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  • The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 12 Start/Sit List: IDP

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    All the information you need to make those difficult NFL Week 12 Start/Sit decisions in IDP leagues


    Here’s the IDP Guys NFL Week 12 Start/Sit article. Every noteworthy defensive player on every NFL team, delivered to you every Thursday morning by @FFIDP_Jase and @IDPGuys.

    Table of Contents

    Thursday Night Football
    Chicago Bears (3-7) at Detroit Lions (0-9-1)
    Las Vegas Raiders (5-5) at Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
    Buffalo Bills (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)
    Sunday Early Afternoon Games
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
    New York Jets (2-8) at Houston Texans (2-8)
    Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) at New York Giants (3-7)
    Carolina Panthers (5-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-7)
    Tennessee Titans (8-3) at New England Patriots (7-4)
    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
    Atlanta Falcons (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8)
    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games
    Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) at Denver Broncos (5-5)
    Los Angeles Rams (7-3) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)
    Minnesota Vikings (5-5) at San Francisco 49ers (5-5)
    Sunday Night Football
    Cleveland Browns (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
    Monday Night Football
    Seattle Seahawks (3-7) at Washington Football Team (4-6)

    Disclaimers

    In the first few weeks of the season, I had a list of disclaimers here that explained how my advice is only a suggestion, how your team is your responsibility, and that I will get things wrong. It got too wordy, and I think most reasonable people understand all of this by now. I’m not going to include all that in my NFL Week 12 Start/Sit IDP article.

    I’ll just say this. If you’re the sort of person who feels the need to complain when (not if) I get something wrong, and it costs you points, please read the disclaimers from those early weeks first. I encourage all feedback — even criticism when it’s constructive — but not mindless rants. I do this for fun. It’s a game. Let’s keep it light.

    Article Key

    Tier One Starts

    Based on their opportunity, past production, talent level, and matchup, these players have the best outlook. They usually have a solid floor and an excellent ceiling. These guys should be the nearest to guaranteed production you can find.

    Tier Two Starts

    These players should earn a reasonable amount of points. Their opportunity, talent, or matchup is typically not on a par with a tier-one player. Tier two players are usually a good option in deep leagues that start multiple players at each position.

    Tier Three Starts

    These players are a bit of a gamble. You should probably only start them in larger leagues and those which start many players at each position. Tier three players can be serviceable as either bye week or injury replacements, but the chances of scoring well are slim. This tier is as close to “sit” as you can get while still retaining some value as a starter.

    Sits

    As the name implies, sit these players. You should not start these players for any number of reasons. They aren’t necessarily bad players. I just don’t predict them to be scoring well this game week. In the case of rookies, for example, they may simply need time to earn more playing time and, therefore, our trust as fantasy starters.

    Any player not listed in any of these four categories should probably be considered a “sit.” If they become IDP relevant on a week-to-week basis, they will likely end up in one of the categories above.

    No Cornerbacks?

    Johnny writes a separate article for CBs that drops on Fridays, so keep an eye out for that tomorrow!

    True Position Designations

    In some IDP leagues, certain positions are grouped in a suboptimal way, primarily because of outdated interpretations of what players at each position do. Many IDP leagues are turning towards True Position to address that problem.

    In true position scoring, outside linebackers and defensive ends (ends who predominantly line up outside of the tackle) are grouped as ‘Edge’ (rushers). Defensive tackles and defensive ends who play on the interior are grouped as IDL (interior defensive linemen). This leaves all remaining linebackers as off-ball linebackers (I’ve called them ILBs in this NFL Week 12 Start/Sit IDP article to help with clarification).

    The result of these changes is that scoring can be more fairly distributed between groups of players who, in modern defenses, essentially perform near-identical roles.

    Players with EDGE designations in such leagues, and this article, can vary in value from leagues that still use traditional DE and OLB positions. The same is true of IDL vs. DT designations and is complicated further by platforms that simply use DL positions to lump all defensive linemen together (the worst!). There is no easy way I can cater to all of these leagues here. Whatever I choose to do, someone would be missing out.

    While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to value translation between these different designations, I can at least offer to help adjust the IDP start/sit advice mentioned here for your league’s scoring system. If you find yourself in need of help in that sense, or if you find all of this just too complicated, please send me a Twitter DM. I answer every message I receive.

    Without further ado, let’s get into the NFL Week 12 Start/Sit IDP article.

    Thursday Night Football

    Chicago Bears (3-7) at Detroit Lions (0-9-1)

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    Bears
    Starts

    Tier One

    Roquan Smith, ILB.

    Smith blew up against the Ravens with 16 total tackles, nine stops and two QB hurries. He moves up to third in the league with 106 tackles. Interestingly, he’s had almost 100 fewer snaps than Bobby Wagner in second. That equates to almost two additional games.

    The 2018 first-round pick now has added three sacks, an interception, and two pass breakups. Smith was likely one of the top-3 ILBs taken in your fantasy league and he has met expectations.

    Tier Two

    Robert Quinn, EDGE.

    Quinn had an incredible game against the Ravens in Week 11. Seven pressures, including four sacks, a forced fumble, and a tackle. He’s now tied for seventh among all edge rushers with 10 sacks. He’s stepped up with Mack being injured and that is exactly what the Bears needed of him.

    I like it when veteran players defy their critics to remain productive. Or in Quinn’s case, regain productivity. He had just two sacks last year and was written off by many, including me. I didn’t imagine he’d add a sixth year to his list of campaigns with double-digit sacks.

    I remain slightly hesitant due to his pressure: sack ratio. He ranks seventh in sacks but only 29th in total pressures. But it’s a minor worry vs. what has been an otherwise impressive season for Quinn. Hats off to him.

    Quinn will go up against Taylor Decker on Thursday Night Football. Decker has played two games since returning from a finger injury and although Decker allowed four total pressures, he was going up against NFL sack leader, Myles Garrett. Crucially, Decker didn’t allow Garrett a sack, something very few other left tackles can lay claim to this season.

    Decker should present a difficult matchup for Quinn in Week 12.

    Tier Three

    DeAndre Houston-Carson, S.

    Houston-Carson has played pretty well when given the chance this season. He was second on the team with eight total tackles against the Ravens. He also added a QB hurry and a pass breakup.

    The sixth-year safety arguably deserves an extended run in the team. But he loses value once Eddie Jackson can return.

    Sits

    Khalil Mack, EDGE (injury – IR); Trevis Gipson, EDGE; Cassius Marsh, EDGE; Ledarius Mack, EDGE; Eddie Jackson, S (injury).

    The Bears turned to three different players to help fill the void left by Khalil Mack. Gipson saw the most snaps and pass rush attempts with 52 and 27, respectively. Marsh was second with 39 and 24, followed by Khalil’s younger brother, Ledarius, who had 10 and four.

    Gipson had a good game, he was second on the team with five pressures, including two sacks, and he had three solo tackles. Presumably, he’s done enough to earn the lion’s share of snaps behind Quinn in Week 12. If he continues to perform well he could become an EDGE3. Remember, this is a deep position.

    Marsh had a tackle and two pressures, but it is Ledarius Mack who will likely receive more attention on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues this week. Despite playing fewer snaps than Marsh, Ledarius Mack recorded a sack and has received additional attention simply because of his relation to Khalil.

    Jackson was questionable in the build-up to last weekend but was held out again. He’s missed three weeks with a hamstring injury suffered during the Week 8 game against the 49ers. If he’s healthy, he likely replaces Houston-Carson. Monitor his status carefully this week.

    Lions
    Starts

    Tier One

    Tier Two

    Tracy Walker, S.

    Walker was one of only three Lions defenders to play every down against the Browns. Only 11 of his 74 snaps were spent in a box role, yet he led the Lions with nine solo tackles.

    The fourth-year player has 59 tackles and ranks 19th at the position among all safeties. He has a chance to record a new career-high in tackles, surpassing the mark of 93 tackles that he achieved back in the 2019 season.

    Walker has also added a sack and four pass breakups this season.

    Tier Three

    Charles Harris, EDGE; Alex Anzalone, ILB.

    Harris remains the best, healthy pass rusher on this team. He had five tackles, a QB hit and three QB hurries last weekend.

    The former first-round pick by the Dolphins went on a nice run to open the season, earning a sack in four consecutive games between Week 2 and Week 5. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had a sack since and has slid to 37th overall in total pressures at the edge position.

    Harris remains a low-end EDGE3 for this matchup against the Bears and Jason Peters. As I have said many times this season, Peters is not the player he once was, but he’s still no pushover at 39 years of age.

    Anzalone played every down and did what he normally does. He played poorly, earned a reasonable amount of tackles (7), and missed a bunch of tackle attempts (2).

    The fifth-year linebacker ranks 30th among all ILBs with 64 total tackles this season. He’s also added a sack, an interception, and a pass breakup. Unfortunately, Anzalone now leads the league in missed tackles with 18.

    Sits

    Trey Flowers, EDGE (injury); Julian Okwara, EDGE. Derrick Barnes, ILB; Jalen Reeves-Maybin, ILB.

    Flowers missed last weekend with a knee injury. Even when healthy enough to play, he hasn’t been effective.

    Julian Okwara has played a steady amount of snaps for the last five games, earning between 35 and 37 in each game since Week 6. He hasn’t had any pressures in his last two games and has been playing in coverage more often.

    Barnes played just 19 snaps in Week 11. Maybe I overrated him or maybe I’m just impatient. Either way, he’s not worth rostering unless you’re in deep dynasty leagues.

    Reeves-Maybin played 48 of a possible 74 snaps in Week 11. He recorded five solo tackles. He has some value as a bye week or injury replacement but isn’t likely to be a reliable fantasy contributor.

    Las Vegas Raiders (5-5) at Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

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    Raiders
    Starts

    Tier One

    Maxx Crosby, EDGE; Denzel Perryman, ILB; Jonathan Abram, S.

    I can relate, Crosby managers. Every week I watch him playing as well as most other elite edge rushers and every week I roll my eyes as he fails to record a sack. I don’t recall a season like it.

    He has 66 pressures which lead the NFL by some margin and yet he’s failed to record a sack in eight out of ten games.

