.
Misc notes: Marcus Davenport (DE) & Cameron Jordan (DE) played 56% and 72% of snaps this week but neither was able to land a sack, they’ll both be fine just nature of the position. I could have sworn it was Davenport that came up with that big man interception but according to the box score it was David Onyemata (DT), regardless there are big weeks still to come from these two so remain calm. David Onyemata (DT) was up to 70% of snaps this week seeing a small increase in playing time (if I’m remembering correctly) with Sheldon Rankins (DT) now on the IR. He recorded four QB hits, one pass defense and one interception, eleven points in most of my leagues, solid help at defensive tackle if he’s still out there. Chauncey Gardner Johnson (S) did play 92% of snaps this week but only recorded two combined tackles on the day, that’s the issue with these third safeties, the playing time fluctuates wildly and is usually never at 100% of snaps (it’s also pretty easy to find safeties on waivers that play every snap) and the production also is all over the place week to week. He’s a decent hit or miss option in deeper leagues but will never be an every week guy. We also need to keep in mind that the Saints defense was only on the field for only twenty minutes this week, that’s incredible, this game was so one sided that this defense barely played and had very little to eat overall as the Bucs offense went three and out over and over again and was unable to sustain drives or get much of a run game going this week, the easy run stopping tackles were nonexistent as the Bucs rushed for eight yards total on just five attempts! That’s incredible. Needless to say this defense as a whole will produce better against an offense that actually does something, this was an embarrassment for Tampa Bay. Look for better production this week, there’s no way this can happen twice in a row right?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flash in the pan: William Gholston (DE) only played 66% of snaps which is still acceptable and even ideal compared to some other defensive ends but in general he’s the third or fourth option in terms of pass rush on this team and is only playable weekly in much deeper leagues, don’t expect this kind of production from him weekly there were a ton of factors that came together to help him get this outlier production this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: This Bucs defense spent forty minutes on the field this week due to the amazing ineptitude of the offense that rushed for eight yards on just five attempts and only managed three total points with just twenty-two completions for 186 yards on the day. While the Saints defense had almost nothing to eat it was the polar opposite for this Bucs defense. They had a four course meal as they spent two thirds of this game on the field with the Saints rushing 37 times for 138 yards, which led to an excellent easy run stopping tackle floor for both inside linebackers and a host of other members of this defense, and also passed for 29 completions and an additional 282 yards. The Saints were able to sustain drives all night long and this was literally the perfect scenario for IDP production for this Bucs defense. We obviously aren’t going to get this every week but we’ll sure as shit take it for this week, this is the way. Sean Murphy Bunting (CB) and Jamel Dean (CB) were the only two notable IDP producers on this defense to have bad days. That’s incredible, this defense has no less than ten players that are well known, reliable, consistent and depended upon producers for IDP purposes so we usually see a good amount of those guys with bad weeks just because there are so many of them and the competition for tackles is so great plus this offense is usually very good (has a great time of possession ranking also) so the defensive playing time is usually less than ideal. The fact that we got all this production out of all these guys this week is something I haven’t seen at any other point this season and probably won’t see again. It truly was the perfect storm for this Bucs IDP corps this week. Bunting and Dean played 36% and 97% of snaps respectively this week, for Bunting he usually sees more playing time than that but between the blowout nature of this game plus the emphasis on the run game for the Saints for basically the entire second half (this game was over by half time) it makes sense that he didn’t see his normal 60% or 70% of snaps this week. Regardless Carlton Davis (CB) and Jamel Dean (CB) remain the two ideal options for streaming corner with Bunting a distant third. Literally everyone else on this defense was able to produce this week which is beyond shocking. They’ll all come back to earth next week against the Panthers in what will likely be a massacre but for now we can enjoy the unusually high production from this defense as a whole.
Patriots @ Jets
New England Patriots
Flash in the pan: Everyone except Adrian Phillips (S).
Possible waivers: No one I would feel remotely confident recommending.
