I'm going to work through some midseason tiers over the next few weeks. Time limitations will prevent me from providing the same amount of context as I do in the offseason, but this should provide a snapshot of where I feel these players are currently. During the season, I approach my lineups and roster with three categories in mind -- matchup independent every week starter / matchup play / too much upside to cut. Everyone else is on the watch list.
I'm going to roll through these team-by-team.
EVERY-DOWN LINEBACKER PROJECTION
|TEAM||EVERY-DOWN LB||75-100% SNAPS||INJ | SUSP||NOTES|
|ARIZONA||Kevin Minter : Deone Bucannon||Markus Golden||Alex Okafor : Daryl Washington|
|ATLANTA||Paul Worrilow||Justin Durant|
|BALTIMORE||C.J. Mosley : Daryl Smith||Elvis Dumervil : Courtney Upshaw||Terrell Suggs (IR)|
|BUFFALO||Preston Brown : Nigel Bradham|
|CAROLINA||Luke Kuechly : Thomas Davis|
|CHICAGO||Jonathan Anderson||Christian Jones : Pernell McPhee||Shea McClellin|
|CINCINNATI||Vinny Rey||Vontaze Burfict||Burfict nearing every down role|
|DALLAS||Rolando McClain||Sean Lee||McClain likely every down, Hitchens v Gachkar depends on health|
|DENVER||Brandon Marshall||Von Miller : Danny Trevathan||DeMarcus Ware|
|DETROIT||Josh Bynes : Stephen Tulloch||DeAndre Levy|
|GREEN BAY||Clay Matthews||Julius Peppers||Sam Barrington (IR)||Jake Ryan getting playing time now|
|INDIANAPOLIS||D'Qwell Jackson : Jerrell Freeman|
|JACKSONVILLE||Paul Posluszny : Telvin Smith|
|KANSAS CITY||Derrick Johnson : Justin Houston||Tamba Hali|
|MIAMI||Jelani Jenkins||Koa Misi|
|MINNESOTA||Chad Greenway||? Anthony Barr : Eric Kendricks||Zimmer says Barr okay, watch for mid-week signing|
|NEW ENGLAND||Jamie Collins : Dont'a Hightower||Freeny replaced ill and inactive Collins in W9|
|NEW ORLEANS||Stephone Anthony||Hau'oli Kikaha : Dannell Ellerbe||Michael Mauti saw snaps w/ Ellerbe/Kikaha inactive|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||Devon Kennard : Jonathan Casillas||Jon Beason (IR)|
|NEW YORK JETS||David Harris : Demario Davis|
|OAKLAND||Malcolm Smith||Aldon Smith : Khalil Mack|
|PHILADELPHIA||Mychal Kendricks||Connor Barwin : Brandon Graham||Jordan Hicks (IR)||Hicks injury likely to put Alonso into 80%+ snaps|
|PITTSBURGH||Lawrence Timmons : Ryan Shazier|
|ST. LOUIS||James Laurinaitis : Mark Barron||Alec Ogletree (IR-R)|
|SAN DIEGO||Melvin Ingram||Donald Butler : Kavell Conner||Manti Te'o : Denzel Perryman|
|SAN FRANCISCO||NaVorro Bowman||Aaron Lynch : Ahmad Brooks||Starting to see Hodges play for Wilhoite on more downs|
|SEATTLE||Bobby Wagner : K.J. Wright||Bruce Irvin|
|TAMPA BAY||Lavonte David : Kwon Alexander|
|TENNESSEE||Avery Williamson||Derrick Morgan : Brian Orakpo||Woodyard and Brown continue rotation|
|WASHINGTON||Keenan Robinson||Ryan Kerrigan||Robinson still not healthy, Riley/Compton rotating|
I'll update this table every week between now and Week 17.
quick jpp note
Pierre-Paul proved last week he'll still be successful with a speed rush. I still believe teams will adjust and force Pierre-Paul to show a counter move he can win with and I'm not convinced the tackle counts will be there this year, but big play owners can consider Pierre-Paul a high variance, every-week starter. Pierre-Paul is worth rostering in all leagues where you hold two defensive ends, but isn't yet a starter in balanced or tackle-heavy leagues.
WAIVER WIRE PRIORITIES
I'm checking the waiver wire in a mix of my most and least competitive leagues, including expanded lineups. If there's someone on your list who hasn't made mine, shoot me a note and I'll add them here.