    Crosby faces La’el Collins this Thursday night. Collins has played four games and conceded 13 total pressures and a sack. It’s an average matchup for the Raiders edge rusher.

    Perryman’s incredibly productive season continued, as he played 70 of a possible 74 snaps and had 12 tackles, seven stops, and two pass breakups.

    The University of Miami product leads the NFL with 115 total tackles. It’s remarkable considering that second-placed Bobby Wagner has played 175 more snaps!

    Abrams played every down and tied for the team lead with 12 total tackles against the Bengals last weekend. He ranks third among all safeties with 76 tackles. He also has a sack, an interception, and two pass breakups.

    However, the former first-round pick has been picked on in coverage. In his last three games, Abrams has been targeted 18 times and allowed 18 completions for 202 yards and four touchdowns.

    Tier Two

    Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE; Cory Littleton, ILB.

    Ngakoue only played 44 of a possible 74 snaps but had two tackles, two pressures, including a sack. He also forced a fumble.

    The Cowboys are hopeful that Tyron Smith will play on Thursday night. If he can suit up, he’ll be a very difficult matchup for Ngakoue. If Smith can’t play, Terence Steele will more than likely play at left tackle again. Steele hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was at right tackle, allowing 13 pressures and two sacks in three games.

    Littleton played 61 snaps against the Bengals and recorded eight tackles and a QB hit. He ranks 19th among all ILBs with 76 total tackles but lacks the big plays to help boost his fantasy value.

    Tier Three

    Quinton Jefferson, IDL.

    Jefferson only played 39 of a possible 74 snaps but was still a close second on the team with 27 pass-rush attempts.

    He ranks 21st at the position with 23 pressures and 33rd with 28 tackles. The former Seahawks player has registered four sacks and two forced fumbles. In leagues where he has IDL eligibility, he’s ideally used as a bye week or injury replacement.

    Zack MartinConnor Williams, and Tyler Biadasz will pose a difficult challenge for Jefferson and co. in this game.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Cowboys
    Starts

    Tier One

    Micah Parsons, ILB/EDGE.

    Randy Gregory was placed on IR ahead of Week 10. In that game against the Falcons, Parsons lined up as an off-ball linebacker 30 times and as an edge rusher nine times, and he rushed the passer just seven times. In Week 11 vs the Chiefs, he was almost exclusively an edge rusher, leading the team with 40 pass-rush attempts.

    The dynamic young linebacker delivered. He paced the Cowboys with seven total pressures, including two sacks, a QB hit, and four hurries. He forced a fumble and added two solo tackles.

    Despite rushing the passer only 181 times this season, Parsons has 35 pressures, including nine sacks. That’s the pass rush productivity of a low-end EDGE1 player. But, because he has also lined up as an ILB on occasion, he also had 52 tackles, and that leads all edge players.

    If he doesn’t have the value of a tier-one player in your league, it’s not his fault. It’s more than likely due to a lack of flexibility in positional designations.

    Assuming Parsons lines up as an edge rusher against the Raiders, Brandon Parker will have his hands full. It’s a favorable matchup for Parsons.

    Tier Two

    Jayron Kearse, S.

    Kearse played every down against the Chiefs. He spent 32 of his 68 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    The former Vikings and Detroit safety played well. He recorded his first interception of the season and he had five total tackles. He ranks 18th in total tackles at the position with 59.

    Tier Three

    Osa Odighizuwa, IDL.

    Odighizuwa’s barren spell as a pass rusher continues. He earned four or more pressures in four of his first five games this season but has three or fewer pressures in his last five.

    The gap has narrowed between the amount of snaps Odighizuwa plays and the rest of the Cowboys’ interior defensive linemen. He played just 37 snaps of a possible 68 in Week 11, Carlos Watkins and Trysten Hill played 31 and 28, respectively. Even Justin Hamilton had 17.

    The interior of the Raiders offensive line has been particularly poor in pass protection. Even so, Odighizuwa is a low-end IDL3 for this Thanksgiving matchup.

    Sits

    DeMarcus Lawrence, EDGE; Randy Gregory, EDGE (injury – IR); Leighton Vander Esch, ILB; Dorance Armstrong; EDGE; Tarell Basham, EDGE; Chauncey Golston, EDGE.

    Lawrence returned to the practice field this week. There is a chance he plays in the game but Mike McCarthy didn’t commit to saying so in interviews this week. The fact the Cowboys play on Thursday night doesn’t help Lawrence’s cause.

    Gregory was designated to return from IR on Tuesday, opening the 21-day window in which the Cowboys are expected to activate him to the 53-man roster. There have been suggestions Gregory will return in Week 13.

    LVE benefitted from Parsons’ move to the edge in Week 12 as he played 49 of a possible 68 snaps. However, he had only two tackles and a QB hurry. If Gregory returns soon then Parsons will presumably move back to ILB and LVE’s opportunities will once again disappear.

    I noted last week that Armstrong had an impressive game against the Falcons in Week 10. He wasn’t quite as impressive against the Chiefs in Week 11, but he did have two solo tackles, three pressures, including a sack. He had 45 snaps compared with Basham’s 34 and Golston’s 16.

    Armstrong arguably has EDGE3 value until Gregory returns, but I don’t recommend starting him as anything more than an EDGE4 this week as he faces the only Raiders offensive lineman who is a proficient pass protector, Kolton Miller. Miller should provide a tough matchup for the young Cowboys’ edge rusher.

    Basham was second on the team with four total pressures, but he failed to convert any of them into a sack. He did add three solo tackles. I’m interested to see how things play out once Gregory returns. I assume Armstrong and Basham will both see their snap counts diminish.

    Golston was clearly behind Armstrong and Basham in the pecking order for the second consecutive game.

    Buffalo Bills (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)

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    Bills
    Starts

    Tier One

    Jordan Poyer, S.

    Poyer played 62 of a possible 69 snaps and spent 26 of those in the box or on the defensive line. He had six solo tackles.

    I jinxed Poyer with my tweet last week where I pointed out he has almost as many interceptions (4) as he has allowed completions (5). He allowed three completions in Week 11 against the Colts. However, he gave up -1 yards total!

    Poyer is lagging behind the top safeties in total tackles this year. He ranks 28th at the position with 53 total tackles. In his defense, he has played fewer games than his counterparts as he missed Week 4 and the Bills had their bye in Week 7. 40 safeties have played more snaps. The leader in that category, Jamal Adams, has played almost 200 snaps more. That equates to at least three games.

    The veteran safety has justified his position as a Safety1 with a sack, four interceptions, and four pass breakups this season.

    Tier Two

    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB.

    Sean McDermott said Edmunds would practice with no restrictions this week as he prepares for the Thanksgiving showdown with the Saints.

    Edmunds was the Bills’ most productive ILB in fantasy before the injury. The former first-round pick registered 52 tackles and an interception in eight games. Assuming he’s fully healthy, he should return to that same level of effectiveness on Thursday night.

    Tier Three

    Matt Milano, ILB.

    It’s no surprise that Milano’s most productive games have been his last two. With Edmunds out, Milano has had 17 tackles in two games. He hadn’t surpassed five tackles in the seven games between Week 1 and Week 9.

    Edmunds return may mean Milano returns to pre-Week 10 levels of productivity. But it shouldn’t be for a lack of opportunity. Milano was playing every down even when Edmunds was in the lineup.

    I’m placing Milano in tier three until he shows he can perform alongside, rather than in place of, Edmunds.

    Sits

    Jerry Hughes, EDGE; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE; Micah Hyde, S; A.J. Klein, ILB; Ed Oliver, IDL.

    I’m not going to recommend you start any Bills edge rushers until someone emerges – and I have doubts that can happen when they continue to rotate as they do. It’s been a common theme in these articles that I point to how four and sometimes five players have rotated heavily. It was no different in Week 11.

    The rotation wasn’t quite as close as it has been in previous weeks. Rousseau played 41 snaps, four other edge rushers had been 15 and 31 snaps. However, all five players – including Rousseau – had between seven and 13 pass-rush attempts. It makes life hell for fantasy managers.

    Hyde has shown a propensity for big plays this season. He has a sack, a forced fumble, three interceptions, and two pass breakups. However, you have to put up with the quiet weeks when you don’t manage to hit one of those big weeks. Hyde has failed to record more than six tackles in a game this season.

    Klein will return to fantasy irrelevance with the return of Tremaine Edmunds.

    I mention Oliver for the first time this season because he’s started to show some signs of becoming a better pass rusher. The 2019 first-round pick has earned a PFF pass-rush grade above 80 in two consecutive games, and three of his last five. He’s achieved a grade above 80 on only three occasions in the two years prior.

    It’s very early days yet, and we should temper our enthusiasm until he shows he can do this on a more consistent basis.

    Saints
    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Demario Davis, ILB; Cameron Jordan, EDGE.

    Davis disappeared in Week 11. He recorded just two total tackles, his lowest output since Week 17 of the 2019 season. It wasn’t for lack of opportunity, the veteran linebacker played all 78 of the available defensive snaps on offer, a number he has surpassed only once this season.

    I’m willing to bet Davis bounces back this week. While there has been a very gradual drop-off in his play each season since 2019, he was SO good in that 2019 season that it was almost inevitable. He still ranks 28th at the ILB in tackles, and he’s also added three sacks and four pass breakups.

    Like Davis, Jordan is now 32 years old and has shown signs of dropping off slightly as he reaches the twilight of his career. But also like Davis, Jordan is still effective and has a long way to fall, such was his talent at the peak of his career.

    Jordan has four sacks in his last five games. He ranks 20th at the edge position in pressures, and eighth in total tackles.

    The veteran edge rusher aligned predominantly on the right edge in Week 12, the first time he has done so this season. If that continues into Week 13, he’ll face more of Dion Dawkins than Daryl Williams. Both of these offensive tackles are good but Dawkins is the better of the two. Tough matchup for Jordan.

    Tier Three

    Malcolm Jenkins, S; Kwon Alexander, ILB.

    Jenkins has 

    Jenkins played every down against his former team. He spent 37 of his 78 snaps in a box role or on the defensive line.