Misc notes: With Ju’Whuan Bentley (LB) out this week it was a terrific situation for Adrian Phillips (S) and he took advantage with 89% of snaps played, most of them in the box, and eight combined tackles on the day. He’s a decent option overall, mostly playable weekly in deeper leagues, and will likely be back to five or six combined tackles per game when Bentley returns but for the duration of that groin injury for Bentley we’ll see Phillips with likely a small boost to production. Chase Winovich (DE) was up to 67% of snaps this week, he was around 9% last week if I remember correctly, this is why I can’t stand the Patriots IDP in general, it’s all over the place and nothing is predictable or consistent at all with this defense. So I guess he’s fine now, except when he’s back to almost no playing time a week or two from now and we get no warning about it and you eat a zero for plugging him back in thinking he’s safe again. Not me, I’m all set with playing that game thank you. If you need to know more about why I don’t like or trust this defense for IDP production feel free to look at past versions of this article going back the last three years, short version is you can’t trust anything here ever, playing time, production, roles and responsibilities fluctuate wildly week to week depending on who the opponent is and how this defense can best morph into whatever it needs to be to best negate that opponent’s strengths. So yep, I’m all set here, I only play Bentley when he’s healthy, Phillips in deeper leagues and Gilmore when healthy and in ideal matchups, I used to play Winovich until they started screwing with his playing time this season, beyond that I trust no one on this defense and don’t recommend you trust them either.
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: Folorunso Fatukasi (DT) played 68% of snaps and had a solid box score but since he hasn’t done much else of note this season and I haven’t spoken or typed his name before this very moment I would think this has more to do with Quinnen Williams (DT) being injured and out this week and less to do with this being a brand spanking new defensive tackle waiver wire option that I haven’t noticed in ten weeks and am just now seeing. Pass unless we see this at least another time or two.
Possible waivers: Harvi Langi (LB) saw the biggest boost in playing time and production with Avery Williamson (LB) traded to the Steelers and Blake Cashman (LB) not yet back in the lineup, I do know Cashman was activated off IR so I’m assuming he plays this week or next so this likely won’t even be a legit waiver wire move but for now it technically exists so I’m talking about it. Monitor Blake Cashman’s (LB) situation if you do choose to make this move. Langi played 95% of snaps and recorded ten combined tackles this week.
Misc notes: Both Cashman and Quinnen Williams (DT) were inactive due to hamstring injuries this week. Brian Poole (CB) was injured early in this one and that explains the mere 10% of snaps played this week. Pierre Desir (CB) was so bad this week (he was on Jakobi Meyers (WR) who went absolutely nuts) that he was given the “anti game ball” award by local Jets media, that’s not ideal. This helps explain his 53% of snaps played this week and isn’t a great omen for streaming corner purposes going forward, we’ll keep an eye on it but for now Bless Austin (CB) is the only reliable streaming corner option here until Poole is healthy and we find out what’s going on with Desir. Ashtyn Davis (S) was one of my recommended waiver wire safeties the last couple weeks after it became apparent he was going to be an option here when we saw him gaining on Bradley McDougald (S) in playing time a few weeks back, then McDougald was sent to IR and that made this set in stone. Since that point he’s played 100% of snaps each week and had a sack that was pulled off the board due to a bogus roughing the passer call a week ago and this week recorded five combined tackles and a pass defended on the day this week for twelve points in most of my leagues, he’s a solid safety option if you still need the help. Marcus Maye (S) played every snap as usual but only recorded four combined tackles on the day, three of them were assists, so not idea at all. He’s sitting at four good games, one amazing game and four terrible games on the season, so not exactly ideal but that lands him in the same category as guys like Eddie Skidmarks Jackson (S) and Kevin Byard (S) as a boom or bust safety but unlike them his “boom” isn’t usually all that impressive. I’d look for a better option if I were playing him weekly, despite the fact that he’s on the Jets (Who have the worst passing attack in the league) and therefore will be on the field more than most safeties he’s just had one too many stinkers lately so I’m personally looking for a life raft. Besides those notes everything else was fine here this week. Thanks again for reading my nonsense. Good luck this week, we’ll cya all back here next Thursday morning, may the fantasy Gods be merciful to us all.
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