    The veteran safety only recorded four solo tackles in that game but he still ranks 23rd in tackles at the safety position. He has also added a sack, an interception, and four pass breakups this season. He’s a fairly solid Safety 2 in IDP leagues.

    Alexander returned to a more prominent role last week after playing barely half the available defensive snaps in Week 10. He was second on the team with eight total tackles, although he did miss three more tackle attempts. He’s a low-end ILB3 until further notice.

    Sits

    Pete Werner, ILB; Marcus Williams, S; Marcus Davenport, EDGE (injury).

    Werner had only 11 snaps in Week 11. He can’t be fantasy-relevant when given so few opportunities.

    Williams is one of the best players on this Saints defense, but his contributions don’t typically offer much in a fantasy sense. However, he did have six total tackles in Week 11 and registered two pass breakups.

    The talented safety ranks 38th at the position in tackles.

    It’s a shame Davenport is out. He might be the Saints’ best pure pass-rusher right now. He returned to the lineup in Week 8 and has since had four sacks, a forced fumble, and 18 tackles in four games.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Bucs
    Starts

    Tier One

    Devin White, ILB; Shaq Barrett, EDGE; Lavonte David, ILB.

    White came back down to earth slightly in Week 11 after posting 15 tackles and a sack the week before. But it wasn’t a disappointing performance against the Giants, he still had seven total tackles, a pass breakup, and four total pressures.

    The young linebacker ranks 13th in total tackles at the position. Fantasy managers will be pleased to see him become more active as a pass-rusher in recent weeks. It was his nine sacks that boosted his fantasy value after the 2020 season.

    Barrett led the team with seven total pressures last weekend, but he failed to record a sack for the third consecutive game. As frustrating as it can be, I urge you to stick with him. He’s third in the league in total pressure and it’s a matter of time before he starts taking down the QB again.

    The former Broncos player will face Braden Smith and Eric Fisher this weekend. It’s difficult to review the performances of the Colts tackles in Week 12 as they only played 24 snaps. Both are usually solid players. Barrett has the advantage here but it won’t be a walkover.

    David played every down last week and recorded seven total tackles and two pressures. He only ranks 31st at the position with 63 total tackles, but he has only played in eight games and he left one of those early.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Antoine Winfield, S.

    Winfield had a nice pass breakup in Week 11, but he was otherwise quite quiet. Like David, he’s only played eight games this season, but even so, he has only 44 total tackles. It’s unsurprising given how often he aligns in such a deep role.

    Sits

    Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE; Vita Vea, IDL; Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE; Jordan Whitehead, S.

    JPP continues his disappointing season. He has only one productive game in eight and was outplayed by Tryon-Shoyinka again in Week 11. The rookie had as many pressures against the Giants as JPP has earned in the last three games.

    Unless you are either stacked at the position or are in a shallow league, you may find it difficult to drop JPP in some IDP leagues. He’s still an EDGE4 in my rankings, but his value decreases on almost a weekly basis. I think he’ll flash every so often, but I have serious misgivings about whether he can play well enough consistently to justify a regular starting spot in fantasy.

    Vea missed last weekend with a knee injury but Bruce Arians said he should be back this weekend. He’s a borderline IDL3 player but is better suited as a backup at the position rather than being your starter.

    Tryon-Shoyinka was second on the team with six total pressures. It looks a bit more impressive than it is, he played only 29 total snaps but 24 of those were spent rushing the passer, only six fewer times than Barrett. Even so, he’s more effective than JPP at this point.

    I have considered moving Whitehead into tier three in recent weeks, but he has struggled with missed tackles lately. He has eight missed attempts in the last three games, a staggering number for any player. His 20.4% missed tackle rate is almost 7% higher than it was in 2020. C’mon, Jordan!

    Colts
    Starts

    Tier One

    DeForest Buckner, IDL; Darius Leonard, ILB; Bobby Okereke, ILB.

    Buckner had a quiet game by any standard. He played 40 of a possible 56 snaps, led the team in pass-rush attempts with 32, but recorded only two assisted tackles and a QB hurry.

    Despite his poor output in Week 11, Buckner still ranks seventh among all IDLs with 39 tackles, and sixth in total pressure. He will have to be at his best to get the better of Ryan JensenAlex Cappa, and co. this weekend. His job is made slightly easier with Ali Marpet missing the game with an abdomen injury.

    Leonard also had a modest game. The dynamic playmaker played 50 snaps but had only five total tackles for the second consecutive game.

    He ranks 18th in tackles among all linebackers. Leonard has a knack for delivering big plays; he has four forced fumbles, two interceptions, and two pass breakups this season.

    Okereke also played 50 snaps in Week 11, and he led the team in tackles, as he has so often this season.

    The young linebacker ranks seventh at the position with 91 total tackles, and he’s added a sack, an interception, and three pass breakups too.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Kwity Paye, EDGE; George Odum, S.

    I’m encouraged by Paye’s development in recent weeks. He has 17 pressures, including two sacks, and a forced fumble in his last three games. He continues to lead the Colts’ edge rushers in snaps and pass rush opportunities.

    It all seems to be coming together for Paye. He could become an EDGE2 soon if he can maintain this level of play.

    Paye will find it difficult to continue that run of good form against Donovan Smith in Week 12. Smith is one of the best offensive tackles in pass protection this season.

    Odum played a deeper role last weekend than he did in the three games prior. He played better in his new capacity. Odum had four solo tackles and an interception.

    Sits

    Khari Willis, S (injury).

    Frank Reich said Willis will not return to practice yet.

    New York Jets (2-8) at Houston Texans (2-8)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Jets
    Starts

    Tier One

    Quinnen Williams, IDL.

    Williams had five pressures last weekend, matching his best output of the season in that regard. Unfortunately, he failed to record a sack. He did add a tackle and a batted pass but that’s of little consolation to his fantasy managers.

    The talented young defensive tackle only ranks 37th at the IDL spot in total tackles, but only five tackles separate 37th from 16th. Perhaps more importantly, ranks 10th in total pressure and is tied for fourth in total pressure.

    The only thing holding Williams back from being more valuable in fantasy is how little he plays compared to his counterparts. Jeffrey Simmons has played over 200 snaps more than Williams.

    The interior of the Texans offensive line is very poor and Williams should capitalize this weekend.

    Tier Two

    John Franklin-Myers, EDGE; C.J. Mosley, ILB; Ashtyn Davis, S.

    Franklin-Myers has struggled to get among the sacks lately – he has just one in his last six games – but he has at least shown signs of returning to his early-season form. The young edge rusher has 13 pressures in his last three games, including seven pressures against the Dolphins in Week 11.

    He has a chance to help fantasy managers with a strong performance in Week 12 as he faces Charlie Heck. Heck has been quite average in pass protection.

    Mosley played 59 of a possible 72 snaps in Week 11. He was second on the team with 10 total tackles. However, he did allow five receptions including one for a touchdown.

    The veteran linebacker ranks 12th at the ILB position with 84 total tackles. He’s also added a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup this season.

    Davis was one snap shy of playing every down. He continues to show that he has a future in this league. The talented young safety registered five tackles and recorded his first interception of the season.

    Tier Three

    Quincy Williams, ILB.

    Williams seems to have supplanted Jarrad Davis for the second ILB spot alongside Mosley. It’s no surprise as Davis is terrible. Williams responded with a team-leading 16 total tackles in Week 11.

    He’ll be a popular waiver-wire pick-up this weekend and I can understand why. He has the potential to be productive in this defense.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Texans
    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB; Zach Cunningham, ILB; Jacob Martin, EDGE.

    Grugier-Hill played 74 of a possible 81 snaps and led the team with 12 total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup. He also added two QB hits. It’s easily his most productive fantasy week of the season and is hopefully a sign of things to come. I think he’s a high-end ILB3 for this game.

    Cunningham retains value until Christian Kirksey returns. He played every down in Week 11 and was second on the team with 11 total tackles and a pass breakup. The Titans picked on him in coverage, Cunningham allowed 11 receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.

    He has 19 tackles in the two games he has played since Kirksey’s injury. As limited as his game can be at times, you’ve got to hand it to him, he racks up the tackles.

    Martin has delivered as an edge rusher in the last few games. He had six pressures, a sack, and a forced fumble in Week 9 against the Dolphins. I didn’t put too much stock in that performance as the Dolphins have the worst pair of offensive tackles in the NFL.

    Then Martin followed up that performance with four pressures, a sack, and a forced fumble in Week 11 against the Texans. And he did so with Jonathan Greenard out.

    I’m tempering my enthusiasm slightly. His pass-rush grades were consistently very poor until these last two games. And he also generates very little tackle volume. Worse still, he misses a lot of tackles too. His 28.6% missed tackle rate this season is consistent with previous seasons.

    His pass-rush attempts, total pressures, and sack numbers are very similar to previous seasons. In fact, his productivity this season compared to that of his rookie season is near identical. It suggests a lack of progression in that four-year spell.

    Martin spends a similar amount of time at both the LEO and REO positions. He’ll go up against Morgan Moses and George Fant in Week 12. Fant is above average as a pass protector, he’s allowed only 15 pressures and zero sacks in 10 games. Moses has allowed 31 pressures and two sacks.

    Sits

    Christian Kirksey, ILB (injury – IR); Jonathan Greenard, EDGE (injury); Justin Reid, S.

    Greenard is questionable to return this weekend. The Texans reported he was expected to be back in practice this week in a limited capacity. If Greenard can play, he’s an EDGE2. See Martin’s notes above for information on Greenard’s matchup.

    Reid had a quiet game against the Titans. He played 80 snaps and spent 73 at free safety, and managed a solo tackle, missed two more tackle attempts, and allowed a reception for 46 yards.

    He ranks 47th at the position in total tackles. That isn’t close to being enough of a baseline for fantasy purposes.

    Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) at New York Giants (3-7)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Eagles
    Starts

    Tier One

    Javon Hargrave, IDL.

    Hargrave led the Eagles in total pressure against the Saints in Week 11. Unfortunately, like the rest of the Saints’ defense, he failed to record a sack. This was Hargrave’s sixth consecutive game without a sack.

    The fact that he is tied for fourth in sacks at the IDL position speaks to how good he was earlier in the season and how shallow the position is for fantasy purposes. Hargrave’s tackle volume helps him maintain IDL1 status, too. His 44 total tackles rank second.

    Hargrave will have an opportunity to record a much-needed sack this weekend. The interior of this Giants offensive line is very poor in pass protection.

    Tier Two

    T.J. Edwards, ILB.

    Edwards has been quite impressive since earning a prominent role. He played 60 of a possible 65 snaps last weekend and recorded 10 tackles. He also earned his first interception of the season – and only the second of his career.

    The young linebacker has 44 total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup in his last four games.

    Tier Three

    Josh Sweat, EDGE; Alex Singleton, ILB; Fletcher Cox, IDL.

    Sweat tied for second on the team with three total pressures. However, he failed to record a sack for his third consecutive game.

    The former five-star recruit ranks 33rd in total pressures, and 20th in total tackles. He needs a strong second half of the season and Nate Solder may provide the opportunity Sweat needs to begin that run. Solder has been extremely poor this season.

    Just when Singleton looked like he had zero value, Davion Taylor suffered a knee sprain. Singleton will likely be playing for the next few weeks and might be a popular waiver pickup for those who dropped him in recent weeks.

    He played 58 of a possible 65 snaps in place of Taylor and was second on the team with seven total tackles. He also added a QB hit and a pass breakup.

    Cox had three solo tackles, a forced fumble, and three pressures in Week 11. He isn’t the player he was a few years ago, but he’s still got some ability. He is tied for 14th at the position in total pressure but is in this tier because he has only 14 tackles and one sack this season.

    Sits

    Derek Barnett, EDGE; Davion Taylor, ILB.

    Barnett led the Eagles in total snaps once again. But he didn’t do a lot with the opportunity. The fifth-year edge rusher registered one assisted tackle and two pressures.

    He will face Andrew Thomas in Week 12. Thomas returned from injury in Week 11, and while he did surrender his first sack of the season, he’s still much improved over last season. He’ll present Barnett with a difficult matchup.

    Taylor is likely heading to IR with a knee injury. If he does, he’ll miss at least three games.

    Giants
    Starts

    Tier One

    Leonard Williams, IDL.

    Williams played 59 of a possible 79 snaps against the Bucs on Monday Night Football, but like the rest of the Giants defense, he didn’t play up to his usual standard. He had only three total tackles and a QB hurry. I talked about how good the Bucs offensive line was and that proved to be the case.

    The former Jets player will look to get back on track against the Eagles, but it’s another challenging matchup. Center Jason Kelce is less consistent than he was in the past, but he can still play. Young guard Jack Driscoll looks like a bit of a find. Landon Dickerson looks a little out of his depth but even he had his best game against the Saints last week.

    Tier Two

    Dexter Lawrence, IDL; Xavier McKinney, S.

    Lawrence was just as quiet as Williams. He had an assisted tackle, a batted pass, and two QB hurries in a forgettable performance.

    The giant defensive tackle still ranks 26th at the IDL position in pressures, and 27th in total tackles.

    See Williams’ notes for information on Lawrence’s matchup against the Giants in Week 12.

    McKinney played every down against the Bucs. He spent 21 of his 79 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. The second-year safety had five total tackles.

    He ranks 30th in the league at the safety spot with 52 total tackles. McKinney has had four interceptions and two pass breakups which have helped increase his fantasy stock.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE; Tae Crowder, ILB; Julian Love, S.

    Ojulari led all of the Giants’ edge rushers with 62 total snaps and 39 pass-rush attempts. He had two solo tackles and two QB hurries.

    The gifted youngster has been a bit erratic at times this season, as you would expect from a rookie. Overall, it has been a productive debut season and the Giants will be pleased with his contributions so far.

    Ojulari will go up against Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson this weekend. It will be one of his toughest challenges yet.

    Crowder is the latest in a long line of ILBs who are not good players, but who earn good tackle volume and are, therefore, useful in IDP leagues.

    The young linebacker had seven total tackles and a QB hurry against the Bucs. He ranks 24th at the position in tackles. I think if the Giants had better on their roster, we’d have seen them by now, so his position may be safe for the foreseeable.

    Love stood in for Logan Ryan last week. The young safety played every down, played 21 snaps in the box or on the defensive line, recorded five tackles, and had two pass breakups.

    If Ryan can’t play this weekend, you could do worse than picking up Love to play in his place.

    Sits

    Logan Ryan, S (injury).

    Ryan’s availability for the weekend appears to be in danger:

    Even though Ryan missed week 11, he still ranks eight at the position in total tackles. He’s a low-end Safety1 when he returns.

    Carolina Panthers (5-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-7)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Panthers
    Starts

    Tier One

    Shaq Thompson, ILB; Brian Burns, EDGE; Haason Reddick, EDGE; Jeremy Chinn, S.

    Thompson wasn’t as active as he has been in recent games. The seventh-year linebacker only had five solo tackles against Washington.

    Despite the poor performance, he has still performed at ILB1 levels this season. He won’t top the rankings in any particular metric because he’s missed time, but he’s been impactful when on the field. 52 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and three pass breakups is a solid return on only eight games played.

    Burns had an assisted tackle, two pressures, including a sack against Washington. Reddick had four solo tackles, three pressures, and two sacks.

    Both players have a great matchup this weekend against the Dolphins’ offensive line. Jesse Davis and Liam Eichenberg:

    Chinn had a big game. He played every down and spent 35 of his 67 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He led the team with 13 total tackles and added a QB hurry.

    The 64th overall pick in the 2020 draft had a slow start to the season but his productivity has increased since. His lack of any big plays may be very noticeable in the scoring system of some IDP leagues, but he now ranks 6th at the safety position in tackles. That’s a solid weekly floor.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    Jermaine Carter, ILB; Derrick Brown, IDL.

    Carter survived Thompson’s return for a while but his productivity has decreased on almost a weekly basis over the last month.

    Brown’s disappointing sophomore season continues. I’d like to see him finish the second half of the season strongly but it looks unlikely to happen.

    Dolphins
    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Jerome Baker, ILB; Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE; Christian Wilkins, IDL.

    Baker was unproductive for the second consecutive game. He played 59 of a possible 60 snaps and managed only five tackles and two pressures.

    He has 56 total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception this season. He’s a low-end ILB2.

    Ogbah failed to record a sack but he did have five total pressures. He has 17 total pressures in his last three games. The former Browns player ranks eighth in total pressures at the edge position and is tied for 19th in sacks.

    Ogbah faces Taylor Moton in Week 12. Moton is a solid offensive tackle in pass protection and will be a tough challenge for Ogbah.

    Wilkins had three total tackles and two hurries against the Jets. He doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher but provides a solid floor in fantasy with his tackle volume. The 2019 first-round pick ranks fifth at the IDL position with 42 total tackles.

    The interior of the Panthers’ offensive line is weak in pass protection. Wilkins has a chance to be effective as a pass rusher.

    Tier Three

    Jevon Holland, S.

    Holland was a lot of fun to watch in Week 10. The rookie safety blitzed the hell out of Lamar Jackson and had the most productive game of his young career.

    Week 11 against the Jets wasn’t quite as busy for Holland, but it wasn’t a complete washout either. He played 58 of a possible 60 snaps and recorded six total tackles and a pass breakup.

    Sits

    Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE; Brandon Jones, S; Eric Rowe, S.

    Van Ginkel played 43 snaps, had a tackle and three pressures. He’s flirted with tier three in this article but I feel comfortable sitting him for now.

    Jones only saw 37 of a possible 60 snaps as he shared time with Eric Rowe. Neither Jones nor Rowe is consistent enough to warrant starting in all but the deepest of IDP leagues.

    Tennessee Titans (8-3) at New England Patriots (7-4)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Titans
    Starts

    Tier One

    Harold Landry, EDGE; Jeffery Simmons, IDL.

    None of the Titans pass-rushers recorded a sack in Week 11. Landry, Simmons, and Autry have been so productive that it almost seems inconceivable.

    This game ended Landry’s incredible run of eight consecutive games with at least a sack. But it’s likely just a matter of time before he picks up where he left off in Week 10. He still ranks fifth in total pressures among all edge players, and first in total tackles.

    Landry will face a lot of Isaiah Wynn this weekend. Wynn has been inconsistent, playing well one week and not the next. Landry has the advantage in this matchup.

    Simmons led the team with three total pressures, and he also batted down a pass, but it was his efforts in the run game that stood out. The talented IDL had seven total tackles and seven stops, and in doing so, he went some way to demonstrating that he is becoming a more complete player.

    The former first-round pick has 49 total pressures, nine sacks, 32 total tackles, and three batted passes. He ranks first, first, 14th, and third in each of those categories, respectively. Impressive stuff.

    Simmons faces a tough task in Week 12. The interior of the Patriots’ offensive line has been sturdy in pass protection. The Week 11 starters have combined to allow only 28 total pressures in 28 games played.

    Tier Two

    Denico Autry, EDGE; Kevin Byard, S.

    Autry played 52 of a possible 64 snaps and had two solo tackles, two QB hurries, and a batted pass.

    The former Colts player is enjoying his most productive game as a pass rusher in his eighth season at the age of 31. He’s tied for eighth in total pressures at the edge position. He doesn’t add anything to his fantasy value by way of tackles, Autry has only 15 tackles in 11 games. In that sense, he’s the definition of a boom or bust player in IDP.

    Autry faces Trent Brown in Week 12. Brown is one of the better offensive tackles in football and has a reasonable chance at keeping Autry quiet.

    Byard won’t blow anyone away with his tackle volume, he ranks 29th at the position with 52 total tackles, but he has shown a consistent ability to make big plays throughout his career. The sixth-year safety has five interceptions, five pass breakups, and a fumble this season. He has an impressive 24 interceptions in less than five seasons.

    Tier Three

    Jayon Brown, ILB; Monty Rice, ILB.

    Brown led the team with 12 total tackles against the Texans. He has 28 tackles in the last three games since returning from injury. He’s a high-end ILB3 with the potential to become an ILB2 if he maintains this level of play.

    Rice was a popular waiver pickup last week after posting 12 total tackles in Week 10. He had a solid game, earning seven total tackles and grading well in coverage. Rice has 26 tackles in his last three games and has played noticeably better in each successive game.

    Sits

    Amani Hooker, S; David Long, ILB (injury); Rashaan Evans, ILB (injury.)

    Hooker played every down but did very little. He managed three total tackles and has only seven tackles in the last two games.

    Neither Long nor Evans practiced on Wednesday and both have been ruled out of the showdown with the Patriots.

    Patriots
    Starts

    Tier One

    Matt Judon, EDGE; Kyle Dugger, S.

    Unsurprisingly, Judon led the Patriots in pressure in the Thursday night contest. He ranks third in the NFL with 52 pressures and is tied for third with 12 sacks. 2021 is already his best season in the league and he’s only played 11 games.

    The former Ravens star will face both David Quessenberry and Taylor Lewan in Week 12. Both offensive tackles have played unevenly this season, allowing 10 sacks in 17 games between them. It’s a good matchup for Judon.

    Dugger has received plenty of praise in recent weeks as the NFL community catches on to how good the youngster has been. (I’ve recommended him as a starter since Week 1 in this article.) Dugger’s ascension has come of no surprise to Bill Belichick, of course.

    The young safety played 41 of a possible 54 snaps. He paced the Patriots with seven solo tackles, and also had a pass breakup. Dugger is currently tied for fourth at the position with 70 total tackles and has added three interceptions, and a pass breakup.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Christian Barmore, IDL; Adrian Phillips, S.

    Barmore passes the eye test. Your eyes are immediately drawn to his giant frame and he keeps your attention because of how disruptive he can be.

    The young defensive tackle had a QB hit and two QB hurries against the Falcons. He ranks 28th at the position with 29 tackles and ninth with 31 pressures. He is a high-end IDL3 but I won’t argue with anyone who considers him a low-end IDL2.

    Barmore isn’t talked about more because he only has one sack this season. If he keeps up this level of play, that will change, as will the perception of him. Pick him up in dynasty leagues while his value is still relatively low.

    The interior of the Titans’ offensive line is a mixed bag. Nate Davis suffered a concussion and Aaron Brewer stood in for him in Week 11. Brewer arguably looked like an improvement. Center Ben Jones has improved slightly, allowing just four pressures in six games. Rodger Saffold has looked terrible lately. It’s an average matchup for Barmore.

    Phillips continues to play a prominent role in the Patriots’ big-nickel package. Last week he played 47 of a possible 51 snaps. He spent 30 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    The pseudo-safety earned four total tackles and had an interception. He has 50 total tackles, a forced fumble, four interceptions, and two pass breakups this season. He’s a low-end Safety2 in most IDP leagues and is more of a high-end Safety3 in tackle-heavy leagues.

    Sits

    Kyle Van Noy, ILB/EDGE; Ja’Whaun Bentley, ILB.

    You might be surprised to see Van Noy in the sit tier. He’s had two consecutive games playing at a high level and, after having two sacks and an interception last week, he was probably a key reason many fantasy teams won in Week 11.

    Van Noy is a versatile player, he plays multiple linebacker positions for the Patriots. 

    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Steelers
    Starts

    Tier One

    Cam Heyward, IDL; T.J. Watt, EDGE.

    Heyward tied for a team-high three total pressures against the Chargers. He added a batted pass and two solo tackles. Sadly for his fantasy managers, he didn’t record a sack.

    The veteran lineman ranks fifth at the IDL position with 40 pressures, and third with 43 total tackles.

    The interior of the Bengals’ offensive line has been inconsistent this season. Heyward has the advantage here and should have a good game.

    Watt is due to return for the Bengals game after missing Week 11 against the Chargers. Despite playing only eight games this season (one of which he left after playing only 16 snaps), Watt ranks third in the NFL with 12 sacks.

    The 2020 Defensive MVP candidate will go up against Riley Reiff this weekend. Reiff’s level of play has dropped off significantly this season and Watt could have his way against the veteran offensive tackle.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Terrell Edmunds, S; Joe Schobert, ILB; Alex Highsmith, EDGE.

    Edmunds played every down and had a poor game. He recorded three solo tackles but missed three more tackle attempts.

    Considering he has spent 47% of his time in the box or on the defensive line, it’s a little disappointing that he ranks 34th at the position in total tackles.

    Schobert played 63 of a possible 76 snaps and had four solo tackles. Fantasy managers hoping for a repeat of his 13 tackle Week 10 performance were probably left feeling short-changed. But this is typical of Schobert’s performances this season. He has four games with eight or more tackles, and three games with four or fewer. Where’s the consistency at, Joe?!

    Highsmith tied for the team lead with three total pressures, and he made them count. The young edge rusher had two sacks – his second multi-sack performance game of the season.

    It’s mildly concerning that those two multi-sack games are his only games with a sack this year, but I’m hopeful he can build on his uneven performances with a strong second half of the season.

    Highsmith played on both the right and left edge in Week 11. It was the first time he’s done so this season. I assume he’ll move back to his normal ROLB/REO spot in Week 12. If that happens, he’ll face Jonah Williams. Williams has allowed four sacks in his last six games.

    Sits

    Devin Bush, ILB; Minkah Fitzpatrick, S (illness).

    Bush played 60 of a possible 76 snaps in Week 11. The former first-round pick managed five total tackles, but the Chargers took advantage of his poor coverage ability. Bush allowed all six attempts thrown his way to be completed for 67 yards and a touchdown.

    I’ve heard talk of a mini-comeback for Bush in recent weeks. I’m not sure why. The former first-round pick averages fewer than four tackles per game and looks just as poor as he did earlier in the season. I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I’m still rooting for him but I don’t hold out much hope at this point.

    Mike Tomlin has said he expects Fitzpatrick to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for the Bengals game. If that happens, start Fitzpatrick as a Safety2.

    The young safety celebrated his 25th birthday last week. Let’s hope it ignites a turnaround in his fortunes this season. He ranks 13th among all Safeties in tackles, more impressive when you consider he has only played nine games, but he’s also missed multiple tackles in three of his last four games.

    Bengals
    Starts

    Tier One

    Vonn Bell, S;  Logan Wilson, ILB; Trey Hendrickson, EDGE.

    Bell played every down against the Raiders and had six total tackles. The former Saints player ranks 12th in tackles at the Safety position which provides a decent floor in a fantasy sense.

    The one criticism I have of Bell this season is his lack of big plays. But that’s not his game. He has only one career interception and his last sack was in 2019. At least he has two forced fumbles.

    Wilson’s level of play has dropped off as the season has unfolded. He recorded no fewer than seven tackles in each of his first seven games, but the only game in which he has surpassed that figure since was the Week 8 game against the Jets when he allowed 14 receptions for 190 yards and a touchdown. And no, that’s not a typo.

    The young linebacker has time to recover from this mini-slump. He still ranks 17th in total tackles and showed earlier in the season that he’s capable of big plays.

    Hendrickson is the ultimate boom-or-bust edge player. The former Saints player is tied for sixth at the position with 46 total pressures and is tied for fifth with 11 sacks. However, he has only ten tackles this season. That’s an average of one tackle per game…

    The talented edge rusher faces Dan Moore Jr. in Week 12. Moore is one of the easier matchups Hendrickson will face this season, as the rookie offensive tackle has allowed 29 total pressures, including five sacks.

    Tier Two

    Sam Hubbard, EDGE; Jessie Bates III, S.

    Hubbard is a very different player to Hendrickson. Hendrickson is the better pass rusher, whereas Hubbard is the more complete player, and is certainly better in run defense.

    Hubbard ranks third at the edge position with 42 tackles, but only 24th in total pressures.

    The fourth-year edge rusher has a favorable matchup with Steelers’ right tackle, Chukwuma Okorafor. Okorafor has not played well in pass protection.

    Bates played every down against the Raiders in Week 11. He had five total tackles. The talented safety is not as productive this season as he was in 2020. Bates recorded 12 pass breakups and three interceptions last year but has zero pass breakups and only one interception so far in 2021.

    He ranks 21st at the safety position in total tackles.

    Tier Three

    Larry Ogunjobi, IDL.

    Ogunjobi took a while to get going as a member of the Bengals. He had seven total pressures and a single sack in his first six games but has 16 pressures and three sacks in only his last four games.

    The former Browns player failed to record a sack against the Raiders but he did generate a QB hit and three QB hurries.

    Ogunjobi has a decent matchup against the Steelers’ offensive line in Week 12. Kevin Dotson was the only interior lineman who had demonstrated any real ability in pass protection, and he will miss at least the next three weeks with a high ankle sprain.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Atlanta Falcons (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Falcons
    Starts

    Tier One

    Deion Jones, ILB; Foyesade Oluokun, ILB.

    Jones played 61 of a possible 63 snaps on Thursday Night Football. He had his second consecutive lackluster performance. Jones averaged almost nine tackles per game coming into the contest but managed to record just four solo tackles against the Patriots.

    The Patriots running game had its way with the Falcons defense, earning chunk plays in key moments. It’s not entirely Jones’ fault, but both he and Oluokun looked poor in run defense.

    The sixth-year linebacker has 82 total tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup this season. Those numbers justify him as an ILB1 in IDP but it should be noted that some of his productivity is the result of sheer volume. Few off-ball linebackers have played as many snaps. The same goes for Oluokun.

    Oluokun also played 61 of a possible 63 snaps against the Patriots. He earned seven total tackles which tied A.J. Terrell for the team lead. Oluokun also recorded a sack of Mac Jones.

    The former Yale Bulldogs star is one of the leading tacklers in the NFL this season. He has 97 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and a pass breakup.

    Tier Two

    Grady Jarrett, IDL.

    Jarrett led the Falcons’ interior defensive linemen with 42 snaps on Thursday Night Football. He had three solo tackles, and two QB hurries.

    The veteran is projected to have his least productive season as a pass rusher since his rookie year in 2015. On the other hand, he’s projected to record a career-high in total tackles. The latter doesn’t make up for the former in most IDP scoring formats.

    Jarrett’s barren spell as a pass rusher extends beyond just the current campaign. The former sixth-round pick has just three in the last 23 games extending into last season.

    Andrew Norwell had his worst game of the season against the Colts in Week 10 but remains one of the league’s best guards. Ben Bartch is still developing. Center Tyler Shatley is not playing well. It’s an average matchup for Jarrett.

    Tier Three

    Erik Harris, S; Dante Fowler, EDGE.

    Harris was on the field for 58 of a possible 63 snaps. He spent 24 of those snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    The veteran visibly struggled with missed tackles early in the game and has 11 this season. Harris is tied for eighth at the position with a missed tackle rate of 18%.

    I mention this because it is a concern going forward. The Falcons are still in the hunt, largely because other teams in their division are also on a two-game losing streak, but it’s difficult to see them gaining a few games back on the Bucs and competing this season.

    If the Falcons do fall out of contention, it may be difficult to justify playing Harris (31) and Duron Harmon (30) ahead of younger safeties on the roster. Rookie Richie Grant is no shoo-in for an increased role – he hasn’t set the world alight when given the opportunity – and has played more in the slot than at safety. But 2020 fourth-rounder Jaylinn Hawkins has been impressive albeit in limited action.

    However, just because this outcome makes some sense to me, it means nothing unless we see evidence of any change. Continue to start Harris as a Safety3 until further notice.

    Fowler returned to the Falcons lineup in Week 10 after returning from IR. He had 31 of a possible 77 snaps in his first game back, and 37 of 63 in Week 11.

    The pass-rush specialist was credited with a sack on Mac Jones on Thursday Night Football and although Fowler did beat Isaiah Wynn, Harris should’ve taken the honors were it not for his aforementioned poor tackling:

    Fowler hasn’t looked nearly as dangerous in his time with the Falcons as he did during his 2019 season with the Rams. He faces a pair of improving Jaguars offensive tackles in Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor in a fairly average matchup.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Jaguars
    Starts

    Tier One

    Josh Allen, EDGE.

    Allen had a good game in every respect except that which we care about, pressures and sacks. He generated zero pressures despite leading the team with 23 pass-rush attempts. He rescued his day by posting a career-best nine total tackles, and by earning his first forced fumble since 2019.

    The seventh overall selection in the 2019 draft ranks 14th at the edge position in total pressures and is tied for 19th in sacks with six. His impressive tackle count in Week 12 moves him up to second in total tackles.

    Allen will go up against Jake Matthews in Week 12. Matthews is the Falcons’ best offensive lineman in pass protection and will pose a tough challenge for Allen. I considered moving Allen down a tier but decided against it. Allen is a low-end EDGE2 for this matchup.

    Tier Two

    Rayshawn Jenkins, S; Dawuane Smoot, EDGE; Myles Jack, ILB.

    Jenkins hasn’t produced quite as I expected given how much time he spends in the box or on the defensive line. He ranks 27th at the position in total tackles.

    Smoot has dropped off a little in his last two games. He was averaging four pressures per game until Week 9 but has only a single pressure in his last two games.

    He’ll go up against Kaleb McGary in Week 12. McGary has allowed 22 total pressures this season, including two sacks in his last two games. Smoot has a chance to chance to get his season back on track.

    Jack played 64 of a possible 69 snaps and led the Jags with 12 total tackles against the 49ers. His 71 tackles rank 22nd at the ILB position despite the fact he’s only played nine games.

    Tier Three

    Damien Wilson, ILB.

    Wilson was a close second to Jack with 60 snaps. He was third on the team with seven total tackles and added a sack.

    The former Cowboys and Chiefs player has an opportunity to surpass his most productive season in 2019 when he managed 99 tackles. He currently ranks 25th at the ILB position with 69.

    Sits

    Everyone else. That includes Roy Robertson-Harris.

    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Slate

    Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) at Denver Broncos (5-5)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Chargers
    Starts

    Tier One

    Derwin James, S; Joey Bosa, EDGE.

    James played every down and had five total tackles, matching his lowest tackle output of the season. He also added a pass breakup.

    The gifted safety ranks first at the safety position with 82 tackles.

    Bosa was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for the Steelers game and had a nice performance, generating seven total pressures, including a sack, and adding four total tackles.

    The former Ohio Buckeyes star has been productive this season. He ranks 21st in total tackles, 10th in total pressures with 44, and is tied for 19th in sacks with six.

    Bosa will go up against Bobby Massie if Massie can get healthy in time. Massie is currently listed as doubtful, but has at least been practising in some capacity:

    Bosa has a nice matchup irrespective of whether he faces Massie or Massie’s replacement in recent weeks, Cameron Fleming.

    Tier Two

    Kyzir White, ILB.

    White led all of the Chargers’ ILBs with 66 of a possible 69 snaps and paced the team with nine total tackles. He was made to earn the role after playing behind Kenneth Murray to begin the year. White hasn’t disappointed. He had some unconvincing games to open the season but has since come on strongly.

    The fourth-year safety ranks 20th at the ILB position with 76 total tackles. He’s also added a sack, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

    Tier Three

    Nasir Adderley, S.

    Adderley has taken a significant step forward in his progression this season. The young safety has only played eight games but has 56 total tackles. His missed tackle rate is 16.4% which is a slight problem. Five of those 11 missed tackles came in one game against the Browns in Week 5.

    Sits

    Linval Joseph, IDL (injury); Drue Tranquill, ILB; Kenneth Murray, ILB; Jerry Tillery, IDL.

    Joseph was having a nice season and the hope is he can return in Week 13. Unfortunately, he’ll miss the divisional game with the Broncos:

    Tranquill had 44 snaps in Week 12, some way ahead of Murray’s 15. Tranquill passed the eye test, but he only recorded a single solo tackle and had one QB hurry. I expect his productivity to improve if he can continue to earn this amount of playing time.

    I’ve made no secret of the idea that I’m not a huge fan of Murray’s game. He played 58 snaps on his return from injury in Week 10, but Tranquill was out for that game. When Tranquill returned in Week 12, Murray mustered just 15 snaps.

    Tillery was on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive in Week 11. He remains on the list. Monitor his status for updates. I’ll update this article when I hear more.

    Broncos
    Starts

    Tier One

    Kareem Jackson, S.

    Jackson ranks ninth at the safety spot with 66 total tackles. He could be as high as second if it wasn’t for all the missed tackles. The veteran safety missed four in Week 7, two in Week 8, and four more in Week 10. Missed tackles have never been a big issue in his career to date, so I suspect this is something he can overcome sooner or later.

    The former Texans star played 58 of a possible 64 snaps before the Broncos bye in Week 11. He spent 29 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    Monitor Jackson’s status this week. He didn’t practice on Wednesday with a shoulder/neck injury.

    Tier Two

    Justin Simmons, S.

    Simmons played every down in the Broncos last game against the Eagles in Week 10. He recorded an interception in the game and added a QB hurry.

    The talented ranks 36th in total tackles at the safety position. He’s added four interceptions and five pass breakups.

    Tier Three

    Dre’Mont Jones, IDL; Shelby Harris, IDL; Malik Reed, EDGE; Kenny Young, ILB.

    Jones had a sack in Week 10, his third of the season. He ranks 14th at the IDL position with 26 total pressures. He’d be in tier two if he offered more in the tackle department. The talented young lineman has only 14 tackles in 10 games.

    Harris ranks 28th at the IDL spot with 21 total pressures, only five fewer than Jones. His relative position in the IDL pressure rankings demonstrates how shallow the position is beyond the top tier.

    The veteran IDL ranks 30th in total tackles. He’s an upper-end IDL3.

    The interior of the Chargers line is playing well in pass protection lately. Jones and Harris will have to be at their best to generate pressure.

    Reed only had a single pressure in Week 10 but it was a sack. He had a season-high in total tackles with eight. The young edge rusher ranks 23rd in total tackles at the position but is languishing behind many other EDGE3 players in total pressures. He’s a low-end EDGE3.

    If Reed is used in the same way as he was in Weeks 8 and 10, he will face Storm Norton in Week 12. Norton would be a very favorable matchup for Reed.

    Young has replaced Baron Browning as the Broncos ILB to own in seasonal formats, as the former Rams player led the Broncos linebacker with 62 of a possible 64 snaps.

    The fourth-year linebacker had six total tackles and a QB hurry against the Eagles in Week 10.

    Sits

    Bradley Chubb, EDGE; Baron Browning, ILB; Curtis Robinson, ILB; Jonathon Cooper, EDGE.

    Chubb has looked and felt good in practice this week according to Vic Fangio. Monitor his status closely this week.

    Browning recorded just 16 snaps in Week 10 after earning 68 in Week 8 and 62 in Week 9. He was a distant third in snaps at the Broncos ILB position.

    Robinson was second amount Broncos ILBs with 39 of a possible 64 snaps. He didn’t do a lot with them, managing three total tackles and missing two more tackle attempts.

    Cooper was second among Broncos edge players with 46 snaps. He didn’t generate any pressures but did at least have five total tackles.

    The young edge rusher has shown some ability to get after the quarterback in recent weeks with five pressures in Week 7, and seven pressures in Week 9. I don’t recommend starting him in this matchup vs Rashawn Slater.

    Los Angeles Rams (7-3) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Rams
    Starts

    Tier One

    Aaron Donald, IDL; Leonard Floyd, EDGE; Von Miller, EDGE; Jordan Fuller, S.

    Donald had only one pressure against the 49ers. It’s the fewest pressures he has in a game this season. At least he recorded seven total tackles.

    All three players on the interior of the Packers offensive line have been wildly inconsistent in pass protection and the whole unit is struggling with injuries. Donald should have a good game.

    Floyd had only two QB hurries, two solo tackles, and missed three more tackle attempts. It was a game to forget in what has otherwise been an excellent season for Floyd.

    The veteran edge rusher is 15th among all edge rushers with 37 pressures, tied for seventh with 10 sacks, and he ranks 10th in total tackles.

    Miller was similarly ineffective in Week 10. The former Broncos player had two QB hurries, and recorded three solo tackles. He currently ranks 29th in total pressures and 27th in sacks. Not too impressive on the face of it but remember he has only played eight games due to injuries.

    Floyd lined up on the left side of the defensive front even though that has been Miller’s favored position most of his career. Miller split time at both positions but spent slightly more time on the right.

    If that continues, Floyd will have a favorable matchup. David Bakhtiari is not ready to return and unfortunately, Elgton Jenkins suffered an ACL tear which will put an end to his season.

    Miller will face more of Billy Turner. Turner has been quite average in pass protection, allowing 26 pressures, including three sacks. Miller has an opportunity to make a statement for his new team in his second start.

    Fuller played every down and spent 17 of his 68 snaps in the box. He was third on the team with eight total tackles but he missed three more tackle attempts. Missing tackles is rare for Fuller, he has only five so far this season.

    The young safety is a safe choice in IDP, he ranks fourth at the safety position with 70 total tackles. But he lacks big plays. He has no sacks, forced fumbles, or interceptions, and has recorded only one pass breakup.

    Tier Two

    Taylor Rapp, S.

    Much like Fuller, Rapp also played every down and also spent 17 of his snaps in a box role. Rapp recorded nine solo tackles and a sack, but he did allow three receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown.

    Rapp is ranked 22nd among all safeties in tackles and has two sacks, two interceptions, and two pass breakups. He’s a solid Safety2 in fantasy terms.

    Tier Three

    Ernest Jones, ILB; Troy Reeder, ILB; Greg Gaines, IDL.

    Jones led all of the Rams off-ball linebackers with 56 snaps, just ahead of Troy Reeder who had 52. Jones had seven total tackles and three stops.

    The two linebackers have been alternating who plays the most snaps but I think the reason Reeder played more in Week 9 was only due to the stomach bug that Jones played through.

    Reeder led the Rams with 10 total tackles against the 49ers. However, only four of those were solo attempts. In fact, of Reeder’s 49 tackles this season, 22 of those have been tackle assists. That’s an unusually high ratio.

    Gaines has stepped into a more prominent role following the injury to Sebastian Joseph-Day and has been productive. He has 10 pressures, and two sacks in the last three games.

    The third-year lineman has an EDGE or DE designation in some formats, but he has played almost exclusively at tackle (if you’re in an MFL league and have an active commissioner you could try your luck and ask about a position switch).

    Gaines is tied at 31st in total pressures and 44th in tackles, despite playing no more than 32 snaps in a game before Week 8. Keep an eye on him, especially if he has an IDL designation in your league.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Packers
    Starts

    Tier One

    Kenny Clark, IDL; Rashan Gary, EDGE; De’Vondre Campbell, ILB.

    Clark is a little like the Maxx Crosby of defensive tackles this season. Lots of pressure, but very few games with a sack. That continued in Week 11 as Clark generated five QB hurries but didn’t take down the QB.

    The sixth-year player has a chance to make amends in Week 12. The interior of the Rams offensive line has been wildly inconsistent in pass protection. Center Brian Allen is a good example. He allowed four pressures, including two sacks in Week 9, then had the best performance of anyone at the position in Week 10.

    Gary missed the game against the Vikings with a hyperextended elbow. He’s questionable for this game but did practice this week so should be able to suit up.

    The young edge rusher has stepped up in the absence of Za’Darius Smith this season. He ranks sixth at the edge position with 46 total pressures and he has six sacks.

    If he plays, Gary will go up against Rob Havenstein. Havenstein has been pretty solid most of the season but has allowed three sacks in his last two games.

    It was good to see Campbell return to form after a few disappointing games. The former Falcons player played every down and had seven total tackles, two QB hits, and a QB hurry.

    Campbell ranks ninth with 87 total tackles at the linebacker position. He has also added a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup.

    Tier Two

    Adrian Amos, S.

    Amos’ tackle volume has decreased lately. He had 36 tackles in the first five games of the season but has only 15 in his last five. The former Bears player has compensated with more pass breakups but it’s a concern I felt was worth noting.

    The talented safety played every down against the Vikings. He spent 23 of his 69 snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. Unfortunately, he only recorded three total tackles. He still ranks 11th at the position so despite his recent lack of productivity I’ll continue recommending him as a Safety2.

    Tier Three

    Dean Lowry, IDL; Preston Smith, EDGE.

    Lowry played 49 of a possible 69 snaps and had two solo tackles and a QB hurry. He’s been ineffective for three consecutive games. His streak of four consecutive games with a sack between Weeks 5 and 8 seems like a long time ago.

    See Clark’s notes for information on Lowry’s matchup.

    Smith has turned it on in his last two games. He has 16 total pressures, three sacks, and a forced fumble. Granted, he rushed the passer a season-high 42 times in Week 10, but last week he did so only 29 times and that’s not far off his average for the season.

    Smith will face both Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein. Whitworth amazes me. He’s been arguably offensive tackle in pass protection this season, and he’s almost 40 years old! He presents a very difficult matchup for Smith. I’ve covered Havenstein above in Gary’s notes.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Minnesota Vikings (5-5) at San Francisco 49ers (5-5)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Vikings
    Starts

    Tier One

    Eric Kendricks, ILB; Harrison Smith, S.

    Kendricks played every down and tied for the team lead with 10 total tackles. He ranks fourth at the ILB position with 99 tackles and he’s added four sacks, two interceptions, and two batted passes.

    He hasn’t looked quite as good in coverage in his last three games. It’s unusual for him as it’s usually a strength of his game. He’s allowed three passing touchdowns in his last three games. I’m sure it’s only a temporary issue. His overall PFF coverage grade for the season is still excellent.

    Smith also looked a bit out of sorts in his last game. He played every down and spent 25 of his 59 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. However, he managed only five tackles as he missed two tackle attempts. It wouldn’t be worth mentioning for most players, but Smith had missed only one tackle all season before this game.

    Like Kendricks’ issues above, I’m sure this will be an anomaly. Smith is an excellent safety and ranks 14th at the position in tackles.

    Tier Two

    Xavier Woods, S.

    Woods played every down but spent only 13 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He had a pass breakup and recorded five tackles, but he missed two more tackle opportunities and gave up 152 yards and two touchdowns. He will try to move on from this game in a hurry.

    The former Cowboys safety ranks 24th in tackles at the safety position and has added a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and four pass breakups.

    Tier Three

    Anthony Barr, ILB.

    Griffen’s fast start to the season has slowed lately. He had four sacks in his first four games, but has only one in his last four, and has gone three consecutive games without a sack.

    He’ll find it difficult to do much in Week 12. Trent Williams is one of the best in the business and will make life hard for Griffen. I dropped Griffen to an EDGE3 for this matchup and I may keep him there until he shows signs of improvement.

    This was by far Barr’s most productive game of the season. He played 55 snaps and tied for the team lead with 10 total tackles.

    I’d like to think it is a sign of things to come but the former number one pick has never been a high-volume tackler in the NFL. He’s a low-end ILB3 for me.

    Sits

    Nick Vigil, ILB; Everson Griffen, EDGE (personal/non-football related absence)

    Vigil returned to the bench with Barr returning to the lineup. He had only 14 snaps.

    My thoughts are with Everson Griffen. I hope he has the help and support he needs.

    49ers
    Starts

    Tier One

    Nick Bosa, EDGE; Fred Warner, ILB.

    Bosa led the 49ers with five pressures, two of which were sacks. The second overall selection in the 2019 draft ranks 12th at his position in total pressures and is tied for seventh in sacks.

    The Vikings Brian O’Neill will be tasked with slowing down Bosa this week. O’Neill is one of the best right tackles in the NFL this season. He’s allowed only 11 pressures and zero sacks in 10 games. It will be a great matchup to watch. For Bosa’s fantasy managers, it’s a tough matchup. 

    Warner played every down and led the team with seven total tackles. He’s had more productive games but the 49ers only played 46 defensive snaps so it’s somewhat understandable.

    The talented linebacker ranks 10th in total tackles at the ILB position. Easy ILB1.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Arik Armstead, EDGE; Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB.

    Armstead played 35 of a possible 46 snaps and recorded just two tackles and a QB hurry. The giant defensive lineman has only two tackles and two pressures in his last two games. It’s a bit disappointing.

    He ranks 31st in total tackles and 13th in total pressures. Unfortunately, he has only two sacks so far this season.

    Armstead has played 78 snaps as a tackle and 41 snaps as a left end in his last three games. He should see plenty of Oli Udoh against the Vikings. It’s a favorable matchup for Armstead.

    Shanahan said Al-Shaair will not be unseated by Greenlaw’s return so I’m leaving Al-Shaair as an ILB and recommending you sit Greenlaw. Shanahan could be lying, and he could have a change of heart, but we can only work with the info we are given.

    Al-Shaair ranks 33rd among all ILBs with 60 tackles and three pass breakups. He has played in nine games this season.

    Sits

    Dre Greenlaw, ILB (injury); Talanoa Hufanga, S; Jaquiski Tartt 

    As mentioned above, I’m recommending you sit Greenlaw based on what Shanahan had to say. It’s a situation we’ll need to monitor going forward. He remains on IR but is expected to be activated before Sunday.

    Hufanga filled in well in Tartt’s absence, improving in every game and arguably earning an extended run in the first team, but Tartt regained his role upon his return in Week 11. Hufanga played just 16 snaps against the Jaguars.

    Tartt is close to being a Safety3 in my rankings this week. I’m leaving him in this tier until I see him become productive. He hasn’t set the world alight in the games he had played so far this season.

    Sunday Night Football

    Cleveland Browns (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Browns
    Starts

    Tier One

    Myles Garrett, EDGE.

    Garrett led the Browns with four pressures against the Lions but he failed to record a sack for only the second time this season.

    The NFL sack-leader will face Alejandro Villanueva this weekend. Villanueva has been terrible this season, surrendering 38 pressures and 7 sacks in place of Ronnie Stanley. It could be one of the most favorable matchups Garrett will have all season. I’m expecting fireworks. Of course, I’ve jinxed it now!

    Tier Two

    Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE; Anthony Walker, ILB.

    Clowney moves down a tier. Not so much because he has failed to record a sack in four games, but more because he has only three pressures over that span. He started the year so fast but has dropped off in the last month.

    He’ll face Patrick Mekari in Week 12. Mekari has progressed as a pass blocker this season. The 2019 free agent has allowed only 14 pressures in eight games. Clowney may not have everything his way.

    Walker played every down and led the team with seven total tackles. He’s produced consistently since returning from injury, recording 56 tackles, a sack, and two pass breakups in his last six games.

    Tier Three

    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB; Malik McDowell, IDL.

    JOK only managed 14 snaps last weekend, but he was playing through an ankle injury. Monitor his status this week before inserting him into lineups.

    Kevin Stefanski said on Monday that JOK should be able to play this weekend.

    McDowell failed to record a sack, but except for Garrett, McDowell was the only other Browns defender to register any pressures.

    The young defensive tackle is earning the lion’s share of the snaps at the IDL spot. He played 38 in Week 11 compared with Malik Jackson’s 29. This is a reflection of the fact that McDowell has been the more effective player, especially in the last month.

    However, while McDowell has improved as a pass rusher, he has been inconsistent in run defense. Hopefully, that is something he can develop. Remember, even though he is 25, this is essentially his rookie season after an eventful introduction into the NFL.

    The interior of the Ravens offensive line isn’t without talent. Kevin Zeitler is still a good guard. But the unit isn’t particularly special behind Zeitler. It’s an average matchup for McDowell.

    Sits

    Malik Jackson, IDL; John Johnson, S; Grant Delpit, S; Ronnie Harrison, S.

    As mentioned above, Jackson has fallen behind McDowell in snaps and productivity. The veteran has only four total pressures in his last four games and has gone eight consecutive games without a sack.

    Johnson played every down and recorded six tackles. He still averages less than four tackles a game this season.

    Delpit played only 25 snaps. He has exceeded 30 snaps only twice this season.

    Harrison is close to being a Safety3. He plays the majority of snaps in each game, spends a reasonable percentage of his snaps in a box role, and ranks 42nd at the position despite barely playing in Week 1 and Week 4.

    Ravens
    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Josh Bynes, ILB; Patrick Queen, ILB; Odafe Oweh, EDGE; Tyus Bowser, EDGE.

    Bynes followed up his best game of the season in Week 10, with his worst game of the season in Week 11. He managed three total tackles but missed two more tackle attempts.

    The journeyman linebacker played 43 snaps compared to Patrick Queen’s 44. Perhaps surprisingly given Queen’s recent struggles, he outplayed Bynes in this game. Queen had six tackles and a QB hurry.

    I am in no hurry to start either linebacker. I have Bynes as a mid-to-low end ILB3 and Queen as a low-end ILB3.

    Oweh led the Ravens with five pressures against the Bears, but this will be overlooked as others such as Tyus Bowser, and Justin Houston recorded sacks whereas Oweh did not.

    This was Oweh’s second consecutive game with five pressures and he ranks 18th at the position in that category. He doesn’t offer much by way of tackle volume, but fantasy managers who play in leagues with edge designations probably aren’t too worried about that.

    The Browns have designated Jack Conklin to return from IR. If he is activated to the roster in time, he will join Jedrick Wills Jr. in facing Oweh. If Conklin cannot go, Oweh will go up against Blake Hance and Wills Jr. Conklin is a huge upgrade over Hance and would present a difficult matchup. Monitor Conklin’s status if you’re in two minds about starting Oweh in IDP leagues this weekend.

    Bowser had an excellent game against the Bears. He generated three pressures, including two sacks, had a forced fumble and had three solo tackles. He ranks 38th at the position in total pressures and 22nd in tackles.

    He’s a low-end EDGE3 in my rankings but is rising after his last two performances. For information on his matchup, see Oweh’s notes above. Like Oweh, Bowser switches from the left to the right edge as a pass rusher.

    Sits

    Chuck Clark, S; Justin Houston, EDGE; Calais Campbell, IDL.

    Clark played eery down in Week 11 but was ineffective once again. Despite playing 30 snaps in the box, he had only a single tackle and missed one tackle attempt. He has failed to surpass three tackles in each of the last four contests.

    Houston was fourth on the team in total pressure and had his second consecutive game with a sack. The veteran edge rusher has shown some improvement as an edge rusher in recent games and is among the most appealing EDGE4 players in my rankings. If you need an injury or bye week replacement, Houston is a solid shout.

    Campbell played 43 snaps but generated no pressure. He has zero sacks this season. He’s still a good player, and in some ways, I’m going against my mindset of continuing to play those players who earn a reasonable amount of pressure, but I’d like to see him have at least one productive fantasy game before recommending him as an IDL3 again.

    Monday Night Football

    Seattle Seahawks (3-7) at Washington Football Team (4-6)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Seahawks
    Starts

    Tier One

    Bobby Wagner, ILB; Jordyn Brooks, ILB; Jamal Adams, S.

    Wagner tied for second on the team with 12 total tackles against the Cardinals. He also added a forced fumble.

    The veteran linebacker is second in the league with 111 tackles. He’s added a sack, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups. He’s played a hell of a lot of snaps compared to his linebacker counterparts, and some of his production can be attributed to how much he has played, but he’s still an elite ILB1.

    If this were a list of the best linebackers in football, Brooks wouldn’t be included. I’ve talked often about his deficiencies in coverage. However, this list is for fantasy football purposes, and providing ILBs continue to earn opportunities to play a large volume of snaps, their coverage ability doesn’t matter so much.

    Brooks led the team with 14 total tackles in Week 11. He also added a QB hit. He moves up to sixth among all ILBs with 94 total tackles. The young linebacker has also added a sack, and a pass breakup this season. Plug him into lineups as an ILB1.

    Adams, much like Brooks, has been poor in coverage in recent seasons. But like Brooks, it doesn’t matter too much in fantasy football.

    The sixth overall pick in 2017 had seven solo tackles against the Cardinals. He hasn’t recorded many big plays for his IDP managers this season, but he does provide a safe weekly floor with his tackle volume. Adams ranks second among all safeties with 78 tackles this season.

    Tier Two

    Quandre Diggs, S.

    Diggs played every down in Week 11. 68 of his 83 snaps were spent lined up as a free safety, but he still had nine total tackles.

    The veteran safety ranks 16th at the position in total tackles and has added three interceptions and two pass breakups this season.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    Poona Ford, IDL; Brian Mone, IDL.

    Ford isn’t a bad player, but he’s not quite productive enough to be considered an IDL3. His sack in Week 11 was his first of the season, and his 17 total pressures rank 40th at the position. His 27 tackles are tied for 36th.

    Mone might be a popular waiver pickup after a two-sack performance last weekend. It may well be the start of something for the third-year defensive tackle, but I will take a hard pass. Those sacks were his first sacks of the season, he has only six pressures in total, and he has no track record of being productive at this level.

    Washington
    Starts

    Tier One

    Jonathan Allen, IDL; Daron Payne, IDL; Cole Holcomb, ILB.

    Allen failed to record a sack against the Panthers but he did lead the team with four pressures and he added five total tackles.

    The former Crimson Tide star is fourth at the IDL position with 41 total pressures. He’ll look to improve on those numbers against Seattle. The interior of the Seahawks offensive line has been quite poor. Even Gabe Jackson has struggled in pass protection at times.

    Payne had two pressures, a sack, and three total tackles in Week 11. It was his second sack in his last three games. He is now tied for 10th at his position in pressures, and 19th with 31 tackles.

    See Allen’s notes for information on Payne’s matchup this week.

    Holcomb played every down, had nine solo tackles and a pass breakup. However, he did allow six completions for 68 yards and a touchdown when playing in coverage.

    The third-year linebacker ranks 11th at the ILB position with 86 total tackles. He’s also added a sack, two forced fumbles, an interception, and two pass breakups. He has provided a steady presence at the position, allowing Jamin Davis time to develop.

    Tier Two

    Kamren Curl, S; Landon Collins, S.

    Curl played 46 of a possible 51 snaps and spent 12 of those in the box or on the defensive line. He tied for the team lead with nine total tackles and also added a QB hurry.

    The young safety is tied for 14th at the safety spot with 61 tackles.

    Collins played 47 snaps and spent 21 in the box or on the defensive line. He had four total tackles and ranks 20th among safeties with 58 total tackles.

    Both of these safeties provide a solid floor in fantasy with their tackle volume, but neither has added much to their fantasy value with big plays so far this season.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    Jamin Davis, ILB; Bobby McCain, S.

    Davis followed up his 27 snaps in Week 10 with only 33 of a possible 51 snaps in Week 11. It isn’t enough of an opportunity to maintain fantasy relevance. Stash him in dynasty and find a more reliable ILB to start over him in the meantime.

    McCain played every down in Week 11, as he often does. Unfortunately, he plays so far away from the line of scrimmage that it’s difficult for him to get involved. He had two total tackles. He averages fewer than four tackles per game this season.

    Final Reminder

    Please remember to check inactive players before submitting your final lineups on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Players can and will suddenly become inactive at the last moment.

    This NFL Week 12 Start/Sit IDP article was published days before kick-off. I will try to keep it updated with injury news if it affects start/sit recommendations. I will update it at least three times, once before the Thursday night game, once before the early games on Sunday, and again before the mid-afternoon games.

    Please check the IDPGuys IDP Injury Report article from @FF_Skinnychef for the latest injury news.


    Thanks for taking the time to read my NFL Week 12 Start/Sit article for IDP leagues! I hope you find it useful. You can find more of my work here at IDPguys.org, and you can follow me on Twitter @FFIDP_Jase. I will do my best to be available for questions or feedback. My DMs are always open.

    For start/sit advice for players on offense, please check out the article here from the IDPGuys @FantasyLadder.

    Jase Abbey

    I'm an IDP-obsessive and have been playing fantasy football for 20 years. I write the weekly IDP start/sit for IDP Guys in-season, redraft IDP content during the offseason, and appear on the odd podcast from time to time. I am a big, big believer in data-driven and evidence-based content. I'm UK-based, love most sports, and study sports journalism at university. My favorite two things in life are family and sarcasm.
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